How to Find Repeat Business for Home Services Through Real Estate Contacts
Repeat business is the sole of a growing company. Home service businesses traditionally serve one homeowner at a time. But these customers, while loyal, often call less than once a year for the services they need. They can be maintained while also seeking more frequent repeat-business opportunities from clients who will hire you time and time again for big and little jobs throughout the year. Who are these mysterious clients who need two or three water heater repaired or new floors put in every year? Real estate professionals.
These property moving experts deal with homes on a regular basis, sometimes even in large groups if an investment property owner decides to sell off their collection. The fact of the matter is that most real estate professionals deal with several houses a year and not every property that needs to be sold is in perfect condition. In reality, most homes need a few repairs and upgrades before they’ll do their best on the market and there’s no better deal for a home services business than to be the number on-call for one or more of these real estate professionals.
1) Property Managers
When an investment property owner (landlord) decides that they don’t want to worry about maintaining all their properties or worrying about the tenants’ occasional repair needs, they hire a property manager. This can be a single person who takes on the landlord role for a percentage of the rental payments or an entire service company that works with many investment property owners.
The property manager is responsible for keeping the yard in good order, repairing anything that breaks, and performing regular maintenance to keep the home in good condition. They also handle enforcing lease restrictions on tenants and stage homes to find new tenants as needed.
Why are property managers a good business contact to have? Because most property managers can’t handle everything that can come up when taking care of a property. Usually, these are handy people who can manage basic repairs and maintenance tasks and know when to contract with an expert when things get out of hand.
They often outsource landscaping services, hire cleaners between tenants, and will hire a professional for each repair job they can’t confidently take care of themselves. Property managers have also been known to hire construction services for minor changes that will make a home more appealing or to fix a growing structural problem. Being an on-call service for a property manager could mean connecting to dozens of local homes that could need servicing.
2) Real Estate Agents
Having explored the usefulness of a property management contact, it may be easier to see why real estate agents are also very useful friends and business partners to have. When a real estate agent is hired by a homeowner to sell a house, the state of the house isn’t exactly part of the deal. The agent’s job is then to get the best possible price for the house which could require serious cleaning and upgrades before this is possible.
Some homes real estate agents are put in charge of selling are still full of a previous resident’s abandoned junk, the house may be nicely built but left filthy, or there might require several serious repairs before it’s ready to go on the market. One incredibly common problem that real estate agents need to solve is landscaping.
Homes that were left clean and in good repair often still spend a little too much time unoccupied and untended such that the yard grows out of control. If you provide a landscaping service, being on-call for a few real estate agents could get you jobs all year long, even during normally slow seasons as the real estate market never truly rests.
Then there’s staging which is the art of arranging a home to be appealing in pictures and to touring buyers. Some homes are perfectly nice but a real estate agent may still want an incredibly deep clean and a few minor touch-ups in order to stage it for sale. If you offer cleaning, painting, and minor structural repair services, you could be part of the regular staging routine in no time.
3) Real Estate Inspectors and Appraisers
Inspections are a necessary and completely unavoidable aspect of responsible property ownership. Of course, as a home service business you probably already know that all too well. Every time a homeowner is thinking about selling their house, they get an inspection and/or an appraisal to give them an idea of what needs to be fixed or improved to get the best value for their home.
Most homeowners know that it’s better to spend a few hundred to a few thousand fixing up a place in order to add another 10 to 20 thousand to their asking price. Both inspectors and appraisers do a thorough walk-through of a home looking for signs of wear, damage, and areas that could significantly increase the value of the home if improved before a sale.
Homeowners may also call an inspector (but not an appraiser) if they’re simply concerned about the state of their home and are ready to take on a wave of repairs that have, perhaps, been neglected for a few years due to distraction or hardship.
Whether the inspection is for the purpose of selling a home or simply getting a complete picture of necessary repairs, the thing you as a home services business should be interested in are the recommendations made at the end of an inspection. While an inspector doesn’t have to leave anything but a written report, they often go out of their way to help homeowners understand exactly what repairs or improvements they need and may even recommend a few reputable local services that they are certain can help. Needless to say, it would be highly beneficial to be on a few local inspectors’ shortlists.
4) Estate Lawyers
Estate lawyers are an odd part of the real estate business that few people remember (or want to remember) exist. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, as few are, an estate lawyer is someone who handles the estate of a person who has recently passed away. Elderly people often hire an estate lawyer to get their property in order ahead of time and then families work with that estate lawyer after a death to ensure that everything is handled properly.
When inheritors don’t want to keep a home left to them by a deceased relative, the estate lawyer is often left to make arrangements for the sale and the following dispersal of the proceeds.
In other words, you want to know a few estate lawyers for the same reason it’s nice to be on-call for real estate agents. These professionals are constantly dealing with the most difficult kind of homes for sale. Those that have been used steadily for decades are still full of family keepsakes mixed with stuff no one will want. Therefore, it will probably have a plethora of repair and maintenance issues that weren’t wrapped up before the property changed hands.
If you can handle a little morbidity, your cleaning, repair, or maintenance service could be the saving grace for several estate lawyers in your city bringing in steady business for your company and making a painful transition a little easier for many local families.
5) Auction Companies
Another way to move property is through the auction system. There are several reasons a home might be auctioned ranging from sellers expecting high competition for their property to the government quietly selling land to bank foreclosure homes. However, no matter who is selling a property through auction or why, it’s within their best interest to make sure each home is attractive and in good repair. Home auctions still involve a lot of investigation and buyer tours so all the usual repairs, touch-ups, landscaping, and staging still needs to happen.
Auction companies are a lot like real estate agents, they just have a different process for finding and dealing with buyers. Being the on-call repair, maintenance, or cleaning service for a company that quickly auctions many homes a year could be a windfall of work orders for your business, especially if you’re able to work quickly.
Learn More About Finding Repeat Business for Home Services Through Real Estate Contacts
Individual homeowners may make up the vast majority of your customers, but nothing beats the allure of steady repeat business from clients who need your services more than twice a year. The real estate agency deals with thousands of one-time touch-up services every year. By working with property managers, real estate agents, estate lawyers, and auctioneers, you could find your company quickly becoming a local name in the real estate industry and even start getting big-name referrals. You’ll always be available to the local homeowners, but why not expand your business model to more active opportunities as well?
For more helpful tips and techniques to grow your home services business, contact us today!