Foreclosure in Rialto>Question Details

Mr,  in Rialto, CA

I want to start a business providing trash out, lawn service to foreclosed, REO, bank owned homes

Asked by Mr, Rialto, CA Mon Oct 20, 2008

Who do I contact? I have researched on the internet and cannot find anything on who to contact. I would really appreciate it if someone on here can give me an idea of who to contact. I know the market is full of trash out crews, I figure just because there is a McDonald's on the block, don't mean my burger stand won't succeed.

Few questions:
Will the banks talk to me if I go to them directly(walking into a branch)?
Should I just pound the pavement with flyers I have made already and visit local R.E. offices?
Can this be done by just calling/ emailing R.E/Banks/REO agents?

Any suggestion or help is very appreciated.

Thank you.

Help the community by answering this question:


Many people do not realize the trash out "ie. property preservation" business involves a lot more to it. Most of our Reo vendors perform a multitude of services for us. Start our by getting a business license and general liability insurance, the banks require a $1,000,000 policy and you must have it before you will receive any work from them, us realtors also usually ask for a copy of your insurance. I would also recommend creating a business plan, 99% of successful new businesses lack a business plan and it can help you streamline your goals and objectives of where you want you business to be in 1, 3, and even 5 years. Try score, they can help you with creating your business plan, also if you are planning on getting a loan for your business, they can help point you in the right direction.

Educate yourself on this business, it is very hard work but there is plenty of work available. When you offer multiple services, most of our vendors earn about $2000 and up on the property, but this includes the trash out, rekey, boardup, lawn maintenance, and more. The fee does go up is the trashout job is very large and always take tons of pictures of before and after. The foreclosure cleanup network provides a lot of this information for free, try to learn as much as you can about this industry for free as you will have other places you will need to invest your money.

Equipment needed: This just varies to if you want to buy all your equipment in the beginning or build yourself up as you get going. We have one vendor that rented all their trucks and equipment, the only thing they owned was a lawn mower, edger, and cleaning supplies. They did a very good job for us and we now use them regularly.

Speed! The best way to get business in this game is by how fast you can get the job done! We are on strict timelines to get these properties prepared to be listed and need the work done quickly and accurately. When you do this, you will definitely get more work!

Start out by contacting the local "Reo" agents in your area, they are the ones that list the bank owned homes, they can provide you with work. Walking into a bank branch will unfortunately get you nowhere, if you are looking for trashout work directly from the banks, they require all reo vendors to register their company and provide them with the business license and general liability insurance. Also, try asset management companies, they can provide you a steady flow of work. I wish you much success on starting your new business.

Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
5 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 2, 2010
you were very helpful, thanks you, i just really like doing the cutting, but i am interested in clean outs, can you help me on this one?
Flag Sat Jan 16, 2016
Here is an article that also has contact tips and pricing.
Flag Wed Jan 9, 2013
Hi in Rialto. Many congrats on getting ready to start your business.

On quickly to your query: It's highly unlikely you will get a meeting by walking into the banks. Many of the REO asset managers aren't located in the local branches. I suggest starting by contacting local foreclosure realtors, field services companies, asset managers at banks via mail (keep sending them stuff!) local mortgage companies, and other companies offering similar services in your area. Please register as a vendor with the larger property preservation companies, too. And don't discount networking with your "competition" for their overflow. Good articles below on the subject at foreclosure cleanup blog below.

Many wishes of success to you in Rialto!

Cassandra, Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC, Atlanta, GA
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
When a bank acquires a property, the first thing they do is hire an REO agent to handle things. It is usually the REO agent that actually handles the hiring of things like lawn service and clean-out. Though I admire your boldness, I don't think it will do you any good to send flyers or walk into banks. What you need to do is get in touch with local REO agents. REO agents will normally advertise themselves in local directories. Just get on the web and google "reo agents", then put in your city name. This should get you to a directory. Call them directly to advertise your services. Also call local brokerages, they offer vendors opportunities to speak and advertise a little at their meetings. Please keep in mind that REO agents don't have much time to hire vendors to get the home ready for the market. Your main focus when advertising should be based on your reliability and your quickness with provding services.
Good luck to you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 21, 2010
The best way to get started is by handing out fliers to Real Estate agents. We really do look at these. It is important that you are always accesible on a cell phone. We are always in a hurry when getting these properties fixed up and if you are the first one to answer the phone, you are way ahead of the game.
Hope this helps
Irene Cleary
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 2, 2009
Small companies like the one you want to start are often contracted by larger companies. Google "property preservation and repair" (PPR) or other like terms and apply online to those companies to become a vendor. One of the biggest ones is FAS. Try them first.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 16, 2011
The time of the banks actually caring about the condition of properties has come and gone it seems. This business idea would've been successful about 3 years ago. I would advise against it. That being said, real estate agents wouldn't be your best bet, asset managers would. Your company would be an "asset preservation company" so I would concentrate on building an online presence and establishing some credibility with local clientele. After that is said and done, start contact the big banks directly and inquire about their asset managers for your local area. I wish you the best of luck!
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010

There are many Asset Management company's on the internet. They have vendor sign up forms that you fill out for them and if they need you they will contact you. I would also find your top REO producers and give them a call. They might be able to hire you for there REO's!

Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
Thank you so much everybody, you just answered the same question I was concerned about.
God bless all of you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2015
It all deppens what state you live in NJ you need a A901 lic. to do junk removal. Just call the banks and ask them. I did them and they don't pay much money I took a lose on all the jobs
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2015
Do you have lawn service workers now? Email me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2014
You need to get in touch with the broker at the banks, they are in charge of all work done on there re posessed homes to do that you need to go to the mainbranch normally located in the down town area of any major city. Apply to be a Vendor, some banks will let you do that on there web site some will not, dont give up there is wotk out there you just have to remember in this field of work its not what you know but WHO you know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 5, 2012
A lot of agents are telling you to just contact the agents. Sometimes the agents are in control of this, but more often the agents are just in charge of repair. The banks have a lot of the regular preservation work outsourced to a big firm. Do what I said: Google "property preservation" and REO and you'll find the big companies that will give you work in your area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 17, 2011
I would start by contacting local agents who represent the REO listings. See if you can get your foot in the door and find out what they are looking for so you can accomodate them.

Best of luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 21, 2010
I agree with Jerry - below. In our market - typically once the property is assigned to a Realtor - that agent is responsible for having the property cleaned up and maintained. It is our contacts that are hired and perform the work...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
your link is not openinig
Flag Wed Feb 3, 2016
I would start by going to the individual websites of the banks and register as a vendor. If that option is not available, call the bank directly and speak to the one in charge of assigning the foreclosures. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Just cut the lawns for free... What goes around comes around...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 15, 2010
I say go for it! There are a lot of properties out there that need these services before the lenders can liquidate them. In our area there is a great demand for DEPENDABLE crews. Take care of business and you'll be successful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
Marley, below each question that is asked is the date that it was originally posted. Perhaps you should look at that when answering all the questions about REO properties. Besides that, advertising, which is what you are doing, is not allowed on the Trulia Q&A section. That belongs as a blog.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Contact your area REO realtors, typically they are responsible for payment to trash out and cleaning vendors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 29, 2010
I would think that banks have their own crew to come in to do these things. Maybe you should think of going to all the real estate offices in your area and offer your services. Real estate agents have direct contact and would love to have someone help their sellers to clean up, pack up and throw away items before the home goes on the market. Also, agents have direct contact with the buyers of homes that like to have the home cleaned before they move in as well. Make sure you have a brochure with your services, prices and a business card. Make sure you bring enough information so the secretary can put it in each of the agents mailbox.

Rhonda Holt
Full Time Top Sales Agent
Specializing In Co-ops and Home Sales
Weichert Realtors, H.P Greenfield
1712 Utica Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York
Cell: 646-725-5941
My Site:
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 20, 2010
safe guard is the best option i do the same type of work and safeguard contracts us out just go to the website and give your area rep a call
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
I can not believe some of these answers. I put an ad to clean regular homes and a gentlemen called me with an opportunity as a subcontractor for Fannie Mae. Since this opportunity I have had contracts and subcontracts with businesses. Look at the HUD web page, for m&m subcontractor jobs, the companies are going to change around February 2010, wait for the new guys. Get the insurance which consists of a heavy liability and workers comp policy. Good luck. Some homes are unbelievable and others mild. If you do not have a generator, best to invest in one. Many homes do not have electricity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
Work through agents who handle REOs.

Also, make contact with janitorial and custodial firms in your area. It's very likely they're getting calls (that's who you'd call, isn't it?), but most don't handle that sort of business. It's a niche market. See if you can pick up some referral business from them.

Contact Building Service Contractors Association International. That's the association representing janitorial and custodial companies. I don't know if they have any information specifically on trashout and cleanout companies, but they may. (I worked for them a while ago, and wrote a number of books for them, including books on bidding and estimating and on niche markets.) They're at

And here are a couple of other resources:

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 24, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Contact handles licensed vendors. Be sure you answer your phone and e-mail instantly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 22, 2009
Asset management companies, REO real estate agents in your area, because you will need a property preservation bank contact list, then you will want to sign up with each one of these banks to start getting work orders. REO Asset Managers control bank REO listings and properties

All you need is your business license and general liability insurance, since you will be an independent contractor and property preservation vendor.

Need more information, check out my blog:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 10, 2009
This post is almost a year old and no one has hit the nail.
REO agents will not hire or work with any trashout companies if they are not licensed and insured (Bonded)

This is a repost I answered earlier.
REO agents at times also use the trashout services for retrofits as well.

"You need to have a Contractors License for trashouts believe it or not. You need to be insured and bonded.
To make a long story short, if a REO agent hires an unlicensed contractor for a trashouts, the REO agent is liable for 4 years after the work is performed and for any fees, penalties and fines.

California and the IRS have strict guidelines in hiring unlicensed contractors.

Just my 2 cents,

Jes Sierra, Realtor®
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 10, 2009
Sounds like you are making the best out of a bad market. Thats what America is all about, Re-creating and new starts. Get out there go to work and be successful. We have plenty of work available as long as people are willing to go to work to work. Word of Mouth and how effective you do the job at hand will land you lots of contracts. Thank you for not sitting down during economic hard times. I would hire ten people just like you. Keep up the good work
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 9, 2009
Hello Mr. Agent,

The banks and asset managers are extremely busy with just getting the REO's ready for the market with the evictions, legal probems and much more. In most cases the initial house cleaning, trash removal and yard maintanence is going to be handeled by the real estate agent that is assigned the listing.

The real estate agent will need a company who promptly provides detailed estimates with before and after photos. Also, the photos and written estimates must be delivered by email so they may be easily forwarded to the bank or asset manager.

Finding the right real estate agent is not all that difficult...just look for the agents with the most listings in the area you plan to work in. Just surf the web for listings or drive the streets looking for signs!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
Hi I am very interested in starting the same kind of business. I see you posted this question back in October . I was wondering if you have started your business and would you be willing to share some tips with me? Melissa my email address is Thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009

I am also interested in this business and have done quite a bit of research. I am coming across info from people already doing it who say there is a issue with getting paid because money passes through so many hands. Wouldn't the bank or realtor need to sign a contract with you...who knows about this? Also I live in the SF Bay Area and would like to find someone to partner up with. I am a licensed painter and hard worker...anyone know of someone who would be interested?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2009
I've been in the business for a few years now. To be honest, going to the banks is a bad idea. All you end up with is a run-a-round. These guys selling info is truely a hoax. So what are we left with? Go the local dump, where the trash ends up, and ask the crews for a name & number of their employers and start from there. honestly, best way. might have to get your hands a little dirty but this works is all about that. dog eat Dog world...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
I think if you are wanting to provide lawn services and supplies like that you are going to need to contact the city. They should set you up with all the right paper work. It should be pretty easy to get yourself started.
Flag Fri Dec 19, 2014
The best way to get new jobs is to look in the real estate ads in your local paper, look for the brokers who are advertising bank owned homes and go see them. you willneed to offer a the services they need, have a good price and be flexable on payment. if you do a good job and do it quickly they will keep giving you work. You are a littl late to get into any national companies, most listing are managed right by the local broker anyway, not a national provider. Be professional, be dressed neatly and bring in a list with prices. good luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 23, 2008
Go to the County Land/Deed/Title office and find out who owns the property. In many cases, this information is on-line. If it is a bank, contact the bank and get directed to the Loss Mitigation or Real Estate Owned departments.

Another option is to see if there is a Municipal, Covenant or Homeowners Association requirement to keep the property up to a certain standard. You may have to call around to see if this is the case. If you are able to confirm a minimum standard requirement or anti-blight law, then see if you can find someone to pay you for this service. In this situation, you get paid for the service and someone else is saddled with recouping this amount.

The last is a very long-shot, but ask the neighbors if they are willing to pitch in. In some rare cases, you will find they are willing to pitch in if others pitch in, the distributed cost is minimal, and this helps their property value.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2008
I have the same Idea in the Chicago area, sadly this looks like a good growth business. The banks will always need to have those forclosed homes ready for sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer