The type of work you are describing is described as:
Rehab & Maintenance
You may want to market to Realtors in the area that work with lenders to sell REO/Short Sale homes. In the past, there were only a handful of agents with large quantities of REO homes. Today, there are several agents with only a handful of REO's.
Keep in mind, because of the lack of construction jobs, there are several handymen and small companies that perform this type of work, that already have relationships with Realtors. Also, REOs and the clean-up work associated with selling these type of properties is a mature market since about 2006. I also see about an e-mail / month or more with a company or individual attempting to sell these type of services.
I'm not trying to discourage you, but merely pointing out competition will be tough. You can do it if the value and dependability is better than the competition.
I wish you the best and hope this information helps you.
Happy New Year!
Rocky G.H. Hawrysz
Prudential California Realty
(209) 444-6610 Direct
(209) 433-2000 Fax
License No. 01468373
A catch all term is Field Service Companies... they do all the activities you mention ( secure, preserve and maintain ) the property. Your best bet is to gain a customer with a local bank, as the larger entitiies will ask for references prior to considering you.
1st of all, congratulations on wanting to start your own business! 2nd, all the answers here have been great and you've been provided good advice.
You do need to start somewhere, and I think that would have to be setting up your business 1st. I believe it would be difficult at best if you're not set up with business license, bonded, insured, etc, etc, because as Rocky mentioned there is lots of competition in that service. And Mikel was right in suggesting that you start with one local bank to gain some references.
Get your business set-up right and then go find your contacts, clients, etc. I have a great referral for you that knows a lot about setting up businesses properly and making sure you cover yourself legally. Just send me a message and I'll get you his contact info.
Good luck no matter what you do, and I wish you a prosperous and Happy New Year!