I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing financial difficulties, however, it is currently more the norm than not. A typical foreclosure in Florida is taking 700+ days on average, so you shouldn't have to worry about being removed and/or locked out of the home in the near future. Have you contacted your mortgage company and attempted any type of loan modiciation? If you have and it's not worked out or if this is not an option for you, I would strongly suggest you list your property for sale as a short sale. Currently, through 2012, as part of the mortgage and debt relief act of 2007, you can short sale your property with the goal of having your deficiency amount (amount left owed to the bank after the sale) forgiven and as part of the debt relief act, if this home is your primary residence or if you can prove insolvency, your tax consquences on the sale will also be forgiven. There is quite a bit of information that should be discussed with you. I'm happy to do so. I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert, my area of expertise is Ormond Beach and I specialize in short sales and foreclosures. I'm happy to speak with you at your convenience - 386-871-3185. I wish you the best of luck.... more
There are lots of previous threads on your question. Here's what I've answered, modified slightly to address your specific needs:
Ignore any advice to "charge $x [often around $1] per square foot." Bad, bad advice. Your price depends on two primary factors: (1) your hourly rate, and (2) how long it'll take to do the job.
First element: Hourly rate. What is your time worth? $10 an hour? $20? $30? $40? Don't sell yourself short. Plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, and others aren't afraid to charge what they think they're worth. You shouldn't be, either.
Second element: Number of hours required. First, you may work faster or slower than your competitors. That's OK. Second, some jobs will be easier. Some will be more difficult. You've got to factor in the length of time for each job.
Then you multiply hourly rate times number of hours. Let's say you figure it'll take you (or you and someone else, if you're going to be using some help) 20 hours to do the job. And you think you're worth $30 an hour. 20 times $30 is $600.
Then you add on your overhead. That's the time you spend on your business that isn't revenue-producing. It includes marketing, recordkeeping, driving around to provide estimates, etc. A good ballpark figure for overhead is 30%, but once you get rolling, you should adjust that figure up or (more likely) down. So, in our example, you boost $600 by 30%, and come up with $780. Also, factor in any special or unusual expenses--let's say the rental of a piece of equipment for a special task.
Since you also offer painting and minor repairs, here's how to incorporate those items. If you provide them, price it the same way you would cleaning. What's your time worth? And factor in the supplies, of course. But you'll find that supplies are not a major portion of what you'd be charging.
If you need to use a subcontractor to do some of the work (let's say flooring repair), find several companies that perform that service--wholesale, not retail. You don't want to go into your local retail flooring center and get a quote from them on repairing a 3' x 3' area on an oak floor. Find some suppliers up front. Generally understand what they'll charge, and make sure they can give you quick quotes when you need it. Let's say that a floor repair person quotes $150 for work. You'd take that figure and mark it up to cover your expenses and the services you'd be providing (a one-stop shop). A 30%-50% markup might be considered reasonable; it's up to you. So when you present your bid on cleaning and repairs, you present one number. You'll know what you're doing yourself and what you're contracting out for. The primary thing your customer wants to know is: What will it cost? And: When can it get done.
Then stick to your numbers. If someone else bids cheaper, let them. If you try to be the cheapest, there's always going to be some dummy who'll do it for less. Always. You want to be known for offering a good, dependable value. Or even (eventually) for offering an excellent high-quality service with a price to match. But start off offering excellent value at a fair price.
You might contact Building Service Contractors Association International. They're at http://www.bscai.org They have books and manuals and getting started in the janitorial/custodial business, how to do bidding and estimating, and how to expand into niche markets. (I used to work for them, and wrote a number of books on bidding and estimating.)
And here are a couple of other resources that might help:
Robbyn, It sounds like you have some great values where you are. Unfortunately, the sellers in this area are "chasing the market". We didn't experience the market decline until quite a bit later than most parts of the country. It's taking a while for reality to sink in. BUT, my last 4 sales were to buyers who found houses and condos that were well below the prices of the competition. The values can be found; it just takes a lot of work to find them.
As for the crime rate and special events traffic, those things are limited to certain parts of Daytona Beach. Each city will have a small problem area, but only the oldest parts of Daytona Beach and Holly Hill are truly problem areas. I was born and raised here and have lived in every single city in east Volusia county. I've never lived in a neighborhood that wasn't safe, and I've never had any problems. And during special events, I just don't drive on the streets where the traffic is being routed.
Good luck in your search! (BTW, where is TPA?)... more