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Obtaining Residential Work In Affluent Areas? Help from someone with experience!!


I mentioned this in a previous post, but I desperately need some help from someone experienced in this business. I started up last month. I've took on a bunch of work, 20+ houses, large HOA contracts, neighborhood pools, tennis courts, club houses, sidewalks, a few commercial jobs and so forth. However, I feel like I'm still not succeeding. I've been in the service industry for over 10 years providing a different service, which I had great luck with, however I'd like to really build this business and make great money at it. 


When I started, I had a lot of learning to do. Learning equipment, understanding productivity, pricing, how much work I can get done in a day starting out, and there was many more questions. Many of which I've answered for myself. With that said, there is some aspects of the business I still need help with, and that's why I'm here with a fresh post.

Over the past month, I've targeted large residential neighborhoods with 100k to 200k homes. I'm not having as much luck as I expected. I feel like I could spot houses with mold all over the siding, and offer a half price house wash, and explain the benefits, and still couldn't get a homeowner to care enough to get it cleaned up. Despite me explaining the cost of replacing their siding down the road, health risks, or even just how much more amazing their property would look if it were cleaned up. 

With this said, I really started looking at my target audience. To be more specific, the homes I've been chasing after are $199. house wash homes, and 90% of them take me from 2 to 2.5 hours from load up to driving off. The problem is, I'm not finding enough people that care enough, for me to make a living.

So I'm lucky enough to live in one of the biggest cities in the US. I live within 30 minutes of driving from 10+ very wealthy areas, most of which are 500,000 to 4 million dollar homes. These areas happen to be very, very restrictive with HOA, most of them are historic sites, where minimal new construction, and lots of old renovation projects are highly encouraged. 

With the above said, I cannot afford to keep chasing a lost leader, and throwing all my eggs in one basket. So after reading the above, does anyone think I'm chasing after the wrong crowd?  I've calculated numbers over and over. If I were to switch markets, raise my prices $100. to $150. on house washes, and target the larger much more affluent neighborhoods in my city, I would have to wash literally (HALF) the amount of houses per year to make a good living.

As of now, my current target audience, I need to pick up about 400 house washes to make a living. If I were to switch markets, that number would cut in half to about 200 houses per year. I expect it would take less marketing material and cost to pick up half the amount of washes, not only that, but I feel these high class areas would offer MUCH MORE add on services. As of right now, if I make a sell, it's a house wash or driveway only. I feel these affluent areas would want more wood restoration, pool patios washed, decks cleaned, and so on. 

I know there are many variables, but I need some answers from someone who's established. Am I marketing to the wrong crowd before I put too much money in and sink myself? 

Again, my current primary target audience is, middle class, 100-200k homes, $199. house washes. I have over a half a million of these home types around me within an hour of driving.

Or I can focus my efforts on the affluent neighborhoods, $500,000+ homes, and have approximately a half a million of these homes to choose from. These homes and areas are mostly historic, with very high neighborhood ratings, lots of activity going on, lots of restaurants, things to do, high class and taste, and so on. I don't mean I would simply raise prices because of the home values, but the building structures and architecture in these historic areas would require a different level of service, and would require me to charge more. 

My ears are open and I'd love to hear from someone with years in the business. 

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There is definitely a lot information you put  out there. One piece of advice I can give you is patience. Just starting out  you take the work you can get. Do quality work be ethical and follow through with all your promises and good things will follow. As you become more experienced and people tell other people about your services you will get more business.  Develop networks of people that need cleaning done Realestate agents  management groups that manage properties those should be the people you should be targeting   I started slow ten years ago now I work for people that manage one hundred seventy commercial properties and I have plenty of work and turn some away   Things do not take place overnights again patience is virtue    Best of luck to you 



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If you've got that much work in only a few months then "Well done" & give yourself a pat on the back.

As Mike said, it takes time to get a reputation, personal referrals & repeats. With time you will get to know customer concerns & be able to address them calmly. 

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