How to Make Money Starting a House Clearance Business
The old adage ‘killing two birds with one stone’ never rang truer than when it came to the house clearance business. Not only are you being paid to dispose of your clients unwanted possessions, you can keep whatever you take and sell it on. In this article I’m going to tell you how to make the most of this brilliant opportunity.
There are various reasons a person may require a house clearance business; be it rented properties abandoned by previous tenants, deceased estates, clients emigrating or even commercial businesses such as shops, restaurants or offices going bust. The list could go on, meaning your day-to-day jobs may vary greatly. Regardless of where you are needed, the service you are providing is one that is always in demand.
Most house clearance businesses charge a variable fee (although some do it for free with the incentive of selling on the acquired items.) Get a few quotes from your competition for an idea of the prices charged in the area you wish to cover. Then breakdown a rough estimate of your overhead expenses and work out how to make a fair profit. Before giving your customer a price, have a look around the area they are wishing to have cleared and take into account the size and the amount of items you will be able to sell on.
Getting started, the three following things are a must. Firstly, access to transport, such as a large van or trailer is essential. You can hire these out on a day-to-day basis, remembering to ring around and get the best quote.
Next you are going to need help from another able-bodied person when moving the heavier items. A good idea here is to look into people who advertise their services, such as ‘man with a van’ ads, so as you are getting the help and transport for the one price. Alternatively, see if you can enlist the help of friends or family, perhaps for a small fee.
Lastly, once you have acquired your items you are going to need somewhere to store them whilst waiting on them being sold. See what rates your local self-storage units are offering, or ask about using or renting a friend’s garage, if you haven’t one of your own.
Once this is organised you now need to spread the word of your business. The internet is a powerful tool, and one of the first things you should use to advertise your company. Check out local selling sites such as ‘ Gumtree ‘ or ‘ Craigslist ‘, where it’s free to post an ad. State what you are doing clearly, along with your contact details. Try and put a spin on things to make your ad stand out and to entice customers, such as being an alternative to skip hire.
Print leaflets and post them in the areas you wish to cover. A good idea is to call into local estate agents and ask them to display some leaflets for prospective customers who are in the midst of selling their home, and thus wishing to have it cleared.
Putting an ad in the newspaper is another sure-fire way to generate attention. Don’t just limit yourself to newspapers. The Yellow Pages and advertising magazines is somewhere potential customers may look.
Last but not least – as with any business, building up a good reputation is invaluable. Do this by making sure you are always punctual – when arranging a date and time, always stick to it. Remember to be tactful, as there is a possibility your customer may have recently lost somebody close to them. Be careful not to damage the house itself & remember to leave everything clean and tidy – this means hoovering and mopping, as well as giving bathrooms and kitchens a going over.