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Discussion Starter #1
How many of you do business with property managers and/or building owners? I'm talking about property managers of apartment buildings or commercial buildings. They tend to contract out alot of work such as painting, plumbing, flooring, etc. With apartment units becoming vacant and being re-rented, they require some work to be done such as painting, floor refinishing, tiling, etc. Building corridors often need touching up and repainting. Pipes are always bursting in older buildings. This creates steady work for a contractor. But the problem is the money involved isnt so great. Property Managers arnt willing to pay top dollar, but they also for the most part do not expect top quality work.

This also depends on your location, things may work differently from city to city. Here in Toronto Canada we have tons of apartment buildings and most give out all their work to contractors. I see it as a good opportunity to get steady work but its very hard to get in as a contractor. It almost seems hopeless unless you have connections, not to mention the competition constantly driving prices down. So for those who do this type of work, how did you go about getting into it? and do you like it?

BTW, I do painting :)
 

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DGR,IABD
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Vermy said:
But the problem is the money involved isnt so great. Property Managers arnt willing to pay top dollar, but they also for the most part do not expect top quality work.
This would cause me to ask you why you're targeting this work? If it's to keep guys busy between bigger projects, that would be okay. If it's to build your business, I think you're targeting the wrong type of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It would be to build my business. I'm an experienced painter but I'v only just recently started to look around for my own business opportunities. The reason I would like to use this to build my business is because it keeps work steady all year round and can lead to a larger quantity of jobs for the business to grow.
 

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DGR,IABD
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I'm not painter, but I do know basic sales and marketing. If you're faced with sitting around at home with nothing to do, or doing something, start getting out and meeting people. Just show up, find out who's in charge and start pressing the flesh. You can't be bashful. You'll have to start knocking on doors chatting people up at these buildings. Mail might work, cold calls might work. In person is so much better. What will your pich be when you get in front of these decision makers? I don't know, but you'll have to have that planned out since you don't want to "burn" good leads by not having a presentation. I'm sure one of the pro painters will give you some tips on that.

I still have some reservations about your target market, but you have to get your business feet wet somewhere, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'v tried faxing prices but it seems hopeless, maybe my prices are too high or maybe they arnt interested in switching contractors. But your right, meeting with them in person is the best way.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Vermy said:
I'v tried faxing prices but it seems hopeless, maybe my prices are too high or maybe they arnt interested in switching contractors. But your right, meeting with them in person is the best way.
Or maybe they do like I do and immediately ******************** can advertising faxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lol good point. but the fax advertising i immediatly can is the kind unrelated to my needs. atleast my faxes are specifically targeted, i'm sure they would take atleast a few seconds to quickly look it over before dumping it in the trash
 

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Pro Painter
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I think the very first thing you need to do is define your painting business. Is it going to be a business that does low end apartment repaints for a very small margin? Is it going to be a company that paints new homes or new commercial buildings for a slightly better margin? Are you going to be a business that does residential repaints and remodels where margins are usually the highest?

That is the first step. Once you know where you want your business to be, you can start focusing your energies in that direction. Why talk to building owners if you want business in new construction, or vice versa with talking to GC's if you want to work for property managers?

If you're really looking to make money, these property managers should NOT be your bread and butter. I have a few that I service because I have been doing work for them for ages. These are the ones I used to do as "side jobs" before I owned my own company. They are a good source of word of mouth....but their leads are usually not high dollar jobs either, then again, sometimes they are depending on who they refer you to.... None the less, they are great advocates for a new business, and I am happy to continue to service the ones I do because we have a good business relationship. They are a good filler for slow times or padding for good times. However, I would never try to rely solely on them for keeping my company afloat. I target residential repaint and remodel work for the real money.

Keep in mind, I've been in business less than a year, but I have dealt with these guys for probably 4 or 5 years, so I hope my perspective helps. :Thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
AAPaint said:
I think the very first thing you need to do is define your painting business. Is it going to be a business that does low end apartment repaints for a very small margin? Is it going to be a company that paints new homes or new commercial buildings for a slightly better margin? Are you going to be a business that does residential repaints and remodels where margins are usually the highest?

That is the first step. Once you know where you want your business to be, you can start focusing your energies in that direction. Why talk to building owners if you want business in new construction, or vice versa with talking to GC's if you want to work for property managers?

If you're really looking to make money, these property managers should NOT be your bread and butter. I have a few that I service because I have been doing work for them for ages. These are the ones I used to do as "side jobs" before I owned my own company. They are a good source of word of mouth....but their leads are usually not high dollar jobs either, then again, sometimes they are depending on who they refer you to.... None the less, they are great advocates for a new business, and I am happy to continue to service the ones I do because we have a good business relationship. They are a good filler for slow times or padding for good times. However, I would never try to rely solely on them for keeping my company afloat. I target residential repaint and remodel work for the real money.

Keep in mind, I've been in business less than a year, but I have dealt with these guys for probably 4 or 5 years, so I hope my perspective helps. :Thumbs:
I would like to do resedential repaints on a steady basis because of the highest profit margin. I paint a house here and there but it seems hard to constantly have this type of work...or atleast to have it for a decent part of the year. As you said, low end apartment repaints are good to fill in slow periods and thats the reason I want to get into it aswell as the connections I could gain from it. I'v seen alot of painting contractors get rich from these types of jobs, but they have plenty of them with plenty of workers. I dont know if I could just focus all my energy on one target, I think would like to diversify the types of jobs I have.
 

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I was a commercial/apartment manager for 6 yrs. You better be the lowest bidder! As such, all that we were concerned with was making money for the owner. Most people who rent don't care about the building as long as everything works. I had a guy that would paint a 2/2 for $600, cheapest paint that he could buy and he was in and out in a day. Everything was white, looked and smelled nice for the new tenents though, just don't look too closely. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Teetorbilt said:
I was a commercial/apartment manager for 6 yrs. You better be the lowest bidder! As such, all that we were concerned with was making money for the owner. Most people who rent don't care about the building as long as everything works. I had a guy that would paint a 2/2 for $600, cheapest paint that he could buy and he was in and out in a day. Everything was white, looked and smelled nice for the new tenents though, just don't look too closely. LOL
YUP! Thats the idea! lol
 

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...jammin
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Vermy said:
I would like to do resedential repaints on a steady basis because of the highest profit margin
Vermy said:
Doing business with Property Managers/Building Owners
As noted above, for the most part I have found these two statements mutually exclusive
That's not to say you can't find one who isn't looking fo a total hack for pennies, it's just that most are looking for cheapest 'n' fastest
When you spend most of your time running around for pennies, it's hard to "build your business"
I'm not totaly against it, have done it myself and probably would again if I found the right situation (which honestly is not most of them), I just want to re-iterate the heads-up that others have mentioned
 

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Painting Contractor
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I don't think you can make money in Toronto painting apartments
unless you specialize to the point of having one person being able
to be in and out of two units in a day or two.
There is a lot of re-paint work available in Toronto, we can hardly keep-up.
There is a lot of information here on marketing.
Most of it is not paint contractor specific but very useful.
We get most of our new work through the internet.
 

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my wife is med aide and well known in the local medical community. due to her profession i learned alot of nursing homes either don't have full time maintainence men or ones with limited skills. so, when work was slow , i contacted local homes. now , in addition to my regular work, i have maintainence contracts with several. best thing i ever did! i charge a monthly retainer to be available (me or my guys) on short notice. in addition to this , i charge an hourly rate per person on the job. they usually all have charge accounts at local lumberyards, so getting materials goes easy. it's mostly smaller jobs,so i don't usually ask for a down payment. on small jobs (2-3)days payment is due on completion. on bigger ones they pay weekly or Bi-weekly. after hours,(6p.m.)i charge 11/2 the normal rate. On sundays and holidays(halloween does NOT count),i charge twice the normal rate. occasionally this can be a little pricey, but it saves them money. they don't have to pay a regular guy full time, no payroll ,ss, or workmans comp on another employee,insurance,etc. plus my work is guaranteed and insured. also my insurance covers personal property damage and personal injury, so if anyone gets hurt or anything damaged by my work they are covered. THEY are responsible if they have a maintainence guy doing the work. the monthly retainers are basically money for nothing since they're only paying you to be AVAILABLE. it's great for keeping busy between bigger jobs, and even when i have other things going on, usually 1 or 2 guys can handle the smaller stuff in less than a day. i charge alot more than what i pay my guys , so the profits are pretty good. i imagine this same approach would work with apartment complexes. also you can contact local real estate agencies and ask about maintaining homes they have on the market as well as any rental properties they handle. sorry this is so long , but i thought you'd like the info. good luck,and let me know how it works out . either here ,or this site has my e-mail.
 
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