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Martin, Engineer
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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This questions is for commercial cleaning/asset management

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This questions is for commercial cleaning/asset management experts. One of the aspects of our business is to maintain houses/apartments that are foreclosure. On these instance we work for AMS, and Fanne Mae pays AMS. We are working the area of Stamford, Danbury, in Connecticut. The work consist of trash removal of a house or an apartment, an initial cleaning after we remove the trash, winterizing the place, and a routine cleaning once a month. Also, initial cutting the grass, or routine.Since we are knew doing this, it is hard to determine a fare price. Their standard price for trash removal is $ 340. There've been places where we lost money because of the quantity of trash and the money we need to pay to dispose it. There price for initial cleaning is $ 145. Here too, sometimes we loose money because there are places that are horrible. They are happy with our quality, the realtor visits the places after we work on it. We need some pointers on what can we charge for Trash removal, and initial cleaning in the Connecticut area. Can you please help? Thank you. Cecilia
Hello and welcome. You can bet they must charge lot more to Fannie Mae, but they are those that have to deal with other contractor that do sloppy jobs. You could ask them to be paid by hours, you could film some videos to show them the work to be done in extreme case.

If you already did enough to have a good statistical data of the whole market, you could figure an amount that cover the money loosing jobs.

$340 for a team of 2 persons seem reasonable to me (and i saw my fair share of dirty places). You may reorganize the way you work to be more efficient (or buy new tools) to be more in line with the profitability of the competition.

Some tips to save. Stock dangerous material for a bit and dispose of it in big batch instead of having to do it frequently and in small quantity. Same for metal and sell it to scrap.

It is OK too lose some money from time to time to keep a recurrent customer base or protect the attribution of big contract, but loosing too much money is not acceptable. If you can rework your contract to include a "as best as we can do in the financial amount allowed" it would save you a lot of hassle. For example there is not much to cut in a winterizing operation (so you can start with this) but you can cut a lot in the cleaning.
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