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Too many roof cleaners equals LOW Prices

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I really hate to say this, but it is true. Some Pressure Washers and Window Cleaners are ruining the roof cleaning business. In fact, some vendors, and one in particular are actually recruiting these window cleaners, by going on their forums, and places they hang out at, to sell their overpriced skids, training, and questionable chemicals :( 

 

The "Kiss Of Death" for the roof cleaning business will be when all these auto detail guys get into our business.  Both the auto detail and window cleaning guys are used to working all day long to earn 150.00. Mobile Auto Detailers drive around with trailers and a big tank, and literally cold call businesses, to wash cars at 25 dollars a crack.  Once these guys are taught to fill their tanks with roof cleaning mix, and get a 12 volt pump, they will crawl our subdivisions when they get roof cleaning letters, and cut everyone's prices :(

 

Residential Window Cleaners work for hours on a home to make 100 to 150.00 

They are already starting to cut prices here in the Tampa area.  We were in an area of 1000.00 plus roof cleaning jobs, and working next to a window cleaning outfit, doing the tile roof right next to us for 450.00 :(

 

To a window cleaner, or a mobile auto detail guy, that's good money! 

 

The window  cleaning  guy said to me " My chemical cost is only a little over 125.00, so I will make 325.00 for a few hours work".

When I told him we get around 1000.00 to clean these roofs, and even offered to teach him to sell, he said "Screw that, we sell on price, it is a lot easier" :(

 

I have been cleaning roofs here in the Tampa Florida area over 20 years.  It used to be when we got a call from a customer in a subdivision that received roof cleaning letters, we would pretty much be working that subdivision for weeks at a time. Not anymore!

 

There are literally zillions of guys that clean roofs, out crawling the streets of our subdivisions here, and many don't even have company names. Unlicensed, uninsured Chlorine Cowboys, who fly below the Radar, and work for Cash.

 

They go door to door, armed with before and after the roof cleaning pictures they claim to have done, many of which were stolen off the Internet from legitimate fellow roof cleaners. 

They call every legitimate roof cleaning company in Tampa, posing as customers, to see what myself and other legitimate roof cleaners tell customers, and become Parrot's, who simply repeat what they have been told.

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While I am certainly not one to ever ask for more government interference...perhaps it is time for some state licensing and regulation. If guys are going on roofs unsafely, a campaign to lobby for proper safety might be in order by the legitimate local guys. Here in WA state, you are supposed to be licensed, bonded and insured to do this kind of work. That right there will weed out a large percentage of the amateurs who won't invest the time needed. Selling on safety has also been highly successful for us. Perhaps a meeting with the local OSHA inspector or licensing board...obviously making certain you are in compliance first... would be in order. If the amateurs and fly by nights are doing more harm than good and risking safety, it is a concern for the industry.

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Florida has always led the nation, in the sheer amount of roof cleaners. with more coming every day They have succeeded in driving prices down. Mainly on the low end roofs. 500.00 shingle roofs have now become 375.00 roofs, but there is still plenty of money to be made out cleaning roofs.

 

I tell all our roof cleaners outside of the South and Florida to enjoy the great prices they are getting. However, it will not last, as more and more competitors learn how to properly clean roofs. 

 

NOW is  the time to get into this wonderful business, and learn how to clean roofs, if you don't already know how. I would say you guys outside of Florida have from 3 to 5 years, before 1/2 of your local population become roof cleaners.

 

Those of you who had the vision, and enough faith in themselves to get into roof cleaning in your areas EARLY, congratulations :)

You can easily be rewarded, beyond your wildest dreams.

 

All these customers will return to you, if you treated them properly, and you will soon have a good sized customer base who will seldom go shopping on you.

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My prices have gradually gone down since about 2005.

Back in 2005 I had reached $.19 a Sq Ft for tile and $.015 for shingles.

Now, the job I did today was barrel tile, 3200 SF under Roof, she talked me down to $385.00 and it came out at just over $.12 a SF.

In general, I get closer to .14, but, as Chris said, this is what it has come to in our part of Florida { Chis is 100 miles above me on the west coast of Florida. He's Tampa and I'm Port Charlotte }

If all roof cleaners were pros like Chris and myself, this never would have happened!

But lots of school teachers, on summer break and firemen on days off and Northerners, wanting to make a little $ have the prices set low.

Chris and I do top dollar work and our customers have years of worry free clean roofs. Those who "part time it" and got the prices down, don't care. They take the money and run!

Yesterday I did a roof even cheaper, because they were comparing pressure washing prices and it's cheaper to just blast all the algae off, all over the yard and all nearby structures. Their roofs last maybe 1 1/2 years, ours closer to 4.

This makes 24 years in business here for me and I made a lot more $ in 2000 than I will this year!

On the other hand, once you are set up and moving, less $ is required to keep on moving!

So, If I did a roof for $385 that was 3200 SF and another was 6400 SF and no harder, I would throw that extra 3200 in for probably much less than my original SF needed fee, and do it for $650.00

I know I will only work an extra 1 1/2 hours tops!

May as well win the bid - BUT I DON'T LIKE BEING IN THIS POSITION!

The public is uneducated and therefore rely on prices to make their decisions. They see the outcome as apples to apples because they don't know the difference or benefits of each method. This is exactly why selling on service provided will 9 out of 10 times beat the competition and in the customers point of view give value to your higher price.

Of course not every potential customer is a customer you want. If you've clearly explained how your methods are far superior to the powerwash hack roof cleaners and the people still haven't been sold on the value of your service, these are people you don't want to work for anyhow.

By lowering your pricing to meet and beat the hacks today you are in the long run lowering the prices of your area in the future.

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With all due respect most of the problem with overly saturated areas and why it will effect us all, is everyone putting all the info all over the web. All the wanna-be's have to do is read and boom their in business. If we kept more out of the publics eye there wouldn't be as many undercutters or part-timers out there.

When anyone including homeowners can find exactly what we use, how we apply, and money that can be made, of course your gonna spawn the weekend warriors,part-timers, and sadly under priced competition. Hell Chris's Apple Sauce formula in detail is on Google.

I saw a video of some home improvement show where the roof cleaner in detail spelled out exactly what to use, how to apply it, and that ANYONE could do it.  Along come the wanna-be's.

Hell even reading the forums on the public sides people get enough info to under cut the pro's or it gives ammo to HO to try and beat you up on price.

I don't mind at all helping others that have paid their dues, but I think there needs to be more secrets to the "secrets of roof cleaning"

 

Ps-I don't know why my PC is underscoring everything

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Ps-I don't know why my PC is underscoring everything

See the little "U" symbol on the editing functions just under the "font" box on the editing controls? If you hit Edit on your post or enter a new post, it will come up. 

 

That "U" button is the Underline button. You had it pressed. 

 

The "S" is for strikethrough.

 

The x2 is for subscript.

 

The X2 is for Superscript

 

I fixed it for you. :)

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With all due respect most of the problem with overly saturated areas and why it will effect us all, is everyone putting all the info all over the web. All the wanna-be's have to do is read and boom their in business. If we kept more out of the publics eye there wouldn't be as many undercutters or part-timers out there.

When anyone including homeowners can find exactly what we use, how we apply, and money that can be made, of course your gonna spawn the weekend warriors,part-timers, and sadly under priced competition. Hell Chris's Apple Sauce formula in detail is on Google.

I saw a video of some home improvement show where the roof cleaner in detail spelled out exactly what to use, how to apply it, and that ANYONE could do it.  Along come the wanna-be's.

Hell even reading the forums on the public sides people get enough info to under cut the pro's or it gives ammo to HO to try and beat you up on price.

I don't mind at all helping others that have paid their dues, but I think there needs to be more secrets to the "secrets of roof cleaning"

 

Ps-I don't know why my PC is underscoring everything

Tom,

 

I wholeheartedly agree with you as there is way too much free information out there on some forums, google+ and facebook. Many young newbies want instant gratification with no effort on their part. Part of the problem is experienced contractors throughout the country are posting info that just a short time ago was considered to be out of public view. When I first started up back in 2007 I read every night for hours on end not only here but the grime scene and the old delco board before I posted anything. Times are a changing and not for the better.

 

BTW...have a good 2015

 

Hank

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Wow. I have been out of the loop when it comes to roof cleaning prices. How does some of those guys stay in business at those prices? Maybe they aren't in business per se, just fly by night.

That is why I went to cleaning cedar wood roofs. Took any competition out of the picture. Granted I am spoiled now.

So Maria & I headed down to Florida about a month ago. We had located areas in Orlando and the Treasure coast/ Gold coast with a lot of cedar roofs.

Our true purpose was to get out of the cold here in Iowa. Anyway I took my rig and Maria followed in our SUV.

So we had a couple jobs sold, plan was to work one maybe two days a week and play the rest of the time.

We ended up doing 7 cedar roof cleanings in three weeks and left 3 behind because we had to get back here for our season.

We grossed $14,000.00 and I priced them lower than up here because of no moss or lichen, just spray, rinse and go jobs.

The customers were very happy with the service charge and even left reviews on my web site. Talk about a niche market in Florida.

That averaged about $2,000.00 per cleaning. Each cleaning took us about 6 hours from the time we arrived to the time we left.

Now I compare that to the post here for the tile roof and the size of that roof and cannot believe the difference.

Florida sure has a different market. Though I saw many roofs that needed or could use a cleaning but at those prices I couldn't do it either.

Oh, there are no roofs to clean in Iowa, I cleaned them all.

I foresee the same thing happening over time throughout the country given the number of people starting up every year.

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