Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Terminology Tuesday - Purple Power

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

According to Aiken Chemical:

"This versatile cleaner and degreaser is effective on a wide variety of surfaces. The concentrated formula penetrates grease, oil and dirt on contact, then it creates a barrier between the stain and the surface. In just seconds you can wipe away even the toughest stains."

Definition Source Link

Since I work mostly high end parks due to this experience, I've mentioned in the past (such as in this post) that I rarely sell homes in "as-is" condition.

In my experience, most buyers who are looking for a home in these types of parks want everything pretty much fixed up. So, I usually have to get these homes in pristine condition before they are put on the market.

(Note: Here is where my style differs from Lonnie's - I usually don't sell "as-is" while he typically does. It's just a matter of personality and the types of parks and clientele you want to work with. In many cases, I've found the park as well as the condition of the home attract a certain clientele. Again, it's all a matter of personality and comfort level).

After I buy a mobile home, I do a complete walk through of the home noting what is needed to be fixed up to get the home in marketable condition. From the moment I walk in, I look at it as if I am the buyer - I have to put a new hat on and get myself into a "homeowner" type of mentality.

When going through the home, I think to myself - "If I were a potential buyer, how would I like this home to be fixed up and what types of things would I notice?"

In my cases, the home will need to be cleaned. There are 2 major things involved. First, the home itself (inside and outside). And, second the floor.

If the home on the inside is more of a "light" cleaning job, then I do the work myself. When I say "light, " I mean it doesen't need that much cleaning - just a spruce up here and there. And, also some vacuuming (if there is carpet and is not very dirty).

However, if the home on the inside needs more of a "heavy" (in the business they refer to it as a "deep clean") cleaning job then I end up bringing in a professional cleaning company.

(Note: In my experience if the previous homeowners were smokers and/or had pets usually the home will require a "deep cleaning").

I work with professional cleaning companies (commercial grade) if a "deep cleaning" is necessary - they are essential members of my team.

When working with professional cleaning companies, I've found most limit their usage to only 1 or 2 main products. I've learned from them that many of the cleaning products out there are really not all necessary to have when cleaning.

(Note: For those interested, a lot of cleaning products are just additional product lines. What I've learned is that it's not necessary to have one cleaning product for the kitchen, one for the bathroom, one as a degreaser, etc. It can all be done with fewer products).

One of the "secrets" I've learned in the cleaning business has been this product, "Purple Power." Basically, "Purple Power" can typically clean most anything. One of my cleaning crews uses this product for all their cleaning jobs - it's the only product they use. And, it works.

In one of the homes, my cleaning crew actually dipped the existing mini blinds in "Purple Power" to save me money (I had no idea they did this until afterwards) and all of a sudden the smoke stains came out - it looked brand new. I was baffled and amazed at the same time.

Personally, I've used it myself on light cleaning jobs such as this one - it worked great!

(Note: When using "Purple Power," I've had to be really careful as it's very concentrated and needs to be diluted. I used it to wipe up some cabinets. What I've learned after wiping the cabinets down, is that I need to go over it again with water as not to stain them. What ended up happening was that I wiped all the cabinets with "Purple Power" (diluted) and some of them stained a bit - I should have wiped them down in sections. Though, I was able to remove the stains with a good water wipe down).

Typically, I've been able to find "Purple Power" at Wal-Mart. It's a very good product and very affordable. Compared to Simple Green (which I like using as well), it's much more cost efficient.

(Note: In Germany, I learned that many professional cleaning companies use vinegar as their main cleaning product. I had no idea, pretty interesting!)

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has helped to give you some insight on the cleaning process I use to get mobile homes in marketable condition.

Happy investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Shae said...

Very interesting! I've never heard of Purple Power. I'll have to look out for it now!

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Awesome! I never heard of it either until I learned more about the cleaning business.

There's another cleaner that tries to imitate, it's even the same color - "Fabuloso". Though, it's not the same - it does not clean as well. I tried it myself.

Also, "Fabuloso" has been known to get animals sick - I've read of some cases where dogs have been sick due to its use on the floor and all. Plus, it comes in a clear plastic container looking like a sports drink - I've heard of some cases where it has been in the reach of children and mistaken for a drink - not good at all!

Thanks for stopping by!

Carey_PA said...

Hey Rachel!

I'm glad you posted about this because it just so happens I have an appointment on Friday to see a mobile home that the lady told me it definitely needs "a good cleaning." lol

I think I told you before that I started with mh's back in the day and I STILL to this day look for deals in the paper.

Found one yesterday and called. The lady is asking $5k obo. She told me on the phone "if you want to offer me like $3k, it needs to be cash." :-) Nothing like a seller already knocking 2k off of their price for me....eh??

I was thinking of doing this mobile home thang in a self-directed IRA.

What are lot rents where you are? Keep in mind, I do lonnie deals, so I sell as is, but I will clean up the place a wee bit first.

This is by no means a pristine, high-end park, but the lot rent is about $420 a month.

Curious about your area.

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Nice to hear from you again, Carey!

Oh wow, cool about the possible mobile home deal! It's kind of funny to hear that phrase "good cleaning" because I was talking to a fellow Lonnie dealer yesterday and we had this discussion about it being so subjective people's opinion of the word "clean" and "fix up work."

It could be clean and need not much fix up work to the seller but as the buyer it could involve a major clean up/fix up job. And, vice versa. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

That's awesome the seller knocked some $ off the price of the home over the phone - always a good sign of motivation. If you've got the tax record, I usually bring that with me before going out there - that really blows them away when they see how low it's been assessed.

One time, an older home (1970s style) I checked out was only assessed at $950 - the seller was totally shocked, trying to sell for 8k.

In my area, lot rents range from the $350 (low end parks) to $500 (high end parks) range. I focus on high end parks - it's just the type of clientele I feel comfortable working with. I think the type of park is all a matter of personal preference - I know of some Lonnie dealers who solely work the more low end parks.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing how this deal pans out, thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

p.s. Yes, I know of some who have done "Lonnie" deals with the self directed IRA. Will-WA who posts on creonline had a blog on it and how he did it with "Lonnie" deals - it's not working right now. Here's the link just in case it goes up again:

Marilyn A. said...

I agree with you about the seller's idea of their home not needing much fixup compared with the buyer's perception.
I received a call from my ad about a home for sale. The person told me the home was in "perfect condition" so I was excited to see it, since almost all the homes I had seen before that had been total dumps.
Well, to my eyes, the home was far from "perfect condition". They had done work on the home, but it was poorly done. And the more they told me about the home, the more flaws came to light.
Another home was advertised as "everything's in good shape". When I got there, I was dismayed to find a slum home--very dilapidated.
I still haven't bought my first, but when I do fix up my homes, I intend for them to be appealing to a buyer. Something I would live in myself. Watching the shows on TV where they stage homes for sale has helped me get an idea of how to make them look great for a little amount of money.

Mobile Home Gurl said...

That's great Marilyn, I've seen those staging shows too - very good information.

Personally, I think most folks who are looking for a home really want something fixed up and ready to go - something they can live in themselves. Just because mobile homes are on the lower end of the scale compared to other forms of housing, does not mean folks looking want anything less. In my opinion, it's becoming more and more a buyer's market everyday - there are so many homes to choose from. They don't have to buy yet the seller needs to sell.

Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!