Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Terminology Tuesday (Tricks of the Trade) - How to Clean Mini Blinds

(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).

**** Tricks of the Trade is a new series I have started that will be included with "Terminology Tuesday" posts. The goal of this series is to share with you the "tricks of the trade" I have learned in the mobile home business.

When buying mobile homes and getting them ready before they are put on the market, one of the things that I constantly deal with are mini blinds.

(Note: This is where my style differs with Lonnie's - he usually sells "as-is" while I do not. Again, it's all a matter of personality - everyone has a different style and way of doing things).

Most homes come standard with mini blinds and most owners I deal with have also left the curtains with the blinds. Though, I usually encourage them to take the curtains but a lot of times they end up leaving them with the home. (Along with a few other items!)

But, I usually prefer to remove the curtains and just leave the blinds when getting homes ready. Why?

Well, the curtains are nice and all. But, I really treat this business like the property managers do - I try to make everything uniform. And, that includes the blinds inside the homes.

(Note: For those interested, when getting units ready in the property management business they refer to the process as a "make ready." Basically, this involves getting the unit cleaned and painted (if necessary) for the next occupant. In most cases, the units are uniform in the way they are presented).

Many times, having the existing curtains can add too much (i.e. darkness, decoration, etc) to a room. Also, people have different tastes - I don't want to turn off an existing buyer just because they don't like the curtains. So, I usually end up removing the curtains and then dealing with the existing blinds in the home.

Here are a few pics of the home on this deal with the curtains and without them with just the blinds:

With the curtains

(Note: Notice how dark the curtains make the room. If the room looks darker, to most folks it looks smaller).

Without the curtains and with just the mini blinds

(Note: Notice how the mini blinds make the home look lighter (rather than darker). If the room looks lighter, to most folks it looks bigger just like with this deal).

Regarding the process, once the curtains are removed than the next decision I have to make is whether or not to work with the existing blinds or purchase new ones. Usually, I will make the decision based on how the blinds look - if some panels are missing and/or really bent then I will go ahead and purchase new ones.

If they still look ok and just look like they need a good cleaning (and most do but just have a lot of dust), then I keep them. But, then you may be asking - how do you clean them?

Well, in the early days I would just give them a light dusting. But, this was very time consuming trying to get the dust out of every panel and every mini blind in every room. Then, I learned a really neat trick from one of my cleaning crews.

(Note: I have a few cleaning crews on hand for homes that need more than a light cleaning (i.e. smokers, pets, etc). If the home just needs a light cleaning, then I do the job myself. (And, have been mistaken for a cleaning lady driving around the park with my cleaning supplies and all!)

Basically, I learned a quicker and faster way to clean mini blinds - dipping them in the bathtub using Purple Power.

Here's a snapshot

I let them sit there for a bit (while cleaning the rest of the home) and then rinse them off and wipe them down with water. (The dirt should come right off). And, you know what? It really works!

I really do learn something new everyday in this business. And, most of the time what I learn are from other folks just like with this experience!

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use both in your business as well as your personal life - it definitely has for me.

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!

No comments: