Taking It To The Streets

Apartment-Prepping Service

Many landlords have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare apartments between tenants. Yet apartments are vacated on a regular basis, which can give would-be apartment-prepping services a lot of work. Anyone interested in this career can't be squeamish about cleaning up, and should know how to wield a paintbrush and do minor repair work. In the apartment prepper's arsenal of equipment, he or she will need painting supplies, including a paint sprayer and compressor (about $300 to $700), paint for each job (usually $40 to $50 for a two-bedroom apartment), spackling equipment, brushes, plastic mats for protecting floors, cleaning supplies and an assortment of tools for repair work. If you'll be offering carpet cleaning as well, you'll need to invest in a chemical dry-cleaning machine or a steam-cleaning unit (about $5,000). To get business, approach apartment managers and see who's doing their work; they may let you submit a bid.

Include in the bid prices for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Maximize your time and your potential profit by approaching a management company that oversees several apartment buildings. To operate, you'll need to be bonded and have business liability insurance.

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This article was originally published in the August 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Taking It To The Streets.

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