An apartment prep service company is a business that prepares an apartment to make the apartment suitable for a new tenant to rent and move in. Apartment prep service companies offer several services such as basic repairs, carpet cleaning, wall washing, painting, wallpaper repair, overall cleaning services et al.

The apartment prep services business falls under the cleaning services industry and available data shows that the global cleaning services market size was valued at $55,715.0 million in 2020. It is projected to reach $111,498.8 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6.5% from 2022 to 2030.

The floor care segment was the highest contributor to the market, with $12,293.8 million in 2020, and is estimated to reach $22,820.2 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period.

Steps on How to Start an Apartment Prep Service Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

The first step in the market research process for your apartment prep service business is to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will give you easy access to techniques and equipment that will help you operate your apartment prep service business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability within the shortest time frame.

a. Who is the Target Market for an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • Realtors
  • Households
  • Property owners
  • Facility managers and Caretakers
  • Estates and communities.
b. Is Apartment Prep Service Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the apartment prep service business is very profitable as the market size of the Apartment Rental industry, which is a key stakeholder, is $171.7 billion in 2022.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

There is no niche area in the apartment prep service business.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • ABM Industries Inc.
  • The Service Master Company, LLC
  • CleanNet
  • Anago Cleaning Systems
  • Aramark Corporation
  • Sodexo
  • Jani-King Inc.
  • Stanley Steemer International, Inc.
  • ChemDry
  • Pritchard Industries Inc.
  • BONUS Building Care
  • Red Coats
  • UGL Unicco Services
  • Vanguard
  • Jan-Pro International
  • Clean First Time
  • Compass Group Plc
  • Duraclean International Inc.
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc.
  • Steamatic Inc.
  • Stratus Building Solutions
  • Temko Service Industries Inc.
  • Mothers House Cleaning.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Apartment Prep Service Business?

No, there are no county or state regulations or zoning laws for apartment prep service businesses, but players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing similar businesses in the county where their business is domiciled.

f. Is There a Franchise for Apartment Prep Service Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for apartment prep service businesses, and here are some of them;

  • TruBlue Total House Care
  • Buildingstars Int’l. Inc.
  • Bonus Building Care
  • Home Cleaning Centers of America
  • Jantize America
  • Heits Building Services
  • The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. Franchise LLC
  • Maid Simple House Cleaning
  • com
  • ANB Clean Franchising LLC.
g. What Do You Need to Start an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business Plan
  • Licenses and Permits
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Equipment and Utility trucks
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a apartment prep service business are;

Creative Apartment Prep Service Business Name ideas
  • Prep Pro© Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Clean and More® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Curtis Jackson© Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Gordon Jones® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Building Blocks™ Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Anthony Lawson™ Apartment Prep Service Company, LLC.
  • James Kingston© Apartment Prep Service Company, LLC
  • Tuchel Adams® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • All Clean© Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Like Pro© Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Tyson Ray® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Cleanest Group® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • We Prep® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Tyler Moses® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Golan Heights® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Reel Cleaners© Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Thomas Curry™ Apartment Prep Service Company, LLC
  • Brooklynn City® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Beyond Cleaning® Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  • Make Ready™ Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Apartment Prep Service Business?

Although there are some options when it comes to the business structure of an apartment prep service business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has any employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • General Business License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections (If you have an office)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • Institute of inspection cleaning and restoration certification – IICRC
  • International janitorial cleaning services certification – IJVSC
  • House cleaning technician certification – HCT
  • Cleaning business owner certificate – CBO.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting an apartment prep service business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Apartment Prep Service Business?

When it comes to starting an apartment prep service business, the startup costs can range from $20,000 to $80,000 and higher depending on how much equipment the business owner decides to purchase. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting an Apartment Prep Service Business
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $3,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $2,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $12,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $80,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $130,000
  • Start-up Inventory (cleaning chemicals and materials) – $10,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Utility Truck and Equipment – $70,000
  • Website: $600
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The additional service offerings
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the apartment prep service business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the business
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

You don’t need to build a facility for your apartment prep service business because you are expected to go out in the field to offer your services. You may just decide to operate from a small office space or just lease a storage facility for your tools and equipment.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • Cost of stocking up supplies such as cleaning chemicals, cleaning towels, disposable hand gloves, and facemask et al
  • Utility bills (gas (fueling) for utility truck, internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
  • Truck maintenance and repair
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $75,000 per year
  • Accountants (Cashiers) – $35,000 per year
  • Cleaning and Prep Technicians (Cleaners) – $30,000 per year
  • Utility Truck Driver – $26,150 per year.
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Apartment Prep Service Business
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Make Ready™ Apartment Prep Service Company, Inc. is a licensed apartment prep service that will provide our services to a wide range of clientele. The business will be located in Rowland Heights, California and we will cover other neighboring cities. We chose to operate in this city because we know that our services will be in high demand due to the growing activities in the real estate and construction industry.

b. Products and Service

We will offer a wide range of apartment prep services such as basic repairs, carpet cleaning, wall washing, painting and wallpaper repair, and overall cleaning services et al.

c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish an apartment prep service business that will create a standard of excellence in the industry. We want our apartment prep service business to be listed amongst the top 10 apartment prep businesses in the United State within the first 5 years of launching the business.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to establish a world-class apartment prep service business that will be the “go-to” apartment prep service company in the United States of America.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of our apartment prep service business are basically to prepare an apartment to make the apartment suitable for a new tenant to rent and move in.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Accountants (Cashiers)
  • Cleaning and Prep Technicians (Cleaners)
  • Utility Truck Driver

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Excellent operational history
  • Attention to detail.
  • Accurate estimates with no hidden costs.
  • Experienced and trained professionals.
  • Excellent customer testimonials.
  • Reliable and efficient service delivery.
Weakness:
  • Not enough existing clientele to run at full capacity immediately
  • The owner is new to large scale marketing
  • We will need a loan to purchase equipment and a utility truck
  • Lack of economies of scale.
Opportunities:
  • Increase in the number of people that move from one apartment to another.
  • Robust real estate market
  • Build upon existing clientele
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
Threat:
  • Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
  • The first year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
  • Competition in the area could increase
  • Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
  • The environmental department could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses.
b. How Do Apartment Prep Services Companies Make Money?

An apartment prep services business makes money by offering a wide range of apartment prep services such as basic repairs, carpet cleaning, wall washing, painting, wallpaper repair, and overall cleaning services.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your apartment prep service business and the services your offer by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to realtors, facility managers, landlords, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your apartment prep service business is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your services
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise your business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

The amount an apartment prep service can charge is dependent on the magnitude of prep services to be carried out and of course the number of rooms and size of the apartment. But the national average cost of a deep clean for a typical apartment is between $125 and $250 or more.

b. How Much Profit Do Apartment Prep Service Business Owners Make a Year?

The amount an apartment prep service business owner is expected to make is not fixed. They make anything from $45,000 and above.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the apartment prep service business
  • The location the apartment prep service business is covering
  • The management style of the apartment prep service business
  • The business approach of the apartment prep service business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the apartment prep service business
  • The number of years the apartment prep service business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of an Apartment Prep Service Business?

The profit margin of an apartment prep service business is not fixed. It could range from 25 percent to 45 percent depending on the nature of the job to be carried out and of course the time, materials, equipment, and tools required to carry out the contract.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast of an apartment prep service business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $220,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $380,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $450,000
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for An Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for apartment prep service in the location
  • The purchasing power of residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of apartment prep service facilities and other businesses such as commercial cleaning companies in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Lewiston, Maine
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Chandler, Arizona
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Los Angeles, California
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Apartment Prep Service Business?

You would need working tools and equipment such as jet snakes, brushes, industrial vacuums, dry clothes for cleaning, brooms, dust masks, safety shoes, an overalls vacuum cleaner with attachments, bowl cleaner, brooms, dustpan & brush, dry mop, wet mop & bucket, latex gloves, wet floor signs, extension cord, disinfectant cleaner, soft scrub, high duster, caddy with a handle to keep your supplies in, and truck.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard apartment prep service business, you should make plans to hire a competent manager (you can occupy this role), accountant, apartment prep technicians (professional cleaners), and utility truck driver.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

When it comes to an apartment prep services company, you may not need to stage an opening party. The most important thing at this point is to give massive publicity to the business. Know that you are only successful based on the people that know your business.

a. What Makes an Apartment Prep Service Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and reliable equipment to launch the business
  • Partner with facility managers and realtors
  • Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your apartment prep service business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your apartment prep service business.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Apartment Prep Service Business?

When it comes to what happens during a typical day in an apartment prep services company, there is no hard and fast rule about it. When they resume work, the staff or marketing team goes out to source for business.

Before a deal is sealed, the company is expected to carry out an inspection of the location and the nature of the apartment prep job to be carried out. This will enable them to know the type of resources and equipment to be deployed to the site.

Once a deal is sealed, the apartment prep services company goes out there to carry out their job as agreed by both parties. Usually, if after the job is carried out and the clients aren’t satisfied, the company is expected to go back and do a thorough job at no extra cost to their client.

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Apartment Prep Service Business?
  • Ability to Pay Attention to Details
  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Good Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Team-building & Interpersonal Skills.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving ability.
  • Good Supervisory skills
  • Experience in managing commercial cleaning services business
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling cleaning chemicals and handling power cleaning machines and equipment.