Estate Sale Cleanout Services - An Interview with Patricia Creswell

We've covered everything from staging a home to contracts, but there's one area that we haven't touched on yet; cleanouts. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Patricia Creswell from Contemporary Current in Dallas, Texas, to discuss how she started her cleanout business and see if she had any advice for estate sale companies looking to hire a cleanout company.

A few running themes in this interview are becoming successful out of necessity and building value in your company. Patricia and her husband started as avid resellers but quickly found a way to solve a big problem as estate sales became more popular in their area. Putting themselves out there and approaching a local estate sale company led them to their first cleanout job. Word quickly spread, and they began doing multiple estate sale cleanouts a month.

Cleanouts vs. Junk Removal

There are some common misconceptions about cleanout companies, with the main one being that they're also doing junk removal. While some might also offer junk removal services, Patricia stresses that they're looking for the items that can be resold and finding ways to repurpose the things that would most likely end up in a landfill. When you're looking to hire a cleanout company, make sure you set expectations up front for what you need. It can save you a lot of headaches.

Developing Relationships with Cleanout Companies

In our Partnership Series, we discussed the importance of developing relationships with industries outside of estate sales. Whether with realtors, attorneys, or property investors, having relationships with people outside of the industry is paramount. Finding an estate sale cleanout company can be a little tricky, though. Talking with other estate sale companies and finding out the companies they use can point you in the right direction. You can add so much more value to your business by including cleanout services in your contract and by having a working relationship with a reputable cleanout company.

Don't Stress About the Mess

Although offering cleanouts after the sale in your contract can be an optional service, you might consider including it as a standard service. As an estate sale company, you are in charge of a ton of moving parts, and the only thing you should have to worry about after the sale is handing your client a check that's going to put a smile on their face. Letting a company like Patricia's come in after the dust settles will not only could save you a lot of money, it could free you up to be able to focus on the next sale.

Finding the Right Company to Work With

Taking the time to identify your clients' needs is one of the most important aspects of any successful business, so you should hire a cleanout company that does the same. A good cleanout company will have all of the services they offer laid out and set all expectations at the beginning. Patricia's company provides several services outside of just the cleanout. Junk removal, hazardous waste removal, and some light demolition are a few things that set her company apart from the competition. Taking the time to research companies that meet your needs can save you a lot of time and money.

Questions and Timestamps:

  • Getting Started in the Cleanout Business (0:40)
  • Common Misconceptions About Cleanout Companies (2:17)
  • The Process with the Client (3:25)
  • Advice for Companies Looking to Hire a Cleanout Company (4:45)
  • Things to Include in Your Contract (5:49)
  • Prep Work for the Estate Sale Company (8:29)
  • Additional Services to Look For (9:41)