Apartments , Home Owners Associations and Dog Waste!


Apartments and home owners associations are probably the best customer to have for your dog waste removal company. How can you get these lucrative accounts? What’s the best way to approach them?

When approaching home owners associations or HOAs for dog waste removal, you need a step by step plan of action as to how you’re going to do that. You’ll need to find communities, find out who manages them, find out where they’re located and find out who’s in charge and who makes the decisions.

image of pile of dog waste compared to a dog poop bagFirst, determine who has the problem. You can do this by actually visiting several condos, or apartment communities in your service area and physically inspect it for dog waste problems. Sometimes, they may not even know they have a poop problem and you have to point it out to them. I’ve gone as far as actually picking up several piles of poop at one particular complex and set it all in a pile on the ground. I then placed a dog poop bag (they even had dispensers all around the complex) next to the pile for reference and took a picture of it. I used the picture in my initial proposal to let them know they have a problem.

Next, you’ll have to find out who manages the property. This isn’t always easy as many HOAs use property managers who are off site. You can ask tenants or home owners who they are, or you can see if there is a bulletin board in the complex that has the property manager’s letterhead in it. Believe it or not, most property managers are pretty friendly to deal with, even the huge companies. I simply call the management company and find out who the manager is for (insert the name of the property here) and 95% of the time they tell me.

How much it will save them to hire us? Don’t you mean how much it will cost them to hire us?

Once you have that information, contact the property manager and tell them who you are and what you want to do for them.
Let them know:

  • That they have a dog poop problem;
  • Dog waste left unattended can be unhealthy for the community and especially for the kids that play in the area as a number of common parasites, including round worm and hookworm, are transmitted via dog poop;
  • That dog waste could be detrimental to obtaining new tenants, if it’s a rental community;
  • Dog poop can contain tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, heartworm and other fun stuff. (There’s already tons of articles regarding this, just Google it.)
  • Dog waste can be unsightly, smelly, and plain ol’ disgusting if it’s not cleaned up.
  • Pet waste is not fertilizer. It contains pathogens that do not magically disappear when composted.
  • Most importantly – You can help them with their dog waste problem!

Here’s where your value proposition comes into play. I always offer to give them a free written proposal on what I can do for them, how it will help them and lastly, how much it will save them to hire us. Save them to hire us? Don’t you mean how much it will cost to hire us? Well, in a sense yes. However, it’s always better to demonstrate how much they can save by hiring a professional pooper scooper to take care of the dog waste problem. For instance, if it’s a rental property, and they have any vacancies, you can tell them that they may be losing potential tenants because of pet waste. Marketing their apartment as “pet friendly” and using a waste removal company could actually add value to their apartment community. Gaining just one new tenant would generally pay for your services. Of course, you would have to figure out the math on that based on your particular area.

What if it’s an HOA with homeowners and not renters? Same thing, only approached a little differently. If there are unoccupied homes, maybe it’s because of pet waste. (Probably not, but it could be.) For every empty home that is not paying an HOA fee, that’s money not being collected by the association. Also, you can mention that pet waste left unattended could result in Health Department fines, lower property values because of brown grass and general degradation of the aesthetics of the area. What homeowner doesn’t want to keep their property values up?

You want to wrap all this information in an easy to read format to present to the property managers. There are forms and suggested formats included in the manual I sell on this web site. You will want to follow up with occasional phone calls as it can take up to a month or more for the proposal to get approved or rejected by the time it gets through the chain of command.

Share

About Tim Stone

Timothy Stone is the owner of Scoop Masters Dog Poop Pick Up Service in Los Angeles, California. He is a co-founder of The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists, (apaws.org) and current treasurer. In 2003 he wrote and self published his first book, The Professional Scoop Master - A Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Dog Poop Pick Up Service.

Leave a comment