YOUR OWN BUSINESS
There are several income sources in owning and operating
a pool service route.
The two main sources of income are monthly
service billing and maintenance/repair income. An average pool
service technician can
earn approximately $40.00 per hour servicing pools (this will vary
depending on the area of the United States your pool route is located)
and approximately $100-150.00 per hour doing minor maintenance/repair
on the pool equipment. This business is not difficult for the average
person to learn. Most pool route sellers will train the new owner
for a period of two -four weeks and provide a consulting period.
The accounts are guaranteed to transfer to the new owner during
a transition period. A letter notifying the customer of the new
owners billing information should be sent within 30 days of taking
over the route. The attrition rate during a transition period should
be less than two percent. These items will be discussed in greater
detail throughout this web site.
If you are in the Northeast or
the Northwest, your hourly fee for service will vary from the Sunbelt
area. Most pool service professionals
in the North will have an abbreviated swimming season. However,
the opening and closing of the swimming pool supplement their service
income. The opening and closing of a pool in the North can run
into several hundred dollars. This will average out to be the same
income as Pool Service Technicians across the country during the
year for the same number of hours worked. The Sunbelt area of the
south and western United States operate their routes all year and
charge an average monthly service fee of $60-$120.
In the North
pool service technicians with their abbreviated swim season, average
the same income as Sunbelt service technicians;
they just do it in a shorter period of time. This is because pools
are shut down and closed for the winter months. However, they make
it up by charging the accounts an opening and closing fee usually
around $200.00 to open in the spring and another $200.00 to close
the pool down in the fall.
The average pool service technician,
if running his route correctly, should be netting between $75,000.00
and $80,000.00 per year. If
you have a monthly gross service billing income of $4,000.00 per
month, that equates to $48,000.00 per year generated from weekly "service
only". Your expenses should be approximately 2 months of your
service income or in this example $8,000.00. This will cover your
three major expenses, gas, insurance and chemical replacement.
Therefore, your service income totaling $48,000.00 for the year,
less estimated expense of $8,000.00, should produce a net profit
of $40,000.00. Assuming you are operating in a diligent manor.
In addition to this profit, you will have an second income on the
same accounts for maintenance (filter cleanings, algae, conditioner
treatments and other preventive maintenance) charges that you will
bill your account extra, plus repairs (motors, pumps, heaters,
etc.) This second income should be fifty per cent of your service
net. If your net income from service is $40,000.00 then your net
from maintenance and repairs should be $20,000.00. This is assuming
that you are providing full service to your accounts.
a pool service route correctly is not difficult. Your overhead
should be kept to minimum. Operate your business from
your home. Use a small truck, comparing your wholesale prices with
different suppliers; charge the proper service rate for your area.
Let your accounts know of the different services that you provide
and alert them to the preventive maintenance services and upgrade
their equipment as necessary.
The manufacturers of pool equipment
are there to help. There are training seminars for you to learn
more about their equipment and
become acquainted with equipment upgrades and renovations. After
all, they want you to install their equipment and therefore are
looking for your business. They provide many avenues of assistance.
We have provided you with a list. Just click on our manufacturer’s
button any time.
In addition to the expert help you can receive
from the manufactures, we highly recommend joining one of the pool
that are available in your area. There are three pool associations
operating in the western United States and one throughout the entire
country. In the west, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and
Texas, the most successful pool association is IPSSA, Independent
Pool and Spa Service Association. Second would be UPA, United Pool
Association. United Pool Association operates only in California,
while IPSSA operates as far east as Texas. Both associations offer
the same protection. Both will offer a million dollar liability
insurance policy, and both will offer route coverage should you
become sick or injured. The terms of the route coverage will vary
from chapter to chapter, but most chapters will do your pools for
you up to a year for free.
The monthly dues for IPSSA and UPA run
approximately $55.00 including the $1,000,000.00 liability insurance
policy and the route coverage.
There are also other great benefits to joining one of the associations
since they provide pool service technician seminars. In addition
this will give you an opportunity to make friends and contacts
with other pool service technicians in your route area. The final
association is NSPI, National Spa and Pool Institute. This is the
association of associations. To belong to NSPI, you must take a
pool-related course and pass a test. NSPI also offers insurance
but does not offer route coverage. For more information on pool
associations, click on the Associations button.
As stated, there
are two main sources of income, monthly service billing and maintenance/repair
income. Throughout the United States
the purchase price of a pool service route is based on a multiple
times the Monthly Service Billing Only income. The multiple will
vary from state to state and even within some states. However,
it is an industry standard to use a multiple times the Monthly
Service Billing Only income. In other words, the maintenance/ repair
income should not be included to arrive at a fair purchase price.
Any other method of appraising the value a pool route would be
contrary to the industry standards. The maintenance and repair
income is already considered in the multiple, because most pool
service technicians agree that what ever your monthly service billing
is, half of that again will translate into maintenance/repair income.
We have been selling businesses for over 28 years.
Pool routes are our specialty. We can tell that the most important
purchasing a pool route is in verifying the monthly service billing.
Financial statements, profit and loss statements and balance sheets
are usually not available. Mainly because it is not necessary to
keep an expensive bookkeeping system for one person operating out
of their home. Therefore, there are not usually records available
to satisfy a bank or financial institution to borrow the money
to buy the route. Individual tax returns usually will not help
either, because if you were buying 50 accounts of a route of 100,
the tax returns would not be broken down that way. Also, if he
is a pool builder or does a lot of business in major pool repairs
or pool remodeling, again the tax returns would reflect all this
income. What if he had 100 accounts and sold 50 accounts? His tax
return would show an income for 100 accounts and you would have
no way of knowing this. The next couple of paragraphs will discuss
what we find to be the best way to verify the income of the accounts
you are purchasing. Pool routes are sold for cash and no terms
are generally available. Therefore, you should have the funds available
at the time of purchase, unless you are arranging for an equity
loan, line of credit or other means to enable you to purchase a
While most pool routes have the same expenses, they
do not have the same income. Income is what you will be purchasing.
the best ways to get a handle on the monthly service income, as
well as what the owner is charging for repairs, is to look at his
ledger cards. A ledger card is a monthly history for each account.
A ledger card should show when an account was billed and when the
account was paid. THE PAYMENT HISTORY OF THE CUSTOMER IS ONE OF
THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS TO REVIEW DURING PURCHASE. Who wants an
account that does knotty his or her bill? The ledger card also
shows what the account was billed for repairs. This part of the
ledger card will show if the owner is charging for the proper extras.
In addition, the ledger card will show how long the account has
been on service. While this is very important to some, the length
of time on service is not as important as the payment history.
If the average age of the accounts is over a year and they have
a good payment history that would be more a good account.
big question on the minds of most potential purchasers is the radius
of the route and the quality of the neighborhoods.
The overall radius of a pool route is not as important as the DAILY
RADIUS. Almost everyone has to drive to work or the office. Some
people drive 30 minutes, some an hour, some much more. If you purchase
a pool route that is within an overall radius of twenty miles but
is under a five-mile daily radius, this would be considered a good
route in the industry. TRY TO KEEP YOUR POOLS CLUSTERED D (TIGHT)
BY SERVICE DAY. The neighborhood of your accounts is not as important
as the way they pay their bills. There are several high priced
neighborhoods where collection is a problem. Most people in just
average neighborhoods have a far better collection record than
some so-called upper class neighborhoods.
How many pools can I
service in a day? A good question, but difficult to answer. The
average pool service technician will service approximately
16 full service pools a day. While some can service 25 to 30 in
a day. It depends on the individual and what type of pools he or
she is servicing. The average pool service technician will service
two pools an hour including driving time. If the accounts are chemical
only, he can do many more. If the accounts are commercial, he or
she will do less.
A full service account is one who the pool service
technician takes complete care of the cleaning and chemical treatment
of the pool.
A chemical account is one who has only their water balanced by
the pool service technician. This owner will clean his own pool.
A chemical account can take as little as five minutes. A commercial
account is a public pool: Hotel/motel, park pool, apartment pool,
homeowner association, etc. A commercial account can be very demanding,
but they will pay double or even triple monthly service billing
compared to residential. If something goes wrong, they want it
fixed immediately. Repairs are great for your pocketbook. The more
you fix the more you make. Which brings us to another topic, seminars
Each manufacturer will put on classes at different
times during the calendar year. Check our web site on a regular
basis for an update of the seminars in your area. Most of the seminars
are free. As far as I know, the heater manufacturers are the only
ones that charge a fee for their classes. The fee is fifty dollars
for registration. Mainly, to insure you show up for the class. IT
IS IMPORTANT TO ATTEND THE SEMINARS. You can click on SEMINARS
to obtain a list .
Another way to gather information about the potential
of the pool business is to attend the trade shows. There are numerous
trade shows throughout the year and throughout the country. These
shows will have service companies, builders, manufacturers, trade
schools, pool brokers, etc. There is one caution I might put forth
at this time about trade schools and seminars. However, if you are
not in the business, I would not attend the seminars. The instructors
of the seminars are under the impression that everyone taking the
class is a service technician. If you can't keep up with the industry
jargon, they will leave you behind. IT IS BEST TO BE TRAINED AS
A SERVICE TECHNICIAN FIRST, BEFORE YOU TAKE A CLASS. For a schedule
of the trade shows, click on TRADE SHOWS.
There are also several trade publications servicing
the pool industry. Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of
each publication, click and go to our publication page. PUBLICATIONS
After you purchase
your pool route what then? Can you expand? The answer is yes. There
are more accounts out there than you will
ever want or need (depending on where you live). Thousands of pools
are built each year, but there are already millions in the ground.
You just have to know the right way to get at them.
That is where we come in. If you are interested in building on the
route you are purchasing click on EXPANSION
If a Seller is only concerned
with the sale of their route, and how much money they receive from
this sale, then that Seller will
not be concerned with the quality of service provided by the new
owner. This is the type of Seller you should try to avoid. If a
Seller's interest lies only in the money received from the sale,
more than likely, he will not care about how well you are trained
or, if you succeed at all in your new business. While this is a
simple business, you will need to be trained properly. Try to find
a Seller who is concerned with who purchases his route. This will
go along way in assuring that you will receive proper training.
A Seller, who is concerned about his customers, is a good Seller.
He should have some compassion for the way his customers are treated
after the sale. Verification of the accounts is one reason not
to purchase from a FOR SALE BY OWNER. A Buyer should have a Pool
Broker involved in the sale and purchase for his protection. Pool
Route Brokers has no interest in taking the accounts away from
the Seller or, in causing the Buyer any harm. Pool Brokers will
be able to take the list of customers being sold, and contact a
percentage of the accounts to verify their authenticity. If you
do purchase a route from a FOR SALE BY OWNER, you should complete
this process prior to giving the seller ANY funds or at least held
by a third party. A Seller may want you to give him half of the
funds now, and half after the verification, or half after training.
If the Seller is dishonest, you could still lose half of your money.
It is always better, for your protection, to have Pool Route Brokers
involved, as a third party, in the sale and purchase of a pool
route. The purchase price will remain the same. There is no discount
in the purchase price when you purchase a route directly from the
owner. However, there is a discount in your protection
Route Brokers in the sale and purchase of a route will also assist
you in case a dispute arises between you and the seller.
With our 28 years of selling businesses, Pool Route Brokers usually
can resolve the dispute before it escalates into legal action.
It is also important to have a sounding board. If you have a business
idea, it is important to have us at Pool Route Brokers, Inc. listen
and discuss the positive or negative aspects of your idea
experienced Pool Route Broker, we can and will help you to maximize
your company's profits. We can also assist you in expansion
ideas, as well as the most painless ways to get customers to pay
for services which they are not currently being charged.
routes purchased through Pool Route Brokers, Inc. will be transferred
through proven and successful Escrow Procedures.
The fee is minimal, and the escrow will be exclusively for the
transfer of pool accounts that you are purchasing. You can be assured
that your escrow will have the important items necessary to assure
a successful transfer of the pool accounts.
WHEN PURCHASING POOL ACCOUNTS, BE SURE TO OBTAIN
- The Seller should train the Buyer for thirty (30)
days. During the thirty (30) day training period, the Buyer
receives all of
the income derived from the accounts
for both monthly service billing and maintenance/repairs.
- The Seller should train
the Buyer for the first two (2) weeks on service and preventive
maintenance items, and the final two (2) weeks on repairs and
any other questions the Buyer may have that were not covered
during the first two
(2) weeks. Furthermore, the Seller should be willing to provide consultation
to the new owner during the transition period.
- The Seller should also guarantee
the transfer of accounts. The guarantee period should run for
ninety (90) days from the close of escrow. During this period,
the Seller should replace any account that did not transfer, due to any reason,
except negligence of the Buyer, with an account of equal monthly service
or refund to the Buyer, the amount paid for the account that discontinued
service. Some funds should be held in escrow for the ninety (90)
day guarantee period
to assure Seller compliance, and also to assure that the Buyers training
is properly completed.
- The Seller should also be willing to sign a Five
(5) year Covenant Not to Compete on the accounts being transferred.
Seller is only selling part
of his route; this should not negatively affect your business, or your expansion
plans, if the seller continues to service other pool customers. If the Seller
is remaining in the pool business, he is usually more available for advice
- The Seller should provide the Buyer, for his examination,
the current billing history for each customer being purchased.
The Buyer should
review this customer
billing history prior to the opening of an escrow. It is important for the
Buyer to review this customer history, prior to the purchase,
to determine the acceptability
of the accounts. Billing history should disclose the following:
- When the account
was billed. When the account paid. The monthly Service charge.
Repair charges. Sometimes, but not always, the start date for
All information pertaining to the customers will remain in the possession
of the Seller or deposited into escrow, until after the close
of escrow. After the
close of escrow, the Seller should deliver copies of all customer histories
to the Buyer.
- Possession of the account histories will assist the
Buyer when a customer has a question on a repair that was done
by the Seller. Since most
repairs have a
one (1) year warranty, the Seller will remain responsible for warranty work
on all repairs done, prior to the close of escrow. Pool Route
Brokers; will receive
a list of the accounts being purchased, prior to the close of escrow, for
the purpose of transferring them to the Buyer through escrow.
BUYER SHOULD BE COUNSELED IN THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
- Business License
-Fictitious Business Name Filing
-Notification to Accounts
- Establishing Account with Chemical and
- Obtaining Proper Service Equipment
-Proper Account Billing Procedure (Account Software)
-Extra Services Information
- Proper Charges for Extra Services
Establishing Account with Employment Development Department
- Establishing Account with State Board of Equalization
- When and How to Raise Customer Rates
- Pool Associations
- Seminar and Training Information
-Employee or Independent Contractor Information (if applicable)
- Subscription to Service Industry News
- Liability Insurance
Information (best sources)
PROCEDURE TO PURCHASE POOL SERVICE ACCOUNTS.
you have determined what route you are interested in, the next
step is to submit a contingent Purchase Agreement form. The
Purchase Agreement will be accompanied
by a good faith deposit check in the amount of $500.00. This deposit check is
not cashed. The deposit check is stapled to the Purchase Agreement form. A contingent
Purchase Agreement is subject to your complete verification and approval of the
information supplied by the Seller. If you do not approve of the information,
you may cancel your Purchase Agreement without the loss of your deposit (your
check is then returned to you un-cashed). Submitting a Purchase Agreement to
purchase the pool accounts, prior to meeting with the Seller and reviewing the
account billing histories, is necessary for the following reasons:
It is necessary
to affirm that the Buyer has the funds available to make the purchase.
It is necessary to affirm that the Buyer is willing to pay the
purchase price. The pool route will be taken off the market to give the Buyer
and opportunity to verify and approve of the accounts. Most importantly, it shows
the Seller that the Buyer is sincere and acting in good faith.
If you approve
of the records and verification of the accounts you are purchasing
and want to proceed with the purchase, an escrow is opened, and at that time
the $500.00 is then deposited into escrow and will be applied toward the purchase
Once the list of accounts containing: the name, address,
billing amount and phone number of each customer, and all of the
funds to purchase
are deposited into
escrow, an escrow officer then makes random phone calls to the customers for
verification that the accounts are pleased with their service and they would
continue service. Once the account verification has been completed, escrow is
then ready to close. At the close of escrow, ninety (90) percent of the purchase
price is released to the Seller, and ten (10) percent of the purchase price is
held in escrow for the ninety (90) day guarantee transfer period. The Buyer is
given possession of the pool accounts at the close of escrow. The Buyers training
period begins at the close of escrow. The Buyer now owns the route and receives
all income derived from the accounts during the training period. The customers
are notified of the transfer and new billing information once the Buyer has become
acquainted with the route, usually within the first thirty (30) days.
It is important
to make sure all of your questions are answered prior to meeting
with the Seller. It is important to make sure you have discussed the purchase
with all relevant parties, prior to meeting with the Seller. You should be ready
to make a decision regarding the purchase of the route at the meeting with the
Seller. If you are not ready to commit to owning your own pool route business,
a meeting with the Seller is premature.
There will be no pressure on you, at
anytime, to purchase the pool route accounts. However, please be
sure this is something you really would like to do, prior
to meeting with the Seller.
I have been selling all types of businesses for over
28 years and can honestly say that compared to many other businesses
a pool route is one of the easiest
to learn, least amount of problems, as you are your own boss without a major
investment in inventory, equipment, store leases and employees. For those reasons
you net profit operating a pool service route is much higher than most other
types of businesses. Plus you operate out of your home and normally do not work
any evening, weekends or holidays. If this sounds like the type of opportunity
you have been looking for, then don’t put it off another day. Call me direct
and I will be happy to discuss routes available in your area. I will do my best
to find the exact route in your area that fits your investment needs and income
expectations. A pool service route is not a job, it is a business. Own your own
business, be your own boss, dictate your own hours control your own life. Live
an American Dream.
Call today 1-800-772-6002
Pool Route Brokers, Inc.
Frank Passantino, Broker
GET PURCHASE AGREEMENT FORM
THE FOREGOING INFORMATION IS OPINION ONLY. YOU SHOULD
ALWAYS CHECK WITH A LICENSED BUSINESS CONSULTANT OR BROKER BEFORE
ACTING ON ANY OF THE PREVIOUS INFORMATION. THIS WEB SITE WILL NOT
BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS INCURRED BY ANYONE PURCHASING
A POOL ROUTE THROUGH THIS WEB PAGE OR ANYONE ACTING UPON OR RELYING
ON ANY OF THE FOREGOING INFORMATION
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