A buyer should look at the payment history to see when the accounts were billed and when the customers paid. Nobody wants to buy accounts with customers that don’t pay their bills. The payment history will also show the length of time the account has been on service. If the average age of the accounts being purchased is over a year and they have good payment history, these are considered good accounts.
The radius of the pool service route is also significant. The overall radius of the route shouldn’t concern you as much as the daily route radius. A good daily service route should have a radius of 5 to 6 miles or less. It’s important to try and keep the daily routes tight, because the tighter the route the more accounts you can service in a day and the less gas you use.
The person selling the pool accounts should be a factor when deciding to purchase. Before someone purchases pool service accounts, they will have an opportunity to talk with the seller of the accounts over the phone as well as a face to face meeting. This will give plenty of opportunity for the buyer to ask all the questions that they have and determine if they are a good fit with the seller. Remember that the seller is the person that will be doing the training, so if the buyer is not comfortable with them, they shouldn’t buy those particular accounts.
At the close of escrow, 10% of the purchase price will be held back from the seller for the guarantee period to assure that all accounts transfer to the new owner successfully (usually 90 days). If any accounts are lost during this transfer period, the buyer will be reimbursed for the lost accounts (unless the accounts are lost because of the buyer’s negligence). The number of accounts lost during this period should be very minimal.
After the route purchase is completed, the seller will provide four weeks of training to the buyer. The first two weeks will consist of hands-on training in service, repairs and preventative maintenance and the second two weeks the seller will be available for additional questions that the buyer might have. During this training period, the buyer receives ALL the income earned. A notification letter should be sent out to all the customers within thirty days of the transfer date (We provide a sample letter).