Pool Route Purchase

Before I even start, I need to clarify something. You have to think of a pool route purchase. In this context…you are buying a business. Does that bring a little more weight to the situation? But this is precisely what you’re thinking of doing. This subject is talked about very casually within the industry. And a lot of the time, there are more who are against it than for it. They claim, “I can take that same money and advertise to build my business for way cheaper.” And these people aren’t wrong. I have done this personally! But is it that much cheaper?

Let’s tell a hypothetical story and timeline of 2 pool pros. Their names will be Rudy and Joe. Rudy has decided to purchase a route of 40 customers while Joe has decided to build from the ground up by advertising only, but his goal is also 40 customers. In this story, I’ll use others’ real-life details in the pool industry while some made-up but realistic information. Like Rudy and Joe – excellent fake names 😊

Pool Route Purchase

Rudy goes online and searches for a pool route for sale. He gets “routed” to a pool broker. He finds the 40 pool route in the general area he wants to operate, and the price is $50,000. The broker provides the details, paperwork, notary, escrow, warranty (90-day pro-rated money-back guarantee if the customer is lost at no fault of Rudy), etc., and the broker makes a 10% fee for this service. (this usually comes out of the seller’s side) Rudy doesn’t need any training, and he’s fully knowledgeable in the pool industry. He starts working right away and has a monthly income of $4,000 for service. Repairs and additional services are extra per our industry standard. So let’s leave Rudy for the moment and meet Joe.

Pool Route Purchase

Joe is going to advertise and build from the ground up.  He thinks he can do this for 1/10th the cost and get just as many customers. Joe set’s aside $5,000 and begins to create his ad campaign. He spends two days getting everything in order, logo, wording on the ads, FB marketplace account, Google account, etc. He even creates a profile on a couple of other social media platforms to advertise for free! The ads launch, and the posts are made. One week passes, Joe has zero accounts. The second week goes by, and the traffic has started to come in.

The phone is ringing, and Joe is going out on bids and estimates. End of week 2, Joe has two clients on the books. Week 3 comes, and the traffic has dipped just a little bit, but Joe ended up getting two more customers for a total of 4. Week 4 is here. Joe continues to have the ads run every week. He is making posts almost every day on the free sites. The best week yet, Joe gets 3 for a new total of 7 at the end of one month. The monthly income on the books is $700 going into month 2.

Buying a Pool Route lll

At the end of the month, Rudy lost two customers. One was his fault, he left the gate open, and the dog got out. The other wasn’t his fault; the owner sold the house, and Rudy couldn’t keep the account. Rudy decides he will give a couple of customers an incentive; if they advertise word of mouth for him, he’ll compensate with a month of free service if he gets new accounts. So his monthly income is down to $3800, but he did get a credit back for the one customer. Joe did the same thing as Rudy, and he gave them an incentive to all his customers to help him grow and compensate with a month of free service.

Let’s move to month two now. Rudy ends up getting one new customer and ends the month with 39 total. Nothing else to report on Rudy; let’s visit Joe. That’s far more exciting!

Joe is hitting his stride! He tripled his business and now has 21 accounts. He decided to double down the amount on the ad spend each week, and he also doubled the amount of time he spends on social media. But, he has not increased his original amount of the $5,000 ad spend, just increased the weekly spend to speed things up. And a few customers referred him to new clients to have some free service coming once the new customers have stayed on for at least a couple of months. Joe is no fool. In a previous venture, he would promise free service before verifying an excellent new client. Not this time. End of month 2, Joe has $2100 incoming on the books. Half his ad spend is gone at this point.

Month 3 – Rudy is unchanged. He has 39 accounts and $3900 on the books. Back to Joe

Joe decided to keep the higher ad spend in place. He is confident he will get to 40 accounts this month but doesn’t hit the goal. He got a few new customers, but he also lost one because he left the gate open. These darn gates are hard to remember to close when you’re so busy. And that customer had also referred Joe to one of the new clients, so Joe lost that one too because they want to use the same pool service. Lame. But Joe stays positive, and he ends the month with 28 accounts and $2800 now on the books.

Our mission is to have every pool company work together to maximize profit, minimize travel time between stops and be kind to the planet. We do this by enabling the swapping of accounts to build efficient routes

Joe Wilmot, President/CEO of Pool Trader


How Can a Homeowner Tell if a Pool Person Has Had Any Training?

Why You Should Hire A Certified Pool Professional

to Maintain Your Backyard Pool

  Lack of Knowledge Could Result In The Formation of Harmful DBPs (Disinfection Byproducts), Zoonoses, Legionella, Equipment Failure, and more..

 Some pool service people have years of experience, and some only say they do. Many pool service people are extremely knowledgeable in their trade and do fantastic work. Others have little to no experience and have no idea what they are doing; or worse, only think they know what they are doing. Then there are those who have simply mislearned along the way.

How Can a home owner make sure the person they are hiring to take care of their swimming pool is a trained professional?

One of the advantages of a swimming pool service company as a foot in the door into entrepreneurship is that the startup cost of the venture is extremely low. In many areas, if you own a pickup truck, really the only investment after that is a handful of chemicals, a pole, and some attachments. That should scare the crap out of you!

A person could literally be on the road and cleaning pools with no experience and a total investment of less than a thousand dollars.

There must be a law against this?

In most states there are no licensure requirements for an individual to clean, maintain, and chemically treat residential pools; in most states, there are no educational requirements necessary to clean, maintain, and chemically treat residential pools. None, Nada, Zippola, Nothing at all!!! Still, most Pool Professionals care enough about the safety of their customers and attend educational courses whether they are required or not. Most, not all.

This means that the individual toting chlorine into your back yard could have literally woke up this morning and, without any water chemistry knowledge what-so-ever, decided they were going to be a pool person.

Why is this so Scary?

There is a lot that can go wrong if someone does not know what they are doing. If treated incorrectly, it could lead to thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs in repairs, and a massive decrease in the longevity of the pool and it’s equipment. On top of that, there are literally lives at stake in pool care: drowning, entrapment; injury, and disease are all possibilities. 

FYI: Chlorine Does Not Kill Everything

Most folks have the false belief that the chemicals involved are simply used to keep the pool free of algae. Just throw stuff in, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is actually quite a bit of complex chemistry involved and a lot of what is put into the water is to keep the pool safe and free of disease. Yes, if your pool is not maintained properly it could be a source of illness for your family. In fact, some harmful byproducts can exist in your pool water simply because the pool chemicals were added incorrectly. Then consider that even hazy water has it’s risks and is known to be a contributing factor in many drownings.

The World Health Organization & the National Environmental Health Association view waterborne zoonoses (diseases of animals that people can get) in recreational water venues (swimming pools, spas, etc.) as an emerging health concern

Breakpoint Chlorination training to rid pools of carcinogenic chloramines

Improper, or neglectful, maintenance practices will shorten the life of your equipment and needlessly cost the homeowner hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair or replacement. Keep in mind, the pool itself is not bulletproof.

24 states in the U.S. require a Pool Service Person to have successfully completed a Pool Operator Certification course in order to Clean, Maintain, or Chemically Treat a public swimming pool. 

Discussing filter care and operation at a manufacturing facility

How do you know if the person taking care of your pool has had any training?

Ask to see it! Ask to see a CPO Certification, AFO Certification, PPSO Certification, or Pool Contractor’s license (where available). Whether it’s required or not to maintain a backyard pool, this is the only document a pool professional can provide that proves they have attended a training program that focusses on the health, safety and chemical treatment of swimming pools. Wouldn’t you want your home pool held to the same standards (at a minimum) of what the State Health Department requires for a pool at a park, university, hotel, HOA, or resort? Your backyard pool is NOT the place to lower the bar!

You ask for references and read reviews, why wouldn’t you ask to see proof that the individual providing you with an estimate has received the training necessary to do the job? Ask to see a currently valid Certificate attesting to the pool professional’s successfully meeting the requirements of the pool operator certification program, or contractor licensure where required.

Ask To See It!

Will possessing one of these certificates guarantee that the individual standing before you with telepole in hand is the Pool Whisperer? No, but it will guarantee that the individual has attended and met the requirements of an in-depth educational program developed by one of the leading authorities in the swimming pool industry. These programs are available at a nominal fee (typically only around $300 per student) and are recognized worldwide as the standard in swimming pool education. Shouldn’t your pool person be certified?

What is included in the Training?

The CPO® (Certified Pool Operator) Certification, AFO (Aquatic Facility Operator) Certification, and PPSO (Professional Pool/Spa Operator) Certification classes are a combination of classroom and hands-on instruction at the tutelage and supervision of an Instructor certified by the associated educational foundation (National Swimming Pool Foundation®, National Recreation & Parks Association, or the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, respectively). Each course, at different levels of difficulty, covers: Water testing; Water chemistry; Algae treatment; Treatment and prevention of zoonoses common to improperly maintained swimming pools; Pool water problems; Filter and Pump operation; Equipment sizing; Chemical handling safety; Suction entrapment prevention; Troubleshooting; State Health Department code; and more.

Backyard pools are subject to the same hazards and injury/illness concerns as a public pool. It might not be a requirement in your state for a Pool Person to have one of the certifications listed above in order to care for residential pools, but there are many Pool Professionals in your area who have chosen to make that investment in Education anyway. They value your Investment and regard the Safety of you & your family so highly that they attend the training session and earn their certification, whether it is required or not. Don’t you want your pool person to have some type of training?

You have a lot at stake. Hire a trained Pool Professional!

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