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December 28: The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

December 28, 2012 - Vol 3, Issue 24

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources


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ARCSI Industry Partner-Moody's Insurance Visit us in Vegas!
Cleaning for a reason

Ernie's Etching

Where Do You Find 111,600 new cleaners?

I had a phone conversation with a staff person from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( She is responsible for the Occupational Outlook Handbook for the SOC 37-2012 entitled Maids & Housecleaners.

(Sidebar: SOC is Standard Occupational Classification, The 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is used by Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data.)

All workers are classified into one of 840 detailed occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, detailed occupations are combined to form 461 broad occupations, 97 minor groups, and 23 major groups. Detailed occupations in the SOC with similar job duties, and in some cases skills, education, and/or training, are grouped together. General questions concerning the SOC may be sent by email or faxed to 202-691-6444.Handbook is available at

, Search "Maids".

According to BLS, there are 1, 427,300 people employed in our industry. The average wage is $9.28 per hour, and between 2010 and 2020, 111,600 new jobs will be created in the industry.

If you visit the page you will see the comments under "How to Become A Maid or Housecleaner" it says, "no formal training or education required. Most workers learn on the job." I took exception to this comment. Formal and ongoing training is what separates professional ARCSI members from others in the industry.

Comments like this are why we have a great challenge to change the perception of our industry to one that does require formal training, and successful, professional companies go far beyond basic OJT, and provide their cleaners with on-going, formal professional training and information so consumers can feel confident that the professional cleaner entering their home will use the right product, on the right surface, in the proper manner to insure the best possible result.

The ARCSI/IICRC House Cleaning Technician certification program is part of that ongoing training. I hope I convinced the BLS to change their description to reflect this need for more formal, ongoing training if you are going to be a professional housecleaner. If the government does not recognize our industry as professionals, why should the consumer?

Want help in finding top-notch qualified employees, plan to attend our spring leadership conference in Dallas, April 25-27, 2013.

Register today!

Have a safe and happy New Year.

Ernie Sig

World-class speakers, top home cleaning business coaches and residential cleaning industry leaders will all be in Dallas April 25 - 27 for the Extreme Business Makeover. Will you?

You chance to register with a monthly payment option expires Dec. 31.

Terri Langhans CSP, will give you tangible takeaways at her session. Things you can go home and implement to get your phone ringing immediately. A former advertising agency leader, Terri knows how to cut through the clutter and get your marketing noticed. Don't miss your chance for expert advice.

Southwest Airlines is known for their customer service and "can do" attitude. Their Director of OnBoarding, Cheryl Hughey will be at the Extreme Business Makeover to tell you how to hire for attitude and train for skills. Your entire staff can benefit from your time with Cheryl.

Where else are you going to get time with three of the industry's top business coaches, all under one roof? Renee O'Brien of SharpChip Consulting, Debbie Sardone of The Maid Coach, Sharon Tinberg of Rags to Riches, Tammy Spivey of Maid Sevices of America, and Derek Christian of ISE and My Maid Servicewill all be teaching sessions at the Extreme Business Makeover. You can't afford to miss that amount of expertise all in one room!

There are only three (3) days left to take advantage of the monthly payment offer. Register today and spread your payments over 4 months. As of January 1, payment is due in full at the time of registration.

Click here for more information and to register now.

The new year is right around the corner. Have you set goals for your business and yourself yet? The hardest part of achieving your goals can sometimes be accountability. You are the only one who knows about them, so if you miss them by a few weeks, a few months or a year, no one will know but you, right?

Being held accountable for hitting or missing your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. When getting serious about exercise, many experts recommend a buddy to help keep you honest. In many industries, mentors help those coming along to keep focused on their goals and help them navigate distractions and mishaps.

ARCSI Synergy Groups work the same way,. These intimate groups meet monthly via conference call to confidentially coach one another through business or personal issues and help each other solve problems. Many members refer to it as their "personal advisory board."

Commit to your goals in 2013. Join an ARCSI Synergy Group today. You can start by downloading an Interest Profile here and returning it via email to Chris Zimmer at Don't short-change yourself or your business. you can do this!

Fast Company, a magazine and website devoted to business, has named its top 10 business books of 2012.

10. Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, by Frank Partnoy

9. The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World, by Frans Johansson

8. Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business, by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, Tsun-Yan Hsieh

7. Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate, by Amy Jo Martin

6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

5. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown

4. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't, by Nate Silver

3. Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, by Robert Pozen

2. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
Benchmarking offers businesses large and small a chance to evaluate their processes and procedures and compare them against those of their peers. It offers perspective on what you are doing well, what needs improvements and how you compare to other companies your size.

ARCSI is undertaking its first ever benchmarking survey in January. ARCSI staff, Board and Research Committee members are excited about the possibilities of what we, and all ARCSI members, can learn from the results.

But the results are only as good the information we receive. That's why we need every ARCSI member to watch for their confidential email survey in January, take 5 - 10 minutes and answer some basic questions about your business.

The results will not only help you and other ARCSI members, but it helps staff as we discuss the residential cleaning industry with the press and continues to build credibility in our industry.

For questions or concerns regarding the ARCSI benchmarking survey, contact Chris Zimmer at or 614-547-0887.

Great employees posses a wide range of easily-defined-but hard to find-qualities. Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance.

Here are eight qualities Inc. Magazine has defined as those of remarkable employees:

1. They ignore job descriptions. They think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

2. They're eccentric.The best employees are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.

3. But they know when to dial it back. An unusual personality is a lot of fun... until it isn't. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team.

4. They publicly praise. Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person and in group settings, where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain. We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won't. Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately. Remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They're always fiddling. Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.

Great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to, but because they just can't help it.

To read the entire article at, click here.

As 2012 draws to a close and we begin looking toward 2013, there's one theme already bubbling to the surface: businesses will be evaluating their workforce structures next year.

Every healthy business looks at their staffing approach from time to time, but with regulation changes, minimum wage increases and modest economic recovery at play in 2013, owners and operators are focused, perhaps more now than ever, on the workforce composition - i.e., part time vs. full time - that will deliver the best results for their business.

There's no magic formula to determine the right workforce structure. The approach that best serves your business is influenced by hard costs, organizational structure, consumer demand, legal requirements, etc. But before you dig into any of those factors, you need a solid understanding of the pros and cons of the two primary workforce approaches: part-time vs full-time.

- Part-time pros: Workforces made up of largely part-time hourly employees provide for reduced compensation and benefit costs; are attractive to desirable workforce demographic segments, such as students; and allow for greater schedule flexibility, which lets employers adjust staff levels to meet consumer demand.

- Part-time cons: However, part-time workforces may see less employee loyalty - including higher turnover - and inconsistent employee productivity. In addition, with higher turnover, and a larger workforce, you could see elevated training costs.

- Full-time pros: Workforces composed of mostly full-time hourly employees have the potential for higher productivity and service consistency due to high retention, strong employee loyalty, more solid team unity and a great ability to promote from within.

- Full-time cons: On the flip side,full-time workforces tend to carry higher compensation and benefit costs. And because you're depending on a smaller workforce to carry a larger workload, it's critical that you're committed to building your workforce strategically, even if it may take a little longer to find the best employees.

Click here to continue reading.

Congratulations to Laura Barnard and her staff at Grakei Maids in Madison, WI. They recently upgraded to an ARCSI Gold Membership.

Laura has been an ARCSI member since 2008. Visit their great website and go to the "Staff" tab for a verycool video of her staff. Great idea on a different way to feature your staff when customers visit your website. Nicejob Laura.

Why not consider upgrading to a Gold membership? Added value includes complimentary Convention registration, free monthly webinar registration, and discounts on items fromthe ARCSI store. Questions? Contact Chris Zimmer, Director of Membership, 614-547-0887, or
January is often a slow time in the residential cleaning industry. Why not take that time to revamp you marketing plan (or start developing one) and adding a few new, inexpensive advertising efforts to that plan?

One of those tactics is a "Warm Letter Campaign." Develop a list of all of your networking contacts, people you know by first name and those you've met and would like to get to know better. Sending a warm, personal letter to those contacts can generate an amazing amount of business for not a lot of cash.

Pam Washington of Build My Cleaning Business will present this idea and strategy on the ARCSI January 16 webinar at 7:30 pm Eastern/4:30 pm Pacific. Pam will cover:
  • Creating a plan that fits your budget and company size
  • Enlisting the aid of an "unpaid sales force" to locate & refer ideal clients to you
  • Implementing a campaign sized to meet your needs
  • Making sure people open, read and respond to your solicitation
  • Closing sales, rewarding results and following up
  • Tracking your progress and improving your results

Don't miss this chance to grow your business during a historically slow month!

Click here to register today.

Tips, Tools and Techniques to Attract Top Talent

by Mel Kleiman, CSP, 2012 ARCSI Convention Speaker

1.What is your UEP (Unique Employment Proposition)? What do you offer that your competitors don't? Make a list of the top 10 reasons a STAR employee should come to work for you. The easiest way to come up with a list of why STAR employees is to ask your best employees why they came to work for you; what makes them stay; and what they like most about their jobs and the company.

2.Ask everyone who gives you an employee referral one question: Is this a referral or a recommendation? This will tell you if the person who gave you the referral actually knows the person and is willing to put their own name and reputation on the line. (This question is worth asking when you get a referral for a vendor you think you may want to work with too.)

3.Do not help your competition. When you get a call asking for a reference on a STAR employee who left you, you've just been put on notice that he or she is looking for a new job. So, before you give the requested references, tell the caller that you will have to call the former employee for their permission to release the information. Ask the caller for the former employee's current telephone number, then call your former STAR and ask if he or she would consider coming back. If the answer is no, you'll still have made the person feel good and he or she may very well think of you next time they're ready for a change.

4.To change the results, change the sign. The same headline, same message, and same location will con-tinue to attract the same types and kinds of applicants. If you want more and/or different kinds of applicants, change your headline, message, and/or location. For example, if you mainly hire men, take your ad out of the employment section of the newspaper and run it on the sports page. For part-time jobs, try: Be Home When Your Kids Are Home.

5.Think inside the box. Before you go looking outside your organization, look at the people you already have on board to see if anyone on staff can do the job or if there is someone who this job would be a stretch for, but who deserves the opportunity to grow. Promoting from within motivates your entire staff and it?s nice to discover the person you need for the new position is a person you hired two years ago.

6.Divvy up recruiting responsibilities. If you have more than one manager at a location, divide the recruiting responsibilities between them. Have one focus on re-ferrals, another on outside organizations (schools, church groups, state employment agencies), and an-other on the Internet (Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other social media and job boards).

7.Get rid of Help Wanted signs. Help Wanted isn?t a good reason for anyone to want to work for you. If you want to recruit STAR applicants, you need to tell them why they want to apply. Instead of Now Hiring, how about: Our growth is your opportunity or Come for the job, stay for the career. Santa needs helpers and so do we is a much better message than Holiday help needed.

8.Frustration is good as long as it is the other company?s employee who is frustrated. Somebody else?s frustrated employee is most likely one of your best prospects. Research shows that over 20 percent of the people who are employed are frustrated by their jobs. The same research shows that these people, in most cases, are some of the best employees and are trying to do a great job, but they have not been given the tools, training, and respect they deserve. They are overworked and underappreciated. Why not run an ad that reads: Are you frustrated and looking for a change? Or, how about: Frustrated Nurses, Apply Now with your 24/7 job hotline number. (Just drop in your job title in place of the word ?nurses.?)

9.Never stop looking for your next employee. Today?s employees do not believe it is disloyal to look for a job while they are working for you and the same needs to hold true for hiring managers. You always need to be looking for your next STAR employee. Recruiting is a proactive function and a key component of building your business.

10. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Nobody really wants to buy light bulbs. We buy light bulbs because we want light. The same goes for work. No one really wants a job; they want the benefits the job gives them: security, growth opportunities, challenges, recognition, respect, relationships, and the list goes on. I cannot tell you what each applicant wants most because only the applicant knows that, but I can tell you how to find out what applicants value most: Ask them what they want or expect from their jobs.

The Maids International (TMI) - TMI is a professional home cleaning service with locations all over the US. They are a consulting client of The DiJulius Group and are dedicated to revolutionizing the home cleaning experience. Earlier this month, DiJulius featured the company in his weekly blog:

This past year The Maids International have made a lot of progress building a world-class customer service organization. One of the first things we helped them with was the creation of their Service Vision Statement & Pillars, which was created by the Franchisee Advisory Committee (FAC). Everyone left there excited about what they had created, but also understanding that the success of their rollout was dependent on every employee in the company seeing the importance of their role in making the service vision come to life with every customer.

Walking the Talk - A few months after we launched the SV company-wide, we had another workshop with the FAC. As we were talking about how well the front-line employees had bought into the service vision, one of the top franchisees, Wesley Dunn, franchisee in Durham, NC, shared a great story.

Wes talked about how he went to a customer's house to price a weekly cleaning and found an elderly woman who lived by herself in a small home that has a steep driveway. While he was there, he noticed that she had an empty garbage can sitting at the end of her driveway. So Wes brought it up to the garage for her, a simple act of kindness. Wes went on to explain that as a result of this, every Wednesday night on his way home from work, he stops at this woman's home to take out her one garbage can and every Thursday night on his way home, he stops to bring it back up to the garage.

It certainly isn't about the money: her cleaning service is one of the smallest contracts they have. You can tell Wes was extremely proud to share this story. I asked him if thinks he would have done this same type of thing a year ago, before the Maids rolled out the Service Vision. He replied, "I would like to think so, but I don't know for sure. What I do know is that I realized if I wanted my employees to behave like this, I needed to. It starts with me."

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