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January 27, 2017 Residential Cleaning Connection Newsletter
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News, Networking & Events for the Residential Cleaning Professional

January 27, 2017 | Volume 8 | Issue 1  


Embracing the Unknown

Assessing the Impact of Minimum Wage Hikes

Upcoming Events Around the Industry

Take Your Cleaning Business to the Next Level with the HCT

Same Hours But More Pay For Cleaners

Employee Issues Focus of Hot Topic Roundtable

What Is the Most Important Interview Question?

New Year, New Schedule

Send Us Your Member News

First Quarter Specials from Bissell





Embracing the Unknown

by RJ Patel, Chair, ISSA Residential Cleaning Council

Last year I received a phone call from Ernie Hartong and he told me that ARCSI had a new opportunity. He explained the details of a possible merger of ARCSI with ISSA.

My first thought was anxiety because of the unknown. What would this mean for ARCSI? What would happen to the family we had built at the association over the last decade? I knew if I had these concerns, so would the rest of the Board and the members.

We had several conference calls with the team, then we established a task force to delve into this opportunity. As the incoming chair of the Residential Council, I was on the task force and went with to Chicago with the team to meet with ISSA. We met John Barrett, the CEO of ISSA, who is the mastermind behind ISSA. I wasn't sure what to expect but the meeting was nothing like what I had expected. The meeting was anything but stiff and corporate. They were casual and friendly. One thing John told us has stuck with me since that meeting. He said ARCSI will still be ARCSI – just on steroids. Going from a staff of 3 to 50 is ARCSI on steroids and represents the opportunities that we have in front of us.

I have spent most of this week in a conference with the Residential Cleaning Council, the Emeritus Council and several key members of the ISSA staff team. In the words of Tom Stewart, I think we “laid the foundation for how the world sees housecleaning.” We talked in depth on how consumers generally view the residential cleaning profession and in many cases, don't even see us as professionals. We are in the service industry and are no different than building contractors, electricians, etc. We are going to continue our efforts that began with the 2nd Decade Campaign in creating an awareness among the public of the need to hire a professional to clean your home.

The Council also spent significant time and energy on discussing how we can grow the membership. As a young association, ARCSI struggled to create awareness among residential cleaning companies of our existence and the benefits to your company. With the support of ISSA, those struggles have been minimized. We have the very real opportunity to pull more companies into our ranks and make our vision for ARCSI a reality.

Near the conclusion, I asked the Council to put into words how they felt about the future of ARCSI. Here is how they responded:

After leaving the retreat this week, I am filled with even more optimism than I was during our initial task force meetings. I think this was a beautiful marriage between ISSA and ARCSI and I am looking forward to our future.

I encourage you to take advantage of all that ISSA and ARCSI have to offer. Also be on the watch for more to come on what your membership can mean to you! If you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to contact Ernie Hartong or me.


RJ Patel



                   SURVEY SAYS



Assessing the Impact of Minimum Wage Hikes

Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington all voted to increase the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour by 2020. Washington approved a raise to $13.50 an hour by 2020; Colorado calls for $12 by 2020, but with the wage pegged to the cost of living after that. In South Dakota, a ballot initiative was defeated that called for lowering the minimum wage for non-tipped employees under 18.

Are you in a state that has already approved a minimum wage hike? What type of impact do you think this will have on your business?

So far, 100% of those voting believe the minimum wage hike will have a significant impact on their business.

Share your thoughts and experiences with us in this new online survey.


                    UPCOMING EVENTS 








Upcoming Events Around the Industry

Speed Cleaning for the Pros 2017
Two Days of Advanced Owners and Manager's Training

Debbie Sardone will share the most profitable way to speed up your staff without sacrificing quality! A 2-Day crash course for owners and key staffers: you’ll want to bring along your manager and training staff! This course could literally save you thousands of dollars each year in lost productivity alone, while improving your customer retention rate at the same time.

Friday, February 24 Saturday, February 25, 2017
Speed Cleaning Headquarters, Lewisville, Texas
For more information visit, or call 972-827-7837.

Spring Growth 2017 with Cleaning Business Builders

This one-day event will be jam packed with information on the systems you need to grow your business in the coming year. It will take place in Indianapolis on Saturday April 8th. The location will be announced soon.

Topics will include:

  • Guerrilla Marketing
  • Systems Your Need for Success
  • Employee Orientation and Training
  • Adjusting and Raising Prices
  • Exit Strategies for your Business

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Indianapolis, Indiana (Exact location TBA)
For more information visit or call (843) 569-4686.

Quality Driven Spring Seminar

This interactive workshop will feature key speakers in both the maid service and lawn care industry. No other seminar will give you “one-on-one” time with the speakers and owners from your industry. We promise you will leave with actionable Items you can use in your business immediately. Our speakers include:

  • Debbie Sardone, The Maid Coach and owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service
  • Jonathan Pototschnick, CEO, Service Autopilot
  • Matt Ricketts, Better Life Maids, ARCSI Residential Cleaning Council member

Thursday, April 13 – Saturday, April 15, 2017
Post Oak Lodge, Tulsa, Oklahoma
For more information visit or call 512-931-4QDS (4737).


Take Your Cleaning Business to the Next Level with the HCT

The HCT Certification sets your company apart from others and there are several opportunities to get your HCT this year. Here are two great opportunities to get your House Cleaning Technician (HCT) Certification:

The House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification program teaches cleaning technicians how to go about doing just that. Becoming certified gives you the knowledge to be the best cleaner possible. Certified House Cleaning Techs understand all the surfaces they will find in clients' homes, how to clean them and (almost more importantly) how NOT to clean them. 

Offered by the IICRC accredited school, the Institute for Service Excellence, the course is taught by Bruce Vance, ISE.

The HCT will help you to differentiate your business from others. Hear what other members are saying about the course:

"I took the HCT Class at the ARCSI Convention. I was sure I was only going to learn a few things. I figured that after cleaning for over 20 years I knew most of what would be taught. Boy, was I wrong! I was so impressed with the vast amount of information presented and its value to me as an owner."
-- Eugena Bring

"The classes were awesome! I learned a lot and was very encouraged. I feel that I can now bid my jobs with more confidence because I am better educated."
-- Angela Altrichter

                   INDUSTRY NEWS





Same Hours But More Pay For Cleaners

by Sharon Tinberg, Rags to Riches

With the passing of the hectic holidays I am back on the road again. This month I spent a week in an office in Virginia and am now in an office in Houston dropping seeds of hope amid the cleaners and owners.

The seeds of hope I dropped in these two offices – not unlike the offices I visited in 2016 – were more pay for the same hours for the cleaners and dependability on the part of the cleaners for the owners. In this article, I will cover how we are able to give more hours to cleaners without lengthening their day. In the next article, I will cover dependability for the owner.

I believe it goes without saying that all workers and owners would like to bring home more money without extending their already long days. In this industry, our margins are tight. Paying more money per hour or a higher percentage per home is simply not in the margins.

Then how can your cleaners make more money without dedicating more time to their jobs? Think quality of time and not quantity of time. Are your cleaners maximizing their revenue generating hours from the time they leave their homes in the morning until they return to their homes in the evening or are they spending a couple hours a day in non-revenue generating activities? When cleaners look at their paychecks they are not thinking about the actual paid hours, especially if they are paid on percentage, they are thinking about how long their days are for the money they are receiving.

There is a way that you can increase that money for your cleaners by $20-30 per day without lengthening the time in their day. The answer is really quite simple, especially in today’s world of GPS tracking and Internet work orders. Do not bring your cleaners into the office every day. Only bring them in once – or max twice – a week for their supplies and one-on-ones. Send them directly from their homes to their first job and send them directly home after their last job. This allows the average team to clean one more home per day increasing their paychecks and your revenue.

Cleaners were filled with hope and smiles when we rolled this program out in the two offices I visited this month, as they did in 2016. What is even more remarkable is that this system is equally advantageous to the owner, if not more advantageous, than the cleaner in terms of time and money.

  • Your payroll will be greatly reduced. If you pay hourly this can save you as much as two hours of payroll per day per cleaner. Just like any other job the clock starts when they get to work and they get to work when they get to their first job, not when they get to the office and then drive to the first home. If your cleaners are percentage you still need to give them something for their time in the office and going directly to the first home eradicates that need.
  • If you use company vehicles, allowing your team supervisor to take the vehicle home will turn that vehicle into a walking billboard. Having your company vehicles sitting in your parking lot during rush hour traffic does not generate any sales for your company. (In my last article I discussed the benefits of company vehicles in terms of marketing for cleaners. This addition enhances those benefits ten times.)

Not bringing your cleaners into your office every morning and every night will return to you two hours of time per day that you can spend selling, organizing, visiting teams, etc. If I had brought my 52 cleaners into the office every day I would not have had 754 repeat clients because we would not have had the time to sell and service that many clients. We literally got very little done on the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I brought all of the cleaners into the office. If I had it to do all over again I would only bring them in once a week.

It will take some co-ordination for each team and you will need to call clients to let them know you will be there at 8 am and not 9 am but it will be well worth your effort. You will be amazed at how many clients will be thrilled to have you arrive earlier.

If you would like to speak to the two owners that are in the process of transitioning to this system feel free to call or email:

Sharon Tinberg is a national residential cleaning service coach who has worked with cleaning companies across North America.




Employee Issues Focus of Hot Topic Roundtable in January

Roundtables are always a great opportunity for give and take discussions with your peers. In January, during a Hot Topic Tuesday Roundtable focused on employee issues that are plaguing members.

One caller in particular voiced some serious concerns and asked the group for feedback. Here is the situation shared:

“I came in as manager about one month ago. There were employees drinking on the job. Employees taking confidential information out of the office. Employees were bringing past employees into the clients’ homes. I am trying to get this under control. I am interviewing all the time but I cannot bring in the right people. I have lost some of our best employees.”

With over 30 in attendance on the call, ideas started coming from all directions, including:

  • If someone wants to leave that is a problem employee, let them go.
  • Redo the employee manual that details what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
  • If you are able to increase your starting wage, it may help pull in a better crop of employees. Too many other companies pay more than minimum wage so there is a lot of competition for employees.
  • I am facing a constant turnover. I bring employees in and invest in getting them trained and then they are gone. Our focus for 2017 is “what we can do to retain the best employees?”

What Is the Most Important Interview Question?

Interviewing is a critical step in the hiring process. This is the step where you can identify the hidden treasures out there in the job market.

Find out what Mel Kleiman identifies as the most important interview question. 


                   ARCSI NEWS


New Year, New Schedule

By now it's old news that on Jan. 1, ARCSI merged with ISSA. With that merger comes several changes, one of which will be the changes to our publications schedule. We are adding so many new pieces, we wanted to give you a heads up on what to expect in the near future.

  • Residential Cleaning Connection
    Electronic newsletter delivered the last Friday of every month
  • ISSA Clean Scene
    Electronic newsletter sent on the 2nd Tuesday of every month
  • ISSA Today
    Print magazine delivered bi-monthly

There will be a lot more details forthcoming on your ISSA membership. Watch your inbox and your mail to take advantage of the resources now available to you.


Send Us Your Member News

Has your business expanded recently? 
Maybe you moved to a new office? 
Has your team has been doing work in the community?

All of these are great things and we want to hear about it! Please send all of your news and highlights to ARCSI at

                   INDUSTRY PARTNERS 


First Quarter Specials from Bissell

Download this flyer to get complete details on the first quarter specials from Bissell BigGreen Commercial. On special, they are offering:

  • Special #1: Package Deal Lightweight Commercial Upright and Canister Ultra
  • Special #2: Buy 8 Spot Cleaners, Get 1 Free




more Calendar

Hot Topic Tuesday: Happy Memorial Day!

Residential Networking Event

6/22/2018 » 6/23/2018
IICRC House Cleaning Technician Certification Class (Portland, Maine)


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