I've been cleaning homes since 2006 and have noticed a dramatic increase in home security as technology improves. Alarms have gone from wired to wireless. Cameras surveil various angles and locations of the home. Garages have keypads. Families are more secure than ever and they can do so at an expense less than it used to cost. This happens so predictively that economists give it a name.
The early adopters pay the most like cell phones in the '90s or tvs in the '50s. Once the technology reaches critical mass (around 10% market penetration), the technology floods the market until it cheapens with market saturation around 90%. This is called 'S-Curve' economics. As a side note, this is a fascinating phenomenon to study. Home security has undergone the same S-curve. Check out this statement from a recent article on the state of home security.
"Around 20% of homes in America have security systems, but this percentage is expected to increase over the next five years. In fact, experts predict that the number of homes with security systems will increase by 64% in that time period."
The early adopters of home security were in the '70's, '80's, and '90's. It took 40 years for home security systems to reach 10% market penetration or critical mass. It has taken roughly 10 more years to go from 10% to 20% of all homes secure in the US. This article predicts a jump to over 80% in the next 5 years! That's an 'S-curve' for sure! But I ask you. Is this normalizing effect causing homeowners to feel over-confident?
Unfortunately, I've noticed another trend. Homeowners are forgetting to lock their windows at an increasing rate. I'm a detailed house cleaner and clean complete kitchens and bathrooms, baseboards, wood trim, light switches, window ledges & sills over the course of time. I treat every client as if I was cleaning for my own family. Therefore, I'm a noticer! One of my clients was away for 5 days vacation and scheduled cleaning on the day of their arrival home. While I was there, I noticed that all 4 windows on the first floor were unlocked! These 4 windows happened to be the ones to the left and right of the front door on the porch. This discovery made me uneasy, so I locked them and notified the family. They were so thankful.
I notice unlocked windows more often in upstairs bedrooms. However, you'd be surprised how many windows I've locked in my 15 years cleaning houses on the first floor! I'm not a psychologist, but I will hypothesize. We are placing too much trust in our technology. Many homeowners in suburbia believe that their neighborhoods are safe. Therefore, they can leave their car doors, front doors, and windows open. If there was an intruder, the alarm system would pick it up. I learned recently from a bank professional that criminals are getting smarter too. They are not the Water Bandits from "Home Alone" that can be thwarted by a 7-year-old boy with lots of toys, tacks, and tar. These criminals are timing their crimes to steal from moms while they drop off kids at daycare. They target shopping parking lots. And they target the most "trusting" homeowners. I'm sure this is not new to anyone reading this.
I'm going to plead with you. Fellow solo cleaners, please serve your clients through your attention to detail and safeguard their homes. If windows are unlocked or open, close and lock them. If something is spilled or broken, let them know. If anything in the house is off or unsafe at all, especially while your clients are away on vacation, let them know and offer to help fix it. I urge you to do the same if you clean offices. I'll even go further. Educate your clients on things you've noticed elsewhere. Tell them to lock their windows when they leave as it's a common safety risk. These simple actions will help protect your clients while building tremendous trust with you as their cleaner.
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.