It's time to return to my personal Carfagno Cleaning business for some updates. I got a call through my website after a referral from my TLF Philly friend, Emily Brunner. This is also "Innocent Emily" from "The Benevolent Benefactor". Stephanie is a house manager for a homeowner with a 7,000 square foot house in a wealthy suburb of Philly. She does all of the business to manage the home for the busy owner. I was very upfront and shared my prices would be $250-$500 per visit and could give many options. I gave optimizer prices. It's a little further than I'd like to travel, but the price could be worth it. She liked my approach and scheduled the estimate. I told her that I'd be able to give a tighter ballpark price window after the estimate. She could then request detailed options if the ballpark fit. I am literally trying to get her to filter out if I'm not the right fit. I can only do this because I was recommended, have a great website, and I'm starting a waiting list. This is a perfect combination of creating demand as an Optimizer. Don't copy me if you're NOT an Optimizer! The night before the estimate, I had an uneasiness about going to the estimate and shared it with my wife. She sensed that I was about to possibly take on a client that was high-paying, but possibly high-drama. That's NOT the type of client I want, so I called Stephanie back and said this. "I'm really sorry, but I need to decline the estimate. It's out of my service area and I'm not sure if I can fit it in as a solo cleaner. I do have a friend that I recommend. She serves your neighborhood." Then I connected the two and both were very appreciative. This was a win-win-win. Stephanie gets what she wants. My friend got a lead. Emily looks good that she had a great referral. I don't get the client and that's a good thing. Plus, I created future reciprocity between me and my other local cleaner friend. This is why I turned work down this week the first time.
I did it again. My local friend Shelby referred me to a realtor Bernadette. She was very sweet and respectful of my time. I wasn't sure if I could do the job as my schedule was tight, but I found a way to help Bernadette anyway. She was super impressed with my level of detail and how I priced the job between $250-$500 and why. It continues to build my "Specialist" branding for real estate presentation cleaning in my new area. I wrapped up the week with a call from Bernadette. The potential cleaning date changed to a time I could have snuck in, but it really wasn't convenient. Therefore, I exercised my option to say no and turned down the job. I NEVER turned down work as an Initializer or Stabilizer in either of my two businesses. But as an Optimizer, I have options. I didn't just say no and get off the phone. I prepared her for how to do the job and what to tell the next cleaner. I did some more consulting for the realtor. At the end of the call, she was happier with me than if I had done the job. She's going to refer me even though I never cleaned for her. All I did was explain the way that I artistically view and clean a house from real estate sales, which I call real estate presentation cleaning. I helped her figure out a strategy between the seller and the tenant that was there to get the house prepared for pictures while saving money on cleaning. She was thrilled. I explained that companies like mine know how to see the house like the realtor & stager to maximize first impressions to help the house sell for more. I offered a different product than other cleaning companies and therefore cost much more. She completely understood and agreed. She said this. "Ken, you're in a league of my own." She wanted to know my websites for cleaning and the real estate consulting I did. I love this comment. I had said that I trained people in this art and when you find people like me it costs more for the cleaning because you get a better product which helps you sell the house better. This is all in my Real Estate Presentation Cleaning Course.
I also cleaned 6 houses on Thursday and Friday after completing my Optimizer's Scorecard. I had a goal to start getting faster at each house to increase my score and Optimizer status. I got all 6 done in under 3 hours, which was a big improvement as half of them were taking over 3.5 hours before. The Optimizer Tools that I used were the 80/20 Rule, Parkinson's Law, and better equipment. The new vacuum attachment and longer mop poll alone saved me a ton of time.
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.