a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Feb, 2011

Welcome to our newest patron: Concierge Home Services

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons

I shouldn’t say NEW exactly. Concierge Home Services has been a quiet supporter since Christmas but I wanted to take a moment to welcome them officially.

CHS offers parents what they really need: a second pair of hands. Scratch that, it’s a second pair of experienced and focused hands. They are more than just a cleaning company, they are a total household management company. They can take care of carpet cleaning, window washing (THEY DO WINDOWS! Woot!), and duct cleaning. They can feed your cat (or fish, or hamster) or just check on the house and make sure your plumbing hasn’t exploded or that the furnace hasn’t died while you’re on holidays (things your home insurance policy requires)!

They can make your life a heck of a lot easier. And mine too, come to think of it. I have this argument with myself all of the time. Why would I pay someone to scrub the baseboards and polish the floors when I can do that myself? But the cold hard reality is that I work. And the cleaning I manage to accomplish can be summed up as surface cleaning. Sure… I cook, I do laundry, I pick things up, I clean the kitchen and the bathrooms and vacuum, but that’s not deep cleaning. And so the baseboards and the windows and the floors go without the proper attention they deserve. Gah.

The reason why we haven’t hired someone to save my baseboards is that I am secretly afraid someone is going to raid my underwear drawer and sell my bras to the highest bidder. :) I asked Rebecca Page (she takes care of Marketing & Franchising for CHS) about security (not about my bras silly). It comes down to this: they are very selective about the staff they hire. There are lots of people who apply who don’t get an interview. There are people they interview who don’t qualify for their training program. There are people who are trained and don’t get hired. By the time they DO hire someone there’s been an interview, a reference check, a police check, and CHS has spent 10 – 15 hours working with them to ensure that they are reliable, trustworthy, and know how to work. In 10 years they have never had an issue of theft or any other misconduct. 

All staff are fully insured, bonded, and in uniform. You are matched with one staff member so you always get the same person coming in your home. They take the time to get to know the specific cleaning needs of your home too. (i.e. you consistently have food stuck under the high chair.) The cleaning routine is based on your needs, your preferences, and your budget. Here’s the rub: it’s cheaper than you might think. (Besides, HOW MUCH is my sanity worth? Hmmm. LET ME PONDER THAT FOR A MOMENT.)

Rates depend on a bunch of things: the size of the home and the family, their expectations, and other variables i.e. there are three generations of farmers raising sheepdogs in a six-bathroom three floor house.

For an example of their rates, check out the page of the person who manages the Orleans area. Apparently their pricing is about 25% less than Molly Maid. It’s kind of a given that they can’t compete with independent cleaners, but if you ask me, it’s risky to hire someone privately for a lower price. With no liability insurance or workers comp, if something gets broken/stolen/damaged or someone gets injured it might end up being costly for the homeowner.

As an aside, CHS has won the Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau two times. Partly because their damage rate and complaint rate was each less than 1%.

As a final note I wanted to mention that CHS was started by an Ottawa mom as a home-based business 10 years ago and the company has remained true to their roots in work-life balance. Two franchisees are Ottawa moms who operate a Concierge Home Services franchise from their homes. I think that’s pretty cool.

Check them out online here.

Thank you Concierge Home Services! Your support and patronage is appreciated very much!


6 Responses to "Welcome to our newest patron: Concierge Home Services"

1 | Sasha

February 3rd, 2011 at 11:05 am

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I’m with you – I hem and haw and tell myself I can (or ought to) get to X, Y, and Z, and then I never seem to get past the surface stuff. I like a lot of what you say here – the selection, security, training; getting the same person every time… perhaps I’ll check them out. I will, of course, tell them you sent me :)

2 | Jennifer

February 3rd, 2011 at 11:18 am

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A smart person once told me that a good cleaner was way cheaper then a divorce! So, so true. My bday present to myself each year is a cleaning service. So I’m gonna give them a call. Thanks!

3 | Beth

February 3rd, 2011 at 1:17 pm

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Too bad they don’t work out here in Barrhaven :(

4 | Rebecca Page

February 4th, 2011 at 11:01 am

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Beth – We have another wonderful mom franchisee joining us! Our Barrhaven location will be open March 1. Check back on our website for her phone number. Email will be barrhaven@conciergehomeservices.com.

5 | Leah Eustace

February 5th, 2011 at 12:38 am

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Hmmmmm…. just hmmmmm. I don’t want to say anything bad about CHS, but we did use them for a year or two and, well, we don’t anymore. Some of what you’ve said in your 4th and 5th paragraph (their claims) don’t ring true for me. I’m sure they’re wonderful for some people, though, so I really just caution folks to do their due diligence: check references and do your research.

6 | andrea

February 5th, 2011 at 7:47 am

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Leah –
I’m not sure what to say, but I do agree with your point about due diligence. Like any other service, it is definitely important to ask questions and get references!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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