Marika's Home Services
I find home services to be exceedingly personal.While clients may have similar needs, no two are exactly the same.My business philosophy is that the clients needs always take priority.
I enjoy offering a service, that while considered a luxury,truly helps busy people.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Home Services is a very personal industry and it's important to me that my clients are comfortable with every aspect. Being the internet age, my first client interaction is often online, which is pretty impersonal. I like to offer potential clients the option to call and chat with me before meeting.Generally, after the initial conversation I will meet the clients to get a better idea of precisely what they need. If we are both comfortable after meeting, we set up a time to start service.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a wall full of Associate Degrees is Psychology and Criminal Justice, as well a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology. Along the way I've taken courses is Business Administration and Business Law. While I enjoy running this business and interacting with both housekeepers and clients, Criminal Justice is my passion. It often makes both housekeeper and client more comfortable to learn that I do work ( very part time ) in the field of Law Enforcement as well.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
Most importantly, I do not have set pricing. What clients pay for is a block of time. It's up to the individual client how that time is used. Whether it's errands, laundry, cooking, ironing or cleaning, the clients needs are priority.
How did you get started in this business?
I was managing another housekeeping company in San Jose in early 1993. I loved the owner's customer service philosophy and asked him one afternoon if I could use his philosophy to start my own business. He chuckled and answered he was fine with that, as long as I didn't use his client list to start my own business. He was a wonderful mentor and a huge support as I took his ideas and added my own spin to the business.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have enjoyed a highly diverse client base. My past and present client list includes local politicians, celebrities, sports stars, captains of industry, heirs and heiresses and vacation rental owners as well as upper, middle and working class families who just do not have time to juggle work, errands, family , sports, music, homework, cooking, laundry , cleaning and walking Spot.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I think my favorite project was actually a very long time ago, in Atherton, California. A long standing client called me one say, asking if I could help the surgeon she worked for with his home. He was recently divorced and lost. They house was about 5000 square ft. and had been badly neglected. It took a good two weeks, at 40 hours a week to whip back into shape, organize, de-clutter and clean. It wasn't enough though.... we had a clean, ugly white, sparse, non-decorated very large house that lacked.... everything. I approached the home owner about adding some life to the house and grounds and asked him if he would trust me. He agreed and my top worker and I spent the next several months painting (faux), shopping and decorating. Suddenly the furniture matched, the walls had color and warmth, the new houseplants and pictures added depth,the grounds were landscaped and inviting,and it became a beautiful, welcoming home instead of an ugly white box.My client, the homeowner, came home one evening as we were wrapping up and he smiled at me and said , " Marika, you have changed my quality of life - thank you so very much. You will never know just how much your work has meant to me."
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
Be careful ! You are inviting people into your home and this is an industry that is a magnet for an.... interesting... population of workers. Ask for a background check, always check references and moreover, listen to your inner voice (gut). If you don't feel comfortable with the individual, please do not contract with them ! Housekeeping / home services is hard work and someone who is good at what they do will realize their worth and charge accordingly. Beware of the housekeeper who charges $8-10 hr. and beware of the housekeeper who charges $50 hr, ( no one is THAT good.... well except maybe me ...).
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
Customers should have an idea of the services they need. Each client is different and each client's needs are different. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need ! I ask my clients to write their priorities out for me - even if they're there while I'm there, it helps both of us to focus on their priorities.