Property Managers Should Really Care About What Carpet Cleaning Equipment is Being Used.
I work with a lot of property managers and apartment managers. Most of them do not care about what equipment I have, but they really should. Most know that a truck mounted system is better because it is more powerful. Some will use a cleaner who does encapsulation or low moisture cleaning, at least until they run into a big pet urine issue. Then, they discover that encapsulation will not help if there is pet urine.
I will often tell them about our equipment and how powerful it is, but it goes in one ear and out the other. All they here is, “Blah, blah, blah, my equipment is cool, blah, blah, blah.” It really doesn’t mean anything to them. Here is why the equipment is important:
The right tools make a huge difference.
A company that is using good equipment will produce faster dry times and extract more soil. That means the carpets are actually getting cleaner and will last longer. A $1200 carpet cleaning wand is going to work better than a cheap $120 wand. The engineering behind the wand affects the airflow and the lift, which help to leave carpets drier. A good sprayer will lay down an even swath of cleaning solution so the carpets will not look streaky. A good rotary machine, like the Rotovac 360i, will give better agitation to break up greasy, ground-in soils. A truck mount with a bigger tri-lobe blower will produce better suction and get carpets cleaner.
While the equipment is important, the maintenance of that equipment is even more important. Even the best equipment will give poor results if it has not been well maintained. This is where the training for the technicians becomes important. The technicians must check and repair items that wear out over time. This will only happen in a company that values their equipment and takes the time to train their staff properly.
Worn out equipment does shoddy work.
Another thing that can become an issue is the waste tank lid gasket. On a truck mounted system there is a large waste water tank that should be airtight. If the neoprene gasket on the tank lid wears out or disintegrates, it creates a gap that causes a loss of suction. A small one or two-inch gap in the gasket can mean the difference between carpets drying in a few hours or taking 3 days to dry. A property manager needs to turn over the property quickly to maximize the revenue for the owner. Therefore, a 3-day dry time is unacceptable.
Another issue is the jet performance on the wand or rotary extractor. The small jets on a wand can wear out over time and should be replaced at least once a year. If the jets get worn out, they will release more water than desired and leave the carpets soaked. Again, this goes back to the technician and how well they are trained.
Often, owners of bargain carpet cleaning companies do not spend money to buy the best equipment. They do not spend money on professional training or certification for their staff. They also commonly put off maintenance or only do maintenance after an equipment failure. Bargain company owners also do not pay their staff enough to hire and retain the best workers. I understand why they do this. They don’t have the money to get the best equipment or training because they do not charge enough for their service.
Cheap cleaning is really more expensive.
Property managers and apartment managers need to understand that the equipment and the training really do matter. If a company buys and maintains the best equipment, the finished product will be better. Sometimes property managers can be “a penny wise and a pound foolish.” Property managers sometimes hire the absolute cheapest company they can find. However, these companies also have cheap equipment and poorly trained employees.
The property manager is happy they got a low price for the cleaning as that helps their bottom line. However, although they saved $20 on the cleaning, they paid extra for the problems that came with that bargain. Perhaps the carpets still smelled a bit or were so wet they had to delay a move in by a day or two. Was the loss of revenue really worth the $20 they saved? No, because the tenant had to wait an extra day to get in and that may have affected their work schedule. Once a new tenant has an issue, they start looking for other things to be wrong. Things that wouldn’t have been a big deal suddenly become a major issue and begin to taint the relationship between the property manager and the tenant.
I am sure there are some carpet cleaning technicians who do a great job, even with substandard equipment. The problem is they usually don’t stick around. The technician will realize they can earn more working for someone who has the right equipment and pays accordingly. Property managers should ask about the equipment, dry times and how long the technicians have been around.
What property managers should look for.
Another good clue is a company’s presentation. Are the employees in uniform or regular street clothes? Do the employees have ID badges? Is their van lettered and relatively clean looking? Does their equipment look beat up or well maintained? What is the quality of the printed materials they use?
Are the employees well groomed or do they look likes slobs? Are the employees respectful and attentive? Is their language off color or vulgar on the job? Are they smoking on the job?
These are all good things to look at when evaluating a carpet cleaning company or any vendor. A company owner or manager who pays close attention to these details, will be around much longer than those who do not. A company that is serious about quality will need to charge more to deliver a higher level of service. Be careful when you hire vendors as you will often find the cheapest priced company costs you a lot more than you thought you’d saved.
At Hydro Clean Carpet Cleaning, we do buy and maintain the best carpet cleaning equipment. We spend allot of money and time on training, to make sure our technicians clean to a higher standard. Hydro Clean is not the cheapest or the most expensive. Our staff loves working with property managers and apartment managers. Hydro Clean Carpet Cleaning in Colorado Springs wants to build long lasting relationships. We want to be: “Your Carpet Cleaner for Life!”