Welcome 2022, Goodbye 2021When we wrote our newsletter last December, we were hoping that in a year the majority of COVID would be behind us. Alas, that is not the case. Delta came this summer, and now we have Omicron. We don't know which variant will come next, but we certainly won't be surprised when it does. 2021 was a challenging year for us at Denver Concierge. We spent a good sum of money on safety protocols, equipment, and the like, trying to keep our workplace (and your home) as safe and sterile as possible. As a result, we ended up managing the situation very well, with only one COVID case in our ranks. We were able to avoid any outbreaks or disruptions due to the virus and we feel good about our safety protocols. We will continue our vigilance going forward. Your safety and the safety of our people are more important than a clean house, and we will always feel that way (even though we really like clean houses). The labor situation could be a lot better. We are struggling to find the people we need to do the work at a level that we are satisfied with. Like everyone, we have raised wages to remain competitive, but it remains our biggest challenge for 2022 and beyond. We thank you for your patience, kindness, and support. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve, and we will see you on the other side. We appreciate you more than we can express. Happy New Year and here's to a prosperous 2022.
Our Healthy ResolutionWe don't love New Year's resolutions. Seems like most of the ones we have tried are over by February. However, with all the stress around us these days, we have found ourselves in need of better rest. In fact, good sleep is associated with boosting our immune systems, preventing weight gain, and strengthening our hearts, to name a few benefits. In our quest for better sleep, we found a couple of great pieces for you. In the 7 habits of exceptionally good sleepers, we learn that good sleepers go to bed when they are sleepy, not tired (nope, not the same thing). Finally, if you have ever said "I'll sleep when I am dead", you may be rushing towards that goal. Berkeley Psychology published a great article on this, and the highlight for us was: "Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep," he says. "So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you're dead, it's actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint." That was enough for us. We are off on our journey in 2022 to improve our health in one of the most underrated ways possible.
Denver Housing TrendsI bet you are thinking that Denver is one of the hottest real estate markets around. We were too until we realized we aren't. In fact, 9 News published an article that says we are only 48th out of the top 100 metro areas in terms of projected sale increases in 2022. From the article, "Denver's predicted increase is much less compared to other Western markets, like Salt Lake City, Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington, which are all expected to see a combined increase of more than 20%, according to the Realtor.com analysis." Shocking, considering at one time this year there were more realtors in Denver than properties available. As we researched this topic, we found another item that could drive down demand, higher interest rates. CPR news did an article on the impact of rates going up and it can be found here. Finally and longer-term, there are 180 million people that will be looking for homes in the coming years. Who are they? Millennials. We didn't realize they are the largest living adult generation (yep, we thought boomers too). Denver Business Journal did a nice piece on the impact of millennials and housing demand, it can be found here. Still looks like a seller's market to us.
U.S Consumer Spending TrendsHow COVID has changed our spending habits. We dove into this and were surprised by some of the trends. For example, only about 3 to 4% of grocery shopping in the U.S. was done online before COVID-19, according to research from Bain & Company. Fast forward to 2021, and the grocery delivery industry has drastically evolved due to the pandemic and emerging technology. In fact, a study by Coresight Research found that 60% of U.S. consumers are now buying their groceries online. Wow. Also, the three rounds of stimulus boosted overall spending in the U.S. by 15.3% OVER pre-pandemic levels. Surprising. Another interesting tidbit? It seems wealthy people "pulled back" the most, with the theory being the wealthy didn't need the stimulus for consumption, The best piece we found on this was done by Bloomberg News, and it can be found here. It ties in race, inflation, and other factors. Fascinating data and conclusions for sure. This chart clearly shows we have exceeded pre-pandemic levels of spending. Let's hope inflation doesn't knock the legs out of all of it.
Get Tidy, Feel Mighty! Tips on Creating Tidiness Habits in Your Home By Alice Robertson, Tidy Home https://tidyhome.info People encounter so many sources of daily stress. We worry about work deadlines, our health and whether or not we’re getting enough exercise, our children’s health or learning environment, money – you name it, stress has taken hold of us all at some point or another. The last thing we need is another source, yet if your home is disorganized and cluttered – or more succinctly put, messy – then you have unwittingly created yet another source of stress for yourself. You will feel much better and more relaxed if you start to take control of the disorganization around you. While some people like to dive right in, you may find that integrating small steps each day creates longer-lasting habits that can more effectively ward off future disorder. To help you get started on your tidiness journey, the house cleaning experts from Denver Concierge share the following tips. Reconcile that you can live without certain items Have you ever unpacked a box that’s been in storage and recognized contents you haven’t seen for months – or even years – and come to the realization that your life functioned perfectly without them? Sure, it’s also nice to find that favorite shirt or a missing earring, but most of us, if we were truthful, would admit to stockpiling items that we don’t need and wouldn’t miss. Ridding yourself of this extraneous clutter will energize you and help in creating your tidiness habits. Start with one goal. Don’t make it too ambitious; if you have to leave in an hour and you know cleaning your desk will take you two hours, you’re setting yourself up for an incomplete project and feelings of failure. Opt instead for tossing expired food out of the refrigerator or pantry or emptying your bookshelves of old paperbacks that you’ll never read but that might be better donated to a non-profit. Start getting habitual Once you’ve shed yourself of unnecessary items, ignite the tidying routine with one daily task that will be the start of your tidiness habit. For some people, it’s making the bed. It’s relatively easy to do, and this simple act can change the look and feel of your room. Or, if you spend more time in the kitchen, make sure that the dishes are done early each morning or in the evening. If you easily get overwhelmed by laundry, do a load a day instead of two or three over the weekend — and then be confronted with hours of folding and putting away. While much of this is focusing on your home’s interior, don’t forget about your yard. Your outdoors should be a source of solace and relaxation, which is hard to achieve with overgrown weeds and grass or a complete lack of luster to your landscaping. If doing it yourself seems overwhelming, why not take advantage of your local landscape design services to help you out? You can hire an expert to help get your yard under control and add enhancements, like planting welcoming flower beds and additional greenery, and then you can take over. Or, if it’s in your budget and your thumb is more fuchsia than green, hire one to perform regular maintenance, like trimming hedges and mowing the lawn. It’s easy to check out reviews online and get a few quotes from local landscapers. Finally, you’re not the only one who will benefit from the more relaxed ambiance of a tidy home, so get your family on board. They can all make their own beds each morning, and rinse their dishes after each meal. Have a discussion about what would work best with their schedules and your tidiness goals. For example, making them responsible for one room daily or one overall weekly task, like vacuuming or dusting. Create your castle Your home really should be your castle — and we’re not talking turrets and moats. It should be a welcoming place of warmth, security, and peace. Those feelings fight for their spot when they’re outmatched by an untidy room filled with dust and clutter. Of course, if you need extra help keeping your castle spotless, turn to the cleaning services of Denver Concierge, the Front Range’s premier house cleaners.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for November 2021 were Patricia Rodriguez, Maria Reyes, Luz Reza, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Socorro Ibarra. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. Our annual winners will be announced next month, we have some tight races so stay tuned! We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of November.
Happy New Year! Firstly, a big thank you to our clients for keeping our teams busy for another year, for the appreciation you have shown them, and for all of the year-end gifts. As a company we can only do so much to keep our employees happy; how our ladies are treated in the homes they clean is equally important to their day-to-day well-being. On another note, I would like to hear from you with recommendations for any work that you have had done in your home, to your satisfaction. Clients ask me frequently for references and I have added a few pros and cons myself. It isn't easy finding reliable, reasonably priced technicians or contractors who we actually feel good about letting in! Again. thank you for yet another year. Will text you in 2022! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Holiday Schedule & MessageWe hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. With holidays upon us, we thought that we would publish our holiday schedule for this year. With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, we will be working one day longer than normal. We will give our ladies Friday the 24th off for Christmas Eve. We will also be closed on Friday the 31st for New Year's Eve. For us, the holidays always bring out the desire to show the people we care about how we feel about them. Thanksgiving, of course, is the time to give thanks and we want to do that. 2021 has been nearly as challenging as 2020 for us as a company and we are grateful to still be here cleaning homes across the Front Range. Our clients are the best in Denver, and boy are we lucky to have you. Between all the issues that COVID has created and the subsequent labor issues, many days have been a challenge, to say the least. We want to thank you so much for your kindness, understanding, and patience in dealing with all the issues that have arisen during these challenging times. We couldn't ask for a better group of clients to have, and for you, we are grateful on the deepest levels. We wish you the best for a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, or just the season, we join you in celebrating the ones you love, as we celebrate you here. Thank you for being part of our locally owned company. Angela, John, and Maria
Let it Snow. Please?Ok, this is getting ridiculous. As we compose this newsletter, we have gone 222 days without measurable snow. How does this stack up in history? Currently, it ranks 4th and counting. The longest we have ever gone without measurable snow is 235 days, dating back to the 1800s. If we make it two more days, our streak will move into the 3rd longest, and we are a scant two weeks or so from setting the all-time record for a lack of snow. The average snowfall in Denver is 56.4 inches. The lowest snowfall ever? 21.8 inches in 2016-2017. Oh, and we already set another record, the latest snowfall on record. The old record for the latest first Denver snowfall was set on Nov. 21, 1934. The full article including our annual snowfall totals for the last ten years can be found here. For those of you that have turned off your sprinklers or stopped watering for the year, it might be a good idea to water your trees, I am sure they are thirsty. Here's to some moisture soon!
Gift Ideas Made in ColoradoWe do our best here to support local and Colorado-owned businesses. As a local business, seeing our dollars stay in our local community and in our state is very important. Beyond the obvious stores and shops that we encounter on a given day, what are easy ways to support our economy and buy locally? We are glad you asked. For starters, we found a site called Created in Colorado, which is a consolidated list of all things Colorado. Also, the folks at 5280 Magazine published a great guide for Colorado-made goods and it can be found here. Finally, did you know that this past Saturday was "Small Business Saturday"? NBC News published a nice piece on how to support small businesses, including everything from gift buying to leaving positive reviews. We thank you for your support of our small, locally owned business. Happy Shopping!
Savings by AgeWe remember when we were young and starting our careers, we always tried to earn our age. Those were the days. Now we are thinking about things like IRA's, 401K's, and like you, how we will make it to the finish line with enough money to retire. So just how much should you have saved, by age, for retirement? The folks at Quicken wrote a great article about savings benchmarks and net worth by decades of age. Did you know that the median US savings for age 40 is ,000? By 50 it nearly doubles to 7,000. As far as net worth goes, the benchmark net worth for someone 40 years old is twice your annual salary. At 50 it should be four times your salary, and at 60, six times. Fascinating data, and even if you are personally set going forward, there are some great numbers for the younger people in our lives that may just be getting started. The complete article can be found here.
Before we found this very cool article, we honestly had no idea what a "data visualization" really was. Then we clicked and realized how much fun they are. How about a moving chart that shows how COVID spread in the U.S.? So interesting to see. How about our health and wealth history, in a minute, encapsulating 221 years of prosperity? You can see the effects of everything from the Vietnam War to the impact of COVID, all in one fast-moving chart. Our favorite one is a 3D map of the entire fiber-optic network around the world. Who knew there were so many cables under the ocean? We pulled those two from a fabulous piece on medium.com, which you can find here, entitled "The 10 Best Data Visualizations you of 2021". We love finding cool stuff for our readers and we are confident this will qualify!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for October were Aurora Dominguez, Patricia Rodriguez, Sandra Vidales, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.
Denver was recently rated the Booziest City in the country, but one only must look back at our immigrant history to see that we have worked hard to merit this distinction. German immigrants in 1880 owned nearly a third of Denver's taverns. Patrons could sing and speak in German, read German newspapers, eat German food and drink German Bock. Basically to feel at home in a foreign city. The Irish immigrants came with the advent of the railroad and established bars between their homes and the tracks, where many had settled. By 1900 the Irish population of Denver was 3% but they owned 10% of the bars. Jewish immigrants also found the liquor business easy to enter. One of the first sources of Kosher food in Denver was in a Jewish delicatessen established next to a synagogue. Italian immigrants recruited to work on the railroad gradually moved into the north Denver area where they operated their Italian bars and restaurants. When prohibition came, rather than close, they moved operations to their basements. Other ethnicities soon immigrated to Denver. By 1920, the Russians were the largest immigrating group and the Slavs had already established their community in Globeville. Although few of the immigrant establishments remained after prohibition, they were the first of a grand tradition that we have proudly carried on to this day. Happy Holidays! Cheers! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Happy Halloween DenverLast year was our first Halloween under the blanket of Covid. While we are a little old over here for trick or treating, we always worry about the little ones and how this crazy world we are in affects them. So, what has changed and where is trick or treating allowed this year? Of course, each neighborhood is different, but our friends at 5280 Magazine published a comprehensive list of all things Halloween around Denver, and it also includes the best 7 neighborhoods for trick or treating. 9 News also published a good list of events for the little ones, including a trick or treat parade at Union Station (it's called BOOnion Station, which we think is cute). It looks like we are back in business for places to take the kids, but what about adults? We do know people that like to dress up every year regardless of age, so we wanted to share some things for them as well. Denver.org put out a great list of fun things for all ages and that list can be found here. The weather on Sunday looks a little dicey but between now and then it should be beautiful. The Broncos also host a game on Halloween at 2:25 at Empower Field, which should be full of Halloween celebrating fans. All in all, we are inching back towards normalcy and it looks like a pretty nice weekend to be out and about. Whatever you decide to do, please do it safely and have a Happy Halloween 2021.
Denver Performing Arts ReopeningAfter a long 18-month hiatus, the Denver Performing Arts Center (DCPA) has reopened as of October 5th. With a holiday slate planned for the winter, they are currently building up to the Lion King, which opens on December 2, The big event? Hamilton, which opens February 16 and will run until March 27, 2022. So what do you need to know? There are new requirements for both vaccines and masks, including children under twelve needing a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. All adults will need to be vaccinated to attend the DCPA. Masks are required for all audience members, and food and beverages will not be allowed inside the theater, instead offering designated areas for food and drink consumption. The complete lowdown on the DCPA reopening and all of its requirements can be found here.
Winter Heating Bills up 54%Yes, you read that correctly, 54%, which is a crazy number. That is the average increase that is being projected around home heating bills this winter. It seems the inflationary economy is impacting us all, and according to the article: "With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels, the US government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared with last winter." About half the people in our country use natural gas, with electricity running second, making up 41% of usage. Those of you heating with electricity can expect a more modest increase of 6%. Natural gas is up to its highest price since 2014 and is up 90% over last year's levels. Crazy indeed. The complete article on energy costs and what to expect this winter can be found here.
Small Talk"How are you"? "What about this crazy weather?" "Come here often?" We all do this version of small talk, and studies have shown that we all hate it. So why do we do it? How can we avoid inane conversations that add no value to either party? Medium posted a great piece on this phenomenon that we felt compelled to share. Evidently, most of us believe that strangers simply don't care that much about us. From the article and the study: "People kept conversations light-hearted because they each believed that's what the other party wanted. They expected to "be met with blank stares and silence" if they revealed something personal. As it turned out, both parties felt the same way but held back for fear of awkwardness." We love stuff like this, as we hate small talk as well. For some pointers on how to get out of this trap and engage others in a more meaningful dialogue, check out the full piece here. We also found a nice article by business insider on tips to get past this awkward habit and it can be found here. Here's to trying new things with the next stranger we meet. Maybe they won't be strangers for long.
Denver Restaurant Update
What a long road for all of the restaurants in Denver. We have discussed the labor shortage here at length, but beyond that what is new around Denver and our restaurant industry? Well, for starters, outdoor dining has been approved permanently. Mayor Michael Hancock recently announced the City and County of Denver will work to create a permanent outdoor dining program in 2022 that builds off the success of temporary patios and dining space expansions throughout the city. Great news for our restaurants and for all of us who like to enjoy the cuisine of Denver for sure. Also, there are some new (and very brave) restaurants that have opened recently, and 5280 Magazine did a piece on 12 new restaurants to try, it can be found here. We also ran across the 45 best dishes to try in Denver these days, and those can be found here. We continue to support our local restaurants and hope that we can all do our part to keep them going in these tough times.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for September were Guadalupe Caloca, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Reyes. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Isela Mendoza and Juana Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of September.
Of all the diverse celebrations in Denver throughout the year one of my favorites is Dia de los Muertos, not surprising, as it has a Mexican history. The ritual of Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd, also known as All Souls Day, was started 3,000 years ago by the Aztecs. When the Spaniards landed in Mexico in the 16th century they viewed it of course, as sacrilegious. Nevertheless, it has prevailed to the present day as a religious festival in parts of rural Mexico. Celebrated now much more widely as a secular and popularized part of the Hispanic culture, Dia de los Muertos has taken on political aspects, spawned impressive literature and poetry, art, and tales of fantasy. In Denver for instance, there is a yearly celebration at the Botanic Gardens and two days of festivities on Santa Fe Drive, appropriately. There are many other venues. As Denver grows, we are celebrating more traditions from other countries and from our heritage and history, and this can only be advantageous to the vibrancy of our city. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Labor and WagesWhat a crazy world we are living in. No one can find qualified help, yet wages are going up. In fact, according to Forbes, wages have grown at the fastest rate in 35 years in the U.S. Yet 48% of companies are looking to hire (including Denver Concierge). As you know, our people are what make us who we are. Many of our staff have been with us for nearly 20 years, and it's safe to say they know how to clean houses better than anyone around. We don't want to lose those people. So, in the spirit of transparency, we offered our folks a very significant wage increase in August. We did this because they deserve it and also because external wage pressure is higher than we can remember. Along with this wage increase comes a price increase. Our regular readers know that we take great pride in being open and honest about our company, and the truth is we could not absorb 100% of this increase and still run our company the way that you love. Angela will be reaching out to each of our clients to discuss the increase and answer any questions you may have. While we hate ever having to raise prices, this crazy economy has really left us with no choice. As always, we appreciate every client we have and we hope that you understand what we (and most other businesses) are going through to keep our staff and our service levels. Thank you for your loyalty and kindness during these challenging times.
Home Costs Going Up kThe perfect storm. Wonder why housing costs are going up? Well, besides crazy demand, there are other hidden reasons tied to the pandemic. Our friends at Designer Premier published a great article about the "perfect storm" of events that are adding to housing costs. From the article: "Framing lumber prices have declined in recent weeks, but the overall prices of wood products, steel mill, copper, drywall, and gypsum used in home building continue to soar." "Supply chain problems delay projects and raise costs even more. Lumber cannot come down from Canada anymore, and builders have to wait for equipment to show up." The bottom line? Supply and demand for materials and labor are completely out of whack. On average, this is adding k to the cost of every home sold, which is a big number. The full article from Designer Premier, which includes strategies to keep home constructioon costs down, can be found here.
What is "Meow Wolf"?So, we weren't sure what a "Meow Wolf" actually was, but we have heard so much about it we figured we better investigate and pass it along to our readers. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Meow Wolf is now open in Las Vegas, and most recently, Denver. Great, you say, now what is it? From their website: "We create immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration." By collaborating with hundreds of local artists, Meow Wolf has created an immersive, artistic space, where visitors are encouraged to interact and touch everything inside what is known as Convergence Station. The Denver Post did a complete article on the opening of Meow Wolf and it can be found here (might be paywalled). More details of this very unique concept can be found here, on Meow Wolf's website. Economically, city leaders hope this will draw visitors much like Santa Fe, where the attraction has seen two million visitors since it opened in 2016.
Coloradans & DrinkingHow many years of your life would you give up for the ability to have a drink? The average Coloradan says THREE. Yes, you read that right, the average Coloradan would give up three years of their life to maintain the ability to drink. Tops in the U.S.? Nevada, Idaho and South Carolina residents would all give up five years of their lives to keep drinking. Also from the study and article: "Alcohol.org surveyed 3,700 people and also found one-third of respondents would also give up caffeine for life if they could keep drinking booze. The research goes on to show 30% of people admit they ignore studies warning about alcohol health risks." The full study, titled "Life vs. Liquor" can be found here. Wow, I guess we are serious about our drinking here in the Rockies. The complete article from Fox Denver can be found here.
Fall in Colorado
Welcome to fall, all you leaf peepers! Yes, we are right in the heart of the leaf-peeping season, and we wanted to give you some of the best places (and ways) to do it. Fall in Colorado can be truly spectacular for the color changes and dramatic backgrounds of the mountains. In fact, fall in Colorado has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page, #fallorado. We found a great guide for you intrepid souls, courtesy of Our Community Now, and it can be found here. For those of you that like to travel and view your leaves in style, 5280 Magazine put out a list of the five best train rides you can take to go see the colors, and it can be found here. We hope you enjoy the changing of the seasons as much as we do, happy viewing!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for August were Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez, Yesica Censo, Katherine Crespin, and Enedina Mendoza. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of August.
While most companies rely on feedback through client surveys or emailed questionnaires, we find ourselves in the enviable position of having our clients' feedback unsolicited. It seems that every interaction I have with a client ends with some form of compliment or praise for our ladies, regardless of the initial subject of our conversation. I repeatedly thank our clients for their feedback, and I also continually thank our ladies for their hard work. We have been fortunate in that our management style over the years has meshed well with our employee base to form not only a great company but a stellar company, with employees that truly care. Without further ado, let me say thank you again for supporting our company and remind you that we know how lucky we are to have you. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
COVID UpdateHere we are, 18 months or so into a global pandemic. Lots of things have changed here at Denver Concierge, and we are sure it is the same in your world. It has been a while since we communicated our COVID protocols, so we wanted to refresh everyone on what we are doing to stay on top of the situation. In short, not much has changed here. In the time since COVID, we have yet to have any issues in your homes with COVID transmission. We have certainly had a few cases (unrelated to our workplace), but all of those folks have been cleared to return to work. We currently have zero cases of COVID at Denver Concierge. Our ladies will still be wearing masks and all other required personal protective equipment. We are also still taking all precautions to make sure our workforce is healthy before we send them out to you. Anyone not feeling well or exhibiting a fever is asked to stay home. The best advice we can give to 100% ensure there are no issues going forward is to simply keep your distance from our teams. This is for the safety of both parties, as there is no 100% effective way to know if either of us might be contagious for whatever reason. Any instructions should be given to Angela in our office and those will be relayed directly to our Team Leader in the field. Finally, we do try to keep our website updated with any news on this front, and our current protocols can be found here. We remain very confident in our ability to clean your home safely and without incident. If you have any questions about this or need further clarificati0n, please contact us at your convenience. Thank you for helping us clean your homes safely and efficiently!
Top of the Town 2021Ah yes, the best stuff in Denver. Back to our friends at 5280 Magazine who annually publish the best places in our fair city. From culture and nightlife to dining and shopping, 82 categories in total are covered. In fact, over 26,000 votes were cast, so this is truly a list of what "we" love in Denver. The best burger? Well Cherry Cricket, of course! Santiago's chimes in with the best breakfast burrito and GQue Barbeque won their category as well. We still think it's a bummer that they don't list housecleaning companies in their poll, but we hope to get that changed sometime soon! We certainly hope we would get your vote! The complete 5280 2021 Top of the Town list can be found here.
Cherry Creek Arts FestivalWe are so happy that the Cherry Creek Arts Festival has returned this year, celebrating its 30th. It will be held over Labor Day weekend, ending on Monday evening the 6th at 6 PM. As we crawl back to normalcy, it is nice to see a Denver "staple" back in business. There are some changes for this year to be aware of, however. For starters, the festival has been moved from downtown Cherry Creek to the creekside area of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. More importantly, the festival is using a timed entry approach, which requires free registration via Eventbrite. Beyond those changes, the festival will still be providing fabulous art and entertainment. The music and entertainment schedule can be found here. For registration information and to get your free timed entry spot, visit CCAF here. We hope to see you there!
A Smarter HomeJust how smart is your home? We aren't sure about ours, some days it is smarter than others. Seriously, though, we know many of you have Amazon Alexa. Did you know that Alexa can control smart lights, switches, and plugs? Even crazier, there are wi-fi-enabled light bulbs that can connect to your home network, with or without Alexa or the Google Assistant. Of course, there are easy-to-use things like the Ring doorbell and Nest, but what about next-level tech? We have saved a lot of money in water by using Rachio, for example, which is a system that controls your sprinklers via an app, saving you water. From smart lighting outside your home to carbon monoxide detectors, nearly every device in your home can be remotely controlled. How fun to come home and have the lighting and temperature right where you want it, with your favorite music playing. Not sure we can get something to have the wine ready, but that is another discussion. PC Magazine did a fabulous piece on the best tech of '21 room by room and it can be found here. We also found a short article by TechHive that gives more insight, and it is here. Lots of really cool stuff out there, pretty soon we will have flying cars like the Jetsons!
U.S. Life Expectancy
For the first time in a while, U.S. life expectancy has dropped. In fact, life expectancy in 2020 was down 1.5 years, the largest drop since WWII. Fairly obvious why this happened, as COVID-19 contributed to 74% of the decline. Not surprisingly, drug overdoses are making their way up the list as well, with more than 93,000 people dying in 2020. We found some interesting quirks in the data that we wanted to share with you here. From the article: "The study found the U.S. decrease in life expectancy in 2020 was 8.5 times greater than the average decrease in peer countries." "And the U.S. declines were most pronounced among minority groups, specifically Black and Hispanic people." "U.S. Hispanics — who have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic Blacks or whites saw the largest decline in life expectancy during the pandemic, dropping three years from 81.8 years in 2019 to 78.8 years in 2020. Hispanic males saw the biggest decline, with a drop of 3.7 years. COVID-19 was responsible for 90% of the decline among Hispanics." The full article by NPR can be found here. While we weren't surprised by the decline, the demographic breakdown was more than a little disturbing to us. We aren't smart enough to know the solution to these heady problems, but we do have a strong feeling that we can all do better for each other going forward.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for July were Aurora Dominguez, Paz Jimenez, Maria Zapata, Maria Salazar, and Josefina Quinonez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of July.
Almost from the beginning of the company, our image has been somewhat retro; proudly old school. With technology leaping ahead to make lives easier we have been reluctant to partake in certain aspects of this new world. We believe in customer contact in real-time with a real person. No bots or answering services here. We also believe in letting the teams clean the way they have always cleaned; a full-on deep clean; you never have to worry about robotic vacuums here either. Sometimes a little nostalgia can act as a soothing balm for the stresses of the world. We hope we are that to you. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Partners & Causes We LoveHave you ever heard of TAPS? It stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They provide assistance to families of service members killed in action. One of our favorite people in Denver, Realtor Edie Marks, is highly involved with TAPS and made us aware of a very cool benefit event that is taking place to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The event, known as the Colorado Celebrity Classic, will feature four excellent Nashville artists and the event proceeds will directly benefit TAPS. Details of that September event can be found here. Our friend Edie is also one of the best realtors around, representing Kentwood in and around Denver. Their website says she is #27 in the United States, which is very impressive. We can only imagine where that ranks her in Denver. Suffice it to say, she knows her stuff. One of the other things we love about Edie is her passion for wonderful causes such as TAPS. She has also been heavily involved with the Cancer League of Colorado, another great cause that she is very passionate about. So, if you need a world-class realtor, we highly recommend Edie. Beyond that, if you want to learn more about her causes, you may click on the links above, or you can contact Edie directly here. We thank you, our clients, for your ongoing support. We love to give back to causes such as these and without you, we wouldn't be able to. Thank you!
DIA Great Hall UpdateNow that travel seems to be back in style, we figured it might be time to look at our beloved airport to see when all the construction might be done. If you have been to DIA lately it seems patently obvious to us that this will take a while. We have discussed this debacle in past newsletters. This project has been plagued by issues from the start, including a snafu with the original vendor. Back in 2017, DIA started a .8B project (yes billions) to renovate the Great Hall. The agreement with the original contractor fell apart and Greeley-based Hansel Phelps picked it up and started work again in March of 2020. From the article: "The project is meant to increase passenger capacity, improve the experience of people passing through the airport, and reduce security vulnerabilities, outgoing DIA CEO Kim Day previously told Denver City Council members. It's also creating more ticketing and baggage drop-off space to accommodate the airport's two biggest carriers, United Airlines and Southwest." We wish we had good news, like the project will be done soon. It won't. It appears this project will take at least two more years to complete, and a potential phase three is being contemplated, so this could drag on for a bit. How will this impact us as travelers? In August, the airport will close four of the 12 security lanes at the north end of Level 5 to allow work to proceed on the new checkpoint at the northwest corner of Level 6. As they say, forewarned is forearmed, so we can at least plan for some disruption going forward. For the complete piece by the Denver Business Journal, visit them here.
Selling Your Home?Guest Writer Suzie Wilson at happierhome.net Looking to Sell Your Home Quickly? Start With These Projects If you need to sell your home quickly, you’ll need to make sure your home is looking its best. You can get your home in top shape and encourage more offers by focusing on some key home improvement projects. Wondering where you should begin? Start your upgrades with these basic home tips. Give Everything a Deep Cleaning The most important project you can complete before you list your home is a good, deep cleaning. Buyers love to walk into a home that looks, feels and smells fresh and clean, so take a day or two to go through and tidy up your home. Put away any clutter or get rid of it, even in storage areas. Then, clean everything from top to bottom, including ceiling fans, vents, curtains, countertops, and of course...the floors and carpets. If you’re working with faulty equipment, this difficult task will be that much harder. Do a quick assessment of your cleaning appliances before starting. If you need to upgrade your vacuum, be prepared for a dizzying array of options. Do your research to figure out what vacuum best suits your needs. Need your home professionally cleaned before selling? The premier house cleaning service in the area, Denver Concierge has the expertise to deliver exceptional results. For a quote, reach out to us today! Freshen Up the Front When potential buyers take a look at your home, they pay attention to the exterior first, so you should pay attention to your curb appeal. Tidy up your yard and make sure your lawn is neat. Then, look at the exterior to see if you need to make improvements there as well. If you have siding, brick, or stone in need of repair or an update, take care of those upgrades before you begin showing your home. Now is also a good time to address more hidden elements around your home like having your gutters and downspouts cleaned. This could even make a difference in your inspection. Use an online search like “gutter cleaning services near me” to connect with seasoned professionals who can remove debris and even alert you to necessary repairs. Update Your Kitchen Kitchens are king when it comes to showing a home. Buyers look for well-maintained, updated kitchens. If you’re only going to renovate a few things around your home, put your kitchen at the top of that list. A major overhaul will cost the most, but even smaller upgrades can make a difference. You can switch out fixtures or invest in some new appliances. Need to update kitchen cabinets? Try painting them a different color, adding some new hardware, or even replacing wood panels with glass for a more boutique feel. Freshen Up Your Bathroom Another room that buyers always pay extra attention to is your bathroom(s), so add it to your list of home renovations if it’s in need of repairs or updates. If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, seriously upgrading one may be enough to boost your home sale, but bathroom improvements can be inexpensive and easier than you think. You can change out faucets for different colors or materials, or change up your mirror. Even switching out lighting fixtures can make your bathrooms seem brand new. Play up special features, like a deep soaking tub or large windows, with some effortless bathroom staging. Replace the Roof If your roof is getting old, replacing it may be a good move before you try to sell your home. Depending on the material and composition of your roof, it should be replaced every 15-20 years. A new roof can also make your home appear cleaner and more appealing from the outside. This is also a home project that adds value to your home. If your roof is fairly new, still make time to check it over for issues that may need repair. Clear off any leaves or junk that has accumulated there over time. Patch up any holes and replace any damaged or missing shingles. Ensuring your roof is in good shape can help sell your home more quickly. Making improvements around your home and property is the best way to help your home sell quickly. By focusing on the areas buyers care about the most, you can be sure to attract more attention and get an offer on your home much sooner. Before you know it, you’ll be closing on your home and enjoying the profits of all of your hard work!
Our Dangerous CityIn the first six months of 2021, a person was shot in Denver every 36 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, violence in Denver is set to surpass 2020, which was the worst year on record since 1981. It seems the easing of the pandemic restrictions is not our only issue. The Denver Post did an informative article on this and covered many key statistics. From the article: "In the first six months of this year, 43 people were killed in Denver homicides — a few more than the 39 people killed in Denver in the same period last year. Denver police Chief Paul Pazen said in January that he didn’t want the 95 homicides recorded in 2020 — a 51% increase from the prior year — to become the norm. But the violence hasn’t abated. “We’re trending even above where we were last year, and last year we had too many people who lost their lives in our city,” Pazen said in a June interview." “The city looks great from the outside with all the development, but it has internal bleeding,” said Gerardo Lopez, executive director of violence prevention organization Homies Unidos. “We didn’t develop youth programs and mental health programs at the same pace.” We find this very concerning as our once safe city seems to be getting a little edgier. Certainly, as we grow we will have more "big city" problems, but we all want to feel safe when we go out downtown. The complete piece from the Denver Post can be found here. For Denver violent crime statistics, check-in here.
Are you a Good Tipper?
Most of us probably think we are. We aren't sure about you, but we have been "overtipping" our service providers just because we are glad they are still there through all of this. We saw a catchy headline about tipping and which generation is worst at it. We had to share. The answer and from the article: "The younger generation was found to be the worst culprit, specifically millennials, ages 25-40, and Gen Zers, ages 18-24, who were both found to be the worst tippers." "The study also found that there is a strong correlation between income and how much people tip. Almost 85% of higher-income households with an annual household income of over k, who go to sit-down restaurants, were found to always tip. On the other hand, only 77% of middle-income households, with an annual income between -80k, were found to tip, and only 65% of lower-income households, who make less than k annually, leave a tip." TD Ameritrade did a survey and found that 59 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are likely to tip 19 to 25 percent. Meanwhile, only a third of millennials – ages 23 to 39 – and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) do the same. We loved the data in the TD "etiquette survey" report, so we are providing it here for your reading pleasure. We hope you join us in making sure our restaurant staff and servers are still there when this is finally over. Interesting data for sure! The full piece by Fox News can be found here.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for June were Maria Zapata, Fidelia Bautista, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez and Josefina Quinonez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Isela Mendoza and Simona Estrada. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of June.
This month as we welcome new clients into the Denver Concierge fold we realized that each one had come to us through recommendations from current clients. This is a huge compliment for our teams and a huge compliment to the way we do business as a company. Even more so when taking into account that several of the new clients actually preferred to wait for an opening with us rather than go to another service. As an aside, we are very careful in our hiring and sometimes there is a short wait to get on our schedule. We don't hire to fill an urgent need. Over the years we have tried to create a niche in the market that has served us well. We treat our clients like family and are always upfront and candid in our dealings. Most importantly, we listen. We are always just a text away. This approach has brought us some truly great clients. Thank you to those who recommended us. It was a kind gesture and much appreciated. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Queen Bee Anniversary20 years. Yes, you read that right, our very own Queen Bee, Angela Danessi, has been with the company for 20 years this week. It is also her birthday today, July 1st, which is why we waited just a little longer than normal to send our "June" newsletter. We are grateful and so incredibly lucky to have her on our team as our client liaison. Many of you know Angela very well through years of speaking with her, but here are some fun facts you may not know about her. She speaks five languages! You can talk with her in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and most recently Hindi. In fact, she actually taught herself Hindi without ever having gone to a class. She's a natural linguist. While she grew up in the Midwest, she spent many of her early years in Europe, having lived in London, Paris, and Ibiza. She moved to Denver from Taos, New Mexico where she worked at the Taos Ski Valley. She has been in the hospitality space for some time now, including a stint at what is now the Ritz Carlton in Denver before she came to us here (a great day for our company). She has the coolest protective dog, a feisty Corgi also known as Frank. Sometimes known as Rishi, but that is a story for you to ask her about directly. In short, she is one of the most unique people on the planet and we want to take this opportunity to recognize her for her loyalty, consistency, and for being the main person in our company for so long. While we aren't sure we will be able to convince her to stay another 20 years, we are thankful for whatever she will give us. Please join us in wishing Angela both a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations for her 20 years of making clients happy.
Guide to Summer 2021We made it to Summer. Sadly, no one seemed to tell Spring, which evidently took a wrong turn and never made it here. But that's ok because the nice people at 5280 Magazine came out with a bunch of fun and interesting things to do in our wonderful state. They covered nearly everything, from road trip gear to the best rooftop patios in Denver. We didn't know that Le Meridien hotel actually has the highest open-air rooftop deck in Denver, the 54thirty lounge. We also love to eat so seeing the best BBQ joints in Colorado made our mouths water. From the best bike rides to try to improving grilling skills, they did a great job of encapsulating all that is Colorado in one place, and that can be found here. We hope you have a wonderful Summer!
Colorado Income Tax CutYou read that right, income taxes are going down in our state. Amazingly and despite COVID, Colorado now is expected to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue cap for both this fiscal year, which ended on June 30, and for the next two years as well. From the article in the Denver Business Journal: "Colorado will have to employ all three of its methods for giving back excess revenues — reimbursing local governments for Homestead property-tax exemptions, reducing the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.5%, and offering sales-tax refunds directly to state residents." Great news for all of us, and the article also goes into Colorado's unemployment numbers and why we are still slightly behind the national average. The full piece from the Denver Business Journal can be f0und here.
Is Working from Home Here to Stay?Last month we asked how much working from home was worth. In many cases, ,000 wasn't enough. We wanted to dive into this issue further, more specifically what are most companies planning as they move forward? What are the pros and cons for both employee and company? In a great article, Stanford Business published a piece on how the pandemic "Blew up the American Office, for Better and Worse." As the graphic in our header shows, working from home increased eightfold in 2020 from 2017. Where will it go from here and how will it impact business going forward? What are the takeaways? For starters, it seems that a consensus is emerging about a hybrid approach where employees would work both from home and at the office in a split. More fascinating to us was the belief that innovation would be impacted by working from home in the long run, due to the creative collaboration that it requires. Finally, this shift has harmed cities' downtown areas in many ways, as people remain at home in the suburbs and not spending money downtown. Very informative piece and it made us think about this tricky issue. You can find the entire article here.
How's Your Sleep?
Hopefully, it's getting better as life is getting back to normal around us. When we found a simple sleep assessment tool, we took the leap to see just how many bad bedtime habits we really have. The answer? A lot. The quiz took us only a minute or so to complete, and then gave us a score of 10 out of a possible 18 points. Normally scoring a 10 is perfect, but in this case, it told us we have some work to do. At the end of the survey, you can provide your email and you will get a five-part series on improving your sleep, along with exercises, videos, and the like. If you aren't sure about your sleep, the stats say it can probably be better. The most recent data shows that in America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. With thanks to the folks at Better Humans, you can link to the quick sleep survey here. For more data on sleep habits and the state of sleep in America, visit the American Sleep Apnea website here. Good luck improving your sleep, we are surely working on ours!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for May were Simona Estrada, Rosario De La Rosa, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.
This month I celebrate 20 years with Denver Concierge. 20 years!! Yikes! I doubt many people can say that their job is so closely aligned to their personality that the two actually mesh and the word ‘work’ ceases to apply. It’s a tough business we’re in and can be stressful if not handled with care, respect, and endurance. A sense of the absurd is always handy; a sense of humor is essential. I applaud our clients for offering me all of the above. As I accept this gold statue of a giant bee, I’d just like to say that I have been inordinately lucky to work with the best in the business and for the best in the business. Bar none. I love you all! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Memorial DayEach year on the final Monday of May, we celebrate those that have given their lives for our country. Did you know that Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day? It was originally meant to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers that died during the American Civil War. By the 1900's it became a day to celebrate all Americans that have died in service around the world. It was renamed in 1967 and became a federal holiday in 1971. This year it falls on Monday the 31st, and of course, Denver Concierge will be closed. Meanwhile, a few facts that you may not know about Memorial Day: 1. Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3 PM on Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have died in action. 2. The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day. 3. There were more American lives lost during the Civil War than the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II. 4. There are more than 400,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 25 burials there each day. We take this time to honor the fallen and show our gratitude for the freedoms we have in our great country. We hope you get to enjoy the three-day weekend with friends and family, and with as few masks as possible!!!
Crime in DenverHave you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Basically, it states that most of the outcomes tend to result from a small portion of the causes. When it comes to crime in Denver, it certainly applies. In fact, 40% of Denver's violent crimes happened in only 10 of our neighborhoods. Sadly, 2020 was one of the most violent ever. Our murder rate spiked by 29% along with property crimes spiking even further, and 2021 is shaping up to be a similar year. The most shocking number to us was Denver experiences about 8 violent crimes per day. Montbello, Five Points, Central Business District, Capitol Hill, Westwood, East Colfax, Green Valley Ranch, Union Station, Central Park, and North Capitol Hill have the highest amounts of aggravated assaults and murders so far this year. Click here for a complete map, along with the DPD plans to combat this ugly spike in violence in our fine city.
Denver's New Area CodeHey, all you cool kids with 303 or 720 area codes.....hang on to them! Denver is out of space with those area codes and will be rolling out area code 983 early next year. Did you know that the 303 area code was implemented in 1947? How about 720? It came about in 1998. From the article on 9 News, "Colorado PUC said the current 303/720 area codes are projected to run out of available phone numbers by the fourth quarter of 2022. The new 983 code will not be assigned until the current numbers are exhausted, said PUC." The new area code is projected to last approximately 25 years, but with all the people moving to Colorado, that may be optimistic. As always, you can contact us at 303-975-2808 for the best clean around. We are old school here and proud of it! The full article from 9 News can be found here.
What is Working from Home Worth?How does ,000 sound? Well for some, that just isn't enough to go back to the office. In fact, in a blind survey of 3,000 employees of 45 companies, 64% chose the work from home option instead of the k. Only two companies saw over 50% of its people choose the k, JP Morgan and Qualcomm. From the article, "About 64% of Amazon workers who answered the question preferred permanent work from home, as well as 62% of Microsoft employees and 67% of Google employees. Apple employees would rather take permanent work from home over ,000 more at 69%, and Salesforce employees at 76%." Interesting data for sure, although Blind did another survey about productivity and 48% of the respondents said that working from home has led to a decrease in productivity. To see the full article from Business Journals, click here.
Summer Food and Drink Festivals
I am sure we have mentioned how happy we are to see this pandemic winding down. As it does, we are keeping our eye out for fun things to get back out and do in Colorado. In that spirit, we wanted to share some fun food and drink festivals for this summer, courtesy of 5280 Magazine. For you beer lovers, there is the Vail Craft Beer Classic, from June 25-26. Prefer wine? Lots of fun ones this summer, including the Telluride Wine Festival, Vail Wine Classic, and the Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival. The big one is the Aspen Food and Wine Classic in September, but it is already sold out. For those of you that prefer to stay close to home, Denver.Org published a good list of local events coming up this year as well and it can be found here. So glad that we can get back out to do the things we love, especially eating and drinking!!!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for April were Maria Zapata, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Yesica Censo, and Vanessa Perez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of April.
The most frequently asked question I get from the clients is what time will the team arrive? Years ago, before we offered partial cleans, all rooms were included whether they were used or not. Back then, we were able to put a very specific clean time to a house. However, as we gradually acquired larger and larger homes it seemed a bit unfair to clean guest quarters that only saw guests once a year, or children's rooms of empty nesters. To be more client-friendly, we changed from full cleans to client-specific instructions. This makes it difficult to project arrival times, and I thank you for bearing with us on this issue. We do also have a work order that goes out with the team along with instructions that do not change from clean to clean, such as those pertaining to access or pets. Immediate instructions can always be given to me when I text the clean confirmation the day before. As always thank you for being our clients and for all the compliments you consistently send. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Judi's HouseOne thing we have learned after the nearly 20 years we have been serving Denver is that who you associate with matters. It goes without saying that our clients are the best in town. We have some wonderful partners as well, many of whom get mentioned here on a regular basis. We also have a few charities that we support, but none more important to us than Judi's House. Founded by Brian Griese, former Broncos QB, Judi's House provides grief counseling and support for young people and families that have suffered loss. Brian lost his mother Judi at a young age and founded this amazing venture to honor her and to help others that are going through tragic events. We support this touching and important cause by donating cleaning services every week to make sure their environment is spotless and welcoming to all. Last week was National Volunteer Week, and Judi's House was kind enough to recognize us for our efforts in supporting them. They put out a very kind piece recognizing our efforts on their Facebook page and we wanted to share it with you here. If you read on, you will realize we have an intensely personal connection to what Judi's House does, and we are certainly grateful for the recognition, but the recognition is not what drives us. So, thank you to each and every one of our clients that indirectly supports such a great cause with every clean we provide. We love giving back and being part of such a wonderful cause, and the wonderful city that is Denver. To learn more or to donate to Judi's House, you can visit them here.
My How We Have GrownDid all of you participate in the 2020 Census? We did too. It doesn't take a census report to tell us that lots of people are moving to Colorado. In fact, we were one of the few states that gained a new congressional district, our 8th. Overall, new data shows the state added nearly 745,000 new residents since 2010, a 14.8% increase. The biggest gain? Texas, which gained just under four million people in the last 10 years. Three states showed a population decline over the last decade: Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia. West Virginia had the largest percentage loss of any state at 3.2%. California is the most populous state with more than 39.5 million residents. Wyoming is the least populous state with just over 500,000 residents. This means that Colorado gained more residents in the last 10 years than Wyoming has in total. Crazy. Full 2020 Census results can be found here.
Reopening Denver VenuesYes, that is a photo of Red Rocks. Remember Red Rocks!? It's reopening. Along with many other venues and attractions across the Front Range and we wanted to share some of those dates and events with you. In fact, Red Rocks reopened on April 22. Only 2,500 attendees will be allowed for the time being. Elitch Gardens is also reopening to the general public on May 1. Our museums are using timed ticketing and they are open as well. Denver Botanic Gardens is also using this system and they are now open for visits. The big bummer in all of this is the DCPA postponing most of their shows until early 2022 but will be featuring the Lion King in December. 5280 Magazine did a nice recap of many of the venues around Denver and their piece can be found here. We love going to concerts and shows, so even a small return to normalcy is welcomed. We hope to see you out there Denver!
10 Small Things to Improve Your LifeWe can never resist sharing "life hacks" or anything that we find compelling regarding self-improvement. So we visit again the helpful and informative site that is Medium.com. They published a quite simple list of little things that can make life better. Not the big sweeping changes that we always try to make, but subtle ones that can be very impactful. For example, did you know the average person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day? Tell me that isn't stressful! Also, over half of Americans say the news causes stress, and studies have shown that constantly seeing negative stories can make us feel more negative. So, what to do? The article has some obvious but underutilized techniques such as using airplane mode on our phones from time to time, as well as utilizing the timer features on our phones to parse out tasks. It's a simple list, but sometimes in life, it's the simple things that make life better. The full article can be found here, enjoy!
Facebook Data Breach
We have trust issues with Facebook. Truth is, we don't use it much, but seeing reports about data breaches doesn't exactly make us more comfortable. In fact, Facebook has been under fire for its data management, and just exactly what they do with our personal information. The most recent news really gave us pause. It seems that details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for hackers. While the information appears to be several years old, it’s another example of the vast amount of information collected by Facebook and other social media sites, and the limits to how secure that information is. The most concerning part is that Facebook didn't feel like it was important enough to notify its users. Business Insider did a nice piece on this "breach" and why Facebook's response should give us reason to pause. The moral of the story? Change your passwords regularly and make sure you protect your data as much as possible. Also, maybe blindly trusting a massive company with a gold mine of valuable data is a risky proposition at best.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for March were Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, Sandra Vidales, Yesica Censo, and Juana Luna. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of March.
The hot ticket lately is the plant-based diet, no meat, no dairy. As a lure to the lifestyle there are suddenly videos and photos everywhere of animals accomplishing amazing feats, or bonding with other species, or just being darn cute. Whether these efforts have the desired effect remains to be seen. In any case, as a possible reflection of the sudden surge in animals to the forefront of our consciousness, or simply a reaction to being cooped up for a year, our clients have adopted some unusual pets. We have two miniature pigs, a very large rabbit (not our first), and a pair of brilliantly colored birds. There may be more in the offing. Rest assured we are up for it. It brings much-needed cheer and a bit of frivolity we could all use a dose of. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
One Year AgoOn March 24, 2020, the state was closed and Denver was told to "stay home". All non-essential businesses, including ours, were closed. It made us wonder just how this new world changed us here in Denver over the past year? Let's dive in. For starters, did you know that on March 20, 2020, Denver County only had 67 Covid cases? That number is now just north of 60,000. DIA passengers dropped by 50%, and that included a Thanksgiving spike. Bankruptcy filings were down, dropping 25% to only 8,300 over the period. This one surprised us. How about housing? Active inventory according to the Denver Metro Area Realtors, dropped by 60%. Back in March of '20, there were nearly 6,000 homes in inventory for sale across Denver. Today, that number is around 2,000. Hotels have been hit hard as well, with occupancy rates currently at about 33%. It bottomed out at about 16% last April. Normal rates would be about 65% occupancy. Lots of fascinating data, and we thank the Denver Business Journal for publishing it. The full piece can be found here. They also look at job posting data (down), restaurant reservations (down), and crude oil pricing (up). Kind of a cool review, although most of the data is hard to look at, knowing the real impact of what we went through, and all the pain businesses and families everywhere have had to endure. For the infographic showing the numbers we mentioned above, plus a few more, check it out here. I think we can all agree that the last year has been one of the more challenging ones we have ever faced. It has tested our resilience and resolve, but through it all we are still here, serving our wonderful clients. We thank you for your loyalty and for sticking it out with us!
16th Street Mall RenovationWhat was once a bustling and iconic part of Denver is getting a facelift. Our 16th Street Mall has been under fire for the past few years due to problems with homelessness, drug use, panhandling, and other unsavory behaviors. According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, the original life span for the mall was 30 years. We now sit at nearly 40 years and most would agree the area is in need of a makeover. Enter PCL Construction Services, the winning bidder in earning the right to design and build the "new mall". Costs are estimated at 9M and construction won't likely begin until the end of '21 at the earliest. The full description of the project by the Downtown Denver Partnership can be found here. We aren't sure about you, but we hope this project restores this once-proud area of our city back to its roots. Of course, we aren't 100% sure what a redesign and upgrade have to do with our homelessness and safety issues, but we will leave that in the hands of our elected leaders to sort out. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how they tackle this massive three-year project and if it truly delivers on its intentions.
Rockies and McGregor SquareDid you realize that Opening Day is tomorrow? This is not an April Fool's joke, we promise. We were surprised as well, it sneaked up on us. So, baseball is back, and with it comes Spring, and the hope that our beloved Rockies will be contenders this year. What will baseball look like in the mile-high city this year? For starters, Coors Field will be allowing 21,000 fans in for each game. This is up from the original plan of 12,000 and hopefully will increase as COVID settles down. The biggest news is the opening of McGregor Square, across the street from the ballpark. Named for former Rockies exec Keli McGregor, the mixed-use development will contain everything from residences to restaurants and bars. You can even find Top Golf hitting bays. In short, it looks like a wonderful entertainment venue for those of us heading down to the ballpark this year. 5280 Magazine did a very comprehensive view of McGregor Square here and all that it entails. Now if we could only get over the trade of future Hall of Fame player Nolan Arenado to the Cards. That one might take some time to recover from. Enjoy the festivities!
Life ExpectancyIf you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you know we love to see where we rank as a region in various categories. When we saw life expectancy by state, we had to share. Colorado is used to being in the top-ranked places in most categories, and life expectancy is no different. Overall, we came in 8th. Male life expectancy in our fine state is just under 78 years. Women actually rated just a bit higher, coming in 7th at an 82.3 average. Even more fascinating are the ends of the spectrum. Hawaii, for example, where men live until 81, and women until 84, both rank first. The other end? West Virginia. Both men and women ranked 51st, with men averaging 74.4 and women 77.3. We aren't drawing any inferences about what that all means, only that we are fairly healthy here in the Rockies. Finally, in a rare occurrence, life expectancy in total dropped by a full year, largely due to COVID. The article from CNN can be found here, and the full table from the CDC (for you stat geeks) can be found here.
Productivity and Working from Home
Nothing like debunking a good theory. When COVID drove us all back home for work, there was a significant shift in our worlds. It was also a shift for our employers and/or businesses that we run. In an instant, everything changed. Almost immediately the call came that working from home would lead to increased productivity, a happier workforce, and would be very virtuous. While both sides of this equation have learned to make do, we came across a fascinating article that flies in the face of the "increased productivity" narrative. Stanford Grad School of Business economist Nicholas Bloom published an article recently titled "The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the Age of COVID-19". From the article, "We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days,” says Bloom, “This will create a productivity disaster for firms.” "I fear an extended period of working from home will not only kill office productivity but is building a mental health crisis." Wow, it seems the "experts" aren't so sure the way that it is currently working is the best. We aren't smart enough about this sort of thing to know the best solution but if you want to learn more, the complete article can be found here.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for February were Guadalupe Caloca, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Paz Jimenez, and Simona Estrada. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of February.
Peeps! After a 9-month hiatus, they're back just in time for Spring. In their 1953 debut, a Peeps chick was a handmade specialty item that took 27 hours to sculpt. Currently, they have a daily production run of 5.5 million. You can't escape them, and you can't buy just one. They come in a joined row like cutout paper dolls. The original yellow and white chicks have morphed into other colors, animal shapes, and other flavors. They have found their way into literature, art, theater, and dioramas. PEEPS are a cheery addition to our Spring this year. Thankfully they bounced back from the pandemic just when we needed cheering the most. Happy Spring! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Connect With UsAre you on Facebook? Well so are we. How about Twitter? Us too. Tik Tok? Sorry, that is where we draw the line. We are sure that our dynamic way of cleaning homes while fascinating to us, might not make the best short video. Plus, our dancing and singing talents are fairly limited, but we digress. Seriously though, we want to connect with you. We don't tweet a lot, but on days like today with lots of snow, it's a great resource to see if we are open or not. Answer....no, too much snow. Hoping for Friday, love Colorado winters, apologies to our clients for the interruption. We also don't put a lot of content on Facebook, but we will be posting our newsletter there each month, along with a list of our monthly award winners and anything else that we feel may add value to your lives. We realize that you are inundated with social media, texting, emails, and the like, and we most definitely want to be unobtrusive in our communication with you. That said, if you are interested in following our Twitter feed, we can be found at @bestmaidsdenver here. Our Facebook page can be found here as well, feel free to give us a shout (or even a like) there if you get bored. As you know, we are old school in so many ways. We actually answer the phone when you call, and we always want you to feel like our service is very personal. We also like to think that we clean in an old-fashioned way and hopefully that will never change. It is 2021, however, and we want to connect with you in the way that makes you most comfortable. As many of you know and use frequently, we also use text to communicate real-time with you on weather, clean status, etc. If you are not on our text system, please shoot us a quick note and we will make it happen. We appreciate your ongoing support of our local business and will do everything we can to remain a great partner to you and your family.
Best Performing US CitiesThe Milken Institute annually ranks all major cities in their "best-performing" rankings. We came in 11th. Not quite top 10 material evidently, but we still love it here. The ranking system historically includes cities’ job and wage growth and strength in high-tech sectors. This year they added broadband access and housing affordability in an effort to highlight how much infrastructure improvements and other metrics reflect the inclusiveness of local economies. Did you know that 92.5% of Denver households have access to broadband internet? We also ended 2020 with a median price for a single-family home at 7,000. The best performing city? Provo, Utah. In fact, there were three Utah cities in the top 10. The good news is the list was dominated by areas in the west, so we will take that. The complete article, including methodology and a PDF can be found here. Top 10 next year for sure!
2021's Well Designed HomeIf COVID has done anything, it has changed us forever in some ways. From Zoom calls to no more handshakes, we aren't sure what will stick and what will fade away when this crummy pandemic finally leaves us. One thing is for sure, our relationship with our homes has changed dramatically. One of the leading interior designers in Denver offered her perspective on this in January's 5280 Magazine. “The way we interact with our homes is never going to be the same after 2020,” says Sari Mina Ross, who moved her residential interior design firm from New York City to Denver just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She offers at least four new trends that will be hitting in 2021. Starting with high-performance kitchens, and ending with circadian lighting systems, we found the information to be very solid, and it spurred many ideas! The complete article on 2021 home design trends can be found here.
What's Your Net Worth?What is your net worth? Just kidding, we don't want to know. We remember being in college, hoping we could "earn our age". Those were the days. Yep, we are old and k doesn't go very far these days. We ran across an interesting article about net worth by age. Of course, we went right down the rabbit h0le to see how we stacked up. Some data for you. The average net worth for someone aged 35-44 is 6,000. From 45-54, it rises to 3,000. The highest average net worth belongs, as you might figure, to the 65-74-year age group, averaging a cool .2MM. At 75+ it drops a bit, probably due to health care costs and fixed income, coming in just under a million bucks. Kind of interesting and the full article by CNBC can be found here.
Sense of Humor
If there was ever a time to have a good sense of humor, it's the COVID era. Heck, our patience used to get tested before COVID, so these days it's easy to lose sight of what's important, and even harder to keep our perspective. Like you, we run across some people who take themselves a bit too seriously, we pride ourselves in not being one of "those people". So, what is the cost of being humorless? The smart folks at Stanford Graduate School of Business put out a nice piece on this and we wanted to share it. From the article, "A 15-year longitudinal study of more than 50,000 Norwegians found that women with a strong sense of humor had a 73% lower risk of dying from heart disease and an 83% lower risk of dying from infection." The other main takeaway? Humor is not necessarily innate. It can be cultivated and grown like a muscle. The full article is here, and it reminds us that no matter what, humor can bring us all joy during these tough times.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for January were Maria Zapata, Fidelia Bautista, Martha Garcia, and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Mayra Soto. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of January.
Like many of you, for many months now I have been working from home. I am mostly texting our clients, but when I receive or place a phone call you can hear my assistant in the background. His name is Frank, my protective Corgi. He feels it is his job to be part of an incoming or outgoing call and he’s pretty hard to ignore. His barks can be momentarily disconcerting to the uninitiated. Happily, his persistent presence has prompted clients to send me photos of their "assistants" also. I have built up quite a portfolio of cute images. If there is a bright spot in this dreary time it comes from our animals. They keep us smiling and keep us sane. Love to them all. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
2021 Labor Law Changes2021 is starting with a bang. Lots of labor law changes are now in effect and they will impact both employees and employers going forward. For those of you that haven't dug into these yet, we wanted to encapsulate them here. First off, on January 1, Denver implemented a new minimum wage of .77. Mandated in 2019 by the Denver City Council, it will rise to .87 beginning next year. This is out of phase with the state minimum wage which is lagging behind at .32. Any employee of the city or one that works in Denver will be subject to the city minimum. Also, starting in 2021, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act or HFWA will require that Colorado employers with more than 16 employees provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. Those hours are immediately available once earned and can be taken in one-hour increments. Finally, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has been implemented and the new law prohibits paying different wages for similar work on the basis of sex, beefing up existing federal rules on the topic. There are also new provisions protecting whistleblowers primarily related to workplace safety and health. We do our best at Denver Concierge to take great care of our people and support their safety, families, well-being, and ability to make good wages. We hope this shows through in the quality of work we do in your homes. We will continue to do so, along with fully supporting all the city and state requirements to benefit our associates. A full recap of the 2021 labor law changes can be found here.
Restaurant UpdateWe may have mentioned we have quite a few clients and partners in the restaurant space and they have been hit particularly hard by COVID. You also may have heard about the new "5 Star" program that is allowing restaurants and other businesses to gradually move towards normalcy. The basics are as follows: The 5 Star State Certification Program enables businesses that meet enhanced safety guidelines in qualifying counties and municipalities to open at a greater capacity. The voluntary program recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe. Further, each county or municipality can decide whether to implement the 5 Star State Certification program. So how is it calculated? Well, it depends firstly on the dial level of the area the business operates in. Ranging from Green (good) to Purple (Very Bad), each area has a rating. Establishments can then apply for variances based on where they currently operate and the "dial level" around them. They are expected to exceed normal COVID requirements, hopefully making them much safer to visit. We are excited to see the state helping small businesses get back up and running. While we haven't been able to find a certified list of 5 star approved restaurants yet, we hope one is coming soon. Meanwhile to learn more about the program click here.
Better Peace of MindYes, 2020 was a bear. There were many days when we struggled with the uncertainty, chaos, and disruption caused by COVID. We like to think that we are mentally tough over here at Denver Concierge, but we are human and are always looking for better ways to cope. Along that journey, we ran across a solid piece by the folks at Medium.com (one of our favorite self-help sites) about how we might obtain better peace of mind during these tough times. One of the great concepts from the article is to focus on the stressors, not the stress. Our minds are hard-wired to outrun animals that might be chasing us, looking for their next meal. While those were real concerns for our ancestors, they really aren't anymore (at least for most of us hopefully). Yet our brains are hardwired to react with "fight or flight" reactions to things that truly are not life-threatening. We found the article informative and helpful and we sure hope you do as well. The complete piece on psychological habits for better peace of mind can be found here. We wish you much peace of mind in 2021.
2020 Words of the YearWant to take a guess at the word of the year in 2020? If you guessed PANDEMIC, you are correct. Words fascinate us and the ones that come to the forefront each year are an interesting cross-section of what is going on in our world in a given year. We were extremely interested to read Merriam Webster's top 12 words of the year in 2020. Based on search history they list the most-searched-for words How about "Kraken"? "Schadenfreude"? Those were two words that were very popular, mainly thanks to the Seattle hockey team calling themselves the former and for people delighting in other people's failure for the latter. Our guess is our tumultuous political climate pushed schadenfreude into that spotlight. Plus, as the article says, it's a fun word to say. In respect to Kobe Bryant (rest in peace), the word "Mamba" was the most searched word shortly after his tragic helicopter crash. It's a quick read but gives great insight into our culture and the words we use in our daily lives. The full article can be found here, and we are sure hoping that words like "vaccine" and "normalcy" are popular this year!
101 Ways to Enjoy 2021 in Colorado
Wait, isn't there a pandemic going on? Well, yes, it technically is still here, although we are making progress. Knowing that, what can we do safely and enjoyably in our wonderful state in 2021? The nice people at 5280 Magazine published some great ideas in their article titled "101 Things to Do in Colorado This Year". Everything from adventure-packed road trips to cool classes you can take, the list is diverse and comprehensive. Besides, if you are like us, we are ready to get out of the house at least a little bit (socially distanced of course). Did you know, for example, that Denver has a "beer spa"? For you can soak in a tub of unfermented beer. We aren't sure about the health benefits of this but may just have to go see for ourselves, mainly because it involves the word beer. Some great ideas to put a dent in the repetitive boredom of home confinement. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, the complete list can be found here.
Annual Award WinnersWe are super excited to announce our annual winners for Team Leader and Cleaning Associate of the year. First, our monthly award winners for December were Rosario De La Rosa, Paz Jimenez, Martha Garcia, Simona Estrada, and Juana Luna. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Rosa Chavez. Now, drum roll please..... Our winner for best Cleaning Associate in 2020 is Maria Zapata. Runner up goes to Aurora Dominguez. Our top Team Leader for 2020 goes to Socorro Ibarra. Our runner up is Juana Olivas. It was a close race and one that was determined over only 9 months (thanks COVID) rather than the usual 12. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for 2020, the year of COVID.
Denver Concierge is a Green Certified Company. This makes us a bit old fashioned, as we don't use harsh chemicals or cleaning methods. Our cleaning is meant to be thorough and yet preserve what we clean, whether furniture, carpets, keepsakes, or collectibles. We are not alone with our preservation mantra. There is a local contractor who has bought several rundown houses in one area of the city and surprisingly renovated them, rather than razing them, preserving history with a touch of progress. His current endeavor is a hundred-year-old church which he has somehow managed to convert to inconspicuous condos without changing the street view. Preservation teamed with artistry and imagination. A good roadmap to the future.
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Here's to a Better Year in '21Hopefully having a better year next year will be easy. We want to wrap up the year on a positive note and hopefully springboard into a more normal 2021. First of all, our holiday schedule. We will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, which is Thursday and Friday of this week. We will, however, be open on New Year's Eve but will be closed on Friday the 1st to celebrate the new year. In this month's newsletter, we give you some ideas on ways to enjoy the holiday season and plan for some fun and exciting things in '21. Of course, this starts with the hope of vaccination for each of us, and we think you will find the tool further down highly informative. We also have a guest writer this month, who provides some good ideas on making your home healthy and safe. Beyond that, we hope you have a calm and relaxing holiday season this year. As Charles Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” In talking with our clients, partners, and friends, we get the sense that most of you are already approaching things this way, but if you need a reminder about adversity and some of the ways people have dealt with difficult things in life, we found a good refresher here. Finally, we say thank you again to our wonderful clients. Your patience, resolve, and kindness have known no bounds this year. We wish you peace, prosperity, and above all, good health as we move into 2021. Thanks for including us in your lives.
The Best of the WestIn the spirit of a better 2021, we are starting to think about all the fun things we can do! 5280 Magazine published their "Best of the Mountain West" piece this month and we found it very interesting. They celebrate 26 captivating people, beautiful places, and irresistible things from the West. It made us feel good about where we live, and the culture that surrounds us. Beyond the places to visit, which are cool, like Polebridge Mercantile (see below photo) in Montana, the article is a celebration of style, culture, and the people of the West. We found it uplifting and makes us happy to be part of it. The complete piece can be found here.
Vaccination ScheduleThankfully, vaccines are arriving in cities everywhere, including Denver. So just how long will we have to wait to get ours? Well, that depends. Healthcare workers will be first. Folks in nursing homes, first responders, and those with health risks will go next. Other essential workers, teachers, and even some prisoners (yes, you read that right) will go before healthy folks do. The New York Times came up with a calculator that will show you roughly how long it will take before you are vaccinated depending on the category you fall into. It even depicts where you would be in a virtual line, which is sort of cool as well. The full calculator can be found here. You should be able to view and operate the calculator without signing up for the Times, which is a relief. If you don't have the patience to look at the calculator, the rough numbers put a healthy person living in Denver County behind about 500,000 people. The bottom line? Be patient for sure. The WHO published a full list of Q&A about the vaccine, timing etc. and that can be found here. Stay safe Denver, we will see most of you in line in early to mid-2021!
Best Home Light ShowsOne of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to load up everyone in the car, get some hot cocoa, and drive around looking at the light displays. This year it's also one of the few things we can do that is socially distanced and somewhat normal. So many neighborhoods have beautiful holiday light displays in and around Denver, we have many options to explore. From downtown Denver to Cheesman Park, Arvada, and many of the suburbs, there are some very creative and special people that take the time to make their homes special. So you don't' wander around aimlessly, we have provided the best info we can find on where to go to see these wonderful displays. We found a good article from Trips to Discover, that gives some good neighborhoods to take a peek in and that information can be found here. Of course, our friends at 5280 Magazine also published their list as well, with specific homes and addresses listed. The list includes the Gingerbread House, "which features 10,000-plus lights meticulously outlining nearly every edge of Walter Hazard’s home, and is beloved by those near (neighborhood kids were the ones who named it “The Gingerbread House”) and far (German magazine Der Spiegel featured it in a roundup of the best holiday displays in America). " The complete article from 5280 can be found here. Finally, we found one more resource from milehighonthecheap.com that lists many places in and around the Front Range to view holiday light displays. See below for a preview of some of our favorites. Here's to making the best of this most different holiday season!!!
A Healthier Home
By Guest Writer Curtis Fisher We naturally think of our homes as being a place of comfort, but have you given thought as to how much your home promotes your well-being? Your house doesn’t need to be a passive player in your health regimen! Here are some ideas for ensuring your home plays an active role in your personal wellness program. Is Your Home ‘Breathtaking’? The air in your home plays a vital role in your general wellness, but most of the time, we don’t give it much consideration. Yet the American Lung Association says our homes can harbor indoor pollutants like lead, allergens, and asbestos. Those pollutants can cause a variety of health problems, such as asthma and respiratory illnesses. If you have symptoms like headaches, sneezing, coughing, or memory issues, it’s wise to get a feel for your home’s air quality to find out if it’s a contributing factor. There are kits you can use to test the air in your home that measure mold, radon, and so forth. It’s a step toward wellness that you can easily DIY! Better Breathability One of the easiest ways to tackle air quality is to regularly replace your HVAC filters. The type of filter will determine how often it needs to be replaced. By updating your filters when it’s time, you can ensure healthier air and a healthier HVAC system. Looking for an air-refreshing DIY? Add some houseplants to your household! It’s a simple way to help eliminate toxins from your air, and if you opt for an herb or two, you can even add them to meals. Your Indoor Herbs notes lavender (Lavendula), mint (Mentha), and rosemary (Rosmarinus) are a few selections you can grow to help reduce your home’s indoor pollution, and they offer the bonus benefit of being useful in culinary pursuits. Lighten Up — Naturally Allowing more natural light into your home is a simple and effective way to enhance your health. It’s a great way to boost your mood and productivity and can even help you sleep better at night. If your home has small windows that don’t allow in much light, you could have them enlarged for around ,000. A window can be enlarged by most handymen. Just like with your HVAC system, whenever you’re hiring someone to work on this type of home upgrade, check their credentials and get some references. Be alert to red flags like requests for advance payment or vague proposals. And once the work is complete, just make sure you open your window coverings throughout the day to make the most of those sunbeams! Looking for a light-oriented project you can do yourself? Consider changing up your light bulbs. As Alpha Emerged explains, the artificial lighting in your home can play a significant role in how you feel. Red spectrum bulbs promote slumber, while daylight-simulating halogen bulbs help you feel more awake. Choose the former for bedrooms and the latter for places you intend to be productive, like the kitchen and your home office. Cut Your Clutter One last home upgrade that can really pack a wallop on your well-being: decluttering. As Prevagen explains, being surrounded by too much “stuff” can take a toll on your health. It can make you less productive and more anxious, and even appears to encourage overeating. Decluttering is an undertaking you can DIY, and once you’ve pared down and are organized, you’ll be feeling great! Plan Ahead In addition to all of this, it helps to plan for inclement weather. For example, if you live in an area that’s prone to heavy snow and ice storms, it might be a good idea to purchase and install a generator. That way, if anything happens to your electricity, you’ll have a way to stay warm until power gets restored. However, keep in mind that it could cost upwards of a day to keep the generator fueled. Is your home playing an active, positive role in your health regimen? Make sure your air is fresh, let the sunshine in, choose healthy artificial lighting, and cut down on clutter. Your house will have your back with these simple, health-enhancing steps!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for November were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Guadalupe Caloca, Maria Zapata, and Rosario De La Rosa. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Natalia Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of November. Our annual award winners will be announced in January 2021.
2020. What’s to say that hasn’t been said? Still, soldiering on, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to our clients, this year especially. You stood by us when the pandemic forced us to close for weeks, when it necessitated last-minute schedule and team changes, cancellations, and even shortened cleans. You all made it work. I spoke to each of you many times over the past months. Your kindness and easy acceptance were universal and overwhelming despite the hardships you all undoubtedly had in your own lives due to this beastly pandemic. We end the year grateful to have such amazing clients. May 2021 usher in a healthy and happy time for all. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Giving ThanksWhat a strange and memorable year. We know it may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we are very thankful. We are thankful for our wonderful clients. Our people. Our health. We know so many of you have been impacted by COVID, some of you worse than others and for that, you have our sympathy and love. We are thankful to be open during this time, doing our jobs. So many people aren't able to do this currently, especially our friends in the restaurant and gym business. Not to mention schools and the extra work many of you are putting in as "part-time" teachers at home. Crazy. We genuinely want to use this space to express our gratitude for all of you, our readers and friends. Without you, we have no company, no employees, and no business to be thankful for. We will continue to operate as safely as possible and try to bring you the peace of mind you need to keep your homes germ-free. We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, although we know it will be different from all the others. If you are deciding to get together, we have an interesting resource below that may ease your mind (or may not). Either way, please know that we appreciate you and wish you a safe and happy holiday and weekend.
Just How Risky is Thanksgiving?Ah, the tradition. We love getting together for Thanksgiving (and any other holiday where we can eat). So much controversy this year about Thanksgiving being "cancelled" and everyone being discouraged from getting together. That said, nearly 40% of people say they will likely attend a Thanksgiving gathering with 10 or more people despite the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a recent survey by Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. Another survey of parents nationwide found nearly a third say the benefits of gathering with extended family for the holidays are worth the risk of spreading or getting the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in partnership with the University of Michigan, says almost 3-in-5 plan to see extended family in person. We get it. Should you decide to expand the guest list, we wanted to provide a resource that will help guide you regarding exposure risk. Denver 7 published an interesting, interactive map created by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, that shows the likelihood that at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 when gathering with a group of 10 or more people in a given area. For example, under current case rates, a gathering of 10 people in Denver would have a 38% chance that one person there would be infected. Fascinating data and you can look anywhere in the US to determine the risk. The source interactive map and planning tool can be found here.
Upsizing Your Home?By Guest Writer Bob Shannon, Seniors Meet.org. Downsizing has become an incredibly popular retirement trend in the past few years. While many benefits come with sizing down into a smaller home—lower costs, less maintenance, and simpler living—there are also many good reasons to go against the grain. Depending on your retirement goals, upsizing to a larger home and property might be the better choice! Keep reading to learn more about upsizing in your senior years and how to make it happen. If you’re selling your existing home to help pay for a larger one, use a site like Redfin to learn how much comparable properties in the Denver area are selling for. If you’ll be taking out a mortgage for your new space, increase your borrowing power by paying off debt and boosting your credit score. Having a larger home in retirement comes with many perks for seniors. For example, you can set up a hobby farm your grandchildren will love visiting, and you can rent out the basement for some side income. Once you’ve made your move, unpack strategically by setting up your living room and bedroom first. You can dive into bigger projects later, like setting up a sewing room, so you’re not overwhelmed with laying out your new home. Downsizing isn’t for everyone. If your dream is to spend your golden years on a big, beautiful property and you have the financial means to make it happen, go for it! As long as you take your time to plan your big purchase and prepare for your move, your transition to a larger space will be smooth, stress-free, and, most of all, exciting!
How Expensive is Denver?Last month we were happy to report that Colorado fared very well in the annual Best Places to Live survey. With all that excitement, we thought we would take a look at just what it takes to survive in our fair city. For example, if you are a renter and want to live in Denver, you need north of 0k annually to do it. Wow. In Albuquerque, NM, in comparison, you would "only" need k annually. Interesting data and a fun list to pore over. The complete listing of 50 metropolitan areas and what it takes to live comfortably was published by GOBankingrates.com and Yahoo Finance and can be found here. Oh, what is the most expensive metro area to live in? San Francisco, where one would need 4K annually just to rent. Plus, it's foggy there and they have no mountains. Just sayin'.
Things to (safely) Do this Holiday Season
We thought planning for Thanksgiving was tough. December is coming and it has even more complexity. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or something else, December is full of reasons to gather. So, what exactly will be going on around Denver this year? Some things will remain, such as the Blossoms of Light festival at the Botanic Gardens. The Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall, and the Parade of Lights. The nice folks at Denver.org published a complete list of everything going on around Denver starting Thanksgiving weekend. They also put out a clean and safe guide that you can provide to any guests that might be visiting about just how things are working downtown these days. We hope whatever you decide to do you have a wonderful holiday season and stay safe!!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for October were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Martha Garcia, Cecilia Reyes, and Paz Jimenez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Juana Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.
According to a recently published book, hunter-gatherer societies worked less than people in other modes of subsistence, while not only providing for their needs but also enjoying a substantial amount of leisure time. This has raised some questions and opened discussions about our current work hours, which driven by the increase in what our society considers basic needs, has resulted in chaining us to extremely long work hours with minimal leisure time. Theories abound. With Thanksgiving upon us, however, let's put the theories aside, and pause to be grateful for the benefits of our labors, as is fitting. Happy Thanksgiving! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Business & Service UpdateWhile we try to make our monthly newsletter well-rounded and informative, we also want to share company information as we go. We figured this was a good time to give an update on how we are doing during the pandemic. With the recent announcement that Denver is at "Safer at Home" level 3, we wanted to let you know we are still operating. As a reminder, we are using every safety protocol that we know of to ensure that you and your family are safe when we clean your home. Full PPE, health and welfare monitoring along with a dose of Theraworx Protect ensures that our ladies are safe, and that you are as well. We are germ-killing experts and are glad we can help disinfect your homes during this challenging time. Our best advice to ensure everyone's safety is to simply socially distance from our teams when they are in your homes. Our ladies love to see you, but we also want to be as safe as possible. We promise we will wave from a distance. 🙂 We have been open and running since we were allowed to return, and to date have no issues with any client infections or problems. In short, we believe we are very safe and can provide a valuable service to you keeping your home germ-free. As always, we appreciate your trust and faith in us. We will continue to do all we can to earn it every day.
COVID Exposure AlertsSome of you may have received an alert this week about contact tracing embedded in your phone. The technology is fairly straightforward, and iPhone and Android makers are ensuring us that this is anonymous and that our information won't be used. Of course, as we have outlined in past newsletters, our phones are watching where we go anyway, unless you have that function disabled. From the article, "The technology uses non-identifiable Bluetooth tokens sent to user’s phones, when someone tests positive for COVID-19 anyone who has been in close proximity in the last 14 days is notified of exposure." "The identity of anyone using the system will never be revealed. The service does not collect, store or transmit any personal information, according to the CDPHE." As always, we must balance the public good versus our rights to privacy, so we will let you sort that one out yourself. Stay safe!
Denver's Record Housing MarketWe aren't sure anyone would have predicted this one. Right in the middle of a global pandemic, people on lockdown and the economy sputtering along, Denver's housing market has reached historic levels. In September, the typical home in the Denver area went under contract after six days, a 63% year-over-year decrease in days on market. Denver's housing market has been riding an unprecedented hot streak since the early summer, following a short-lived slowdown in March and April. September was also the most difficult month in Denver's history to buy a home. The inventory of homes for sale was down to 3,041 homes, and single family detached homes spent a median of just 6 days on the market. From the DBJ article. "New listings for all residential properties (both attached and detached) totaled 6,456, up 6.71% from the same month a year ago. But buyers put 6,376 homes under contract, leaving few properties to chip away at the current supply deficit." "The number of closings in September reached 5,850, a 16.51% year-over-year increase." Not what we expected either! The good news is if you are selling this should be a fun time to do so. The full article from the Denver Business Journal can be found here.
Colorado Leads the WayDovetailing on the housing market piece from above, it seems that everyone wants to live in Colorado. U.S. News and World Report recently published their list of best places to live. In fact, Colorado dominates the rankings, with Boulder coming in number one, and Denver number two. While we found that interesting, we were more surprised by the rest of the top five. Colorado Springs comes in at fourth and Fort Collins at fifth. If you are scoring at home, that gives Colorado 4 of the to 5 places to live in the entire U.S. Amazing stuff. They use data such as job market, housing affordability, quality of life index and desirability to come up with the rankings. The complete ranking of all the places to live, the methodology used, and how they rank can be found here. We feel fortunate to live in such a wonderful place.
Halloween Trick or Treating Rules
Saturday is Halloween. Like everything else, it's been turned upside down by COVID. We know many of you have little ones though, and they most likely don't want to hear about it interfering with the annual candy hunt known as trick or treating. In that spirit, we wanted to let you know what is going on around the Front Range regarding trick or treating and celebrating Halloween. In Denver, trick or treating will be allowed, but there are lots of recommendations on how to do it safely. The Denver Channel put together a checklist and it can be found here. We also ran across some cool ideas about getting candy to your porch visitors safely, such as:
- Line up individually wrapped treats at the end of the driveway or yard’s edge. Watch the fun and enjoy the costumes from a distance.
- Use a plastic slide, cardboard tubes, or plastic pipes to deliver candy from a distance.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for September were Paz Jimenez, Sandra Vidales, Maria Hernandez, Josefina Quinonez and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Natalia Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of September.
An interesting theory to ponder. Over the years I have seen a good deal of our clients' furnishings and treasured objects, heard where they originated and what memories they hold for the family. There is a theory that by the year 2030 anything we want we will rent instead of own. I wonder if it would go so far as to negate our natural instinct to collect and own beautiful pieces of art or artifacts or hold onto family heirlooms. Maybe there will be more museums so the beauty can be shared, but if our furnishings are not our own, collected and cared for and loved over the years, how does that change the essence of our homes? Will they just be houses? On the other hand, it's just a theory. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
We've Been Here BeforeCheck out the following quotes and tell us if they look familiar: "Wearing a mask violates my rights, I refuse to do it" "Businesses need to be reopened, it's illegal to force us to close" "They can't close the schools; our kids need socialization" If those seem to be quotes from today, they are not. They are examples of common complaints being levied against governmental pressure during....the Spanish Flu of 1918. The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems. The point is, we have been here before. The lessons we learned in 1918 and through other pandemics in history are still there for the taking if we pay attention and show some empathy for our fellow men and women. One of the big takeaways that we found is that non-pharmaceutical interventions work. Simple, but true. Masking and distancing have a greater effect than we all care to admit, but the truth is they work. The photo below shows Seattle policemen during the epidemic in 1918, so yes, we have indeed been here before.
We found a few interesting articles about the social phenomenon of prevention and intervention and wanted to share them with you. CNN did a nice piece on the 1918 flu versus COVID and it can be found here. The Guardian also put together a cool article (with photos) on how humans have handled pandemics in the past and it can be found here. The most common theme we could identify? That we need to take care of one another and not just ourselves. This pandemic has brought out the worst in people and the best in others (Big thank you to our front-line workers, health care providers and all of you that risk your lives daily for our well-being). At the end of the day, this virus will eventually die off. Sadly, it will take many of us with it. We are going to do our part to make sure that the number is as low as possible, and we hope you will as well. Lastly, thanks to all of you for being kind to us as we have fought through this together. We will continue to do our best to show respect, empathy, and kindness to all during this tough time.
Move Over...New Traffic LawAs usual, when we see an item that we think might help our readers, we share it. How many of you know that when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the freeway that you are supposed to move over and/or slow down? Yes, it seems like common sense, but very few people do this. Last year five state troopers were killed by careless drivers, so the legislature passed changes to Colorado's "Move Over Law". The new law not only requires that you move over a lane if possible, but that you slow your speed to 20 MPH below what is posted. While it doesn't sound like much, if you get caught violating this law, it is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and comes with 10 to 90 days in jail along with fines of 0-300. It's also a 4-point violation on your license. Definitely not worth it. A recap of the law including a link to the CSP podcast about it can be found here.
Best 'Hoods in DenverDo you live in the best neighborhood in Denver? Well, if you live in South Park Hill, 5280 magazine says you do. That locale was followed by Wash Park, Congress Park, West Highland and Cherry Creek. They published their annual list of the best neighborhoods in Denver and we wanted to share. The ranking system utilized four variables as follows: home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things that can’t be easily quantified, such as access to open space, nearby public transportation, and the prevalence of restaurants and shops. They weighted each one and came up with a firm ranking. Of course, there is always some subjectivity in these sorts of things, but we found it interesting. The complete article from 5280 Magazine can be found here.
750 Million Years Ago.....Ok, we did it again. Found a cool, time-wasting website to distract you from the chaos around us all. Ever wonder what earth was like say 750 million years ago? We did and went down the proverbial rabbit hole to learn more. In doing so, we learned about the continental drift theory and how it was upended by plate tectonics. I'm sure you are saying "get to the point", so we will. In short, a California paleontologist has created an interactive map that allows people to see how far their hometowns have moved over 750 million years of continental drift. So, if you are curious as to where your hometown was millions of years ago, the map will show you. Our spot on the planet has changed dramatically over the years. In fact, 540 million years ago, Denver was a beach town it seems. Kind of a cool thing to check out, we hope you enjoy playing with it as much as we did!!!
Can Air Conditioning Spread Covid?
One of the main concerns about COVID is how exactly is it spread? Oh sure, we get it. Don't touch your face. Check. Stay 6 feet apart. Check. Wash my hands. Check. Those are all great pieces of advice, but beyond those, there has been a great amount of misinformation and confusion about how this virus really spreads. One of the ideas is that COVID droplets can get into an HVAC system, say in any building where people gather. Then one infected person can infect everyone else, as the droplets pass through the system back into the entire space. What we found is very similar to what we have found so far regarding this virus to be true....no one is sure. The CDC performed a study, which was authored by researchers with the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China. It suggests that an air conditioning unit at a restaurant in China may have contributed to as many as eight other people being infected with the coronavirus in January. While the science is not 100% clear on this, it does seem that the use of HEPA filters on HVAC systems "should" capture the virus particles. The bottom line? No one really knows with 100% certainty. In the meantime, we will be checking to see if HEPA filters are present in the places we visit, and we certainly won't be sitting directly under the vents!!! Stay safe Denver.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for August were Rosario De La Rosa, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Juana Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of August.
The Autumnal Equinox last week brought a feeling of closure to this extraordinary summer, and we are pleased to have come through it with our health, our optimism and most of our wits. However, we can't let up. We will continue with all precautions and ask that the clients continue to keep us informed of any changes to their home situations. It is commendable that we have been able to seamlessly work together to keep both team members and clients safe and happy for these past months. As always, you can reach me for any changes, questions, comments, or really anything house related. Just a text or a call away. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Staying Sane During COVIDIt seems like we are all getting just a bit stir crazy. As this was all beginning, very few of us thought about the mental and emotional toll that being locked down could cause. Now, it's coming home to roost. Domestic violence is up. Substance abuse is up, and in a more benign category, the "COVID-15" weight gain seems to be a real thing. So, what do we do to stay sane in this crazy environment? We tried to do some heavy lifting for you and came up with some great suggestions and resources. For starters, organizing your life can lower your stress and give a sense of control over our environment. That's why we are offering some great organization tips in this month's newsletter. We have a wonderful partner that can assist as well....read on for details. The ADAA has published a list of solid ideas to cope with the isolation and frustration that this quarantine brings on. It includes organizing for sure, but also some tools that we can all use during this time. Their thoughts can be found here. Our favorite (and less clinical) list comes from the folks at Blue Zones. They came up with 50 ways to stay sane and we love it. It adds an element of structure, as well as some new ideas to cope with all of this. You can find their creative article here. In short, you aren't alone if you are feeling angry, frustrated, and/or helpless during these crazy times. As always, we are here to make your lives easier, at least as far as having a clean home goes. We continue to operate safely and efficiently, so if you haven't started your service back up with us yet, we are standing by when you are ready. Thanks to all of you for being great clients and partners, stay safe, and know we are here for you when you need us.
Colorado Labor StatsWith all the data we are constantly being fed, sometimes it's hard to understand what is real and what is not. Colorado unemployment and our labor situation is no exception. We recently wrote about Colorado running ahead of the rest of the country in terms of recovery from the pandemic. At face value the numbers look good. July unemployment dropped to 7.4%, good enough for the 15th lowest in the nation. This is a nice drop from the 10.6% we were showing in June. Where it gets dicey is in how we are adding jobs back. From the DBJ article: "While Colorado’s unemployment rate sits well below the national July average of 10.2%, however, it is not replacing jobs lost from the pandemic at the same rate. With the state having so far gained back just 134,200 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs it lost between February and April, its recovery rate sits at 39.2%, below the nation’s 41.9% average." "Part of the mismatch in unemployment and job-recovery statistics stems from the fact that Colorado had so many jobs and such a low unemployment rate before the pandemic struck." The full DBJ article can be found here. The Colorado Sun also did a good article dissecting what is going on in our labor market and that can be found here. Let's hope for a speedy continued recovery.
Is it Hot in Here?We are on fire, literally and figuratively. With wildfires burning and creating haze, we also get to endure what is shaping up to be the second hottest summer on record, at least in terms of days over 90. This week, we topped that number for the 15th straight day (good for the 8th longest streak ever), and the 65th day over 90. Those 65 days represent the second highest number of days ever, trailing only 2012 with 73 days over that mark. The longest streak of 90-degree days is 24, set in 2008 and 2012. On top of it all, we are now officially in drought conditions, with fire bans in effect and very little precipitation. So yes, it is EXTREMELY hot "in here" these days. We hope you are staying cool during these times. The good news is that there may be a little rain coming as we inch into September. A full recap of our crazy summer weather can be found here, courtesy of the folks at Denver 7. For those of you looking ahead to a cooler time, the old reliable Farmer's Almanac seems to think we will have a cold and snowy winter. Something to look forward to!
Saving Our RestaurantsThey aren't dead yet, but they are not faring well during COVID. The Independent Restaurant Coalition has determined that 85% of independent restaurants could be closed in six months. And while take-out and delivery are helping, fine and casual dining establishments are down 85% and 65% respectively. That is a staggering number and one that gave us pause. It appears there may be relief in sight. 5280 Magazine ran a piece on the RESTAURANT act, which we had never heard of. The program provides 0B in grants to independent restaurants, and specifically targets businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. The first 14 days of funding would be available only to the smallest establishments, those with less than 1.5MM in annual revenue. The bipartisan bill has not yet been passed and the industry is asking our support. So, if you are passionate about the Denver dining scene and your local watering holes, now is a great time to get involved. You can contact your congressperson here to make your case.
One of the hardest parts about COVID is the feeling of having no control over the situation we are in. Psychologists will tell you that while we don't control much in our environment, the sense of control can go a long way in reducing our stress. One of the ways to do that is to take control of your space, and with many of us working from home now, it gets cluttered up even faster. Enter organizational tactics, from de-cluttering our desks to sorting through our e-mail inboxes. "Being organized helps with a sense of control," says Ari Meisel, entrepreneur, organization guru and founder of Less Doing, More Living, who focuses on optimizing, automating, and outsourcing daily tasks to reduce stress. "We all need some control in our lives in order to stay motivated." Here are some resources to help you do just that. MyMove has a good starter list here. Good Morning America did a nice piece on organizing as well, and that can be found here. Finally, for those of you too busy to tackle this stuff yourselves we have the perfect solution. Our friend Allison Welch at As You Wish, is an expert at this. She has a team of people at the ready to make your lives better, and she can be found here.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for July were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, Josefina Quinonez and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Laura Varela. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of July.
These days being constantly informed of current events is a downer. But there is optimism. I hear it when I text daily schedule confirmations to our clients. Bravo to those of you who are parents suddenly coping with homeschooling and home offices, added to a schedule and house already at capacity on a good day. How you keep your sense of humor intact is nothing short of amazing. From other clients I hear about a cooking mania revisited, books long unread being opened, new movies discovered, a new language, new family connections. There is mention of never before online opportunities like art shows, concerts, museum and city tours. We are nothing if not resilient and resourceful as a society. Just keep repeating, we will get through this. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Our "Real" Fearless LeaderWho are we referring to, you might ask? If you thought we were talking about our owner, you are wrong. We are talking about our General Manager, Maria Herrera. Way back in 2000 she joined Denver Concierge as a housekeeper. It didn't take long for the company to realize that we had a star performer on our hands. We are sure you know Angela as the "client" piece of the operation and the author of the monthly "Queen Bee" feature at the bottom of our newsletter. However, if you have wondered how we organize our teams, handle payroll, safety, and all the other operational stuff behind the scenes....the answer is Maria Herrera, our General Manager. She doesn't like the limelight much, but she has done an exemplary job for 20 years!!!!! We are so thankful to have her leading our field operations and making sure your house is spotless. Sadly, with COVID, we haven't really been able to celebrate the way we normally do, but we have recognized Maria internally with her service award and our undying gratitude.
Please join me in congratulating Maria for her service and dedication to making sure we are the best cleaning company in Denver!
The New "Work/Life" RealityIt's hard to believe but for the first time in our history, for most of us, the three major facets of our lives are occurring in our homes. Work, school, and family life have all converged on us in the place where we live. From an employer perspective, things like productivity in the face of monumental stress at home is becoming harder and harder to measure. Many companies have suspended performance reviews as they re-work what it all looks like in the "new normal". Not to mention the change in remote working that for some of us may be permanent, as companies figure out that the need to have everyone in an office may not be all that we thought it was. The smart folks at the Stanford Graduate School of business wrote a great piece on this and how it impacts equality and inclusion. We wanted to share it, the full article can be found here. Stay balanced Denver.
Denver's Drinking ProblemDo we have a drinking problem in Denver? We certainly know more alcohol is being consumed as a result of COVID. The most recent stats show that 27% of Denverites binge drink regularly. From the 5280 magazine article: "The standout statistic: More than one in four Denver adults reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days. That puts our penchant for quaffing ahead of residents in every other comparable Western city, including Seattle, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Austin, Texas." Liver disease is also up in Denver, with the death rate up 35% between 1999 and 2017. Fascinating stats, and we are surprised by what we read. The entire piece can be found here, and it is very comprehensive. Here is to staying healthy and being keenly aware of the effects of too much alcohol!
Failure vs. SuccessIt sure feels nice when things go well. There are fewer greater feelings than when we nail a project at home or at work. What about when things don't go as planned? For us, we always seem to learn more when things go wrong than when they go right. We found a very cool article from Association Universe that confirms this feeling. From the article: "The moments where things are hard, where you’ve made a colossal mistake, are likely the most valuable times in life. These moments are filled with lessons that guide us toward success. This is something many people have heard before: We learn from our mistakes, right? So why do we feel so terrible about making them?" We loved the brain science behind failure and how we are wired to evolve and learn. The full article can be found here.
Healthy Home Lifestyle Products
We draw again here on our friend Marina Daganais of Designer Premier. We love her newsletter and frequently print items from it since she is so in tune with all things home decorating and improvement. In her blog this month, she writes about healthy lifestyle products that can improve your home. While some of it is COVID related, such as a touchless faucet (who knew such a thing existed?), she also enlightened us about sanitizing dishwashers as well. In short, we learned a lot. We also found a great piece from the people at This Old House, with a long list of ways to sanitize and keep your home germ free. Of course, using Denver Concierge on a regular basis helps as well!!!
Monthly Award WinnersWe can finally provide a list of winners over a complete month of work (thank you all for that). Our monthly award winners for June were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, Simona Estrada, and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader Ranks, it was Martha Anchondo and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. Special congrats to all our hard-working associates who are risking their own safety to make sure your home is clean. Thanks again to you, our clients, for allowing us to do what we do best.
Quick update on our COVID-19 ongoing procedures: We continue to have the ladies' temperatures taken in the morning before dispatch and duly noted. We also make sure we converse directly with each employee re how they look, feel, their family health etc. We have ordered what seems like mountains of disinfectants in many forms; towelettes, liquid, foam, cream, and spray. Masks are mandatory as are gloves. Disinfecting interiors of the vehicles and equipment between houses continues and we are issuing a much larger supply of vacuum bags and rags to each team. So far, we have been truly fortunate as our ladies and clients have remained healthy. There will be no letup in our procedures in the foreseeable future. Be safe, stay sane, Queen Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
1. Declutter, then declutter some moreWith the exception of vacant homes, there’s no such thing as too clutter-free. That’s because buyers want to see your home, not the stuff inside of it. Start decluttering your home by getting rid of things you don’t plan to keep when you move. Next, tackle the items you’re keeping but don’t need over the coming weeks and put them in storage. This includes items like recreation equipment, holiday decorations, spare linens and dishes, and yes, your kid’s toys.
2. Adopt a cleaning scheduleYou have to keep your home looking and smelling great until it sells. Since there’s no way of knowing whether that will take days or weeks, you need a plan for maintaining your home’s cleanliness. To speed things up, invest in quick-cleaning tools like a stick vacuum and microfiber spray mop so you’re not lugging bulky tools around the house every day. Stick vacuums are ideal for these kinds of quick jobs because they’re simple to maneuver and aren’t heavy.
3. Get the whole family involvedGet the family involved in keeping your house show-ready by assigning age-appropriate chores like making beds and putting away the dishes. Rather than trying to convince your kids to keep their rooms spotless, give each child a lidded basket where they can stash clutter in a pinch. You’ll also save a ton of time and stress if you set mess-preventing rules like no shoes in the house and no eating in the living room. While these tips will help keep your house clean while it’s for sale, don’t expect perfection. There will inevitably be days where you’re scrambling to tidy up and get the kids out of the house before buyers arrive for a last-minute showing. However, by following this advice, you can keep those days — and your stress — to a minimum. Image via Pexels
COVID-19 UpdateAs most of you already know, we are back to work. We closed in March as part of the Stay at Home Order. April as well. In May, we went back to work as soon as we could (May 11), with all precautions we could think of in place. June is our first full month back and we are happy to report, so far so good. Our precautions seem to be working, and we are thankful that our ladies are well, and not one has shown signs of any illness. As we have mentioned to many of you, the key for us all to stay healthy is to avoid one another while in your homes. If you aren't close to our ladies, and they aren't close to you, we can reduce the risk of any transmission to nearly zero. We know many of you are at home while we clean, if you can ensure that you are in a different area of your home than our cleaning teams, we are certain we are both safe. Our PPE protects us from any germs that may be on surfaces, so if we continue to distance, we should have no issues. Beyond those obvious changes, it is business as usual for Denver Concierge. As time passes, we hope that we can get back to normal topics here, but we want to make sure you know that we are being highly vigilant in our efforts. Thank you from all of us for your trust, support, kindness, and care. Please stay safe and if you have any questions about our operations or ideas on how we can do better, please let us know.
Green & ProudWe don't like to toot our own horn. In fact, we rely on your feedback, reviews and loyalty to get us through our days. However, there is one thing we are super proud of. Way back in 2008 we led the way in Denver as the very first Certified, Green Clean maid service. In fact, we were the first certified residential company in Colorado. Sure, many have followed, mostly because of perception and marketing....and because we did it first. Marketing and perception are not the reasons we went through the certification process. We did it because taking care of the environment and being responsible corporate citizens was and remains very important to us. We remain committed to the environment and are happy to announce our recertification. We go through an annual process to ensure we are operating properly and using only green certified products and procedures. Full details on the Green Clean Institute and all they do can be found here. We look forward to many more years of doing things the right way. It's the only way we know.
Colorado Economy ReboundingWe know things aren't great. We aren't anywhere near the robust economy that we were all enjoying before this madness began. However, there are signs of life. Colorado added 68,000 jobs in the month of May. That is the good news. The bad news, of course is that only represents 20% of the lost/suspended jobs that this crisis has caused. Unemployment in May dropped a full two points from 12.2% to 10.2%. Both of those numbers outpace the national average fairly substantially. From the DBJ article, "Luke Teater, OSPB deputy director, said in a presentation to the Joint Budget Committee that the state’s small businesses are doing better in aggregate than national small businesses, according to several measurements. The number that are missing rent or utility payments is about 12%, below the national average of 15%, and the number that have had to reduce work hours recently is about 20%, compared to about 25% nationally." This is good news. Also, unlike many states, we seem to be managing the transition with no big spikes in cases. The full article in the Denver Business Journal can be found here.
Can we go out now? Please?Last month we mentioned restaurants and how much they need us. It got us thinking....what else are we missing? We know many of you love the arts. Denver has such a vibrant scene of music, museums, the Zoo, we have been wondering how this could all work in this era. For starters, all the concerts and shows that we know of have either been rescheduled or cancelled. Too tough to socially distance a concert. Our friends at the convention center are not faring well either, as there really isn't an effective way to host meetings of hundreds or thousands with good social distancing. What about the museums? The Zoo? The nice people at 5280 Magazine published a good piece on how 9 Denver institutions are reopening. This includes the Zoo, Botanic Gardens, the Aquarium, Libraries and more. Each has its own restrictions and guidelines, but how nice to have some of our cultural mainstays back!!! I am so proud to be a resident of a state that is handling this so well. Our people seem to understand and for the most part, abide by rules that are allowing us to get back to some sense of living our lives again. We will join you all in doing our best to resume our lives, safely and responsibly as we try to get back to normal. Be safe Denver!
The 4 Second Workout
There was a funny scene in a movie with Ben Stiller years ago about "8-minute abs". The question came up "why not 7-minute abs? Or 6-minute abs?" Great questions that we can't answer, but it was a funny scene. So, when we saw the headline about a 4 SECOND workout, we had to dive in. It seems that most American adults sit for nearly 10 hours each day. Now that many of us don't have a commute anymore, we suspect that number is creeping higher. Now what do we do? Can't really go to the gym safely right now. If you do, it sure isn't the way that it used to be, with appointments, distancing and the like. Many of us don't have gyms at home. So how what? From the article, "The health impacts of this inactivity can be considerable, with studies linking prolonged sitting to increased risks for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disruptions. In particular, multiple hours of sitting can contribute to a later rise in the bloodstream of fatty acids, known as triglycerides, probably in part because muscles at rest produce less than contracting muscles do of a substance that breaks up triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides, in turn, are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other metabolic problems." It turns out that small bursts of intense activity can potentially assist with the downside of all this sitting. The full article can be found here, it's quite interesting. We don't want the "COVID 15", so this is definitely something we may try!!
Monthly Award WinnersWe misspoke (or wrote) here last month. We were closed in April and only restarted in May, so we still only have a partial month to report. Look for our list of top performers for the first full month (June) in next month's newsletter. I can tell you however that our ladies have been courageous and determined in their efforts to keep working safely and to make sure you are taken care of. We have not had anyone complain or push back on our new protocols. Our people are fully engaged and so happy to be back doing what they love. In truth, they all deserve an award. There really aren't a lot of words that would effectively describe how we feel about our people. Their loyalty, grit and love for what they do in your homes shines through every day. Another salute to our wonderful workforce!!!!
When the pandemic first started to show itself as the monster that it has become, I think we all felt as if we'd been transferred overnight to an alien world. The reality of it was nigh on impossible to grasp. Oddly, several months later this world doesn't seem quite so new. It's interesting what we can adjust to. Equally interesting is to realize that while many things in our lives have not changed, our perception of them certainly has. Take Denver Concierge as an example (of course). Once we opened and were cleaning again, getting the teams dispatched in the morning, last minute schedule changes, day to day problems cropping up without notice and many times without precedent; what used to appear as hectic overdrive in the running of a service business suddenly took on an aura of welcome normalcy. We gained a new appreciation for sameness. The frantic pace was suddenly soothing. I guess this is my way of saying it's great to back with you. As always, thank you for inviting us into your homes! Queen Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Business as Usual...AlmostYes, we are tired of talking about Coronavirus. We are sure you are as well. Thankfully, we are now back to work. It has been a nice, warm reunion between our folks and you, and we appreciate it more than you know. We have been cleaning some of you for a very long time and we know our ladies feel like family. They feel the same way about you. We won't go into any of the protective stuff we are doing, it's all been covered in past newsletters. Rest assured it is very thorough and if you missed it you can learn more here. For now, we just want to express our gratitude for getting back to doing what we do best, taking care of our clients. We hope you are all safe and sound and beginning to resume a somewhat normal life again. This month's newsletter focuses on some of the happenings around Denver and in our quarantined lives. Let's hope by next month we have inched closer to normalcy. Be safe out there folks!
The Covid "15"A long time ago when we started college we were warned about the "freshman 15". After a few weeks in the dining hall, combined with lots of extracurricular activity (drinking as we recall), the scale was suddenly a little off. Some surveys are showing the quarantine is having the same effect. USA Today recently ran an article about this phenomenon which you can read here. On a happy note, Medicine.net published an article that indicates things may not be as bad as we think. From that article, "The maker of an internet-connected scale found that users had gained only .21 pounds in the first month of the lockdown. And while its users might not reflect the population as a whole, weight loss experts do say they're seeing a fair number of people who are continuing to lose. According to data provided by Lose It!, it's users have lost less weight on average this March and April compared to the same months in 2019." Lots of booze, baking and extra time at home certainly have the potential to put some extra pounds on. We hope you are staying healthy during these times!
Restaurants Need UsOf course they do. But now more than ever. We know a few of you are restaurant owners. We also know that nearly all of us go out to eat, or at least we used to, so this affects us all in some way or another. State and city governments have now allowed re-openings across the Front Range and while things will be radically different, they need our support to survive. We are also sad to report the closing of some of the iconic places in Denver. Morton's the Steakhouse has officially closed its location downtown. Breakfast staple Racine's has also closed permanently. One of our favorite places, The Market, also shuttered its doors. Others have followed suit and the preliminary look at some that have closed is quite depressing, but can be found here. We have spoken with many of you in this industry and we are here to support you. The Colorado Restaurant Association published a list this week of restaurants that are open across the state. We aren't sure about you, but we are going to do our best to support Denver's once vibrant restaurant scene. While it may not be like it was, we are pleased to get back out and support other small businesses in our community. Let's all do our part to keep this important part of our economy going strong.
Contact Tracing and PrivacyYou may have heard about the importance of contact tracing in containing this pandemic. On paper, it seems very logical. Someone gets infected, and then all the interpersonal contact that person has had is traced and people are then quarantined. Seems simple enough. Unless you are worried about privacy. Recent smartphone updates have likely added contact tracing options to your OS, quite probably without your consent. The good news is that you can opt-in or out of the program. PC Magazine wrote a great piece on this and exactly how it will work. There is always a fine line between protection of privacy and doing what is best for the social good. In this case, it appears that the companies organizing this are doing the best they can to create that balance. Both Apple and Google have teamed up on this project and their comments can be found here.
Denver Real Estate Update
How the heck do you sell a property in this climate? Is buying one any easier? We have spoken with several clients and partners in both the commercial and residential space and there is good and bad news. Commercially, it's not a happy time across the Front Range. Many retail stores can't pay the rent, and many companies that were growing and planning new space put those plans on hold for the pandemic. Lots of "wait and see" going on commercially. However, the new reliance on e-commerce and online shopping could very well help the industrial segment of the commercial space, according to this article by BisMag. Residentially, there is a lot of pent up demand, and while open houses aren't allowed (unless they are fewer than 10 people) things have opened up a bit. Of course, virtual showings and tours have gone through the roof, so to speak. April numbers were not great, however, and CPR News published a good piece on the year over year effect of the pandemic here. The list of guidelines for Front Range realtors can be found here. We wish you the best in buying or selling in these challenging times.
Monthly Award WinnersMuch like last month, nothing to report here for now. We hope to have some May award winners here in the June edition of our newsletter. We will again use this space to say thanks publicly to all our people that have risked and will be risking their safety to make sure your homes are clean. We are so happy to be back in your homes and we will continue to recognize our top people as things get back to normal. For now, all our ladies are award winners in our minds, for taking the risk to make sure your home is clean. We congratulate all of you for your courage and dedication.
So good to be back with our clients again! Thank you for the exuberant welcome you heaped on the ladies! There was a lot of catching up to do; new family members (babies, puppies, kittens) and new room rearrangements and designations. Several new houses and a lot of construction. All in all, we are back to what we do best for the clients and I hope that our weekly or bi-weekly visits ease some of the stress of the current situation and some of the unease of change. Thank you for having us and stay safe! Queen Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Let's Get Safely Back to WorkOur March newsletter seems like an eternity ago! So much has happened in the month that has passed. As you know by now, we decided to cease operations for April in conjunction with the statewide Stay at Home Order that was mandated by Governor Polis. The recent news of the lifting of this order is our signal to get back into your homes and get rid of all the germs. We have spoken with many of you and we know you need us. We need you too. Currently, there is a ton of confusion about when and how housecleaning can resume. Statewide, we believe that the lifting of the order will allow us to work beginning on the 27th. We also must obey the orders of the city of Denver, and those differ from the state order. Bottom line? We are hopeful that we can begin work as soon as Monday the 27th. The next possible date would be an opening on May 1st. Should Denver, or other local municipalities that we operate in vary their dates, we will be complying with those as well. Meanwhile, Angela will be communicating with each of you, and if you need to reach her directly with questions, you may do so easily here. When we do get back to work, we have implemented numerous safety protocols that we wish to share with you here, so that you will be comfortable knowing we are taking every precaution we know of. Procedurally, Angela will be reaching out to each of you this week to gauge your interest in having us back. We realize some of you won't be ready, nor comfortable yet. In that spirit, we want to cover what we are doing to make sure you are safe, and that we are safe as well. Here goes: 1. We have implemented strict social distancing in our office space. Our processes for loading vehicles, interacting with office staff, etc. have all been modified to minimize contact. In fact, the only contact our people will have is with the other persons on your cleaning team. We are controlling this as much as possible, as you will read below. 2. We will be taking each associate's temperature every morning and logging it. We have taken temperatures of all of them this week, so we have a baseline number for each. Anyone with even a slight spike will be sent home as a precautionary measure. 2. PPE will be worn by each associate in your homes. In our world, this means gloves and masks, at all times. These will be disposed of after each clean, and a new set put on before entering your home. 3. We also have a cool product called Theraworx Protect that we feel will significantly improve our safety. More details below, we think you will like it. 4. All previous safety protocols (see last month's newsletter) regarding equipment usage, disinfecting, etc. are also still in place. If you would like us to use your equipment, we are happy to do so. There is no reason for our associates to get within six feet of you or your family. If you have any reason to discuss what is needed, just reach out to Angela and she will make sure the team takes care of it. Finally, it is important to communicate that we are not forcing any associate to come and work. Anyone that is high risk or caring for someone high risk will be staying home until the situation changes. They will be paid for this time, thanks to the SBA payroll protection loan which we were able to obtain. We are so excited to get back to doing what we do best. It is our mission to make your home as germ-free as possible and help us all get back to some sense of normalcy. Thank you so much for your patience, your understanding, and most importantly, your loyalty. We hope to be here for years to come, helping you and your home stay clean and happy as we have since 1998.
Theraworx ProtectWhat if we told you there was a product that you could apply to your hands, face and all sensitive areas that would barricade you topically from Coronavirus for 4-6 hours? Oh, and you don't need to wash your hands while it's on. It exists, and it is called Theraworx Protect. We have a friend that is in HAZMAT, former military and is now in the private sector teaching people about biohazards, chemical impacts, etc. He recommended this product to us and we enthusiastically ordered some while we were away. Each of your team members will not only have the above-mentioned PPE and precautions in their repertoire but they will each be covered in Theraworx. Clinical studies all back this up and we are so excited to use it in the field. We hope this gives you further confidence that we are taking every step of this reopening seriously. To learn more about Theraworx Protect, visit them here. They have a bit of a lead time issue, as you can imagine, but the product is endorsed widely by the pros in the HAZMAT space.
Our Kind ClientsWow. The last thing we expected during this tough time was the outpouring of care and concern for our people by our wonderful clients. The list is too long (and frankly most of you wouldn't want the credit anyway) of clients that offered to pay for their cleans while we were closed. Many of you did. Some of you sent big tips and/or wanted to compensate your team directly and that is appreciated too. As we mentioned above, we were able to secure SBA funding for the Payroll Protection Act, and we have been paying our associates immediately upon receiving these funds. They won't miss a check, thankfully. There was, however, a window there where we had no revenue and a lot of concerned folks, so everything you did is and was greatly appreciated. I am certain that you will see that gratitude in the faces of your team when they hit your homes soon. Not only do they express their thanks but we as a company do as well. At a time when so many are being selfish and have lost focus on humanity, you have given us all reasons to believe in the goodness of people. Thanks to all of you for sticking with us, we will see you all soon. We love you.
How Does Your Home Make You Feel?What exactly does that mean? For most of you it has changed a lot lately, as you have likely been spending way more time there than you are used to. In our world, we have noticed things that maybe we had not before. Our wonderful friend at Designer Premier, Marina Dagenais, published a good article on this in her newsletter this month. She asks, "Is my Home Environment Affecting my Mental Well Being?" We dove in and loved what she had to say about architecture, natural light, colors, etc. We aren't sure what positive things will come out of this (we have some ideas in the column right of this) but we know reconnecting with our homes is one of them. The article can be found here. We can only imagine the interior design business is a little slow right now, so when it comes time to get some pros involved, please reach out to Marina at Designer Premier.
Life After a Pandemic
Yes, we know this is far from over. But why not take a minute to think about what good might come of this? There must be something? We can come up with all the negative things about this time....but those are easy to find. How about a short list of good things that will come out of this? Air quality is better. Fewer traffic accidents for sure, at least for the moment. More interpersonally, how about the value of a handshake. A hug? Being outside? For us, our appreciation of these things is now much higher than ever. The next hug we give might last 30 seconds. Awkward. Anyway, a cool, quick article on Medium.com, about the positive changes we might be able to take away can be found here. For those cerebral types in our readership, we found a deep rabbit hole to go down relative to the economy. The main premise involves looking at other pandemics in the past and seeing what worked and didn't work. The controversial headline is that social distancing might not just save lives but could actually be good for the economy. Make sure you have a cup of coffee before you dive in, but if you are interested the article can be found here.
Monthly Award WinnersSadly, we will not have any award winners since it was a partial month and things were very different around here. I will use this space to say thanks publicly to all our people that have risked and will be risking their safety to make sure your homes are clean. While we are taking every precaution, leaving one's home increases the risk above zero regardless of what one is doing. So today, I salute our awesome people for taking pride in what they do. They miss you as much as the company does, and I know they are excited to help improve your lives, even in little ways like making sure your home is clean. Thank you ladies!
It feels good to reach out to our clients again, even if it is in the form of my monthly Queen Bee Corner. Seems like forever since we have seen you all. I have received quite a few client texts over these past few weeks, anxious to know when we are coming back. When the stay at home order is lifted is the answer, and it can't be soon enough for us either! I am still working, albeit from home, planning our strategies for entering a new world when we come out on the other side of this. So, feel free to text or call if you want to touch base. I need to take a moment to thank all our clients for the incredible generosity you have shown to our ladies during this time. Generosity of spirit, monetary generosity, and overwhelming generosity in your concern for their health and welfare. My heartfelt thanks to you all! Be safe, Queen Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
COVID-19 Plans & ScheduleWe write our March newsletter in what can only be described as the strangest time in our country in a very long while. 9/11 is the last thing that mobilized our citizens as much as this has, and the effects this time are more wide-ranging and changing very fluidly. It would be our desire to "not" write about COVID-19, but given the industry we are in, we feel compelled to. This month's newsletter will focus on our plans (again, these could change rapidly) and on providing you with some resources that might help during these challenging times. Here goes.... We are still open as of this writing. The shelter-in-place order that came down in Denver this week places us in the exempt category. We believe we can assist you in this time of need and will do so as long as we are able. We communicated early on with our client base about our response to this virus and that full letter can be found here. As with all other companies, our focus is not on revenue or business as much as it is the safety of our associates and our clients. We will continue to follow the lead of local, state and federal authorities on what we can do and how we can do it, but for now, we are open. We are in the business of killing germs, and we will continue to do so in your homes as we have for years. As always, we thank all of you for your loyalty to Denver Concierge. Please know that we value you and will be taking every precaution known to ensure your safety.
Tips on Working from HomeThis will be the year a good number of us get to feel what it is like to work from home. Those of you in field sales, the self-employed, etc., already know many of these tips, but we wanted to provide some ideas on how to make the experience better. We consulted with several people that do this and we received a lot of great tips. First and foremost, you need structure. Set your office hours and plan and structure your workday. You also need a routine. It's easy to fall out of it when you don't have to go to an office. Get up, get dressed, and prepare the same way you always have. This was a big one from the folks we spoke with...."don't work in your PJ's". Finally managing distractions. Family members may be feet away from you (hopefully six feet) and it's easy to lose focus on what you are working on. Establish boundaries with family members so they realize this is your new "office", at least for the time being. Nextiva published a nice 32 point checklist and that can be reviewed here. A simpler one from Entrepreneur.com can be found here. Good luck to all of you in managing these challenges!
52 Ways to Detox Your HomeHopefully using Denver Concierge takes care of a lot of this. However, in these times it might be a good idea to think about ways to keep things germ free and clean between our visits. We also realize that some of you have suspended service until this crisis passes, so we wanted to provide some ideas on just how to take care of things until we return. According to NSF International, your kitchen is actually the germiest place in your home (yep, we thought bathroom too). 5280 Magazine published a very comprehensive list of what needs to be cleaned and detoxed in your home and that can be found here. From that article, “The various classes [of chemicals] we’re exposed to every day, from the house-cleaning products we are using to plastics to sprays…have effects on chronic respiratory outcomes, such as asthma, allergies, and lung diseases,” says Dr. Dana Dabelea, professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at the Colorado School of Public Health. “Others have effects on our endocrine systems.” The good news? Simple changes can ensure your home is a safer place for you, your kids, and even your pets." It's a great read and very detailed. As always, we are standing by to assist you as needed!!!
Immune Building ExercisesThe gyms are closed. Some of you don't have fitness equipment at home, so what do we do? The largest issue we see is the disruption of our routines. We get up, go to work, go to the gym, all at set times. Some of us go on walks with colleagues at lunch, and all those things are temporarily gone. So, what do we do to not only get our exercise, but keep our immune systems strong? Luckily the weather is changing and we live in an amazing place to be outdoors. Our friends at Medium.com, wrote a great piece on this and we wanted to share it. From the article "Data shows that that physically active people have a 40-50% reduction in the number of days they’re ill with acute respiratory infections. " That was all we needed to hear. Let's enjoy some time outdoors, six feet apart, Colorado!!
How to Stop Worrying
Did you know that 38% of us worry about something every single day? When we read that, we honestly thought it might be low. In today's world we are sure it is. So, how do we stop the cycle of worry? One of our favorite quotes, often attributed to Mark Twain (we aren't sure) goes like this: "I've had a lot of worries in my life, some of which actually happened." It's true. Most of what we worry about never materializes at all, or when it does, it never resembles the way we saw it happening. What then, do we do to curb the incessant chatter that our minds provide? Do we really need the daily commentary of fear and doubt that we hear in our heads? One of our favorite people in the world, Eckhart Tolle, has made his mark with the concept of presence. We also drew on the folks at Medium.com again who came up with four great habits to stop the cycle of worry. We are doing our best to remain present in these strange times and enjoy each day regardless of the manic news cycle we are surrounded by and we encourage you to do the same.
Monthly Award WinnersPlease join me in congratulating our best performers for February 2020! Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Concepcion Reyes, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Maria Renteria. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were once again, Juana Olivas and Socorro Ibarra, back to back months for them! Thanks to all our team members for their hard work and dedication! Congrats ladies!
This month's message from your sequestered Queen Bee: 1. Be kind to one another. 2. Take care of yourself physically and spiritually. 3. Remember the things in life that are truly important. Thanks for your continued support and loyalty to our company. Until next month- Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Take the Leap (Year)2020 is a Leap Year. This means February has a 29th day this year (which gives us an excuse for having this newsletter out so late). As our loyal readers know, we love to share quirky facts about different topics, plus there is only so much you want to read about our wonderful housecleaning service! Did you know that you can tell a leap year by whether the last two digits of the year we are in is divisible by 4? The odds of being born on a Leap Day are 1 in 1,461. Tony Robbins was born on Leap Day. There was even a dude back in the 1800s who was born and died on a Leap Day. He was 68, which means he only had 17 birthdays!! The origins of Leap Year have to do with synchronizing the Gregorian calendar to our solar calendar, and it ensures that our solar events (equinoxes for example) occur on the same day. Think of it as a calibration device for our calendars! For more fun Leap Year facts, check out this fun piece by Reader's Digest. For those of you that want more scientific detail, here you go. This year the 29th is on Saturday, and we hope you enjoy the extra day of the year. Lastly, and because we are in the fun and giving mood, any client that can show Angela that they or any member of their current household was born on Leap Day will receive a free clean. Yep, 100% free, just because we hate that you only have a birthday every four years!!! Happy Leap Year!
Broncos Development Plan UpdateLast year, we wrote about the plan to develop the area near Broncos Stadium. Or Empower Field, if you like. The plans for this development are taking shape and include six phases, ranging from Old Colfax to the Decatur Federal District. They will be developing 55 acres directly south of Empower Field. From the article, "The development of the 55 acres in West Denver's Sun Valley neighborhood will transform an area that mostly consists of stadium surface parking into a mixed-use neighborhood with "market-rate and affordable housing, office, entertainment, hospitality and other stadium-related land uses," according to the framework." In June of last year, the city council voted to approve the plan, but many details are still to be filled in. The complete overview from the Denver Business Journal can be found here.
Getting to your Best IdeaAll of us have been faced with hairy problems. Or, sometimes need a creative solution for different challenges in life. Our teachers used to tell us, "your first answer is probably correct". We found that to be true a lot of the time, but as problems become more complex, that is not likely true. Then we ran across a great piece by the Stanford Graduate School of Business that asserts maybe your second favorite idea is the best. Just how good are we at knowing if an initial idea is worth our effort? Justin Berg at Stanford ran some experiments and the results are fascinating. It turns out your "gut" is partially right. Initial ideas are solid, but often lack the abstract or creative element. Further fleshing out of the problem often leads to a more solid solution. Hence the notion that ideas below the first option are often the best. The full piece can be found here, fascinating stuff.
Denver Traffic BottlenecksDo any of you drive on I-70? Yep, us too. We know just how painful it can be. We have written in the past about the crazy population growth we are experiencing, and our city planners are doing their best to make sure we have enough infrastructure to handle it all. Unfortunately, all this construction combined with the population explosion has crippled some of our main arteries. The American Transportation Research Institute studied the 100 worst bottlenecks around the U.S. and to no one's surprise, Denver has three of them. Central 70, I-25/I-76 intersection and the dreaded mousetrap where I-70 and I-25 connect are our three problem areas. Crazy stat of the day? The only time the Central 70 stretch is at the normal speed limit is between 2 and 4 AM! We don't have it the worst though, as Houston and Atlanta have seven and six respectively, leading the way. The worst news is that we are tied with Los Angeles and New York City with three each. All those folks moving here from California will now feel right at home! The full article on Westword can be found here.
Don't Forget to Vote
Those of you that get ballots by mail may already know this, but are you aware that it is time to vote here in Colorado? There are two primaries running in Colorado currently. Back in 2016, Colorado decided to do away with presidential caucusing. This means, we now have ballots that are due March 3rd for the presidential primaries. You may vote for the primary to which you are party registered, and if you are unaffiliated you may vote for either but not both. In-person voting is also available, and for the first time ever, anyone 17 years of age will be able to vote in the primary if they turn 18 before November 3rd. The full lowdown on the presidential primary process and the changes this year can be found here, thanks to 5280 Magazine.
Monthly Award WinnersPlease join me in congratulating our best performers for January 2020! Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Concepcion Reyes, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Madel Carmen Estrada, In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Juana Olivas and Socorro Ibarra. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work and dedication! Congrats ladies!
The primary focus of our company is twofold: the employees’ qualifications to represent the company in the clients’ homes, and the quality of their work. Once these are in place, we concentrate on getting the right teams with the right clients. This works remarkably well until it doesn’t. Snow, client cancelations, and employee last minute absenteeism can all disrupt the usual client team scenario. There is however an unexpected benefit to having a different team in your home from time to time. No two teams clean exactly the same way. Unlike a hotel room with standard fixtures and furnishings, homes vary wildly, and what one team, or even the client for that matter, may not notice during scheduled visits, a different team may pick up on and put right. However slight, your home will be the happier for it. “Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck” The Dalai Lama Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Measurement Systems & YouDo you know that we measure almost everything at Denver Concierge? We wouldn't expect you to, but it is a big part of what we do behind the scenes to make sure your home is spotless and done right every time. You might notice we announce our monthly (and annual this month) winners for top Cleaning Associates and Team Leaders at the bottom of our newsletter each time. Some of you may be wondering just how we figure all of this out, so this month we will explain it a bit. Every person that is in your home is evaluated on a number of different categories. First and foremost is your feedback! Compliments and complaints/issues are logged for each employee and factored into the rating. How each person manages their equipment and vehicle is also part of the evaluation. We also measure things like the time it should take to perform the work, how efficient we are, overtime, and all sorts of things that might bore you to tears, but it's the lifeblood of how we operate. Every month, we put the names in lights, not only in the newsletter but on our company communication board. This way each person knows exactly how they are doing relative to everyone else. Someone very smart once said "what gets measured, gets made", and we take that to heart. So, the next time we are in your home, please know that there is a lot going on behind the scenes in not only how we clean your homes, but in continuous improvement and having an engaged, aware workforce. As always, thanks for being part of the Denver Concierge family!!
A Decade of Home Pricing GrowthAs we celebrate the numerical passing of a decade, it's always fun to reflect on what has happened, especially with our home values. Denver and the Front Range have experienced wild growth over the past 10 years, and according to Redfin, the median home price in Denver increased 109%, from 2,896 at the start of 2010 to 4,051 at end of 2019. That is a ton of growth and should be very good news. Unless you are a new homebuyer, because also according to Redfin, annual median income growth was 2.8% in Denver over the past decade. That makes it pretty tough to keep up! The nice people at the Denver Business Journal published this article, along with a list of the top neighborhoods for growth during the last decade.
Denver Arts 2020We know that many of you love the arts. We do too, and we wanted to share some of the big exhibits that are coming in 2020. First and foremost, any of you that love Monet will be blown away by the current exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. With 120 of his paintings on display it is quite spectacular. Beyond Claude Monet, you can find Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and others in 2020. Denver.org published a list of the must-see art exhibits coming to our fine city here. 5280 Magazine also has their take on the most important exhibitions to arrive in Denver in 2020, and that includes everything from sculptures to photography. The complete list of what they are excited about can be found here.
Do you need Winter Tires?We weren't so sure until we read up on this. To be honest, we have always been the "all-season" tire type, but we think it might be time to change our ways (and our tires). Did you know that if you use all-season tires throughout the winter you will experience 25-50 percent less traction than winter designated tires? Despite the name, it’s a myth that your “all-season” tires will perform as well in freezing weather (or even in near-freezing) as they do in temperate weather. Because of their composition, all-season tires start to stiffen up and lose traction in temperatures under 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The folks in Canada, who are experts in crummy weather use them, as more than half of Canadian drivers install winter/snow tires on their cars, and they see a real benefit. There are fewer winter-related accidents, injuries, and deaths when cars are required to be fitted with winter/snow tires, a recent Quebec-based study found. And the most recent survey report from the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada suggests that two-thirds of Canadian drivers are using winter/snow tires (which are required in some provinces). The full article from our friends at AAA Colorado can be found here. Be safe out there Denver!!!
7 Lies that Rich People Tell
Ok, so maybe not lies...how about exaggerations? Or maybe advice about money that they simply don't follow? We saw this article on one of our favorite content sites, Medium.com, and it immediately required our attention. It seems that many of the tried and true things that we are told about ways to accumulate wealth just aren't factual. Things like "diversify", "save your money", "avoid debt" that most of us accept as fact, simply aren't true when it comes to the super wealthy. Reading this article gave us a fresh perspective on money and made us think long and hard about some of the things we have been told in the past about money management and creating wealth. For example, Warren Buffett himself said that people that diversify simply don't know what to do with their money! The full article can be found here, fascinating stuff!!
2019 Award WinnersPlease join me in congratulating our best performers for December 2019, and our annual award winners! Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez and Enedina Mendoza. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Natalia Olivas and Rosa Chavez. For the year....drum roll please! Our top ranked Cleaning Associates were Aurora Dominguez and Maria Zapata. Both were tied at the top for number one, with Josefina Quinonez coming in 3rd. Our top Team Leader of the year was Rosa Chavez. Natalia Olivas finished 2nd. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our annual award winners! Congrats ladies!
Now that the holiday season is officially over, we are able to get our clients back on their regular schedules with their regular teams. Yay! We appreciate you working with us to accommodate our ladies’ holidays and days off to be with their families. Rearranging days, hours and teams is annoying for clients and equally so for us in the office doing the rearranging! On the other hand, it pales in comparison to the great attitude our ladies bring to their jobs each day. There are glitches here and there, but I can say in all honesty that every team’s mindset throughout the day is to do their very best in each of your homes. As an employer or as a client it doesn’t get much better than that. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela