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September Newsletter 2020

We've Been Here Before

Check 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 Law

As 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 Denver

Do 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 Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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August Newlsetter 2020

Staying Sane During COVID

It 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 Stats

With 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 Restaurants 

They 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.

Getting Organized

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 Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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July Newsletter 2020

Our "Real" Fearless Leader

Who 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" Reality

It'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 Problem

Do 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. Success 

It 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 Winners

We 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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Selling a House with Kids: It’s As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Jumping kids on By Guest Columnist Kris Louis https://parentingwithkris.com/ Your biggest job as a home seller is to keep your house show-ready at all times. When your house is clean and everything is in its place, you can host buyers at a moment’s notice. However, maintaining a show-ready home is easier said than done, especially when you have kids. These 3 tips will help busy parents maintain a tidy home from listing until closing day.

1. Declutter, then declutter some more

With 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 schedule

You 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 involved

Get 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

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June Newsletter 2020

COVID-19 Update

As 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 & Proud

We 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 Rebounding

We 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 Winners

We 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!!!!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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May Newsletter 2020

Business as Usual...Almost

Yes, 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 Us

Of 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 Privacy 

You 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 Winners

Much 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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April Newsletter 2020

Let's Get Safely Back to Work

Our 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 Protect

What 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 Clients

Wow. 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 Winners

Sadly, 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!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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March Newsletter 2020

COVID-19 Plans & Schedule

We 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 Home

This 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 Home

Hopefully 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 Exercises 

The 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 Winners

Please 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!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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February Newsletter 2020

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 Update

Last 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 Idea

All 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 Bottlenecks 

Do 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 Winners

Please 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!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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January Newsletter 2020

Measurement Systems & You

Do 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 Growth 

As 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 2020

We 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 Winners

Please 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!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
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

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December Newsletter 2019

Goodbye 2010's, Hello 2020's

Wow. The end of a decade. It struck us as we were putting this newsletter together that the decade went pretty fast, and lots happened. Do you all remember that the bottom of the housing market hit in 2010? How far we have come from there. We started this decade in one of the worst recessions in the country's history, and that was just the beginning. How about these things that "became a thing" in this past decade? 1. Baby gender reveal parties/themes. How many viral clips did we have to endure with pink and blue? Lots of creative people out there. 2. The acceptance of transgender and LGBTQ folks in our society. The widespread adoption of gender-neutral terms. Heck, folks are even letting kids decide what gender they want to be for themselves. 3. Political polarization. We can't remember a decade where things got so contentious. Long gone are the days of Reagan and Tip O'Neill sharing a drink to hash out their problems. It's gotten ugly, folks. There was a time when we could laugh together about politics, not so much anymore. 4. Protests and marches. Remember "Occupy Wall Street"? Black Lives Matter also became part of our culture. People stepped up in this decade to fight for what they believed in. 5. Legalization of cannabis, not only in Colorado but around the U.S. Seems like a long time ago when pot was illegal. 6. #MeToo became a thing. People in power got called out for sexually unacceptable behavior, particularly men (see Weinstein, Harvey). Some prominent folks fell from grace. We could go on, but just reading these few things makes us a little tired! The folks at one of our favorite content sites, Medium.com, referred to the 2010's as the "Whiplash Decade". We aren't in disagreement. It's pretty crazy to think of how our culture and society has changed in the past 10 years. We, like you, are curious as to how the 2020's will go. With any luck, we will still be here, cleaning your homes and doing our best to be a strong part of our vibrant community. Thanks for reading all these years, we look forward to many more. Denver Concierge will be closed on New Year's Day, but back at it on the 2nd, 2020. Happy New Year!!!!

So, we ARE Bad Drivers? 

A recent study of drivers around the nation does not reflect well on Colorado. No, it is not your imagination, we aren't exactly doing a great job on the roads here. Of course, some of it may be all of the transplants that love our city, but the study ranked us 6th worst in the country. From the study by Car Insurance Comparison: "Colorado drivers ranked as the 6th worst in the nation in 2019, down from 15th worst in 2017 and 2018, according to the study, which relied on 3,000 data points compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration." The study also found that Colorado drivers ranked third worst for “failure to obey” violations, things such as not wearing a seat belt, running a red light or driving without a valid license. That’s down from 18th worst. The full article and state by state ranking with an interactive table can be found here. Stay classy on the roads Denver!

New Year's Eve Festivities

Providing we all survive the commercial onslaught that is the holiday season, we may need to blow off some steam when it's over. We are Denver Concierge are here to help. Some fun things to consider: The Four Seasons is hosting parties on both the rooftop and the main level, you can see a Cirque-style show or listen to celebrated cellist Jordan Polovina. The Brown Palace also has live music and is always a classy place to spend the evening. For you youngsters in the crowd that love to dance, America's largest NYE dance celebration, Decadence, will be held at the Colorado Convention Center. You can even go out to Red Rocks, where there will be live music and a light show. For a comprehensive list of the big stuff to do around the Front Range, check out Denver.org and their fine work here. Happy 2020, we hope you enjoy NYE safely!

Colorado Digital ID's 

Seems like this has been coming for some time. At some point, with nearly everyone having smart phones, it makes sense to digitize our ID's. In October of this year, Governor Polis approved the use of digital ID's in our fine state. Effective December 1st, this new technology will be authorized as a legal form of identification. From the article: "With the new myColorado mobile app, Colorado residents can scan their driver's licenses to create an electronic version of ID to display on a smartphone and use as proof of identification. Residents can also renew driver's licenses, receive notifications about state news, and store personal and payment information in the app." Don't throw away your license yet, though. Law enforcement may still require your physical ID. The full details of how to sign up for this new program can be found here.

Holiday Shopping Psychology

Shady sales and marketing tactics work. If they didn't companies would stop using them. We know most of you probably have your shopping done, but for all the procrastinators out there, this might be for you. There are so many sneaky tactics that retailers use to lure us in, we wanted to help you beware of what they may look like. From deceptive websites to sneaking in hidden costs, there is a war being waged on consumers. We found a nice piece by the folks at CNN that goes through many of the tactics that are being used against us as consumers. Someone once said "forewarned is forearmed", so we are doing the best we can to give you awareness into these tactics. The full story at CNN can be found here.  

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for November 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Paz Jimenez, Rosario De La Rosa and Aurora Dominguez. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Juana Olivas and Rosa Chavez. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Our annual winners will be announced next month. Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
I would like to finish the year, and the decade, with a heartfelt thank you to all of our clients for your continued patronage. Your kindness to me, and more important to our wonderful ladies who are invited into your homes is greatly appreciated. Here's to you and to a happy, prosperous and healthy 2020!! Bee

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November Newsletter 2019

Holiday Schedule & Happenings

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! We want to take this time to say thanks to all the wonderful clients, associates and partners that make our lives better every day. This year we will be closed on Thanksgiving, November 28th and the following Friday the 29th. We will also be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the 24th and 25th of December respectively. In this month's newsletter, we are focused on ways to make your holiday season better. From living green in the winter to holiday stress management we want to try and contribute to making this season the best ever for you. We feel y0ur stress with holiday parties, cleanings, and the challenges that weather brings this time of year. We promise to do our best to keep your homes sparkling clean so you have one less thing to worry about. Thank you for your business and your faith in allowing us into your homes each day. We wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and a stress-free December with friends and family.

Winter Fun in Denver 

One of the things that we love about Denver is all the wonderful things to do year-round. For you holiday lights lovers, there are fun things like the Denver Zoo lights, the Blossoms of Light at the Botanic Gardens and the 9 News Parade of Lights. Of course, the Colorado Ballet is performing the Nutcracker over the holidays, which usually gets us in the spirit! Don't forget the Polar Express train ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum, which is a great time for the kids. For the adults in the crowd, CU South is hosting Movie and Martinis, where you can drink your stress away and watch Christmas Vacation with your friends. These are just some of the fun events in Denver this holiday season. For a complete list, visit the folks at Denver.org here.

Denver Housing Downturn?

All good things must come to an end. Or at least that is what we have heard. Most of you probably have not-so-fond memories of the 2008 housing downturn. Hard to believe that was over 10 years ago. It hit us hard, but as you can see from the graph above, we have rallied as well as any market in the United States....so what now? Many experts have speculated on what might happen in hot housing markets like Denver's. The folks at Redfin published a great article about housing bubbles and the likelihood of a downturn in the near future. Fortunately, Denver is outside of the top 10 areas to be concerned with, but that doesn't mean we are out of the woods. To learn more and to see the cool interactive chart, visit the full report here.

Holiday Coping Skills

We have covered some fun things for you to do this winter, but what about those of us that get stressed at the holidays? We read a study that 45% of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas entirely. Nearly a quarter of Americans reported feeling “extreme stress” come holiday time, according to a poll by the American Psychological Association. Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money,” and 51 percent are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.” So how do we cope? We found a nice list from the folks at the Mayo Clinic (they are super smart) here. Our favorite site that we found is chock-full of tips about how to beat the holiday doldrums. They cover everything from mindfulness to healthy boundaries. We found it useful and it can be found here. Here's to a low-stress holiday season this year!!

Green Living this Winter

By Guest Columnist Frances Black When the thermometer plummets, challenges abound for keeping your green-cleaned house environmentally friendly. In Denver, where the weather changes in an instant, these challenges are amplified. A few steps can help 1. Be window wise. During the day, open curtains on south-facing walls to let in the warmth. At night, close them. Consider using thermal curtains. 2. Chill out. When you’re asleep or away, lower your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees. A smart thermostat makes this easy. 3. Plug the leaks. Caulk and weather-stripping stop heat loss from doors and windows. Don’t forget to look for leaks around utility cut-throughs, chimneys, and recessed lights. 4. Service your system. Clean your furnace or boiler and replace filters now. Keep flues and wood-burning fireplaces clean. Close the damper when not in use. Purchase grates of C-shaped metal tubes to circulate the fire-warmed air. Shut the doors and lower the thermostat to 50 and 55 degrees. 5. Drain the sprinkler system. Denver’s lawn watering restrictions are in effect from May till October. But a frozen pipe can send water gushing into the street, resulting in a fine and wasted water in the winter. Turn the sprinkler system off and drain all pipes. For more tips, download the Energy Saver Guide. Going green this winter can save you a lot of green in the long run.

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for October 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, Josefina Puga, Josefina Quinonez and Paz Jimenez. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Rosa Chavez and Socorro Ibarra. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon it seems to me that Thanksgiving is losing its pride of place in our holiday roster.  It's but a shadow of its former self; more a stepping stone to Christmas than a stand -alone celebration. Granted, the traditional Thanksgiving didn't incur a lot of spending, which may have made it less exciting. Basically, food and travel, which I always equated in my mind with family.  Food plus travel equals family gathering. Black Friday has shifted closer and closer, impinging on the long languid feast and after dinner nap in favor of - once again - spending. I see a future where we just grab a turkey leg at the courtyard in the mall and keep on going.  Until then I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!! Bee

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October Newsletter 2019

Halloween Fun Facts

With fall and winter comes holidays, and while we don't really celebrate this one with time off, Halloween is next. Did you know that trick or treating comes from the Middle Age practice of the poor dressing up in costumes and going around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for prayers? The earliest known reference to "trick or treating" in North America is from Alberta, Canada in 1927. Jack O' Lanterns come from the Irish tale of "Stingy Jack", which you can read all about here if you are curious. For those of you that have little ones going out to forage for candy, we want them to be safe and enjoy themselves. We ran across a nice list of safety tips for trick or treaters and it can be found here. Denver is also full of fun things to do for young and old including corn mazes, parties and movie nights. The folks at Denver.org published a great list of happenings in and around town this year, check it out here. We wish you and yours a Happy Halloween!!!!

Ski Season

We got our first dusting of snow a week or so ago.....that has to make you skiers  and snowboarders very happy! In that spirit we thought we would give you the run down on Colorado ski resorts and what the schedule looks like for 2019-20. Arapahoe Basin started making snow on October 2nd and opened on the 11th. Keystone immediately followed, opening on the 12th. Loveland started making snow on the 3rd and while they have yet to announce their opening, they should be next. Other notable resorts opening days: Breckenridge-November 8 Winter Park -November 13 Eldora and Vail-November 15 Steamboat-November 23 Snowmass-November 28 For the full list of opening days, click here. We hope all you snow lovers have a wonderful season of powder!

Can You Detect a Liar?

All of us tell lies....yes you too. Most of them are harmless, designed to avoid hurting someone's feelings. "Do these pants make me look fat?" is a good example. (By the way, the answer to that question is always..."no honey"). Those little lies are harmless and common. What about when you are involved with a big negotiation? Or maybe trying to find out if your child was doing something they shouldn't be? We recently attended a cool seminar by Traci Brown that gave us some great tips on body language and other giveaways. That got us thinking and certainly paying more attention to those around us. It seems that while the words people say are one thing, the body nearly always betrays the liar, IF we know what to look for. We found a piece from Parade that interviewed CIA officers for their top signs that someone is lying to you. Also, Forensics Colleges has their top 10 "tells" when someone might be hiding things. All in all, we like to believe in the goodness of people, but that has gotten us in trouble before. Being on the lookout for all of the non-verbal signs makes it much easier to detect deception.

Minimum Wage Increase

You may have heard that a law recently passed that allows any city in Colorado to set their own minimum wage. The current minimum wage in Colorado is .10, with .00 going into effect on January 1, 2020. Following this new law, Mayor Hancock immediately then proposed a big increase for city employees which was approved as follows: "Under the approved measure, the minimum wage for city employees and contractors would raise from .10 to per hour by this July. It would then increase to per hour in 2020 and per hour by July 2021." Restaurants in Denver are certainly concerned, as outlined here in 5280. Denver Concierge pays our people well and always will, but this will certainly put pressure on our industry in total when it comes to getting the best people in your homes. Looks like the days of a cheeseburger might not be far away.

Winterizing Your Lawn

We talk a lot here about what we do inside your homes, but we also realize that outside is important as well. We also know that many of you have beautiful yards and lawns, so we thought that we would give you a quick checklist of exactly what your lawn needs going into winter. Hopefully you have had your sprinkler system blown out and shut off for the winter. Not doing so can obviously cause damage from freezing. Beyond that, the folks at Rachio, who make an amazing automated sprinkler system came up with five things you should do to prepare your lawn for the impending cold. That list can be found here, and is very straightforward. 

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for September 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Maria Zapata, Josefina Puga, Patricia Rodriguez, Aurora Dominguez and Concepcion Reyes. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Natalia Olivas and Rosa Chavez. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Keeping up with technological advances is daunting and not all are applicable to our business. However, over the years since the inception of Denver Concierge we have gladly embraced a few: Cell phones; say no more. Ditto GPS. Texting; it has been roughly two years since we introduced texting as an additional means to communicate with our clients. It is an instant way to contact you in an emergency, or for you to contact us with last minute changes. Door keypads; many of you now have keypads for the primary door of your home in addition to garage keypads, thus eliminating the need to give us a key, or hide a key. If you are not texting me, and would like to, let me know.   If you want to change from key access to code, let me know that too! In the meantime, Happy Halloween!!! Bee

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September Newsletter 2019

Employee Safety & Wellness

We think we are pretty good at housecleaning, and we hope you agree. However, there are a few other things that we think we are pretty good at, and none is more important than taking care of our wonderful associates. We employ some amazing people and it is our mission in life to make sure they are properly taken care of. Did you know that we train our people intensively on how to operate safely in your homes? So much so that we have received Pinnacol Assurance's (our worker's compensation carrier) highest recognition for safety, their cost containment certificate. We have been recertified each year since 2006. In fact, along with full worker's compensation insurance, we are bonded and carry a large amount of liability insurance, which we hope we never need. We also conduct safety audits and our associates are evaluated not only on the quality of work in your homes but on the way they operate to ensure that injuries don't take place. This is also why we are very strict when it comes to using cleaning solutions other than the green-certified ones that we bring on every visit. No, we won't use bleach, regardless of circumstance. There are occasions where you may have a special request and we consider all of these, providing we can ensure the safety of our people. Finally, you may not know this, but along with paying our people well, we believe we are the only cleaning company in Denver that offers paid vacations to its associates. We also offer health insurance and are very flexible in allowing our people time off as needed. We certainly know that we are not the least expensive choice you could make in choosing a cleaning company. We wanted to give you a peek behind the scenes to let you know that the price you pay for your clean goes to the proper place, as we support so many families across the front range. The bottom line? Our folks love what they do and we love having you as clients. Thank you for your ongoing support of our local business!!!

Judi's House Luncheon

One of our favorite causes anywhere is Denver's own Judi's House. We have mentioned them here in the past, but wanted to do so again since they have a wonderful annual event coming up that we highly recommend. For those of you that don't know, Judi's House was founded by our friends Brook and Brian Griese and it provides support for children that have suffered loss in their lives.  They have been instrumental in helping thousands of children deal with grief and heal from trauma. Each year they host a luncheon called "Strength in the Face of Adversity".  Past speakers include Mitch Albom, Bob Costas, Bob Griese and Archie Manning. This year's event is on the 2nd of October at the Hyatt Regency downtown and features former NFL running back and philanthropist Warrick Dunn. We attend this great event each year, and we hope to see some of you there. Full event details can be found here, or you may contact Courtney Ellis at Judi's House here, or call her at 720.343.8481.

5280 Dines Event

Yes, we do love to eat and experience all our fair city's fine cuisine whenever we can. When we run across an event that features 25 of Denver's top restaurants, we feel compelled to share. On October 20 from 6-9 PM, The Hangar in Stanley Marketplace will feature the winning chefs from 5280's top 25 restaurants across the front range. The full lowdown on this "foodie" event can be found here. For those of you that haven't been to the Hangar, you can find details here.  Tickets also come with a one year subscription to 5280 Magazine. Happy dining!

Airport Project Imploding

As you frequent travelers know, DIA is a mess. Recently we featured a story about the great hall expansion, which included costs and timelines for this massive .8B project. Not so fast, as they say. It seems this project has officially imploded with lots of blame to be thrown around. From Westword, "After months of escalating disputes over cost overruns and delays, Denver International Airport will terminate its .8 billion contract with the development consortium it chose to oversee a massive terminal renovation project in 2017, officials said" Whoops. With cost overruns and missed deadlines, evidently it was too much for the folks at DIA to bear. The project was originally due to be completed in 2021, and has now been pushed out to 2025. Get ready for the mess at DIA to continue folks. More details on the story can be found here courtesy of CBS 4. Along with this recent news, it hasn't been a good couple of months for the folks at DIA, that is for sure.

Life Lessons, Learned Once (Hopefully)

Every now and then we like to share self improvement stuff. Ever since the first email from Medium.com popped into our inbox, we find ourselves reading more and more from the various writers they have there. From marketing to self-improvement, the topics are varied and interesting. This month we came across a great piece about 7 brutal life lessons that we all need to learn.....unfortunately often it takes multiple times for things to sink in. From the article, "Some of the hardest life lessons repeat themselves over and over again, and it’s on each and every one of us to be reflective enough to witness them happening in the moment — so that this time around, a different decision can be made." The full text can be found here, it's a quick read and we hope you enjoy it.

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for August 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Maria Zapata, Maria Sanchez, Josefina Puga, Martha Garcia and Aurora Dominguez. Our top Team Leaders were Rosa Chavez and Natalia Olivas. In the race for our annual winners, Maria Zapata and Aurora Dominguez are tied for the lead for Cleaning Associate of the year. Mayra Soto and Rosa Chavez lead the way for Team Leader of the year. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Through all the years Denver Concierge has been cleaning houses, our goal has been to make our clients' lives easier. Many of you are reluctant to report any concerns, or to bother me with added instructions or requests. Please be assured that first of all I love hearing from you, secondly my main raison d'etre in the company is liaison between client and employee. A quick text to me could save you time and possibly frustration.  I am also responsible for correcting any missteps that should occur in the cleaning process, which removes the client from the disciplinary process. Again, making your lives easier. In closing, we are very indebted to our employees, and any interaction whether compliment or complaint is always carried out in a quiet, calm and respectful manner.  We are grateful to our clients for their equally respectful approach to the ladies who clean their homes. As always thank you for being with us. Bee

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August Newsletter 2019

Fall is Here (Almost)

Wow, summer is going fast. Kids are back to school now; the Broncos are practicing and the mornings are just a bit cooler. While we do have one more month of summer officially, Labor Day is approaching. Of course, we will be closed on that day, which falls on Monday, September 2nd this year. As we roll into fall, we wanted to share some ideas on things you can do around your home to properly prepare for fall and the change in season that occurs. Everything from furnace inspections to gutter cleaning, there is always a lot to do. We came across a great list of 15 projects that you can start to ponder, courtesy of the folks at Family Handyman. For those of you that want to hold off on the outdoor stuff, we absolutely love the suggestions for "designing the perfect bedroom", courtesy of our pal Marina Dagenais at Designer Premier this month.  If you are super creative and have some time, we also came across this list of fun, but smaller DIY things you can do. We hope you were able to get the kids back in school with very little fuss and we hope you have a wonderful end to your summer. Go Broncos!!

Partners We Love

As our regular readers know, we love to feature true professionals in our "Partners we Love" section. These are people that share our values when it comes to getting things done for their clients and operating in a professional and ethical way. Our friends at Colorosa Commercial Properties/Keller Williams Commercial did a fabulous job managing the sale of our commercial property last month. They managed the process, and our expectations masterfully throughout and adapted quickly when the inevitable curveballs came our way. They are also great negotiators and understand the true art of "win-win" outcomes. If you are looking for advice on a commercial property sale, or just want to know what is going on in the Denver commercial real estate world, please look up our friend Rachel Colorosa. She is the managing partner and can be reached at 303-886-8154, or at [email protected].

5G Is Coming

Most of us have heard of 5G, but what does it mean for us practically? Dish Network made headlines with a 2023 deadline for complete rollout of its 5G plan, including its partnerships with T-Mobile and Sprint. While Denver isn't fully implemented yet, we have seen the icon pop up on our phones, so we know something is up. Verizon seems to be leading the way in Denver, though. In a nutshell, 5G provides more bandwidth than 4G (or 3G) for cell phone data users. This means speed increases of 5-10X! On the other hand, the increased bandwidth will likely come with some coverage gaps, so all the coverage we have grown to love with 4G/LTE may not extend to the 5G network. To fully understand the pros and cons of 5G, we found this article which lays it out nicely. For a comparison of the speed difference that we can expect, the folks at Digital Trends came up with this informative piece. We are always excited when technology takes a leap forward. For a list of where 5G is currently available and when it might be coming, by carrier, check this out. Happy surfing!!!

Tax Evasion..Wait, What?

No, we do not advocate tax evasion. However, we found an interesting article about the 2010 law that was passed that attempted to discourage hiding of income in foreign accounts. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, required all foreign financial institutions to automatically provide the Internal Revenue Service with information on any accounts held by U.S. citizens. This made it much harder for rich Americans to avoid U.S. taxes by hiding their money, and the investment income it generates, in foreign banks and opaque shell corporations. Of course, there are always unintended consequences of ideas like this. Folks have gotten more creative and are using new tactics like investing in real estate and art to skirt these requirements. This article by the Stanford Graduate School of Business sums it up perfectly. The bottom line? Folks will always look for creative ways to reduce/avoid taxes. Some legal ways to do this can be found here.  If you are lucky enough to be in the top 0.5% we found these strategies as well.

Is Grit better than IQ?

Our friend Heather Klutznick at Trilogy Financial posed that question in her monthly newsletter, and it caught our eye. We have never been the smartest folks around, but we have always worked really hard. In fact, it's always been our goal to outwork everyone around us. The funny thing is when you do that, you end up ahead of at least half the people and companies you are competing with. Most people give up way too easily. From her newsletter, "It turns out that intelligence might not be the best indicator of future success. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, the secret to outstanding achievement isn’t talent. Instead, it’s a special blend of persistence and passion that she calls “grit.” The full article from Forbes can be found here. We also ran across a short piece on medium.com that echoes this sentiment. The bottom line? You cannot control your IQ, but you can control your effort and your attitude! Thanks to Heather for publishing and sharing this information. To learn more about Trilogy Financial and the great work Heather does, she can be reached by the links above! Stay gritty Denver.

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for July 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, Sandra Puga, Sandra Vidales, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Natalia Olivas and Rosa Chavez. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Just for fun I thought I'd throw out a few interesting facts about our employee training procedures Very important!  We don't have to teach our employees how to clean. We hire ladies who like to clean.  We guide them and teach them about product and equipment usage and safety measures in the homes. Our ongoing challenge is to increase their awareness of the interior placement of objects and furniture.   The natural tendency is to move everything to clean, then put everything back - somewhere. The total focus is cleanliness.  Throws, pillows, decorative items, toiletries; secondary. I know this is perceived by the client as the ladies imposing their own preferences, but truthfully, they just see the shining counters and clean floors. One thing our ladies need no training in is their polite and pleasant demeanor, whether in your homes, amongst themselves, or with the office staff. I honestly thank each Team Leader at the end of whatever conversation we have throughout the day, and I always pass along the kind comments of our clients. So thank you too! Bee

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July Newsletter

Did you Forget the Windows? 

We had a long talk with our window washer, and we realized he isn't busy enough these days. With the beautifully hot and sunny summer we are having, we decided to refocus our efforts a bit. Through August 31, anyone booking a window washing will receive 10% off. Just mention the newsletter to Angela and we will get you booked at the discount. In case you actually did forget (we do it all the time), we have been washing windows now for a couple of years. We use only the finest products by a company called Unger, the world leader in window washing technology. Did you know that over time windows will degrade if they aren't cleaned? The majority of particles, like those that makeup water and minerals, can damage your glass windows over time. The particles will enter the glass’ pores and effectively contaminate and corrode the windows. The first things you may notice will be some light scratches or cracks, but an unmaintained window can eventually be altered on a structural level and will need a full replacement. Cleaning your windows will prevent this outcome and give your windows far more longevity. We have some very cool stuff that will prevent streaking and spotting, and that will protect your windows going forward as well. Give Angela a call and we will get our window washer out to take a look and make sure your windows are sparkling clean!!!

Partners We Love

It's been a while since we featured anyone here, as you know we are very picky about recommending folks to our beloved clients and partners. We recently had our hardwood floors redone and they were nothing short of perfect. Following that, we had some laminate flooring put down in a commercial space and that was perfect as well! So, we figured we would give a shout out to Hardwoods by Heaps. Scott Heaps, the owner, is as down to earth a gent as you will find. His crew is professional, on time and gets the job done. On top of that, he keeps his overhead very low, and was the most price competitive on both of our bids. If you need a quote on your flooring needs, we would suggest giving Scott a call. Mention Denver Concierge and he will give you his best rate! His number is 303-886-6889, or you can email him here. Best of luck with your floors!

Your Neighborhood Rated 

What are the best neighborhoods in Denver? Our friends at 5280 Magazine have spoken and the list is pretty interesting. They utilized a formula that brings many relevant factors into play and seems fairly well thought out. From the article "Our ranking uses four variables: home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score (more on that below). Each category is weighted (30 percent for year-over-year percentage increase in home values; 25 percent for safety; 15 percent for neighborhood school ratings; and 30 percent for the X factor). The top neighborhoods? 1. Denver Country Club 2. Belcaro 3. Wash Park 4. Virginia Village 5. University Park The full article, along with a very cool interactive map can be found here.

Hail and Colorado 

Hail. Ugh. If you are like us, you are quite over it. We have many clients that have had extensive hail damage to either their homes or vehicles during this wild season of weather we seem to be having. While there isn't anything we can do to prevent hail, there are people that are working very hard to figure out how to mitigate its damage. Colorado is especially prone to this destruction because it sits in what is known as "Hail Alley", a swath of the country that also includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. Nationally, annual hail damage has topped billion for home and car owners and lessees for more than a decade. The damages to properties, plus the resulting insurance payouts, just keep growing. In fact, Coloradans have the third fastest rising hail insurance rates nationwide. So, what can we do? The folks at NCAR in Boulder are spending lots of time on this problem and that story can be found here. For ways to protect your home against hail damage (there aren't many things to do) please check this out.

Leading with Compassion 

Yes, that is the Dalai Lama. What does he have to do with leadership, you may ask? We see stories in the news continually that give us examples of poor leadership. We have had bosses in the past that believed that intimidation and fear were the only way to get things done. We left those jobs. Most people do. In fact, more people leave jobs due to culture than pay, and it's not even close. The Dalai Lama chimed in on leadership with compassion in mind, and it struck a chord with us. From the article, "Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on how the world develops. We should remember that we are visitors on this planet. We are here for 90 or 100 years at the most. During this time, we should work to leave the world a better place." "What might a better world look like? I believe the answer is straightforward: A better world is one where people are happier. Why? Because all human beings want to be happy, and no one wants to suffer. Our desire for happiness is something we all have in common." We hope you take time to read this simple but meaningful piece on true leadership. We try every day at Denver Concierge to lead in this manner and we hope it shows in your homes!! The full article can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for June 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Rosario de La Rosa, Maria Zapata and Sandra Vidales. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Rosa Chavez and Natalia Olivas. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
I would like to send out a reminder to please run all instructions for your team through me here at the office.  Sometimes the ladies are unsure of the instructions given by the client but are too shy to ask them to explain. In the same vein, our insurance company is very strict as far as what the ladies are allowed to clean in the houses, how they clean (e.g. no ladders higher than 3 steps), and what products can be used.  This is strictly for the safety of the employees, and my involvement adds another layer of assurance. I meet with the teams each day before dispatch to give out instructions and convey any client concerns or compliments. You can always send me a text if that is quicker. 303-588-6847. Happy summer! Stay cool! Bee

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June Newsletter 2019

Summertime is Here 

The summer solstice is this Friday, June 21st. We are finally ready to switch over from spring to summer. Wait, we had a Spring? The last few months in our fine city sure didn't feel like it! But, on to bigger and better things. We love to share fun stuff to do around Colorado here, and this newsletter is no exception. First to business though. We will be closed for the 4th of July, which falls on a Thursday this year. We will be back in the saddle on Friday the 5th, doing our thing in your homes. So, what to do in Colorado this summer? We are sure many of you have vacations planned but for those of you that are still thinking about ideas, we have a few! How about some food? The nice people at 5280 Magazine published a list of road trip worthy food festivals that range from Jackson Hole to Telluride. They also include a couple here including The Big Eat and Slow Food Nations. How about Colorado wine country? AAA is currently sponsoring train trips out to experience Colorado wines with a lovely ride through the Rocky Mountains. For you beer lovers, they also have trips that include brewery tours. More info can be found here. For those of you taking road trips, it looks like gas prices should hold just below for the summer.  Finally, for those of you that want to stay closer to home, we found a fun list of things that we can all do, depending on just how much time and freedom you have. For a list of ways to make the most of your summer in Denver, check this out! We hope you all have a spectacular summer!!!!

Denver Area High Schools Ranked 2019

We know many of you have young adults in waiting attending high school. Have you ever wondered how good the school your child attends actually is? The 2019 rankings are out, and there were a few changes from last year. We found a fascinating list of not only the top 25 Denver area high schools, but a comprehensive ranking of all high schools nationwide. Locally, D'Evelyn High School came out number one, and is ranked 131st nationwide. The top five schools are followed by Denver School of the Arts, Kipp Denver Collegiate High School, Strive Prep, and STEM Middle and High School. US News and World Report has put together a very comprehensive tool that will show you exactly where each high school rates for 2019. That tool can be found here, we hope you find it as interesting as we did.

Green Clean Renewal 

I bet you didn't know that we are 100% Green Clean Certified, through the Green Clean Institute, an independent company that certifies housecleaning. That was our attempt at humor. Of course you do, because we try to remind you all the time. In case it slipped your mind, DenverConcierge was the FIRST certified green clean company in Colorado (2008), and we were just awarded our renewal again for 2019. Our staff both inside the office and in the field are well versed in all aspects of green cleaning and we only use 100% certified products. Certification is a process that requires us to stay up on all the latest products and techniques to ensure your home is 100% safe for people and pets. We have great respect for our environment, and we appreciate all of you for feeling the same way by choosing our humble company. Thank you for sharing our vision of a clean and non-toxic planet.

Competition at Work 

How does competition at work affect you? A recent study at Stanford illustrates that this is a very nuanced concept that can go horribly wrong if not managed properly. Too often we encounter ruthless people that behave in ways that are counterproductive not only to the goals of our company, but to the detriment of careers, and theirs. In fact, cutthroat competitors who resort to sabotaging perceived rivals instead may end up undermining their own chance of achieving important goals. From the article, "Within companies, competition “is something that needs to be carefully structured and managed. It does increase engagement, which is good. But it can also have destructive effects, especially if workers transform attainment of individual goals into a quest to prove that they’re better than the man or woman at the next desk, she says. Additionally, our fixation upon winning can spawn faulty beliefs that lead to inaccurate predictions of outcomes." The full article can be found here, and it provides suggestions for companies to structure things in ways to mitigate the risks for all involved. Fascinating stuff for sure.

Fun Summer Projects

We covered the travel part for you intrepid souls, figured we might want to cover those of you that want to stay home and do fun things around your house. We consulted a few different sources, including Mr. Handyman who came up with a few gems, including a DIY chalkboardraised garden bed and a floating deck. The folks at This Old House came up with a very useful list of 28 fun summer projects that can be done over the weekend (well, it might take us longer, we aren't really good at anything besides cleaning). Lastly, for those of you with children, we know they are out of school and sometimes bored out of their minds. We ran across some great ideas to keep them occupied and out of trouble and that can be found here. Good luck on whatever you decide to tackle!

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for May 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Maria Zapata, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Puga and Rosario de La Rosa. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Martha Anchondo and Mayra Soto. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Because I have been in this business for so long, my interests have branched out from cleaning to anything to do with houses; architecture, interior design, history, etc. I often find interesting articles, so I thought I would share a little history with you this month. As early as the 19th century, American houses began to change from being overtly grand as in England, to smaller and easier to manage. Because the architects were concerned only with the building itself, several innovative women of the day took the initiative and began working with the architects to make the interiors more efficient for the woman of the house. They quickly decided that built-in furniture was the way to go. Easier to clean than free standing trunks, armoires, cupboards, and cabinets.  For the first time, closets came into being.  A coat closet near the entrance, a broom closet off the kitchen, medicine cabinet in the bathroom, linen closet in the hallway. These women arranged the kitchen appliances to be in easier reach, and added bar counters and islands, again to replace free standing cupboards.  Truly far reaching ideas still in use today, albeit on a much grander scale. I say hurrah and thank you, ladies, for making our lives easier. Bee

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A Good Clean is the Secret Weapon Behind Your Property Business

By Karoline Gore, Guest Writer

Denver House Cleaning by Denver Concierge

The number of renters in the US has grown by over 7.6 million in the past decade, and an increase in renters brings a more competitive market, as landlords are fighting to fill their properties. However, one tactic that is often overlooked by property owners is getting a thorough end of tenancy clean, which forgoing can be a deal breaker. Getting a spotless home by using environmentally friendly products and leaving no corner unturned sounds tiring, but could be a great investment of time for your business.

Going green

Often the most overlooked part of the process is the tools themselves. Using environmentally friendly products reduces indoor pollution levels so that your tenants can breathe easily. These alternative products are able to remove every allergen and pollutant from the property, meaning that it’s far safer to live in and cleaner than other properties would be. Not only that, but outside your home, the environment will be better off. Check that your products don't use microbeads, which can be washed into the oceans and ingested by marine life, and look for ethically sourced, non-toxic products that use recyclable packaging. Alternatively, there are a number of chemical-free at home remedies: cornstarch for cleaning windows and rugs; white wine vinegar for removing wax building up and cutting grease; and baking soda for scouring.

Tackling the kitchen

Whilst most focus on the bathroom, the kitchen is the most noticeable place when dirty, and cannot be ignored. First, remove everything from the shelves to clean the dirt out before replacing the items. Wipe down all surfaces with a good disinfectant to kill lurking viruses, then clean the washing machine and dishwasher by putting each through a cycle. Clean the fridge by removing all the shelves, soak them in water with soap and replace them, but leave the fridge turned off with the door open to prevent mold growth. Finally, the oven’s trays must be removed and soaked in soapy water whilst the inside is wiped down repeatedly to get rid of every last piece of grease.

Don’t overlook the small things

Sometimes, the smallest contributions are the most important. Vacuuming down the rugs, staircases and even the bathroom floor are tasks often neglected, in addition to washing the curtains or cleaning dirt off the walls. Dusting blinds and the tiny corners of the rooms make the property seem brighter and more alive. All the little things really add up to create the bigger picture of a spotless, well cared for property.

 Getting a professional to lend a hand

Creating a property business is great financially, but can be time-consuming when taking care of the homes you’ve bought. Using a cleaning service lets you do the things you want to do with the money you’ve earned, rather than spending hours attempting to clean out rooms, and is even proven to be economical in some circumstances. Many tasks are quite difficult to do perfectly, like oven cleaning or laboring over every forgotten nook, and a good cleaning service will use top of the range products to give your property the best clean possible.

Letting out property is an excellent way to benefit you and earn money from the booming renting market, but the best way to get the pick of the tenants is to have a clean home. After the initial post tenancy clean, regular little-and-often cleaning such as weekly vacuuming or toilet cleaning really contributes towards having a nicer property available for rent, and proves that a little effort goes a very long way.

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May 2019 Newsletter

Memorial Day Facts and Events

Each year on the final Monday of May, we celebrate those that have given all for our country. Did you know that Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day? It was 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 27th, and of course, Denver Concierge will be closed. Meanwhile, a few facts that you probably didn't 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 300,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 28 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. This is also a wonderful time to spend with family and friends doing fun things. For you campers out there, 5280 Magazine had a few ideas here. Also, the Denver Arts Festival is taking place this weekend, its 21st year here. Details on that fun event can be found here. We hope you have a relaxing three-day weekend and get to spend it with the ones you love.

Hot Rocks Griller Challenge

Those of you that follow us know we love to support local charities and good causes. Every year the nice folks at Denver Health promote a cool event called the "Hot Rocks Griller Challenge". This event kicks off the summer concert series at Elway's in Cherry Creek, and all the fun supports men's health initiatives. From the Denver Health website: "The Hot Rocks Griller Challenge will kick off summer fun with a fired-up grilling competition. On a warm summer evening, supporters flood the courtyard patio outside Elway’s in Cherry Creek to enjoy live music, spectacular food and drinks, and games. More than a dozen of Denver’s best chefs will compete in a sizzling sliders ’n’ sides cook-off with attendees eating the grilled creations and voting for the winner. Better yet, all the fun will support men’s health programs. This is summer’s most popular patio bash, attracting 1,000-plus guests, including government, business and community leaders, foodies, professional athletes, and local celebrities." We go every year and we hope to see you there. For more information on sponsorship, or ticketing you can learn all about it here.  

Denver Area Zip Codes & Housing Growth

While there are rumors that the housing market might be slowing, the amount of construction we continue to see around our fine city have us thinking maybe not. We ran across an interesting infographic about which zip codes have grown the fastest over the last 10 years, expressed as median home value. Lots of cool information and it's all interactive. Growth information can be found here. In case you are wondering about the possible correlation between home value and wealth by zip code, we also found some interesting data on that. The three wealthiest zip codes in Denver? 80238 80007 80108 If you live in one of these....well, we aren't sure what that means, but congratulations? The entire list is pretty interesting though. The full list of zip code/income information is here.  

Afraid of Self Driving Cars?

71% of you are, according to a study performed by AAA. From the article, "Self-driving technology is evolving on a very public stage, and headlines about tragic failures tend to grab more attention than those about incremental successes," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "The good news is that once consumers interact with partially or fully self-driving vehicles, much of the mystery disappears – opening the door for greater acceptance." We decided to learn more, so we did some research. We found a very informative piece by the Union of Concerned Scientists that explains exactly how this works, as well as what it might mean for our future. The pros and cons of self-driving vehicles are many. We were surprised to learn that 81% of all car accidents are caused by human error. A computer would surely have a lower rate than that. The auto insurance center also did a list of the 20 pros and cons of self-driving cars and we wanted to share that with you here as well. We certainly live in interesting times!

40,000 New Jobs Coming

Yep, that's a lot of jobs! The Lone Tree area is planning a massive project that will bring those jobs and a lot more to the surrounding areas. The new community will be called RidgeGate and consists of around 3,500 acres south of Lincoln avenue around the I-25 area. Coventry Development Corp., the master developer of the 3,500-acre multi-use community, revealed their plans for a 400-acre expansion on the east side of Interstate 25 that’s slated to include 12 million square feet of office, retail and health care space, 10,000 homes and more than 600 acres of parks, trails and natural habitat. The east side of I-25 is comprised of 2,200 acres of land, 400 of which will be used for the expansion. The expansion, which is named “Lone Tree City Center,” will be marketed as Lone Tree’s new downtown, officials said, centered around a light rail station and a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. It’s going to feature two additional commercial districts, dubbed “Lincoln Avenue Commercial District” and the mixed-use “Couplet District” along RidgeGate Parkway, and three diverse residential villages. Full coverage of this expansion can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for April 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, Josefina Puga and Juana Luna Our top Team Leaders were Mayra Soto and Rosa Chavez. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Yet another reason to praise Denver. I was recently invited to a Nuggets playoff game, which was especially exciting for me because I had never been to a live professional sports event. I was a bit overwhelmed at first by the sheer volume of people, and of course there are stories of rowdiness at sporting events. Yet even with long lines at the food and drink stands and difficulty maneuvering the walkways, I saw no one being rude or impatient. The atmosphere was friendly and casual. During the game the capacity crowd en masse offered ear piercing enthusiasm and encouragement, some offering a little more encouragement than others but overall a great show of our city's spirit.  I loved being a part of it. Well done, Denver! Bee

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April 2019 Newsletter

I Can See Clearly Now....

Now that we have had our windows cleaned for spring!
Yes, it is that time and we wanted to remind you that we are still doing windows across the Front Range. As you may recall, last year we ventured into window washing. We partnered with Unger, the leader in window washing technology for the newest and best tools to make your windows sparkle just like the rest of your home. Did you know that the particle buildup that occurs on your windows can markedly diminish your property’s air quality? One of these particles can be mold, which can take its toll on the well-being of your property’s inhabitants. If the air in your property seems more stagnant than usual, a window cleaning can help to clear the air. Also, we learned that over time, glass can degrade. The majority of particles, like those that make up water and minerals, can damage your windows. The particles will enter the glass’ pores and effectively contaminate and corrode the windows. The first things you may notice will be some light scratches or cracks, but an unmaintained window can eventually be altered on a structural level and will need a full replacement. Cleaning your windows will prevent this outcome and give your windows far more longevity. So, beyond just looking good and giving you a better view, there are practical reasons to clean your windows! To schedule a window washing appointment, please contact Angela and we will get you on the calendar. Anyone scheduling a window cleaning in April or May will receive 10% off as a Denver Concierge client or partner. Just mention the newsletter to Angela and she will make sure you get the discount. As always, thank you for your trust in us, and we look forward to taking great care of your windows, as we do your home.

Green Denver

Do you know what LEED is? It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Normally, it is a classification used for buildings, as in LEED certified via the U.S. Green Building Council. However, LEED is now being used to identify cities and communities that are committed to healthy, sustainable practices. As part of that program, our very own Denver was recently named a LEED Platinum city. From the article: "LEED for Cities certification demonstrates Denver’s commitment to sustainable growth and progress, and provides a platform for the city and to communicate its overall sustainability goals and performance to key stakeholders and the broader community." As your favorite green housecleaning company, we are always on the lookout for green initiatives and ways to make our planet healthier. For more information on this outstanding certification, visit the Mayor's office commentary here. LEED Platinum information, as well as a list of all the cities nationwide that are LEED certified can be found here.

Are Robots Coming for Your Job?

Gosh we hope not, especially since Rosie the Maid from the Jetsons looks so efficient above. The short answer (and good news), according to the smart folks at the Stanford Graduate School of Business is not yet and not likely, depending on your job and its level of complexity. While many of us fear automation taking over everything from our cars to our housecleaning, experts say that these fears are dramatically overstated. The bottom line is that most jobs are more complex than many people realize. Cleaning your home, for example is a very custom activity and one that we certainly hope won't be replaced anytime soon. The article, which can be found here, goes more deeply into which types of jobs might be replaced, as well as how our workforce today is still deeply divided in terms of education. Even Elon Musk of Tesla uttered the following: “Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated,”

Ballpark Project Update

Since it is now spring and baseball season has commenced (Someone please tell the Rockies the season started!) we thought it might be a good chance to update you on the massive project by the ballpark. You may have noticed the giant hole in the ground next to the Chop House and across from Coors Field. The official name of the project is McGregor Square, named for former Rockies exec Keli McGregor who died suddenly in 2010. A mixed-use development, there will be office space, residences, and a luxury hotel. The Rockies Hall of Fame will also be located here. To create more openness and public space, McGregor Square will abut the already-existing but underutilized Wynkoop Plaza, a 25,000 square-foot promenade between 19th and 20th streets just outside of the stadium. Additionally, another 75,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space will be open to the public. What a fun and exciting project for downtown and for our Rockies. Full details and photos of this project can be found via 5280 Magazine here.

Red Light Cameras

Very few things are more annoying than getting a ticket in the mail telling you that you owe money for running a red light. Or, for being slightly over the speed limit as you drove past an automated radar system. We decided to investigate (for a friend of course) to see if these tickets are valid and if you really need to pay them. The answer....well it's complicated. Technically, in Denver you have to be served in person within 90 days or the ticket is invalid. You do not need to be served by a law enforcement officer and any adult that is home can sign for the ticket, and yes, they will potentially send someone to serve you. The good news is these tickets are not reported to the DMV, so there are no points taken from your license. As an aside, did you know that you can get a photo/red light ticket if your tires are over the crosswalk? In fact if both front and back tires are over (bad idea anyway) you may get a full red light ticket. So....if you aren't served, technically any ticket is not valid. However, if you are properly served and don't pay, you can be sent to collections. Of course, we aren't advising you to not pay these controversial tickets, but if  you arent served in person there may be a way out, depending on your level of risk tolerance. Good luck and be safe out there!

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for March 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Puga, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata and Juana Luna. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Juana Olivas and Mayra Soto (back to back months for those two!). Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
I would like to take a minute and reintroduce you to the folks at Rambunctious Ranch, who deliver my eggs. I love that we have the option in a city of this size to have fresh produce and egg deliveries.  I also love that we are helping a local family enterprise and not the big suppliers.  We are what our food has consumed, and these chicks are very well tended and fed. Every Sunday I get an email with happenings from the ranch and photos of the ducks and chicks, dogs and goats.  It starts my week on a pleasant and sweet note, with a little bit of country.  Just thought I'd pass that along. Feel free to email the ranch: [email protected] Bee

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How to Make your Rental a Vacation Destination

By Erin Reynolds, DIY Mama

Between the mountains, the parks, and the arts, there are so many reasons to visit Denver. It’s no wonder then that this metro area receives hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. If you’re not getting your fair share of these travelers and tourists at your rental, spend some time during the shoulder season making sure it’s summer-ready. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin to revamp your rental property.

It’s About More Than Location

Renters choose their lodging on many different factors, and location is key among them — but it’s not everything. Many visitors will happily settle a few miles away from the main attractions to enjoy lower prices and more room to roam. With this in mind, make sure your rental has plenty of space and that is isn’t cluttered or full of personal belongings. Many rental owners choose to make the master bedroom inaccessible to guests, but this can backfire by reducing the number of people who can sleep in your home.

Instead of limiting the number of beds available, rent a small storage unit to stash your personal items. Denver has many great options, but one of the best priced and most accessible is StorQuest of Aurora/Peoria, which costs about per month. As such, you can rent a unit to accommodate your excess without burdening your budget.

Security Matters

More important than making your home attractive is ensuring that it is secure, especially when you’re away. Installing a home security system will give you peace of mind that your furniture and other items aren’t completely vulnerable when you’re away. You’ll feel better about putting nicer pieces in your rental, and will be better able to assist guest if a security issue arises during their stay. High SecurityHome.com explains that there are many factors that you should consider when choosing a security system. Hint: It’s not just price.

Decorate Denver-Style

Denver is known for many things, including access to the Rocky Mountains and a thriving art scene. Depending on where your rental is located, it pays to cater to what your visitors are there to see. Outfit your rental with either modern, artsy pieces or, if you own a mountain cabin, stick with a traditional, woodsy feel. A log cabin should have plenty of open space, lots of windows, and a fireplace. A quick look at Colorado.com’s list of area cabins will give you plenty of ideas. 

Fun and Functional

Vacationers rent a home, condo, or apartment to get away from reality. But they still have to cook and remain entertained in their downtime. Make sure your vacation home is both fun and functional. Stock the kitchen, for example, with plenty of appliances, dishes, and cutlery to ensure it’s fully equipped to cook a meal. A few board games and a small library of books and videos will keep your guests from getting bored. If you have the extra space, a pool table (,300), cabinet gaming system (,000), and/or foosball table () are features you can highlight that will grab the attention of those traveling with teens and tweens.

Above All

The most important things you can do to increase the return of your investment is to ensure that your rental stays clean and that you provide the best customer service experience possible. If you don’t live nearby, you can outsource both of these tasks. A property management agency can take care of all things small and large when you can’t be there to react.

With a few small changes and a commitment to customer service, your rental can easily be a retreat that stays booked year-round. However, don’t wait until summer — get it ready now, or you’ll have to wait until next season to increase your revenue.

Image via Pixabay

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February Newsletter 2019

Company Milestones 

Time flies when you are having fun! We wanted to share a couple of fun milestones with you. This newsletter marks the beginning of our sixth year of newsletters since we started writing. Five years of newsletters and you are still reading!!! Thank you for that. We promise to try and stay interesting and relevant. An even bigger milestone is upon us, however. We are turning 20 years old this year!!! Way back in 1999 Denver Concierge was founded as a full-service conciergebusiness. A short time later, the company decided to focus on what we do best, which is green certified housecleaning! Ownership changed in 2006 to our fearless leader, John Kitts. He (and the rest of us) want to sincerely thank you for your business and for being part of our wonderful, local company. We have so many loyal clients (some that have been with us almost 20 years) and there really aren't any words to express our gratitude. So, how about a giveaway? The first five people to email, text or call Angela today and wish us a happy 20-year birthday will receive a free refrigerator cleaning. If you haven't had this done, it's pretty special, so enjoy! Thanks again for making us successful. We hope in our own little way that we return the favor!

Keeping your Gym Germ Free

Since we clean your homes, we know some of you have amazing home gyms & workout spaces. We also know that many of you go to the gym to workout. We try to, but need to do better. One of the things that people don't realize is the number of germs and amount of bacteria that gets left on gym equipment, both at home and in public. One of our fabulous guest writers, Karoline Gore, published a piece last month on how to keep your home germ free. We have added that article to our blog, and the full text can be found here! Here's to keeping those New Year's resolutions and staying healthy at the same time!

DenverRestaurant Week

Speaking of anniversaries, did you know that Denver Restaurant Week is now in its 15th iteration? It starts on February 22nd and will run until March 3. Hundreds of Denver's best restaurants will be participating and multi-course dinners will be priced at , or each. The full list of participating restaurants and menus can be found here at Denver.Org, which is a fabulous resource for our fine city. Finally the nice folks at 5280 Magazine posted their take on restaurant week and all of the changes for 2019.  Happy dining and we hope to see you out there!  

Denver's Best Hospitals 

Colorado has some very good health care. In fact, for their ability to demonstrate “superior clinical outcomes,” seven Colorado hospitals have been named to the Healthgrades “America’s Best Hospitals” list for 2019, three of which also made the top 50 best hospitals in the country. Good Samaritan in Lafayette, North Colorado Medical in Greeley and Lutheran Medical Center (pictured) all received top 50 rankings by Healthgrades in their "America's Best Hospitals" annual rankings. We also had three hospitals in the top 100, including Centura Health-owned Porter Adventist Hospital, UCHealth-owned Poudre Valley Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital — Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion. Sky Ridge in Lone Tree rounded out the seven facilities that made the list. The full DBJ article can be found here.

The Future of Larimer Square

Did you know that Larimer Square was not only Denver's first commercial block but its first historic district? Did you know that Larimer Square  was added to one of the most endangered places in the U.S. in 2018? We didn't realize any of this, and as we dug into this issue we found a lot of useful information about the future of Larimer Square and this important part of Denver's history. Last year, the developer of the block proposed a massive redevelopment plan that received almost instant pushback and criticism. The plan included two tall buildings for condos, a hotel and businesses. The plan was to build them in the alleys behind the square so the new would hover above the old. Channel 7 of Denver did a nice article on this project and the future of the Square. Last month the project was discussed again, this time with the lead developer, Urban Villages. The Denver Business Journal article with the updates on this important project can  be found here. We certainly hope that this project maintains the wonderful history that is Larimer Square.  

Monthly Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for January 2019. Our top Cleaning Associates for the month were Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Fernanda Gonzalez, Brenda Garcia and Aurora Dominguez. In the Team Leader ranks, our top Team Leaders were Socorro Ibarra and Juana Olivas. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work, and a special thanks to our award winners! Congrats ladies!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
A February Valentine to Denver. Year after year during the post-holiday season when nasty weather sets in and the street in front of my house is an ice slick I wonder if I should move to a kinder and gentler climate. Break if off.  Take flight. The thing is, I find it very difficult to contemplate leaving Denver.  It is by its very nature a kinder and gentler city. Museums, galleries, sports venues, testaurants and shops aside, Denver has stayed true to its core through all the changes.  It is a clean city, a safe city, and a tolerant city. We have been together for 20 years and I must say they have been 20 happy years.  Why ruin a beautiful relationship? Happy Valentine's Day Denver! Bee

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Tips for a Spotless Pet-Friendly Home

Adorable pets, Dever Concierge By Guest Writer Karoline Gore Around 84.6 million Americans households have a pet, with dogs and cats being our top two choices for a furry best friend. Pets are such an important part of our lives that they affect our home buying decisions, and often dictate where we stay when we go on holiday. For many pet owners, just about the one bad thing about pets is having to clean up after them. Pets can unwittingly bring home pests (including fleas) and dirt, so thorough cleaning is as important as grooming to ensure neatness in the home and optimal health for your pets and family. If you have dogs and/or cats and you’d like to ensure your home is tidy and hygienic, follow these tips and ensure you impress friends and family every time they visit. Denver Concierge’s Green Cleaning System Toxic home cleaning products may eliminate germs, but they also contribute to poor indoor air quality and can spur on allergies, respiratory problems, and more. Therefore, it is important to rely on pet-friendly cleaning products which are also environmentally friendly. If you are unsure about what green cleaning involves, give Denver Concierge a call. They are renowned green residential cleaners that can help you have a sparkling home in no time, while ensuring all surfaces are safe for children, pets, and adults in the household. Having your home professionally cleaned on a regular basis is key when it comes to really getting rid of fleas and other potential nasties on flooring, bedding, and soft furniture. Once your home is sparkling clean, it is easier to maintain in an optimal state afterwards. Vacuuming is Key Opt for a steam vacuum to reduce the need for cleaning products and to effectively kill germs. Some steam vacuum cleaners are specifically catered to pet-loving homes. That is, they have special handles capable of suctioning even the shortest of fur off difficult surfaces such as soft furnishings. These machines come with a host of other handles that can also be used to  make cleaning areas like the kitchen and bathroom a breeze. Finding the Right Place for Pet Items You need to really think where you place regular essentials for pets like cat litter, dog bowls, toys, etc. Homes can get pretty dirty if your dog plays with his chew toy on the sofa, or your cat’s litter bowl is in a spot in which people can trip over it or spill its contents. Ideally, the litterbox needs to be away from the living room and kitchen, and placed against a wall in the furthest area of the room it is located in. Ensure your cat always has access to rooms in which litter trays are placed, so it does end up doing its necessities in other areas of the home. You can use one side of a kitchen island for dog bowls, or have custom made kitchen storage furniture, with a space beneath the tabletop for dog bowls. Use non-slip mats beneath the bowls for easier cleaning after your dogs enjoy their meal. Good Grooming is a Must You might be surprised by the extent to which good grooming can affect the cleanliness of your home. By trimming your dog’s nails and fur and treating your pets regularly for fleas and ticks, you can ensure they don’t drag in dirt (or pests) or soil furniture and floors. Long fur in the paws can trap dirt, snow, and ice, but they are also favorite spots for pests to ‘hide’ in. In addition to applying a flea and tick treatment to your pets, you should also check their fur for ticks that may have attached after a long day out in the Great Outdoors. Remove any ticks you find with tweezers, ensuring your remove the entire tick in one go. Keeping your home sparkling clean when you have pets is a little more challenging, but definitely not impossible. Because dogs and cats shed so much and can unwittingly bring in pests that are sometimes hard to spot, a good, professional ‘green clean’ is important on a regular basis. Maintain the cleanliness of your home by steam vacuuming frequently, tidying up every day, and placing pet items in accessible areas of your home that are not conducive to spills.

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January Newsletter 2019

2018 Award Winners 

We know some of you may not read all the way to the bottom of our newsletter (you know who you are). However, if you do, each month you see our award winners. So for this month only, we are putting it first. Did you know that we rigorously measure every Cleaning Associate and Team Leader each month? They are rated on professionalism in attire, promptness, cleaning efficiency, client complaints and compliments too? Yes, you read that right, your feedback is largely what determines the awards you see each month. So, we thank you for your feedback and as always, if we can do anything better please let us know. Without further ado, please join me in congratulating our 2018 award winners. In the Cleaning Associate ranks, we had a tie for top performer in 2018. Aurora Dominguez and Maria Zapata are officially our top Cleaning Associates. Josefina Quinonez was a very close 3rd, only missing out by one point. For our Team Leaders, Natalia Olivas ran away with this award, nearly lapping the field. Rosa Chavez is our runner-up this year, nudging out Mayra Soto for 2nd place. Please join me in congratulating our winners and thank you again for your consistent feedback on our performance!!!

2019 DenverReal Estate Outlook

Has the housing market in Denver finally slowed a bit? It sure seems like it might have. The Denver Metro Association of Realtors just released their numbers for the end of the year and things seem to be slowing, especially in the suburbs. From the article:  “Currently, in the luxury market [anything priced above million], we’re seeing 7.22 months of inventory,” says Jill Schafer, DMAR Market Trends committee chair and an agent with Kentwood Cherry Creek. As a result, “especially in the suburbs, it’s becoming harder to sell a home over million.” The full article can be found here. Also, Zillow just released a report for 2019 that has our fine city ranked 3rd in the hottest housing markets. We trail only San Jose and Orlando nationwide. That report can be found here. We hope you find lots of prosperity if you are transacting in real estate in '19!

Goodbye Electric Scooters?

We wish.  Could we have Jetsons style hovercrafts instead? When the scooter phenomenon landed in Denver last spring, we weren't thrilled. Neither were our city administrators as companies like Lime and Bird dropped scooters all over town. This has created a public safety issue, as well as new sets of rules for where these can be parked and ridden. Initially these things were designated as "toy vehicles" which meant they were to be ridden on sidewalks. If you have ever been nearly taken out by one barreling down a sidewalk (yes we have), you would agree with us this is a bad idea. Last month the city council of Denvervoted 13-0 on a mandate that these contraptions be ridden in bike lanes and not on the sidewalks any more. Only in situations where there is no bike lane and the speed limit is over 30MPH is sidewalk riding allowed. They are also now illegal on the 16th Street Mall. The long-term future of the scooter business in Denver remains uncertain, as the original pilot program ends next summer, and could create further chaos. To learn more about this interesting dilemma, read the article in 5280 here. 

Crowded Skiing

We are pretty sure we are one of the few folks who don't ski that live in Colorado. In fact, we don't dance either (two left feet), but we digress. But, for the rest of you, this looks like a challenge. We learned that already this winter, some resorts have actually been turning people away, due to capacity issues. On January 11, the lots were full at Eldora, A Basin, and Keystone. As an important distinction, it isn't that the mountain is full....it's the parking lots! So the major issue is vehicular density. There are a number of resources that folks can use to gauge the parking situation, including Keystone's and Eldora's Twitter accounts. The complete article and detail on how to combat the 12 million skiers that hit the mountains can be found here.

DenverTeacher Strike

Uh oh. Denver teachers have voted to strike. Denver teachers haven't been on strike since 1994. The current impasse is largely about wages, with DPS offering a 10% increase across the board. This is disputed by the teacher's union, who claims that number includes an already promised cost of living increase. Denver Public Schools has promised an uninterrupted school year, and they are in full blown recruiting mode. With a pool of over 1200 substitute teachers, they are doing everything they can in the event of a strike. The first possible day that teachers in DPS can strike would be January 28th. Here is hoping both sides can work things out, for the sake of the students. Complete information on the potential strike can be found here, courtesy of the Denver Post.

Snow Driving Refresher

Since it looks like more snow might be coming at the end of this week, we felt like it was time for a snow driving refresher course. Colorado has been the new home for many folks from non-snowy states like California and Texas for a while now. The kind people at AAA published a list of winter driving tips that includes valuable information on not only regular winter driving, but longer distance trips as well. As an example, anyone that has ever had a fuel line freeze up will appreciate the tip to keep your tank at least 1/2 full on long trips! Our friends at the Denver Post also chimed in on Twitter with their winter drviing tips....be safe out there!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela
Clients have asked how we handle lockouts and last-minute client cancelations. Our employees are paid by the hour fromthe time they leave the building in the morning until they return.  This means in the event of a last-minute lockout or cancelation we are paying for the team's time while we try to contact the client and/or find another house for them to clean instead. We don't charge for these occurrences because lockouts are unintentional and generally unavoidable. Of course, if it happens more frequently we may need to charge for the team's lost time. On the same subject, many clients are giving us their garage codes to use instead of keys.  If this is easier please let me know and I will add the code to the work order instead of signing out keys on the clean day. Bee

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Keeping Fit: Hidden Germs In Your Gym

Denver Concierge Home Gym Cleaning Typically people think of the bathroom as being the germiest, followed by the kitchen (surprise- it’s actually the other way around). When people think of an exercise space like a fitness center or gymnasium, the impression is “healthy”. After all, that’s what it’s used for. Yet research has found as many as 25 different types of bacteria in fitness centers. Setting up a home gym will cut that number back drastically, but not entirely; there are still some risky germs lurking around there. Working Up A Sweat Sure, having a home gym reduces the odds that you’ll get a cold, flu, or stomach bug- and that’s great, especially when combined with a healthy diet and supplementation. But all of the surfaces in your gym are a breeding ground for bacteria. Benches, the handle bars of stationary bikes or treadmills, the grips on free weights, and literally anything you sit or lay on while working up a sweat, can all harbor bacteria. The floor along with any exercise mats can also be a haven for bacteria, but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case - it’s easy to remedy. Easy To Wipe Down Surface areas like gym mats are easy to keep clean with a simple wipe-down. In fact, it’s recommended that you place mats down especially over carpeted areas especially for that reason. The bacteria that is likely building up in your gym is the contact-based variety (not airborne illness), the most common of which is staph or MRSA. While it’s the most common, it also poses the highest threat. Most of the time, you come into contact with this bacteria without even knowing, because it doesn’t often doesn’t cause any issue. In fact, many people have a form of staph bacteria present on the surface of their skin. Small cuts, scrapes, knicks, and any type of open wound allow the bacteria to get inside the skin, thus inside the body, and this is where things can become troublesome. Once it’s inside your body, it becomes an active infection. This usually presents with boils on the skin near the wound, but can also present with the usual symptoms of skin infections, like itchiness, redness, and swelling. Clean After Contact To eliminate contact bacteria in your home gym, wipe down any equipment, mats, and benches with sanitizing wipes (like Clorox wipes) or an all-purpose anti-bacterial spray and dry wash cloth. You should wipe down anything you’re about to use before you use it, and immediately after you’ve been in contact with it. Cleaning it right after use kills bacteria right away so it doesn’t have a chance to grow, and doing so right before use is an extra precaution - just in case you forgot, or some of the buggers got away the first time. Fungi is another little monster that might be hanging about. Fungi typically invade areas that are dark and wet, like gym bags, gym clothes left in a hamper, and inside sweaty shoes. This is what causes conditions like athlete’s foot. This is a pretty easy thing to avoid, though. Simply be sure to wash and dry your gym clothes, don’t re-wear dirty socks, and keep things dry. A home gym is a great way to save time, money, and stay in good shape. It’s convenient and economic, plus you’re in control of the environment so you can feel more comfortable and do as you please. Just because it’s your personal gym, though, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a bit of maintenance. Keep your gym in good condition. After all, that’s what it does for you! By Karoline Gore, guest writer

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