Category Archives: House Cleaning

March Newsletter 2021

One Year Ago

On March 24, 2020, the state was closed and Denver was told to “stay home”. All non-essential businesses, including ours, were closed.

It made us wonder just how this new world changed us here in Denver over the past year?

Let’s dive in. For starters, did you know that on March 20, 2020, Denver County only had 67 Covid cases? That number is now just north of 60,000.

DIA passengers dropped by 50%, and that included a Thanksgiving spike.

Bankruptcy filings were down, dropping 25% to only 8,300 over the period. This one surprised us.

How about housing? Active inventory according to the Denver Metro Area Realtors, dropped by 60%. Back in March of ’20, there were nearly 6,000 homes in inventory for sale across Denver. Today, that number is around 2,000.

Hotels have been hit hard as well, with occupancy rates currently at about 33%. It bottomed out at about 16% last April. Normal rates would be about 65% occupancy.

Lots of fascinating data, and we thank the Denver Business Journal for publishing it. The full piece can be found here. They also look at job posting data (down), restaurant reservations (down), and crude oil pricing (up).

Kind of a cool review, although most of the data is hard to look at, knowing the real impact of what we went through, and all the pain businesses and families everywhere have had to endure.

For the infographic showing the numbers we mentioned above, plus a few more, check it out here.

I think we can all agree that the last year has been one of the more challenging ones we have ever faced.

It has tested our resilience and resolve, but through it all we are still here, serving our wonderful clients. We thank you for your loyalty and for sticking it out with us!

16th Street Mall Renovation

What was once a bustling and iconic part of Denver is getting a facelift.

Our 16th Street Mall has been under fire for the past few years due to problems with homelessness, drug use, panhandling, and other unsavory behaviors.

According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, the original life span for the mall was 30 years. We now sit at nearly 40 years and most would agree the area is in need of a makeover.

Enter PCL Construction Services, the winning bidder in earning the right to design and build the “new mall”. Costs are estimated at $149M and construction won’t likely begin until the end of ’21 at the earliest.

The full description of the project by the Downtown Denver Partnership can be found here.

We aren’t sure about you, but we hope this project restores this once-proud area of our city back to its roots.

Of course, we aren’t 100% sure what a redesign and upgrade have to do with our homelessness and safety issues, but we will leave that in the hands of our elected leaders to sort out.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how they tackle this massive three-year project and if it truly delivers on its intentions.

Rockies and McGregor Square

Did you realize that Opening Day is tomorrow? This is not an April Fool’s joke, we promise.

We were surprised as well, it sneaked up on us.

So, baseball is back, and with it comes Spring, and the hope that our beloved Rockies will be contenders this year.

What will baseball look like in the mile-high city this year?

For starters, Coors Field will be allowing 21,000 fans in for each game. This is up from the original plan of 12,000 and hopefully will increase as COVID settles down.

The biggest news is the opening of McGregor Square, across the street from the ballpark. Named for former Rockies exec Keli McGregor, the mixed-use development will contain everything from residences to restaurants and bars. You can even find Top Golf hitting bays.

In short, it looks like a wonderful entertainment venue for those of us heading down to the ballpark this year.

5280 Magazine did a very comprehensive view of McGregor Square here and all that it entails. 

Now if we could only get over the trade of future Hall of Fame player Nolan Arenado to the Cards.

That one might take some time to recover from.

Enjoy the festivities!

Life Expectancy 

If you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you know we love to see where we rank as a region in various categories.

When we saw life expectancy by state, we had to share.

Colorado is used to being in the top-ranked places in most categories, and life expectancy is no different.

Overall, we came in 8th. Male life expectancy in our fine state is just under 78 years. Women actually rated just a bit higher, coming in 7th at an 82.3 average.

Even more fascinating are the ends of the spectrum.

Hawaii, for example, where men live until 81, and women until 84, both rank first.

The other end? West Virginia. Both men and women ranked 51st, with men averaging 74.4 and women 77.3.

We aren’t drawing any inferences about what that all means, only that we are fairly healthy here in the Rockies.

Finally, in a rare occurrence, life expectancy in total dropped by a full year, largely due to COVID.

The article from CNN can be found here, and the full table from the CDC (for you stat geeks) can be found here. 

Productivity and Working from Home

Nothing like debunking a good theory.

When COVID drove us all back home for work, there was a significant shift in our worlds.

It was also a shift for our employers and/or businesses that we run. In an instant, everything changed.

Almost immediately the call came that working from home would lead to increased productivity, a happier workforce, and would be very virtuous.

While both sides of this equation have learned to make do, we came across a fascinating article that flies in the face of the “increased productivity” narrative.

Stanford Grad School of Business economist Nicholas Bloom published an article recently titled “The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the Age of COVID-19”.

From the article, “We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days,” says Bloom, “This will create a productivity disaster for firms.”

“I fear an extended period of working from home will not only kill office productivity but is building a mental health crisis.”

Wow, it seems the “experts” aren’t so sure the way that it is currently working is the best.

We aren’t smart enough about this sort of thing to know the best solution but if you want to learn more, the complete article can be found here.

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for February were Guadalupe Caloca, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Paz Jimenez, and Simona Estrada.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of February.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Peeps!

After a 9-month hiatus, they’re back just in time for Spring.

In their 1953 debut, a Peeps chick was a handmade specialty item that took 27 hours to sculpt. Currently, they have a daily production run of 5.5 million.

You can’t escape them, and you can’t buy just one.  They come in a joined row like cutout paper dolls. The original yellow and white chicks have morphed into other colors, animal shapes, and other flavors. They have found their way into literature, art, theater, and dioramas.

PEEPS are a cheery addition to our Spring this year.   Thankfully they bounced back from the pandemic just when we needed cheering the most.

Happy Spring!

Bee

 

January Newsletter 2021

2021 Labor Law Changes

2021 is starting with a bang. Lots of labor law changes are now in effect and they will impact both employees and employers going forward.

For those of you that haven’t dug into these yet, we wanted to encapsulate them here.

First off, on January 1, Denver implemented a new minimum wage of $14.77. Mandated in 2019 by the Denver City Council, it will rise to $15.87 beginning next year. This is out of phase with the state minimum wage which is lagging behind at $12.32.

Any employee of the city or one that works in Denver will be subject to the city minimum.

Also, starting in 2021, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act or HFWA will require that Colorado employers with more than 16 employees provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. Those hours are immediately available once earned and can be taken in one-hour increments.

Finally, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has been implemented and the new law prohibits paying different wages for similar work on the basis of sex, beefing up existing federal rules on the topic.

There are also new provisions protecting whistleblowers primarily related to workplace safety and health.

We do our best at Denver Concierge to take great care of our people and support their safety, families, well-being, and ability to make good wages. We hope this shows through in the quality of work we do in your homes.

We will continue to do so, along with fully supporting all the city and state requirements to benefit our associates.

A full recap of the 2021 labor law changes can be found here. 

Restaurant Update

We may have mentioned we have quite a few clients and partners in the restaurant space and they have been hit particularly hard by COVID.

You also may have heard about the new “5 Star” program that is allowing restaurants and other businesses to gradually move towards normalcy. The basics are as follows:

The 5 Star State Certification Program enables businesses that meet enhanced safety guidelines in qualifying counties and municipalities to open at a greater capacity. The voluntary program recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe.

Further, each county or municipality can decide whether to implement the 5 Star State Certification program.

So how is it calculated?

Well, it depends firstly on the dial level of the area the business operates in. Ranging from Green (good) to Purple (Very Bad), each area has a rating.

Establishments can then apply for variances based on where they currently operate and the “dial level” around them.

They are expected to exceed normal COVID requirements, hopefully making them much safer to visit.

We are excited to see the state helping small businesses get back up and running.

While we haven’t been able to find a certified list of 5 star approved restaurants yet, we hope one is coming soon.

Meanwhile to learn more about the program click here.

Better Peace of Mind

Yes, 2020 was a bear.

There were many days when we struggled with the uncertainty, chaos, and disruption caused by COVID.

We like to think that we are mentally tough over here at Denver Concierge, but we are human and are always looking for better ways to cope.

Along that journey, we ran across a solid piece by the folks at Medium.com (one of our favorite self-help sites) about how we might obtain better peace of mind during these tough times.

One of the great concepts from the article is to focus on the stressors, not the stress.

Our minds are hard-wired to outrun animals that might be chasing us, looking for their next meal. While those were real concerns for our ancestors, they really aren’t anymore (at least for most of us hopefully).

Yet our brains are hardwired to react with “fight or flight” reactions to things that truly are not life-threatening.

We found the article informative and helpful and we sure hope you do as well.

The complete piece on psychological habits for better peace of mind can be found here.

We wish you much peace of mind in 2021.

 

2020 Words of the Year 

Want to take a guess at the word of the year in 2020?

If you guessed PANDEMIC, you are correct.

Words fascinate us and the ones that come to the forefront each year are an interesting cross-section of what is going on in our world in a given year.

We were extremely interested to read Merriam Webster’s top 12 words of the year in 2020.

Based on search history they list the most-searched-for words

How about “Kraken”? “Schadenfreude”? Those were two words that were very popular, mainly thanks to the Seattle hockey team calling themselves the former and for people delighting in other people’s failure for the latter.

Our guess is our tumultuous political climate pushed schadenfreude into that spotlight. Plus, as the article says, it’s a fun word to say.

In respect to Kobe Bryant (rest in peace), the word “Mamba” was the most searched word shortly after his tragic helicopter crash.

It’s a quick read but gives great insight into our culture and the words we use in our daily lives.

The full article can be found here, and we are sure hoping that words like “vaccine” and “normalcy” are popular this year!

101 Ways to Enjoy 2021 in Colorado

Wait, isn’t there a pandemic going on?

Well, yes, it technically is still here, although we are making progress. Knowing that, what can we do safely and enjoyably in our wonderful state in 2021?

The nice people at 5280 Magazine published some great ideas in their article titled “101 Things to Do in Colorado This Year”.

Everything from adventure-packed road trips to cool classes you can take, the list is diverse and comprehensive.

Besides, if you are like us, we are ready to get out of the house at least a little bit (socially distanced of course).

Did you know, for example, that Denver has a “beer spa”? For $89 you can soak in a tub of unfermented beer. We aren’t sure about the health benefits of this but may just have to go see for ourselves, mainly because it involves the word beer.

Some great ideas to put a dent in the repetitive boredom of home confinement.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, the complete list can be found here.

Annual Award Winners

We are super excited to announce our annual winners for Team Leader and Cleaning Associate of the year.

First, our monthly award winners for December were Rosario De La Rosa, Paz Jimenez, Martha Garcia, Simona Estrada, and Juana Luna.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Rosa Chavez.

Now, drum roll please…..

Our winner for best Cleaning Associate in 2020 is Maria Zapata. Runner up goes to Aurora Dominguez.

Our top Team Leader for 2020 goes to Socorro Ibarra. Our runner up is Juana Olivas.

It was a close race and one that was determined over only 9 months (thanks COVID) rather than the usual 12.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for 2020, the year of COVID.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Denver Concierge is a Green Certified Company.

This makes us a bit old fashioned, as we don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning methods. Our cleaning is meant to be thorough and yet preserve what we clean, whether furniture, carpets, keepsakes, or collectibles.

We are not alone with our preservation mantra.  There is a local contractor who has bought several rundown houses in one area of the city and surprisingly renovated them, rather than razing them, preserving history with a touch of progress.

His current endeavor is a hundred-year-old church which he has somehow managed to convert to inconspicuous condos without changing the street view.

Preservation teamed with artistry and imagination. A good roadmap to the future.

November Newsletter 2020

Giving Thanks

What a strange and memorable year.

We know it may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we are very thankful.

We are thankful for our wonderful clients. Our people. Our health. We know so many of you have been impacted by COVID, some of you worse than others and for that, you have our sympathy and love.

We are thankful to be open during this time, doing our jobs. So many people aren’t able to do this currently, especially our friends in the restaurant and gym business. Not to mention schools and the extra work many of you are putting in as “part-time” teachers at home. Crazy.

We genuinely want to use this space to express our gratitude for all of you, our readers and friends.

Without you, we have no company, no employees, and no business to be thankful for. We will continue to operate as safely as possible and try to bring you the peace of mind you need to keep your homes germ-free.

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, although we know it will be different from all the others. If you are deciding to get together, we have an interesting resource below that may ease your mind (or may not).

Either way, please know that we appreciate you and wish you a safe and happy holiday and weekend.

Just How Risky is Thanksgiving?

Ah, the tradition. We love getting together for Thanksgiving (and any other holiday where we can eat).

So much controversy this year about Thanksgiving being “cancelled” and everyone being discouraged from getting together.

That said, nearly 40% of people say they will likely attend a Thanksgiving gathering with 10 or more people despite the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a recent survey by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Another survey of parents nationwide found nearly a third say the benefits of gathering with extended family for the holidays are worth the risk of spreading or getting the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in partnership with the University of Michigan, says almost 3-in-5 plan to see extended family in person.

We get it.

Should you decide to expand the guest list, we wanted to provide a resource that will help guide you regarding exposure risk.

Denver 7 published an interesting, interactive map created by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, that shows the likelihood that at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 when gathering with a group of 10 or more people in a given area.

For example, under current case rates, a gathering of 10 people in Denver would have a 38% chance that one person there would be infected.

Fascinating data and you can look anywhere in the US to determine the risk.

The source interactive map and planning tool can be found here.

Upsizing Your Home? 

By Guest Writer Bob ShannonSeniors Meet.org.

Downsizing has become an incredibly popular retirement trend in the past few years. While many benefits come with sizing down into a smaller home—lower costs, less maintenance, and simpler living—there are also many good reasons to go against the grain.

Depending on your retirement goals, upsizing to a larger home and property might be the better choice! Keep reading to learn more about upsizing in your senior years and how to make it happen.

If you’re selling your existing home to help pay for a larger one, use a site like Redfin to learn how much comparable properties in the Denver area are selling for.

If you’ll be taking out a mortgage for your new space, increase your borrowing power by paying off debt and boosting your credit score.

Having a larger home in retirement comes with many perks for seniors. For example, you can set up a hobby farm your grandchildren will love visiting, and you can rent out the basement for some side income.

Once you’ve made your move, unpack strategically by setting up your living room and bedroom first. You can dive into bigger projects later, like setting up a sewing room, so you’re not overwhelmed with laying out your new home.

Downsizing isn’t for everyone. If your dream is to spend your golden years on a big, beautiful property and you have the financial means to make it happen, go for it! As long as you take your time to plan your big purchase and prepare for your move, your transition to a larger space will be smooth, stress-free, and, most of all, exciting!

How Expensive is Denver? 

Last month we were happy to report that Colorado fared very well in the annual Best Places to Live survey.

With all that excitement, we thought we would take a look at just what it takes to survive in our fair city.

For example, if you are a renter and want to live in Denver, you need north of $100k annually to do it. Wow.

In Albuquerque, NM, in comparison, you would “only” need $73k annually.

Interesting data and a fun list to pore over.

The complete listing of 50 metropolitan areas and what it takes to live comfortably was published by GOBankingrates.com and Yahoo Finance and can be found here.

Oh, what is the most expensive metro area to live in?

San Francisco, where one would need $164K annually just to rent. Plus, it’s foggy there and they have no mountains.

Just sayin’.

Things to (safely) Do this Holiday Season

We thought planning for Thanksgiving was tough. December is coming and it has even more complexity.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or something else, December is full of reasons to gather.

So, what exactly will be going on around Denver this year?

Some things will remain, such as the Blossoms of Light festival at the Botanic Gardens. The Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall, and the Parade of Lights.

The nice folks at Denver.org published a complete list of everything going on around Denver starting Thanksgiving weekend.

They also put out a clean and safe guide that you can provide to any guests that might be visiting about just how things are working downtown these days.

We hope whatever you decide to do you have a wonderful holiday season and stay safe!!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for October were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Martha Garcia, Cecilia Reyes, and Paz Jimenez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Juana Olivas.

We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

According to a recently published book, hunter-gatherer societies worked less than people in other modes of subsistence, while not only providing for their needs but also enjoying a substantial amount of leisure time.

This has raised some questions and opened discussions about our current work hours, which driven by the increase in what our society considers basic needs, has resulted in chaining us to extremely long work hours with minimal leisure time. Theories abound.

With Thanksgiving upon us, however, let’s put the theories aside, and pause to be grateful for the benefits of our labors, as is fitting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bee

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 $150-300. 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

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 $120B 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

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

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

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

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

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 $202,896 at the start of 2010 to $424,051 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