Category Archives: House Cleaning

April Newsletter 2022

National Small Business Week

The first week of May is indeed National Small Business Week.

Way back in 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

So, what defines a “small business”?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business has no more than 1,500 employees and less than $38.5 million in average annual revenue, depending on your industry.

We think $30 million is a pretty large business! If you look at the government definition based on the Affordable Care Act, they would characterize any business under fifty employees as small.

As a point of reference, 90% of businesses have fewer than twenty employees.

Supporting local businesses keeps tax revenue in the state and city as well as providing jobs and support for the overall economy. While we love Amazon too, buying locally has tremendous benefits for the community you live in.

We found a nice piece published by Verizon that gives 10 great ways to support small businesses and it can be found here.

We also know that COVID sadly put the hurt on so many small businesses and we know they need our help, which is another great reason to shop local. Colorado is also doing their part to support small businesses, and they have a great toolkit for promotion and it can be found here.

As a small business, we are so grateful to be part of your lives. As always, we will continue to earn your trust every day.

Thank you!

Universal State Tax Refunds 

Looks like we all have a refund coming and who doesn’t like free money?

It was recently announced that each individual in Colorado that files their 2021 taxes by May 31, 2022, will receive $400. Joint filers will receive $800.

The amount is fixed and will not be modified based on income or any information on your 2021 tax return.

From the article on the Denver Channel:

“Under the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights, when there’s a TABOR surplus, it gets refunded to taxpayers. What would normally come to taxpayers in April 2023 is being given in an advanced payment, due to the proposal, to address the rising costs of inflation, officials said.”

It seems that the coffers of Colorado are overflowing with money, and we are happy to see the state giving it back to the residents.

The complete article from the Denver Channel can be found here.

Denver’s Exodus

For years it seems we have been talking about the massive inflow of people into our city.

That trend is over.

For the first time since the early 2000’s, the population in Denver declined.

In fact, the population declined by just about 1%, with a dip of just over 6,000 residents.

Statewide, however, our population did indeed grow, but only by 28,000 residents. This is only about one-half of one percent over the previous year, which is well below our recent run rate.

It seems we are not immune to the migration pattern that seems to show folks leaving big cities for the country, or for cheaper locales.

New York City, for example, lost 328,000 residents, and metro Los Angeles gave up 176,000.

We aren’t smart enough to know what this all means. Part of it could be COVID, part of it could be rising costs in the city or our increasing crime rate.

At the risk of piling on, Denver was recently listed among the top 5 least affordable metro areas to live in. The only cities worse than Denver were San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Those of you that have been wishing for people to stay wherever they are and not move to Denver may have finally gotten your wish.

Here is hoping this trend reverses and our city transforms into one we can all be proud of, and that more people want to live in.

What’s in a (baby) Name?

We are always fascinated by the trends in baby names.

The days of Beverly, Doris, Chester, Clarence, etc. may be winding down except for the most traditional of parents.

There was a book written a while back called Freakonomics and they devoted an entire chapter to the evolution of baby names

The authors keep this concept going and their latest ideas can be found here.

Of course, there are many societal aspects to naming your baby. The most interesting tidbit we ran across was from the co-author of Freakonomics, Steven Levitt, who said:

I think it really is about the parents. As I’ve studied naming, what I’ve come to believe is that the primary purpose, when a parent gives a name, is to impress their friends that they are whatever kind of person that they want to be”

Very interesting statement, don’t you think?

Ok, so enough about the evolution of baby names. What are the top baby names for 2022?

For starters, the national trends are trending towards playful (Buddy, Sonny, Coco), earthy (Bali, Sequoia, Forest), and regency (Benedict, Simon, Genevieve). Also, for societal reasons we are seeing more gender-neutral names as well, such as Blair, Shiloh, and Wren.

Without further ado, here are the top three baby names in Colorado in 2022:

Girls-Olivia, Charlotte, Emma

Boys-Liam, Oliver, Noah

As you know, we are pretty old school over here, so we were happy to see William come up 7th and James 8th. No such luck on the girls as Sophia was the most traditional name we found.

The full piece on Colorado baby names can be found here.

Finally, Parade magazine listed the top 350 baby names of 2022, and their comprehensive list can be found here.

Oh, and folks….be careful giving your baby a hard to pronounce name. We don’t have an opinion on this, but studies indicate it may make life difficult for your future adult.

How Wise are You?

What is the difference between being intelligent and being wise?

Well, the photo we chose this month says it all. As we thought about this, however, it brought up many questions about wisdom and the difference between that and intelligence.

We know a few very, very smart people (intelligence) that may not function in society very well. Conversely, we know some people with high school educations that we go to with all of our problems because they are wise (wisdom).

Yes, you can be smart and not wise, or vice-versa. Intelligence is typically measured with innate ability and/or IQ. Wisdom is about experience, knowledge, and overall good judgment.

So, how do we cultivate wisdom?

As our loyal readers know, we love Medium and we found a lovely piece there about the 3 stages of becoming wise.

What did we learn? Becoming wise is a process, and fully cultivated it becomes a guide for your life.

Finally, an extensive piece on this was located at Upjourney, and it features a lot of depth on the matter. 

Here’s to being wise….and smart.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for March were Gabriela Barrancas, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Katherine Crespin, and Reyna Galvez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Mayra Soto.

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

I have a referral I would like to share.

Absolute Electrical Heating and Air is a company that by pure chance I used for an ongoing heating issue I had been plagued with for years. They diagnosed and fixed the problem and restored my faith in the American work ethic. All in the space of an hour.

Imagine if you can a company whose technicians are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable, equipped for the job at hand, who show up on time, polite and respectful but not chatty.

Their customer service folks answer promptly and listen to you. I’d even say I’ve met my match in that arena.

The list of their capabilities is long. Basically most anything that can happen in the lifetime of your home is under their care. What a soothing thought!

Forgive my over-enthusiasm but I think we can all agree that the service industry is sorely lacking on many levels. An exception deserves public applause, recognition, and gratitude. I offer all three.

You can find Absolute on their website, linked above, or at 720-381-1767.

March Newsletter 2022

Another 20 Year Employee

How lucky are we?

Over the past couple of years, we have celebrated 20-year anniversaries for two of our wonderful staff, Angela and Maria.

This month, we celebrate our 3rd 20-year employee, our Office Manager, Blanca Garcia. Blanca started out with us cleaning houses and was quickly elevated to Team Leader. If there is a “jack of all trades” in our office, it is her for sure.

That’s her on the left, next to our leader and General Manager, Maria Herrera.

She is Maria’s backup on payroll and office matters, she makes sure our ladies get to your houses on time and follow the work orders. She is our backup driver as well, helping us manage our fleet of vehicles and get them to the right place as needed.

Not to mention she knows a lot about how to clean a home and assists Maria in making sure our quality is always top-notch.

In her spare time, Blanca loves to cook and has a wonderful family that appreciates her almost as much as we do. 😊

Please join me in congratulating Blanca on her 20 years with the company. We love you Blanca!

Denver Car Thefts

Cars are a hot commodity these days. If you have tried to buy one lately, you won’t be haggling and you will probably have to wait 3 months to get it.

Unless you steal one.

That seems to be the prevailing problem in Denver, with nearly 40,000 vehicles stolen in 2021 alone, an average of over 100 per day.

According to the latest statistics from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, there has been an 88% percent increase in motor vehicle thefts since 2017.

So which cars are being targeted? The most stolen vehicle in 2021? The Chevrolet Silverado. This vehicle was involved in 1500 thefts in ’21, beating out the Kia Optima by nearly 600 thefts.

The full list of most-stolen makes and models can be found here.

The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority has a great site on this topic with tips for prevention, etc.

Finally, much like the password article in this month’s newsletter, a lot of problems can be solved upfront.

The typical stolen vehicle has the keys in it or is running. Makes it pretty easy for the thieves.

Finally, if you do have your car stolen, there are groups out there using technology to help you find it.

More information on “ethical hacking” can be found here, meanwhile, let’s hope you never have to use it.

There is also a Facebook page for stolen cars in Colorado.

Lock your cars, Denver!

Password Security 

What do you think the most common password is?

If you guessed “password”, you were close, it came in fourth.

The most common password?

123456

We have no words for this, but if you want to be entertained, here is the list of the most common passwords leaked on the Dark Web.

Moving on, and from Lookout, which makes cloud security apps for mobile devices, noted in a December blog post that, on average, 80% of consumers have had their emails leaked onto the dark web. You could easily be among that majority without even knowing it.

Much like leaving your keys in the running car, having a simple password opens you up to all sorts of security issues.

On to the next question….how many of you use your browser’s “autofill” function for passwords to the various websites you visit?

We do, and boy were we surprised at what a bad idea it is.  It seems this common practice exposes all your passwords, and in many cases could include credit card information.

So what is the bottom line? Identity theft costs consumers $56 billion in 2021 alone.

The moral of the story is as follows:

1. Use complex passwords

2. Change them often

3. Enable 2-factor authentication

4. Don’t use autofill in your browser

Simple stuff, but we all get too busy and don’t do it until sometimes it’s too late.

For those of you looking for a great password manager, we love Keeper. They have a family plan and everything is 100% encrypted.

A full list of the best password managers can be found here.

Best Bars in Denver

There are days when we just need a drink.

The fine folks at 5280 Magazine published the best 26 bars in and around Denver, and we were intrigued.

From old standbys like Green Russell to new speakeasies like B&GC in Cherry Creek, (most mysterious) they did a wonderful job of outlining some great watering holes in Denver.

Everything from dive bars to the best romantic bars are listed, and we wanted to try them all (well most of them anyway).

For those of you that prefer a nice glass of wine, they published a list of the top wine bars in Denver and it can be found here.

We still love CRU, but they didn’t even make the list. Old school.

Now that COVID seems to be winding down, let’s hope we can all let our hair down a bit and enjoy a fresh libation!

Bottoms up!

2022 Interior Design Trends

Things change quickly in the world of interior design.

So, when we need a refresher we reach out to our friend Marina Dagenais at Designer Premier.

They were recently quoted in a Redfin article on 2022 design trends, so congratulations are in order.

Our interior design skills can always use an update, and we found some things that were super interesting.

For example, who knew what Scandifornian was? Well, it’s just what it sounds like, it blends California modern with Scandinavian. Here we come Ikea!!

We also learned about biophilic design which is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment using direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.

Fascinating stuff for sure.

The complete Redfin article on “13 Trending Interior Design Styles You’ll See in 2022” can be found here.

As always, if you need a pro, reach out to Marina for first-rate service.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for February were Maria Zapata, Gabriela Barrancas, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, and Ivette Amaro.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Natalia Olivas and Paz Jimenez.

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

Congratulations to my co-worker Blanca on her 20-year anniversary with Denver Concierge. Bravo!

The three women who together run the offices of Denver Concierge have now all been with the company for over 20 years.

Our General Manager Maria completed her 20 years two years ago, and I completed mine last year. That means 63 years of combined experience at your service!

In spite of, or possibly because of, the diverse skills and backgrounds each of us brought to the job, we formed a strong bond that became the engine that has driven Denver Concierge for the past 20 plus years.

Our all-for-one and one-for-all attitude has allowed us to weather the challenges that have come our way through the years, and still maintain a unified front for our employees and our clients.

I’m so proud.  Well done, us!

Bee

February Newsletter 2022

Is the Pandemic Over?

No, we aren’t trying to be controversial here. Hopeful, maybe?

Mask mandates are dropping everywhere, and our incidence rate is trending in the right direction. Couple this with what looks like a much milder version in Omicron, and we are feeling better about things for sure.

In fact, estimates show that 73% of our population in the U.S. is immune to Omicron. Experts expect this to rise to 80% by mid-March. 

Denver is lifting the public health order requiring vaccinations of city and county employees on March 4.  Private employers are not affected by this and can still decide to require vaccination if they desire.

For any of you that want to “geek out” on the potential end of the pandemic, The Lancet wrote an exhaustive piece on the end of this wild ride. Titled “Covid-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near“, it does a great job of analyzing data and trends.

From that article:

“The impacts of future SARS-CoV-2 transmission on health, however, will be less because of broad previous exposure to the virus, regularly adapted vaccines to new antigens or variants, the advent of antivirals, and the knowledge that the vulnerable can protect themselves during future waves when needed by using high-quality masks and physical distancing. COVID-19 will become another recurrent disease that health systems and societies will have to manage.”
“For example, the death toll from omicron seems to be similar in most countries to the level of a bad influenza season in northern hemisphere countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the worse influenza season during the past decade in 2017–18 caused about 52 000 influenza deaths with a likely peak of more than 1500 deaths per day.”

“The era of extraordinary measures by government and societies to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be over. After the omicron wave, COVID-19 will return but the pandemic will not.”

We are sure hopeful that those thoughts and projections are correct. Of course, we don’t know what new strain might show up, but it seems to be weakening thankfully.

In the meantime, we will continue to wear masks in your home out of an abundance of caution. We have been very lucky in having few infections and have no cases of transmission from us to a client.

There are still some places with mask mandates, and the full list of mask mandates by county can be found here.

Stay safe folks, let’s hope this beast is winding down.

Wacky Weather

Have you ever looked outside and thought “Make up your mind weather!”

We have, quite a bit recently.

A couple of newsletters back, we were lamenting our lack of moisture. In fact, our snow drought had us conjuring up images of a nice early spring (much to the chagrin of our skiing clients).

It was not to be. In fact, we have been catching up on snow ever since. January dropped 13.4 inches of snow, ranking it as the 13th highest total ever.

February was similar racking up 15.8 inches, which was good for the 14th highest ever. The law of averages and regression to the mean are real things, even for the weather.

Throw in the recent “arctic blast” we experienced, with record low temps and we don’t know what to make of it all.

On the 22nd, the National Weather Service recorded the highest temperature for Denver at 8 degrees which set a new record for the coldest high temperature for the day.

The lowest high on Feb. 22 was 13 degrees back in 1913, according to the NWS. Another record was set on Wednesday morning when Denver recorded a record low for the day of minus 7 degrees.

The previous record low for Feb. 23 was minus 4 degrees. That was set in 1899, according to the NWS.

Wacky weather indeed. We hope you all have a Colorado wardrobe, as next week will be back into the 60s and 70s.

It’s why we love Colorado. Stay warm, or cool, but watch the weather.

International Women’s Day

Indeed, and it occurs on March 8.

A great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives. From our very own Queen Bee to Maria Herrera our GM, we are so fortunate to have the most amazing women around.

That’s even before we talk about the dedication and commitment of the women who clean your homes (yes, they are all women, we haven’t found a man that can clean as well as they can).

If there are any men out there that want to give it a shot, we are always hiring. 🙂

From Wiki: “International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday, celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equalityreproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.”

We love the women in our lives and want to take this time to thank them for all they do for us. We couldn’t be more grateful.

For all the details on this holiday and all that it recognizes, visit them here.

 

Real Estate Update

So much for the real estate market slowing down.

While the common wisdom is that as interest rates tick up, borrowing will get harder and slow the housing market, it’s not happening yet.

In fact, the inventory of homes across the Front Range is lower than it has ever been for January and February.

We found a very detailed report courtesy of Norada Real Estate that we thought was very interesting.

From that report:

Denver metro area remains a seller’s market with January 2022 being yet another unusual month. The latest report from DMAR shows that the market ended the month down 17.77 percent in new listings from 2021, a 31.04 increase over the previous month. Usually, the market typically experiences a 70% increase in new listings from December to January. Similarly, the market ended the month with an all-time low of 1,184 active listings. To put this in perspective, that is over ten times less inventory than is typical at this time of year.”

Wow, still rocking, and the median sales price in January was $595k, which represented a nearly 17% increase over January 2021.

So, the trend continues at least for now. Great news for sellers, not so much for buyers.

 

Guest Article

Creating a Home that Works for You

By Curtis Fisher, Guest Writer, Tradesbright.org

Whether you rent or own your home, you want to feel comfortable in your surroundings. The decor in a home can significantly contribute to the ambiance of a dwelling. Denver Concierge offers some tips to help you turn your space from cold and impersonal to warm and inviting.

Working From Home

Depending on the amount of space you have, working from home can be a challenge. If you are in a rental, you cannot knock down walls or build additions, but you can make the area you do have more efficient. Zenbusiness shares some ideas for creating a functional home office including using spare closets or even the corner of a room. You can add shelving to the walls of a closet or purchase an L-shaped desk for that under-used corner of your living or dining room. You need a spot where you can focus on your important work, so think about how you will use the space and what will be most convenient for your own needs.

Making Space for Your Children

Kids tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Between the toys and crafting supplies, you may feel as though you are drowning in your children’s belongings. Ideally, every household would have a playroom to store all of these items. However, this is not the reality for many families. Nevertheless, there are many convenient storage options available to help declutter homes. Ideas for organizing the kid chaos include cube storage bins, installing shelving in their bedrooms and common areas, and donating toys that are no longer used.

Entertaining Regularly

If you have the entertainment bug, you want your home to enhance your ability to host. Try developing natural pathways through your space when you have company. This will make guests feel welcome and steer them to the area you prefer. In an open concept dwelling, you can place the furniture to separate seating areas and dining areas. To make fragmented spaces feel airier, try opening drapes or blinds to allow as much light as possible to enter the home.

Unwinding Comfortably

A nice method to ensure you can relax in your home is to dedicate one room for relaxation. Decorate in calming colors and purchase furniture that you can rest comfortably on. Studies show that incorporating houseplants in your decor could help to reduce stress and anxiety, so try adding a few into your home. If you have a favorite couch or chair that has seen better days, check into having it reupholstered rather than purchasing a replacement piece. Read several reviews online before meeting with a company representative to get a quote. A large couch could cost between $1,200 and $3,500 to reupholster depending on size and the fabric you choose.

Seeking a New Space

If you have done all you can in your current space and it still does not meet your needs, it may be time to consider moving. Before making any plans, research the local housing market to determine if you can buy or need to find a larger rental. Homebuyers should look into mortgage pre-approval before officially beginning their search to ensure they qualify.

Making your home a place you can enjoy and unwind with friends and family is essential to your well-being. Take the time to create an inviting atmosphere in your abode. If you cannot achieve this in your current space, consider relocating. Reach out to Denver Concierge for healthy and convenient housecleaning.

 

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for January were Patricia Rodriguez, Maria Reyes, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, and Gabriela Barrancas.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Paz Jimenez and Mayra Soto.

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 January.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Just a short and sweet Queen Bee Corner this time.  I want to extend our sincere sympathy to those clients who have lost pets this winter.  The girls get quite close to our clients’ pets, so they also feel the loss when they arrive and are not treated to the usual enthusiastic welcome.

All pet owners have been there and it’s heartbreaking. “Having a dog will bless you with many of the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst.”

On a more soothing note, the girls have recently been introduced to several new puppies and a few shelter dogs.

A welcome addition to our cleaning experience; even those who are overly zealous in their eagerness to help and are subsequently sent to their room. We love them all and they make the world a better place.

Bee

January Newsletter 2022

Why Us?

An odd heading for sure.

But a valid question to ask. In these crazy times with COVID and the “great reset” we have expressed many times our desire to find people that will clean the way we always have. It has been a challenge to say the least.

Many employees across all industries have left to do something else, or to go out and start their own business. This is true of housecleaners as well. We are quite sure most of you have had flyers on your door, or even some person knocking that wants to clean your house, typically for a very low price.

So, why stay with a premium service like Denver Concierge? We have lots of reasons and wanted to share a few of them here.

The primary driver of our business is quality. We expect your home to be spotless when we complete it. Each member of our team is specifically trained and evaluated on how clean your home is. Individual cleaners, while they might be detailed, don’t have a senior person inspecting their work each and every time. Our people are evaluated each month and ranked, and we use that data to continuously improve what we do.

Secondarily, we want you to have no liability when we are in your home. We carry a huge general liability policy, a service industry bond, and full Worker’s Compensation insurance as required by the state of Colorado. This means if someone has an accident in your home, you have no liability, and our insurer would step in immediately.

This is not the case with independent workers. Most of them carry no insurance, so when something accidentally gets broken (see Queen Bee this month) it may not be very easy to get things resolved.

In the case of injury, the homeowner could be on the hook for a big claim if an injured worker was uninsured in their home.

We have also heard of theft cases, where things disappear and shortly thereafter, the thieves disappear as well, back to their home countries. No insurance makes this a bad deal for the homeowner, with no recourse.

We are also 100% green, the first certified cleaning company, all the way back to 2006. That is a whole different discussion, but with us, it’s built-in.

What’s the old saying? “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” We thank Benjamin Franklin for that one.

We believe Denver Concierge has been in business for nearly 25 years because we do things the right way, and just as importantly we stand behind every single clean. When things go wrong, and Murphy says they inevitably will, we will always be the company to make things right again.

A couple of years ago, we published a letter on our website about what makes us truly different from anyone else out there. It encapsulates what we do and how we do it differently. We encourage you to take a look, as all of those principles still apply today.

That letter can be found here.

Thank you for your support, kindness and loyalty to our locally owned small business. As always, if we can do something better, please let us know.

DIA Project Update

Last time we flew, we thought “OK, DIA is coming together, when this is done it will be awesome.”

In fact, phase one of three is officially complete as of October 2021. What about the next two phases?

See you in six years.

We have updated this project a few times over the years, including the collapse of the project with the prior vendor in 2019.

On January 10, the Denver City Council approved of $1.1 billion to complete the project, which will bring the total cost of the DIA project to just north of $2 billion.

Airport leadership says Phase 3 will be done in 2028. That will mean the Great Hall project will have lasted 10 years.

From the Denver Business Journal article: “Phase 1 was a critical first step to create capacity for Level 6, where 74% to 75% of traffic is,” said Michael Sheehan, senior vice president at DIA. He points to Level 6 as a model of what the entire Jeppesen Terminal — the main terminal at the airport containing baggage claim, ticketing and security — will look like once the Great Hall project is complete.

Phase 1 added new state-of-the-art ticketing counters and expanded United’s ticketing capacity to 44 positions. The United area now has a quick bag drop, where customers who have checked in online and have indicated they have a bag to check can walk up to a kiosk, scan their boarding pass, tag their own bag and be on their way.”

DIA airport traffic is expected to hit 100 million travelers by 2035, so the improvements are much needed.

The full piece from DBJ can be found here.

The airport authority also has its own updated project page (no paywall), and it can be found here.

What Does Crime Cost?

If someone steals $50, the cost is $50, right?

Well, not exactly. Leave it to MoneyGeek to come up with what crime actually costs us on a per capita basis.

The methodology?

“The direct economic costs of crime to individuals and society include medical and mental health care needs of victims, damage to and loss of property and police and corrections costs. Aside from the imminent danger of crime, people living in higher crime areas see depressed home values and pay higher prices for crucial needs, including homerenters and auto insurance.

To assess the safest cities, MoneyGeek analyzed crime data, including violent crimes such as murder, rape and aggravated assault and property crimes such as home burglary and motor vehicle theft. MoneyGeek calculated each city’s cost of crime and ranked the cities based on the cost of crime per capita. Additionally, researchers have quantified how much more violent crimes cost a community than property crimes.”

Some interesting data in this study for sure. The safest/cheapest city for crime? Naperville, IL, where it costs each resident $187 on average each year. Virginia Beach, VA is the safest/cheapest large city with an annual cost of just over $600.

The worst? Brace yourselves, it’s St. Louis, MO, with an average per capita cost of $11,574. Yikes, that’s a big bill.

What do some Colorado cities look like? Centennial tops the list here with a per capita cost of $351 annually. Arvada is next at $997 and Thornton at $1079 annually.

The most expensive place based on cost of crime? Pueblo at just over $3k a year. Denver comes in at $2600 and Aurora at about $2300.

The full article on the true cost of crime can be found here on MoneyGeek.

The original piece courtesy of Fox Denver can be found here.

The Secret to Happiness

It s0unds so simple. There must be a secret, right?

If you are anything like us, it comes and goes. We do know that it starts within and that external stuff tends to bring only limited happiness. So, what is it, at least for most of us?

Well, we aren’t really sure, but the folks at Harvard are. They have been running an 80-year study on human happiness.

80 years! It caught our eye for sure. From the article on Medium.com:

“For over 80 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the well-being of two demographics: 268 graduates from the batches of 1939–1944 and 456 poor men growing up in Boston since 1939.

Since pre-World War II, they’ve painstakingly scrutinized blood samples, performed brain scans, collated surveys, and actually interacted with these men.

In fact, the sheer length of the study demanded the dedication of multiple generations of researchers.

And the windy and diverse +75-year life-paths of those 700 odd men led to a shockingly common and solid conclusion.”

It isn’t money, fame or any of the other stuff we seem to endlessly chase.

It’s relationships.

To quote psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development:

The clearest message that we get from this 80-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

We could write a long piece on this but figured we would let you take it from here. The original article from Medium can be found here.

The Harvard Gazette did a recap of the study a few years ago and it can be found here. 

Here’s to being happier (and closer).

The U-Haul Index

Ah yes, the old U-Haul index. Wait, what?

Another thing that caught our eye that we wanted to share.

It seems U-Haul has what they call the “U-Haul Index”.

This simply measures growth states by calculating the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a calendar year.

Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually.

It certainly gives another data point on where people are moving around in the U.S. today.

Some of the takeaways? Well for starters, Texas edged Florida for the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks in 2021; California and Illinois saw the greatest net losses.

Tennessee ranks third, South Carolina fourth and Arizona fifth among the top growth states.

From the article: “Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Idaho and New Mexico round out the top 10 growth states of 2021 as self-movers target the Southeast, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions as their destinations of choice.

Select Northeast markets showed year-over-year migration recoveries as Maine rose 21 spots, Vermont 14 spots and Connecticut 25 spots in the U-Haul Growth Index. Yet three of the six states with the largest net losses were also in the Northeast: New York (45), Massachusetts (47) and Pennsylvania (48).

California remained the top state for out-migration, but its net loss of U-Haul trucks wasn’t as severe as in 2020. That can be partially attributed to the fact that U-Haul simply ran out of inventory to meet customer demand for outbound equipment.”

Interesting way to look at migration in the U.S. for sure. I think it’s safe to say we know people are moving here.

The complete article from U-Haul can be found here.

Monthly & Annual Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for December were Patricia Rodriguez, Sandra Vidales, Maria Zapata, Maria Reyes, and Guadalupe Caloca.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Socorro Ibarra.

Of course, it is the time of year when we announce our top associates in both the Cleaning Associate and Team Leader ranks.

Our winner for top Cleaning Associates in 2021:

1st Place – Aurora Dominguez

2nd Place – Maria Zapata

Our top Team Leaders:

1st Place – Isela Mendoza

2nd Place – Juana Olivas 

Please join me in congratulating our top performers for 2021.

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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Just a quick word on breakages/damages that unfortunately can occur while cleaning.

Working efficiently but carefully is the team’s attitude while cleaning.  It’s a delicate balance and at times yes, we have accidentally broken things.

Our Team Leaders are quick to report a breakage to me with a photo. If the client is home, apologies are made.  Then I follow up with a text or phone call.

The ladies always feel very badly if they break something, and we appreciate our clients treating our ladies so graciously in these situations. Even more so if I learn later from the client that the breakage involved a work of art, an object of sentimental value, or a family heirloom.

On the other hand, I think it’s important for me as manager to let the team know the extent of any damage, whether grave or trivial.  It heightens awareness of their surroundings and serves as a reminder that a lighter touch is always preferable.

We try to turn any negative into a learning tool. It is more effective than harsh reprimands.

We thank you again for your appreciation of our work.

Bee

November Newsletter 2021

Holiday Schedule & Message

We hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. With holidays upon us, we thought that we would publish our holiday schedule for this year.

With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, we will be working one day longer than normal. We will give our ladies Friday the 24th off for Christmas Eve.

We will also be closed on Friday the 31st for New Year’s Eve.

For us, the holidays always bring out the desire to show the people we care about how we feel about them. Thanksgiving, of course, is the time to give thanks and we want to do that.

2021 has been nearly as challenging as 2020 for us as a company and we are grateful to still be here cleaning homes across the Front Range. Our clients are the best in Denver, and boy are we lucky to have you.

Between all the issues that COVID has created and the subsequent labor issues, many days have been a challenge, to say the least.

We want to thank you so much for your kindness, understanding, and patience in dealing with all the issues that have arisen during these challenging times. We couldn’t ask for a better group of clients to have, and for you, we are grateful on the deepest levels.

We wish you the best for a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, or just the season, we join you in celebrating the ones you love, as we celebrate you here.

Thank you for being part of our locally owned company.

Angela, John, and Maria

Let it Snow. Please?

Ok, this is getting ridiculous.

As we compose this newsletter, we have gone 222 days without measurable snow. How does this stack up in history?

Currently, it ranks 4th and counting. The longest we have ever gone without measurable snow is 235 days, dating back to the 1800s.

If we make it two more days, our streak will move into the 3rd longest, and we are a scant two weeks or so from setting the all-time record for a lack of snow.

The average snowfall in Denver is 56.4 inches. The lowest snowfall ever? 21.8 inches in 2016-2017.

Oh, and we already set another record, the latest snowfall on record. The old record for the latest first Denver snowfall was set on Nov. 21, 1934.

The full article including our annual snowfall totals for the last ten years can be found here.

For those of you that have turned off your sprinklers or stopped watering for the year, it might be a good idea to water your trees, I am sure they are thirsty.

Here’s to some moisture soon!

Gift Ideas Made in Colorado

We do our best here to support local and Colorado-owned businesses.

As a local business, seeing our dollars stay in our local community and in our state is very important.

Beyond the obvious stores and shops that we encounter on a given day, what are easy ways to support our economy and buy locally?

We are glad you asked.

For starters, we found a site called Created in Colorado, which is a consolidated list of all things Colorado.

Also, the folks at 5280 Magazine published a great guide for Colorado-made goods and it can be found here.

Finally, did you know that this past Saturday was “Small Business Saturday”?

NBC News published a nice piece on how to support small businesses, including everything from gift buying to leaving positive reviews.

We thank you for your support of our small, locally owned business.

Happy Shopping!

Savings by Age

We remember when we were young and starting our careers, we always tried to earn our age. Those were the days.

Now we are thinking about things like IRA’s, 401K’s, and like you, how we will make it to the finish line with enough money to retire.

So just how much should you have saved, by age, for retirement?

The folks at Quicken wrote a great article about savings benchmarks and net worth by decades of age.

Did you know that the median US savings for age 40 is $63,000? By 50 it nearly doubles to $117,000.

As far as net worth goes, the benchmark net worth for someone 40 years old is twice your annual salary. At 50 it should be four times your salary, and at 60, six times.

Fascinating data, and even if you are personally set going forward, there are some great numbers for the younger people in our lives that may just be getting started.

The complete article can be found here.

Data Visualizations

Before we found this very cool article, we honestly had no idea what a “data visualization” really was.

Then we clicked and realized how much fun they are.

How about a moving chart that shows how COVID spread in the U.S.? So interesting to see.

How about our health and wealth history, in a minute, encapsulating 221 years of prosperity? You can see the effects of everything from the Vietnam War to the impact of COVID, all in one fast-moving chart.

Our favorite one is a 3D map of the entire fiber-optic network around the world. Who knew there were so many cables under the ocean?

We pulled those two from a fabulous piece on medium.com, which you can find here, entitled “The 10 Best Data Visualizations you of 2021”.

We love finding cool stuff for our readers and we are confident this will qualify!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for October were Aurora Dominguez, Patricia Rodriguez, Sandra Vidales, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Zapata.

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

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Denver was recently rated the Booziest City in the country, but one only must look back at our immigrant history to see that we have worked hard to merit this distinction.

German immigrants in 1880 owned nearly a third of Denver’s taverns. Patrons could sing and speak in German, read German newspapers, eat German food and drink German Bock. Basically to feel at home in a foreign city.

The Irish immigrants came with the advent of the railroad and established bars between their homes and the tracks, where many had settled. By 1900 the Irish population of Denver was 3% but they owned 10% of the bars.

Jewish immigrants also found the liquor business easy to enter. One of the first sources of Kosher food in Denver was in a Jewish delicatessen established next to a synagogue.

Italian immigrants recruited to work on the railroad gradually moved into the north Denver area where they operated their Italian bars and restaurants. When prohibition came, rather than close, they moved operations to their basements.

Other ethnicities soon immigrated to Denver. By 1920, the Russians were the largest immigrating group and the Slavs had already established their community in Globeville.

Although few of the immigrant establishments remained after prohibition, they were the first of a grand tradition that we have proudly carried on to this day.

Happy Holidays!  Cheers!

Bee

October Newsletter 2021

Happy Halloween Denver

Last year was our first Halloween under the blanket of Covid.

While we are a little old over here for trick or treating, we always worry about the little ones and how this crazy world we are in affects them.

So, what has changed and where is trick or treating allowed this year? Of course, each neighborhood is different, but our friends at 5280 Magazine published a comprehensive list of all things Halloween around Denver, and it also includes the best 7 neighborhoods for trick or treating.

9 News also published a good list of events for the little ones, including a trick or treat parade at Union Station (it’s called BOOnion Station, which we think is cute).

It looks like we are back in business for places to take the kids, but what about adults?

We do know people that like to dress up every year regardless of age, so we wanted to share some things for them as well. Denver.org put out a great list of fun things for all ages and that list can be found here.

The weather on Sunday looks a little dicey but between now and then it should be beautiful.

The Broncos also host a game on Halloween at 2:25 at Empower Field, which should be full of Halloween celebrating fans.

All in all, we are inching back towards normalcy and it looks like a pretty nice weekend to be out and about.

Whatever you decide to do, please do it safely and have a Happy Halloween 2021.

Denver Performing Arts Reopening

After a long 18-month hiatus, the Denver Performing Arts Center (DCPA) has reopened as of October 5th.

With a holiday slate planned for the winter, they are currently building up to the Lion King, which opens on December 2,

The big event? Hamilton, which opens February 16 and will run until March 27, 2022.

So what do you need to know? There are new requirements for both vaccines and masks, including children under twelve needing a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours.

All adults will need to be vaccinated to attend the DCPA.

Masks are required for all audience members, and food and beverages will not be allowed inside the theater, instead offering designated areas for food and drink consumption.

The complete lowdown on the DCPA reopening and all of its requirements can be found here.

Winter Heating Bills up 54%

Yes, you read that correctly, 54%, which is a crazy number.

That is the average increase that is being projected around home heating bills this winter.

It seems the inflationary economy is impacting us all, and according to the article:

“With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels, the US government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared with last winter.”

About half the people in our country use natural gas, with electricity running second, making up 41% of usage. Those of you heating with electricity can expect a more modest increase of 6%.

Natural gas is up to its highest price since 2014 and is up 90% over last year’s levels.

Crazy indeed.

The complete article on energy costs and what to expect this winter can be found here. 

Small Talk

“How are you”? “What about this crazy weather?” “Come here often?”

We all do this version of small talk, and studies have shown that we all hate it.

So why do we do it? How can we avoid inane conversations that add no value to either party?

Medium posted a great piece on this phenomenon that we felt compelled to share.

Evidently, most of us believe that strangers simply don’t care that much about us. From the article and the study:

“People kept conversations light-hearted because they each believed that’s what the other party wanted. They expected to “be met with blank stares and silence” if they revealed something personal. As it turned out, both parties felt the same way but held back for fear of awkwardness.”

We love stuff like this, as we hate small talk as well.

For some pointers on how to get out of this trap and engage others in a more meaningful dialogue, check out the full piece here.

We also found a nice article by business insider on tips to get past this awkward habit and it can be found here.

Here’s to trying new things with the next stranger we meet. Maybe they won’t be strangers for long.

Denver Restaurant Update

What a long road for all of the restaurants in Denver.

We have discussed the labor shortage here at length, but beyond that what is new around Denver and our restaurant industry?

Well, for starters, outdoor dining has been approved permanently.

Mayor Michael Hancock recently announced the City and County of Denver will work to create a permanent outdoor dining program in 2022 that builds off the success of temporary patios and dining space expansions throughout the city.

Great news for our restaurants and for all of us who like to enjoy the cuisine of Denver for sure.

Also, there are some new (and very brave) restaurants that have opened recently, and 5280 Magazine did a piece on 12 new restaurants to try, it can be found here.

We also ran across the 45 best dishes to try in Denver these days, and those can be found here.

We continue to support our local restaurants and hope that we can all do our part to keep them going in these tough times.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for September were Guadalupe Caloca, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Reyes.

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

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Of all the diverse celebrations in Denver throughout the year one of my favorites is Dia de los Muertos, not surprising, as it has a Mexican history.

The ritual of Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd, also known as All Souls Day, was started 3,000 years ago by the Aztecs.

When the Spaniards landed in Mexico in the 16th century they viewed it of course, as sacrilegious. Nevertheless, it has prevailed to the present day as a religious festival in parts of rural Mexico.

Celebrated now much more widely as a secular and popularized part of the Hispanic culture, Dia de los Muertos has taken on political aspects, spawned impressive literature and poetry, art, and tales of fantasy.

In Denver for instance, there is a yearly celebration at the Botanic Gardens and two days of festivities on Santa Fe Drive, appropriately.  There are many other venues.

As Denver grows, we are celebrating more traditions from other countries and from our heritage and history, and this can only  be advantageous to the vibrancy of our city.

Bee

September Newsletter 2021

Labor and Wages

What a crazy world we are living in. No one can find qualified help, yet wages are going up.

In fact, according to Forbes, wages have grown at the fastest rate in 35 years in the U.S. Yet 48% of companies are looking to hire (including Denver Concierge).

As you know, our people are what make us who we are. Many of our staff have been with us for nearly 20 years, and it’s safe to say they know how to clean houses better than anyone around. We don’t want to lose those people.

So, in the spirit of transparency, we offered our folks a very significant wage increase in August. We did this because they deserve it and also because external wage pressure is higher than we can remember.

Along with this wage increase comes a price increase. Our regular readers know that we take great pride in being open and honest about our company, and the truth is we could not absorb 100% of this increase and still run our company the way that you love.

Angela will be reaching out to each of our clients to discuss the increase and answer any questions you may have.

While we hate ever having to raise prices, this crazy economy has really left us with no choice.

As always, we appreciate every client we have and we hope that you understand what we (and most other businesses) are going through to keep our staff and our service levels.

Thank you for your loyalty and kindness during these challenging times.

Home Costs Going Up $36k

The perfect storm. Wonder why housing costs are going up? Well, besides crazy demand, there are other hidden reasons tied to the pandemic.

Our friends at Designer Premier published a great article about the “perfect storm” of events that are adding to housing costs.

From the article:

“Framing lumber prices have declined in recent weeks, but the overall prices of wood products, steel mill, copper, drywall, and gypsum used in home building continue to soar.”

“Supply chain problems delay projects and raise costs even more. Lumber cannot come down from Canada anymore, and builders have to wait for equipment to show up.”

The bottom line? Supply and demand for materials and labor are completely out of whack. On average, this is adding $36k to the cost of every home sold, which is a big number.

The full article from Designer Premier, which includes strategies to keep home constructioon costs down, can be found here.

What is “Meow Wolf”?

So, we weren’t sure what a “Meow Wolf” actually was, but we have heard so much about it we figured we better investigate and pass it along to our readers.

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Meow Wolf is now open in Las Vegas, and most recently, Denver.

Great, you say, now what is it?

From their website:

“We create immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration.”

By collaborating with hundreds of local artists, Meow Wolf has created an immersive, artistic space, where visitors are encouraged to interact and touch everything inside what is known as Convergence Station.

The Denver Post did a complete article on the opening of Meow Wolf and it can be found here (might be paywalled).

More details of this very unique concept can be found here, on Meow Wolf’s website.

Economically, city leaders hope this will draw visitors much like Santa Fe, where the attraction has seen two million visitors since it opened in 2016.

Coloradans & Drinking

How many years of your life would you give up for the ability to have a drink?

The average Coloradan says THREE. Yes, you read that right, the average Coloradan would give up three years of their life to maintain the ability to drink.

Tops in the U.S.? Nevada, Idaho and South Carolina residents would all give up five years of their lives to keep drinking.

Also from the study and article:

Alcohol.org surveyed 3,700 people and also found one-third of respondents would also give up caffeine for life if they could keep drinking booze.

The research goes on to show 30% of people admit they ignore studies warning about alcohol health risks.”

The full study, titled “Life vs. Liquor” can be found here. 

Wow, I guess we are serious about our drinking here in the Rockies.

The complete article from Fox Denver can be found here.

Fall in Colorado

Welcome to fall, all you leaf peepers! Yes, we are right in the heart of the leaf-peeping season, and we wanted to give you some of the best places (and ways) to do it.

Fall in Colorado can be truly spectacular for the color changes and dramatic backgrounds of the mountains.

In fact, fall in Colorado has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page, #fallorado.

We found a great guide for you intrepid souls, courtesy of Our Community Now, and it can be found here.

For those of you that like to travel and view your leaves in style, 5280 Magazine put out a list of the five best train rides you can take to go see the colors, and it can be found here.

We hope you enjoy the changing of the seasons as much as we do, happy viewing!

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for August were Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez, Yesica Censo, Katherine Crespin, and Enedina Mendoza.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza.

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

While most companies rely on feedback through client surveys or emailed questionnaires, we find ourselves in the enviable position of having our clients’ feedback unsolicited.

It seems that every interaction I have with a client ends with some form of compliment or praise for our ladies, regardless of the initial subject of our conversation.

I repeatedly thank our clients for their feedback, and I also continually thank our ladies for their hard work.

We have been fortunate in that our management style over the years has meshed well with our employee base to form not only a great company but a stellar company, with employees that truly care.

Without further ado, let me say thank you again for supporting our company and remind you that we know how lucky we are to have you.

Bee

August Newsletter 2021

COVID Update

Here we are, 18 months or so into a global pandemic.

Lots of things have changed here at Denver Concierge, and we are sure it is the same in your world. It has been a while since we communicated our COVID protocols, so we wanted to refresh everyone on what we are doing to stay on top of the situation.

In short, not much has changed here. In the time since COVID, we have yet to have any issues in your homes with COVID transmission. We have certainly had a few cases (unrelated to our workplace), but all of those folks have been cleared to return to work.

We currently have zero cases of COVID at Denver Concierge.

Our ladies will still be wearing masks and all other required personal protective equipment. We are also still taking all precautions to make sure our workforce is healthy before we send them out to you. Anyone not feeling well or exhibiting a fever is asked to stay home.

The best advice we can give to 100% ensure there are no issues going forward is to simply keep your distance from our teams. This is for the safety of both parties, as there is no 100% effective way to know if either of us might be contagious for whatever reason.

Any instructions should be given to Angela in our office and those will be relayed directly to our Team Leader in the field.

Finally, we do try to keep our website updated with any news on this front, and our current protocols can be found here.

We remain very confident in our ability to clean your home safely and without incident. If you have any questions about this or need further clarificati0n, please contact us at your convenience.

Thank you for helping us clean your homes safely and efficiently!

Top of the Town 2021

Ah yes, the best stuff in Denver. Back to our friends at 5280 Magazine who annually publish the best places in our fair city.

From culture and nightlife to dining and shopping, 82 categories in total are covered.

In fact, over 26,000 votes were cast, so this is truly a list of what “we” love in Denver.

The best burger? Well Cherry Cricket, of course! Santiago’s chimes in with the best breakfast burrito and GQue Barbeque won their category as well.

We still think it’s a bummer that they don’t list housecleaning companies in their poll, but we hope to get that changed sometime soon!

We certainly hope we would get your vote!

The complete 5280 2021 Top of the Town list can be found here.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

We are so happy that the Cherry Creek Arts Festival has returned this year, celebrating its 30th.

It will be held over Labor Day weekend, ending on Monday evening the 6th at 6 PM.

As we crawl back to normalcy, it is nice to see a Denver “staple” back in business.

There are some changes for this year to be aware of, however.

For starters, the festival has been moved from downtown Cherry Creek to the creekside area of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

More importantly, the festival is using a timed entry approach, which requires free registration via Eventbrite.

Beyond those changes, the festival will still be providing fabulous art and entertainment.

The music and entertainment schedule can be found here.

For registration information and to get your free timed entry spot, visit CCAF here.

We hope to see you there!

A Smarter Home

Just how smart is your home? We aren’t sure about ours, some days it is smarter than others.

Seriously, though, we know many of you have Amazon Alexa. Did you know that Alexa can control smart lights, switches, and plugs?

Even crazier, there are wi-fi-enabled light bulbs that can connect to your home network, with or without Alexa or the Google Assistant.

Of course, there are easy-to-use things like the Ring doorbell and Nest, but what about next-level tech? We have saved a lot of money in water by using Rachio, for example, which is a system that controls your sprinklers via an app, saving you water.

From smart lighting outside your home to carbon monoxide detectors, nearly every device in your home can be remotely controlled.

How fun to come home and have the lighting and temperature right where you want it, with your favorite music playing.

Not sure we can get something to have the wine ready, but that is another discussion.

PC Magazine did a fabulous piece on the best tech of ’21 room by room and it can be found here.

We also found a short article by TechHive that gives more insight, and it is here.

Lots of really cool stuff out there, pretty soon we will have flying cars like the Jetsons! 

U.S. Life Expectancy

For the first time in a while, U.S. life expectancy has dropped. In fact, life expectancy in 2020 was down 1.5  years, the largest drop since WWII.

Fairly obvious why this happened, as COVID-19 contributed to 74% of the decline. Not surprisingly, drug overdoses are making their way up the list as well, with more than 93,000 people dying in 2020.

We found some interesting quirks in the data that we wanted to share with you here.

From the article: “The study found the U.S. decrease in life expectancy in 2020 was 8.5 times greater than the average decrease in peer countries.”

“And the U.S. declines were most pronounced among minority groups, specifically Black and Hispanic people.”

“U.S. Hispanics — who have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic Blacks or whites saw the largest decline in life expectancy during the pandemic, dropping three years from 81.8 years in 2019 to 78.8 years in 2020. Hispanic males saw the biggest decline, with a drop of 3.7 years. COVID-19 was responsible for 90% of the decline among Hispanics.”

The full article by NPR can be found here.

While we weren’t surprised by the decline, the demographic breakdown was more than a little disturbing to us.

We aren’t smart enough to know the solution to these heady problems, but we do have a strong feeling that we can all do better for each other going forward.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for July were Aurora Dominguez, Paz Jimenez, Maria Zapata, Maria Salazar, and Josefina Quinonez.

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

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Almost from the beginning of the company, our image has been somewhat retro; proudly old school.

With technology leaping ahead to make lives easier we have been reluctant to partake in certain aspects of this new world.

We believe in customer contact in real-time with a real person. No bots or answering services here.

We also believe in letting the teams clean the way they have always cleaned; a full-on deep clean; you never have to worry about robotic vacuums here either.

Sometimes a little nostalgia can act as a soothing balm for the stresses of the world. We hope we are that to you.

Bee

July Newsletter 2021

Partners & Causes We Love

Have you ever heard of TAPS? It stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They provide assistance to families of service members killed in action. 

One of our favorite people in Denver, Realtor Edie Marks, is highly involved with TAPS and made us aware of a very cool benefit event that is taking place to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The event, known as the Colorado Celebrity Classic, will feature four excellent Nashville artists and the event proceeds will directly benefit TAPS.

Details of that September event can be found here.

Our friend Edie is also one of the best realtors around, representing Kentwood in and around Denver. Their website says she is #27 in the United States, which is very impressive. We can only imagine where that ranks her in Denver. Suffice it to say, she knows her stuff.

One of the other things we love about Edie is her passion for wonderful causes such as TAPS. She has also been heavily involved with the Cancer League of Colorado, another great cause that she is very passionate about.

So, if you need a world-class realtor, we highly recommend Edie. Beyond that, if you want to learn more about her causes, you may click on the links above, or you can contact Edie directly here.

We thank you, our clients, for your ongoing support. We love to give back to causes such as these and without you, we wouldn’t be able to. Thank you!

DIA Great Hall Update

Now that travel seems to be back in style, we figured it might be time to look at our beloved airport to see when all the construction might be done.

If you have been to DIA lately it seems patently obvious to us that this will take a while.

We have discussed this debacle in past newsletters. This project has been plagued by issues from the start, including a snafu with the original vendor.

Back in 2017, DIA started a $1.8B project (yes billions) to renovate the Great Hall. The agreement with the original contractor fell apart and Greeley-based Hansel Phelps picked it up and started work again in March of 2020.

From the article:

“The project is meant to increase passenger capacity, improve the experience of people passing through the airport, and reduce security vulnerabilities, outgoing DIA CEO Kim Day previously told Denver City Council members. It’s also creating more ticketing and baggage drop-off space to accommodate the airport’s two biggest carriers, United Airlines and Southwest.”

We wish we had good news, like the project will be done soon. It won’t.

It appears this project will take at least two more years to complete, and a potential phase three is being contemplated, so this could drag on for a bit.

How will this impact us as travelers? In August, the airport will close four of the 12 security lanes at the north end of Level 5 to allow work to proceed on the new checkpoint at the northwest corner of Level 6.

As they say, forewarned is forearmed, so we can at least plan for some disruption going forward.

For the complete piece by the Denver Business Journal, visit them here.

Selling Your Home?

Guest Writer Suzie Wilson at happierhome.net

Looking to Sell Your Home Quickly? Start With These Projects 

If you need to sell your home quickly, you’ll need to make sure your home is looking its best. You can get your home in top shape and encourage more offers by focusing on some key home improvement projects. Wondering where you should begin? Start your upgrades with these basic home tips.

Give Everything a Deep Cleaning  

The most important project you can complete before you list your home is a good, deep cleaning. Buyers love to walk into a home that looks, feels and smells fresh and clean, so take a day or two to go through and tidy up your home. Put away any clutter or get rid of it, even in storage areas. Then, clean everything from top to bottom, including ceiling fans, vents, curtains, countertops, and of course…the floors and carpets.

If you’re working with faulty equipment, this difficult task will be that much harder. Do a quick assessment of your cleaning appliances before starting. If you need to upgrade your vacuum, be prepared for a dizzying array of options. Do your research to figure out what vacuum best suits your needs.

Need your home professionally cleaned before selling? The premier house cleaning service in the area, Denver Concierge has the expertise to deliver exceptional results. For a quote, reach out to us today!

Freshen Up the Front   

When potential buyers take a look at your home, they pay attention to the exterior first, so you should pay attention to your curb appeal. Tidy up your yard and make sure your lawn is neat. Then, look at the exterior to see if you need to make improvements there as well. If you have siding, brick, or stone in need of repair or an update, take care of those upgrades before you begin showing your home. Now is also a good time to address more hidden elements around your home like having your gutters and downspouts cleaned. This could even make a difference in your inspection. Use an online search like “gutter cleaning services near me” to connect with seasoned professionals who can remove debris and even alert you to necessary repairs. 

Update Your Kitchen  

Kitchens are king when it comes to showing a home. Buyers look for well-maintained, updated kitchens. If you’re only going to renovate a few things around your home, put your kitchen at the top of that list. A major overhaul will cost the most, but even smaller upgrades can make a difference. You can switch out fixtures or invest in some new appliances. Need to update kitchen cabinets? Try painting them a different color, adding some new hardware, or even replacing wood panels with glass for a more boutique feel. 

Freshen Up Your Bathroom 

Another room that buyers always pay extra attention to is your bathroom(s), so add it to your list of home renovations if it’s in need of repairs or updates. If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, seriously upgrading one may be enough to boost your home sale, but bathroom improvements can be inexpensive and easier than you think. You can change out faucets for different colors or materials, or change up your mirror. Even switching out lighting fixtures can make your bathrooms seem brand new. Play up special features, like a deep soaking tub or large windows, with some effortless bathroom staging.

Replace the Roof    

If your roof is getting old, replacing it may be a good move before you try to sell your home. Depending on the material and composition of your roof, it should be replaced every 15-20 years. A new roof can also make your home appear cleaner and more appealing from the outside. This is also a home project that adds value to your home. If your roof is fairly new, still make time to check it over for issues that may need repair. Clear off any leaves or junk that has accumulated there over time. Patch up any holes and replace any damaged or missing shingles. Ensuring your roof is in good shape can help sell your home more quickly.

Making improvements around your home and property is the best way to help your home sell quickly. By focusing on the areas buyers care about the most, you can be sure to attract more attention and get an offer on your home much sooner. Before you know it, you’ll be closing on your home and enjoying the profits of all of your hard work!

Our Dangerous City

In the first six months of 2021, a person was shot in Denver every 36 hours.

Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, violence in Denver is set to surpass 2020, which was the worst year on record since 1981. It seems the easing of the pandemic restrictions is not our only issue.

The Denver Post did an informative article on this and covered many key statistics.

From the article:

“In the first six months of this year, 43 people were killed in Denver homicides — a few more than the 39 people killed in Denver in the same period last year.

Denver police Chief Paul Pazen said in January that he didn’t want the 95 homicides recorded in 2020 — a 51% increase from the prior year — to become the norm. But the violence hasn’t abated.

“We’re trending even above where we were last year, and last year we had too many people who lost their lives in our city,” Pazen said in a June interview.”

“The city looks great from the outside with all the development, but it has internal bleeding,” said Gerardo Lopez, executive director of violence prevention organization Homies Unidos. “We didn’t develop youth programs and mental health programs at the same pace.”

We find this very concerning as our once safe city seems to be getting a little edgier. Certainly, as we grow we will have more “big city” problems, but we all want to feel safe when we go out downtown.

The complete piece from the Denver Post can be found here.

For Denver violent crime statistics, check-in here.

Are you a Good Tipper?

Most of us probably think we are. We aren’t sure about you, but we have been “overtipping” our service providers just because we are glad they are still there through all of this.

We saw a catchy headline about tipping and which generation is worst at it. We had to share.

The answer and from the article:

“The younger generation was found to be the worst culprit, specifically millennials, ages 25-40, and Gen Zers, ages 18-24, who were both found to be the worst tippers.”

“The study also found that there is a strong correlation between income and how much people tip. Almost 85% of higher-income households with an annual household income of over $80k, who go to sit-down restaurants, were found to always tip. On the other hand, only 77% of middle-income households, with an annual income between $40-80k, were found to tip, and only 65% of lower-income households, who make less than $40k annually, leave a tip.”

TD Ameritrade did a survey and found that 59 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are likely to tip 19 to 25 percent. Meanwhile, only a third of millennials – ages 23 to 39 – and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) do the same.

We loved the data in the TD “etiquette survey” report, so we are providing it here for your reading pleasure.

We hope you join us in making sure our restaurant staff and servers are still there when this is finally over.

Interesting data for sure! The full piece by Fox News can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for June were Maria Zapata, Fidelia Bautista, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez and Josefina Quinonez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Isela Mendoza and Simona Estrada.

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

This month as we welcome new clients into the Denver Concierge fold we realized that each one had come to us through recommendations from current clients.

This is a huge compliment for our teams and a huge compliment to the way we do business as a company. Even more so when taking into account that several of the new clients actually preferred to wait for an opening with us rather than go to another service.

As an aside, we are very careful in our hiring and sometimes there is a short wait to get on our schedule. We don’t hire to fill an urgent need.

Over the years we have tried to create a niche in the market that has served us well.  We treat our clients like family and are always upfront and candid in our dealings. Most importantly, we listen.

We are always just a text away.  This approach has brought us some truly great clients.

Thank you to those who recommended us.  It was a kind gesture and much appreciated.

Bee

June Newsletter 2021

Queen Bee Anniversary

20 years.

Yes, you read that right, our very own Queen Bee, Angela Danessi, has been with the company for 20 years this week. It is also her birthday today, July 1st, which is why we waited just a little longer than normal to send our “June” newsletter.

We are grateful and so incredibly lucky to have her on our team as our client liaison.

Many of you know Angela very well through years of speaking with her, but here are some fun facts you may not know about her.

She speaks five languages! You can talk with her in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and most recently Hindi. In fact, she actually taught herself Hindi without ever having gone to a class. She’s a natural linguist.

While she grew up in the Midwest, she spent many of her early years in Europe, having lived in London, Paris, and Ibiza. She moved to Denver from Taos, New Mexico where she worked at the Taos Ski Valley. She has been in the hospitality space for some time now, including a stint at what is now the Ritz Carlton in Denver before she came to us here (a great day for our company).

She has the coolest protective dog, a feisty Corgi also known as Frank. Sometimes known as Rishi, but that is a story for you to ask her about directly.

In short, she is one of the most unique people on the planet and we want to take this opportunity to recognize her for her loyalty, consistency, and for being the main person in our company for so long.

While we aren’t sure we will be able to convince her to stay another 20 years, we are thankful for whatever she will give us.

Please join us in wishing Angela both a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations for her 20 years of making clients happy. 

Guide to Summer 2021

We made it to Summer. Sadly, no one seemed to tell Spring, which evidently took a wrong turn and never made it here.

But that’s ok because the nice people at 5280 Magazine came out with a bunch of fun and interesting things to do in our wonderful state.

They covered nearly everything, from road trip gear to the best rooftop patios in Denver. We didn’t know that Le Meridien hotel actually has the highest open-air rooftop deck in Denver, the 54thirty lounge.

We also love to eat so seeing the best BBQ joints in Colorado made our mouths water.

From the best bike rides to try to improving grilling skills, they did a great job of encapsulating all that is Colorado in one place, and that can be found here.

We hope you have a wonderful Summer!

Colorado Income Tax Cut

You read that right, income taxes are going down in our state.

Amazingly and despite COVID, Colorado now is expected to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue cap for both this fiscal year, which ended on June 30, and for the next two years as well.

From the article in the Denver Business Journal:

“Colorado will have to employ all three of its methods for giving back excess revenues — reimbursing local governments for Homestead property-tax exemptions, reducing the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.5%, and offering sales-tax refunds directly to state residents.”

Great news for all of us, and the article also goes into Colorado’s unemployment numbers and why we are still slightly behind the national average.

The full piece from the Denver Business Journal can be f0und here.

Is Working from Home Here to Stay?

Last month we asked how much working from home was worth. In many cases, $30,000 wasn’t enough.

We wanted to dive into this issue further, more specifically what are most companies planning as they move forward? What are the pros and cons for both employee and company?

In a great article, Stanford Business published a piece on how the pandemic “Blew up the American Office, for Better and Worse.”

As the graphic in our header shows, working from home increased eightfold in 2020 from 2017. Where will it go from here and how will it impact business going forward?

What are the takeaways? For starters, it seems that a consensus is emerging about a hybrid approach where employees would work both from home and at the office in a split.

More fascinating to us was the belief that innovation would be impacted by working from home in the long run, due to the creative collaboration that it requires.

Finally, this shift has harmed cities’ downtown areas in many ways, as people remain at home in the suburbs and not spending money downtown.

Very informative piece and it made us think about this tricky issue. You can find the entire article here.

How’s Your Sleep?

Hopefully, it’s getting better as life is getting back to normal around us.

When we found a simple sleep assessment tool, we took the leap to see just how many bad bedtime habits we really have.

The answer? A lot.

The quiz took us only a minute or so to complete, and then gave us a score of 10 out of a possible 18 points.

Normally scoring a 10 is perfect, but in this case, it told us we have some work to do.

At the end of the survey, you can provide your email and you will get a five-part series on improving your sleep, along with exercises, videos, and the like.

If you aren’t sure about your sleep, the stats say it can probably be better. The most recent data shows that in America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night.

With thanks to the folks at Better Humans, you can link to the quick sleep survey here.

For more data on sleep habits and the state of sleep in America, visit the American Sleep Apnea website here.

Good luck improving your sleep, we are surely working on ours!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for May were Simona Estrada, Rosario De La Rosa, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Patricia Rodriguez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza.

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

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

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

This month I celebrate 20 years with Denver Concierge. 20 years!! Yikes!

I doubt many people can say that their job is so closely aligned to their personality that the two actually mesh and the word ‘work’ ceases to apply.

It’s a tough business we’re in and can be stressful if not handled with care, respect, and endurance. A sense of the absurd is always handy; a sense of humor is essential.

I applaud our clients for offering me all of the above.

As I accept this gold statue of a giant bee, I’d just like to say that I have been inordinately lucky to work with the best in the business and for the best in the business.  Bar none. I love you all!

Bee