BY MORGAN LEGEL
While Guam has multiple residential and commercial cleaning services, two were born in March 2020, at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, and continue to thrive today.
Owned by Mandi Crandell, DeepKleen specializes in both residential and commercial cleaning, with residential services that include house cleaning, move in and out services, disinfection, custom cleaning, specialty and event cleaning; and commercial services that include cleaning, janitorial, specialty and complete management contracts.
Specialty services include upholstery, windows, walls, carpet, hardwood flooring, tile and grout, area rugs, after construction, kitchen appliances, inside cabinets and more.
DeepKleen also offers custom schedules and tasks to create a cleaning experience that fits the customer’s lifestyle and budget, like needing a home cleaned every three days to a refrigerator cleaned once a month.
Jon Crandell, public relations representative and office administrator at DeepKleen, said “One thing that really increased in the last six month is carpet cleaning, and I’m not really sure what’s driving it.”
DeepKleen services the whole island, including military bases with its 12 employees.
“In the past year, we have increased our commercial cleaning, mostly office spaces,” Crandell said. “But before that, and still — quite a bit of our business is residential. With that, there’s a lot of military move out cleans, and a lot of recurring clean clients.”
It was difficult to get the business going and the employees to keep it going in the beginning, he said.
“We opened our doors in March 2020, right when the pandemic kicked off, and we didn’t have a huge budget for marketing,” Crandell said. “That first year was kind of tough because no one knew who we were and there was a desperation for sanitizing cleans, and we had to get our name out there.”
Employees in the cleaning services industry have a higher turnover rate than other service industries, in his opinion, he said.
When hiring employees, Crandell said DeepKleen decided the morale and quality of employees required a higher paygrade than the norm.
“We decided that one of the biggest problems we could solve, to help us have good, quality employees with reliable transportation, was starting at a higher minimum wage so the employees could afford those things that would make a difference in their employment.”
DeepKleen starts their employees above minimum wage, trains them and once they learn more about the process, they can progress in their employment, with accompanying pay increases.
“We pay for performance,” Crandell said.
As far as pricing, Crandell suggests a site visit to determine what type of cleaning needs done, as each customer is different.
Paradise Cleaning Solutions, owned by Realtor Duane Pahl, offers both residential and commercial services.
Services include “PCS cleans,” which are deep cleans for homes that are either getting moved into or out of, water-blasting and window-washing services, recurring cleaning, disinfecting services, and floor services, like buffing, waxing and grout cleaning.
Paradise Cleaning Solutions services the entire island, except for military bases. However, Pahl said that if a client desires cleaning on a base, the employee can be sponsored to enter.
Pahl said most customers are, in order, locals, service members and then commercial clients.
“What’s strange about us is — our business is very constant, but not overzealous; we continue to grow, but at a pace we can support,” he said.
Paradise currently has six employees, but with the growth occurring within the company, may be hiring more soon.
“We’re at the stage where I know we need to hire, but it’s hard to hire experienced folks to get to that next level,” Pahl said. “It’s a Catch 22, I need more business to grow, but I need to hire more workers to handle more business.”
Even with the need for more workers, he said hiring people is challenging.
“It’s been difficult because we require certain levels of experience of professional clean,” Pahl said. “Everybody cleans, but you don’t pay just anyone to clean, you pay professionals to come in and clean.”
As far as pricing, Paradise offers free site visits for estimates for every customer, since every job has a different level of cleaning requirement.
For an average three bedroom and two-and-a-half-bathroom home of approximately between 1,600 and 1,800 square-feet, two employees would service the home in one full day, and it could cost anywhere between $375 and $450.
Pahl said that even though the company began during the pandemic, he is so thankful for his employees persevering and the island population requesting their services.
“Without you, we’re nothing,” he said.
Guam Cleaning Masters opened in 1995 as a service company providing professional cleaning, custodial, janitorial and ground maintenance services.
Owner Alex Thomas has between 150 and 200 employees, and customers include the Guam Power Authority and the Guam International Airport Authority.
Guam Cleaning Masters’ service list expanded in 2000 and now includes pressure washing, kitchen cleaning, janitorial services, bush-cutting and trimming, car detailing, rotary steam cleaning, window cleaning, upholstery cleaning and marble/granite cleaning.
The company offers both residential and commercial services and uses environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Thomas said there has been no decline during the COVID-19 pandemic, only growth because of the type of industry.
“We’re doing extremely good,” he said.
He also said that “Keeping the employees has been a little up and down,” but that the higher pay Guam Cleaning Masters pays results in more stable employees. mbj