Starting a business in the home improvement sector is never easy. Between purchasing equipment, finding clients, and building your reputation, there are a number of obstacles you need to overcome before you can hit the ground running. Recently, HomeStars spoke to Joanne Alfaro from Fresh Glance Cleaning Services to learn about her and her husband’s experience starting their window cleaning company. We spoke about the challenges the pair faced early on, the difficulties they had building homeowner trust, and how they used HomeStars to help navigate these challenges. Read on to learn more about their experience.
When Jimmy and Joanne Alfaro decided to launch Fresh Glance Cleaning Services in 2014, victories were hard to come by. At the time, the pair were working for a large company in Toronto and they desperately needed a change. Despite frequently being asked to pull double duty as cleaners and managers, they were hamstrung by the company’s actual management team whenever they tried to go above and beyond for their clients. In spite of the risks involved, they decided it was time to go out on their own.
“It was really hard at the beginning.” Joanne tells HomeStars over the phone. “We went door to door trying to find small businesses in plazas to hire us. But, for some reason, people didn’t believe in our work.”
With persistence and an optimistic outlook, the pair slowly began to turn things around. “We always saw the glass as half full,” Joanne explains. It was this positive attitude that drove the pair to seek out new solutions to the problems they were facing, and eventually led them to investing in HomeStars in 2016.
The HomeStars Effect
The process of turning things around began with Joanne and Jimmy upgrading their HomeStars listing. While the pair had created a HomeStars listing when they first started their business, they hadn’t yet unlocked the features that allowed them to customize their listing and showcase their work. Once they did, they noticed an immediate difference. “We were able to make our page look nice,” says Joanne. “We could add more information about our business, so that people who saw it knew we were a company that does good work.”
From there, Joanne and Jimmy focused their attention on requesting homeowner reviews. Knowing that reviews are the primary factor people consider when hiring, they made a consistent effort to pack their listing with as many as possible. “With reviews, HomeStars gives contractors the opportunity to build a great reputation,” Joanne says. “So many people tell us that they hired us because of our reviews. When I ask them to write a review of our work, they say ‘Yes, of course I’ll leave you a review. That’s how I hired you in the first place!’”
The Power of Reviews
Every new review helps your business, but there’s no telling which review might double as a significant turning point. For Fresh Glance Cleaning Services, one such review came in two years ago in the form of the feedback left by a homeowner named Dia. Prior to receiving this review, Joanne indicated that Fresh Glance was “getting there” in terms of achieving their business goals, but that “it was still a struggle.” Here’s the review that Joanne says lifted their spirits and provided the “push they needed to continue.”
“Absolutely amazing results from 2 amazing human beings! I’ve never met such professional, personable and eager to please individuals. They really care about their customers and will do whatever it takes to satisfy them! I can’t wait to tell my family and friends about their excellent service! Looking forward to my next window cleaning!”
This wasn’t Fresh Glance Cleaning Service’s first review, and it certainly won’t be their last, but it arrived at a pivotal point in their journey when they needed an extra boost of encouragement. Today, the company has over 100 reviews and counting, and they continue to look back fondly at this review as a significant personal milestone.
Fresh Glance Cleaning Services Today
Five years into their HomeStars journey, Joanne indicates that Fresh Glance Cleaning Services’ commitment has paid off in the form of warm, qualified leads. They’ve built their reputation, closed more jobs, and won HomeStars coveted Best of Award on three different occasions; an accomplishment Joanne refers to as “a great achievement.”
More importantly though, homeowners now have a central place to visit to verify the company’s trustworthiness and overall quality of work. “Even when leads get recommendations from someone in their family, they go online to read reviews,” Joanne says.
Of course, Fresh Glance Cleaning Services still engages in the hard work of going door to door to hang flyers. The primary difference is that, now, these flyers are more successful because they have a HomeStars “Read our Reviews” icon on them. Now homeowners know they can go online to learn more about the services they’re advertising.
Take advantage of Fresh Glance Cleaning Service’s insights today by logging in to request a homeowner review.