Paige and Dwight Rounds always dreamed of owning their own business. So when Paige’s contract at a tech firm ended and Dwight completed his service in the U.S. Air Force, the duo made the leap and moved home to Kansas, where they opened MaidPro Wichita.
A year later, the family-owned business has grown from a team of three to 10, and their roster of clients is expanding every day. Here’s what Paige told us about discovering Thumbtack, how she’s using the time she’s saving on Instant Match, and why following up is the key to building a strong business.
How did you get into the house cleaning business?
My brother and I have always wanted to start our own business. Around two years ago we were both living in the D.C. area. I was a contractor at Google and he was in the Air Force. Both of our contracts were about to end—it was perfect timing.
When I was in college I worked as a house cleaning supervisor, and I really loved the customer service aspect of it. Once we found MaidPro (a cleaning franchise), we realized it was the right opportunity for us.
What’s your favorite thing about owning your own business?
I love being able to employ a team of such incredible women. The work is hard, but we’ve been lucky. Six of the eight team members we hired in the last year are still with us, which is pretty rare in this industry.
How has Thumbtack helped you build your business?
When we first launched Maidpro Wichita we were only using my contact book and Thumbtack to find customers. We’ve grown our marketing tools since then but Thumbtack still generates our most valuable leads.
How did you first hear about Thumbtack’s new tool, Instant Match?
My marketing coach at the MaidPro franchise told me about Instant Match. I was telling her how much time I was spending on Thumbtack—five hours a week, easily—and she said, “Holy cow! We need to change that.” I signed up for Instant Match a week later and haven’t turned back.
Did Instant Match work for you right away?
We started using Instant Match in June, which is typically a slow time in the house cleaning industry, so I was able to take some time to figure it out.
I’ve been really happy with the changes and improvements that I see being made to Instant Match all the time, based on pros’ feedback. For example, when I first started using Instant Match the system had a hard time differentiating between first-time cleaning jobs and recurring cleaning jobs. (First-time cleanings take longer so we charge more.) Recently Thumbtack found a way to make it clear to customers that those prices are different.
What are you doing with the time you’re saving?
Before, whether it was nine at night or five in the morning, when a Thumbtack request came through, I was on my phone responding to it. Now I don’t have to worry about it. I save four or five hours a week.
I get to actually enjoy my life and spend time with my family. At work, I’m not always interrupting my day to send quotes, so I have more time to follow up with clients, work one-on-one with my staff and to think about long-term planning.
How do you think about setting your budget?
I leave my budget wide open so we never miss an opportunity. We’re spending less on Thumbtack these days because the customers we do talk to have the intent to hire us, and they’re the only ones we’re paying for.
How did you set your availability?
People use the calendar to book more than just cleanings. A lot of the time, they’re just booking a 10-minute phone chat. If someone does book us through the calendar, I always want to schedule a follow-up phone call. We use arrival windows rather than exact times and we want to make sure customers who book us know that ahead of time.
How do you follow-up when a customer reaches out to you?
I usually message them back, thanking them for reaching out. If they use the calendar to schedule a call, I send a message confirming the time of our chat. If they message me to schedule a cleaning, I set aside a time to chat through onboarding and make sure all of their details are correct.
How do you set up your price sheet?
We have one-time cleans, recurring cleans, and then a range of add-ons (windows, ovens, fridges). We find that usually the folks who use us for recurring cleans (93 percent of our clients) are the ones who also ask for add-ons.
What do you think it takes to be a Top Pro?
The number one thing is follow-up. Follow up with your estimates, with your customers, with your employees. It makes a huge difference for your company.
We are also very proactive with our clients. Before we start, I let them know that we have a 24-hour fix-it guarantee in case they’re unhappy with the work. I always do a next day follow-up call to hear about how things went and what might have been better.
Any tips for asking for reviews?
As soon as I’ve followed up with a customer after a clean, I send them the link to where they can leave us a review. They pretty much always write one, sometimes while we’re still on the phone with them.