Tips For Working In An Occupied Home
Many times, clients cannot afford to completely leave their home for you to do your job. Here are some tips for ensuring both sides have a smooth and proper experience.
Lay down the rules with your crew
This is always important, but paramount when working in an occupied home. This is where the family spends time, relaxes and the kids play. Be sure to have a chat with your crew that there will be zero tolerance for language, offensive music or anything out of the ordinary. If the homeowner does not want you using the bathroom, make that clear to your crew. You’ve got a reputation to keep, and you don’t want any dirty jokes ruining it. Sure, this might be different in an unoccupied space, but won’t fly in someone’s home. Be sure your crew is on the same page, setting everyone involved up for a good experience.
Communication, Communication, Communication
Be sure to locate gas, water and electrical shut off valves just incase something were to happen. When one of these needs to be shut off, let the homeowner know (if someone is home). You might even keep a list of homeowner names incase there is an emergency and you need help from someone that knows the home.
Check in with the homeowner before beginning work to see what their schedule is like. The better you can fit your hours around theirs, the happier they will be. Now, we understand you can’t work nights, but maybe you could arrive shortly after they leave, and finish up shortly before they come home. The homeowner does not want that much interaction with your crew, but rather enjoy the progress after coming home from work.
Be sure your crew arrives on time, parks in a proper spot and is dressed like they are walking into someone’s home. Uniforms are not needed, and the more important thing to address here is what aren’t you wearing, not what are you wearing.
No breaks in the house! As mentioned earlier, do not use the client’s bathroom. Take all breaks outside of the house, maybe back in your truck. If you need to smoke, go well away from the property.
Keep things clean at the end of each day. Plastic sheet off the area you are working in to contain dust and other chemicals that should not leak to other parts of the home.
Lots and lots of equipment is required when working in a home. Do not place equipment on surfaces the client would find offensive. Antiques and non covered surfaces are a great example of this. We’ve all heard about the mysterious scratch…let’s just not go there. Be sure to drape cloth on all surfaces and section off the part of the home you are working in. At the end of the day, tidy up equipment. This doesn’t mean totally put everything away, but rather make it nice. This way the client does not feel they are walking into a war zone each day.
Keep these pointers in mind as we roll into the busy season!