Archives for November 2008

Cleaning Tips by Maria

As a cleaning service owner, I’m often asked about what products work best to clean various surfaces.  There are many great products that work well and can be purchased right off of the shelves at the local grocery store.

For now, I would like to discuss a few products that can be used for dusting and bathrooms. Next time I will discuss some great products to use to get your floors and kitchens sparkling clean.

What products are good for dusting?

Swiffer Dusters, especially the extendable types as they do a great job of picking up and holding dust. Lambswool type dusters also work well.

When dusting, always start from the top of your room and work your way down. The last thing you want to do is to beautifully dust your room just to get it all dirty again when you clean your ceiling fan! So, make sure to dust your cobwebs and ceiling fans first and then dust the rest.

Follow up dusting by polishing your wood furniture with a product such as Pledge, Howard’s Orange Oil, or your favorite Lemon Oil to give surfaces a nice finish and to ensure the dust stays off as long as possible. The product you ultimately choose to polish your furniture will depend on your furniture’s surface and how you would like the final appearance to be. Oil based products such as Howard’s will leave your surface shiny but be aware that some products such as Murphy’s Oil Soap may leave a buildup over time.

The absolute best way to keep dust at a minimum is to frequently change your filters on you’re A.C. vents.

What products should I use to get my bathrooms looking good?

When deciding what product to use to clean bathrooms, first determine what needs to be cleaned: General dust/dirt, soap scum and or hard water.

General Dust and Dirt: Any all purpose cleaner will work with warm water and soap. Our favorite soap is Ivory as it leaves surfaces super shiny.

Hard water: Hard water is heavier than soap scum so if you have both, you may need to remove hard water layers in order to get to the soap scum layer underneath. Products such as Ajax, Barkeeper’s Friend and Lemi Shine work great on hard water build up.

Tip: Lemi Shine can be purchased in the dishwasher isle and although it is intended for dishwashers, it is probably the best product out there for removing tough hard water build up. Lemi Shine is an all natural product, in a salt form, and it will not discolor your faucets.

Soap scum: To remove soap scum, try Easy Off Bam, Comet, and Scrubbing Bubbles. The best way to tackle soap scum is to spray your product and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before wiping it off. Let the cleaner do as much of the work so you don’t have to!

To get a really nice finish, after you scrub your surface, rewipe it with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Give it one final rinse and presto! Soap scum will be history.

What products should I use to get my mirrors looking great?

To get mirrors looking great, we like to use Essentials from Arm and Hammer. The best way we’ve found to clean mirrors is to wash them using soap and warm water then follow with your favorite glass cleaner.

What works for toilets?

For toilets, we like to use The Works as it is an acid and cuts right through heavy hard water. If you are looking for an all natural alternative, Lemi Shine also works great.

With any product you choose, please test first in order to avoid damage to your surfaces!

And of course, if you find that you do not want to do the cleaning yourself or simply can’t, please give Welcome Home Cleaning Services a call! We serve the following areas:  Georgetown, Texas; Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, Taylor, and parts of North Austin.

Editor’s Note: The next time you have a Georgetown, Texas home for sale and you need it cleaned, give Maria a call!

www.WelcomeHomeCleaning.com

“Read this Blog and then give Tametria B. a promotion…”

…she seems to be the only one giving me any confidence in purchasing from your company in the future.  Her extension is 2009.  Please forward this email to her.”

Does that sound a bit harsh?

That was the content of the email I sent a supervisor of letstalk.com recently.

I recently became a free agent in the cell phone world and decided to go with Sprint and eliminate all of my nit picky overage charges from verizon.  I have 3000 minutes and my cell phone bill was still over $300 last month for overage charges!  That was reason enough to switch.  So I got some pretty cool phones:

This one is mine:

This one is for my wife:

The hassle with ordering from letstalk.com was enough to make me want to pay $50 more and go through a Sprint store.  But, I chickened out since I was so close to finishing this order and I have a busy week.

The ordering process was pretty smooth, and Heather did a great job with the order-taking part, but lacked some follow-through.  I kept getting these ridiculous emails to call Sprint and verify my credit information before my order could be processed.  So I did that….THREE SEPARATE TIMES!  Every time I called, Sprint would tell me that my credit decision was approved.

I thought Heather was banking it big from my big order and she would return my call…..she didn’t.

I then tried the website’s “fill out this form and we’ll call you back” feature and…they didn’t.

So tonight I called again, asked to speak to a supervisor, and there was none to talk to (they were all busy).

Finally, I got a hold of Tametria and after 3 attempts to Sprint Credit, and 3 attempts with letstalk.com, she took care of business.  All it took was for her to call Sprint Credit and verify that I was approved.  So all of the emails and instructions for me to call Sprint Credit was a big waste of my time!

Thanks Tametria, for allowing me to move forward with my life.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and do a little extra work (like the credit verification phone call) that completed my order.  You deserve a raise.

So was my email harsh?  Well, I figure a letter that might potentially benefit somebody like Tametria is much better than a letter that is filled with complaints.  So there you go letstalk.com, please train your people and please give a bonus to Tametria.

This just underscores how important it is for me to listen to my clients and not just go after the sale.  With 10,000+ real estate agents in Greater Austin, doing that alone will differentiate me from the crowd.

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Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog

Georgetown Texas homes for sale in Wood Ranch

Ok, so it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Even though the real estate market is suppossed to be slow, I’ve been pretty busy actually…and forgot about my first love: Blogging.

So here is the follow-up to my previous post on this listing in Wood Ranch.

1. First, the neighborhood:

Wood Ranch is located close to Interstate 35, so it has the convenience factor nailed. In just a few minutes you can be off and on your way in 30 minutes North or South to Ft. Hood/Killeen/Temple or Round Rock/Austin for work. See my most recent post about how easy the commute is to Temple, Killeen and Ft. Hood from Georgetown. You can also hop onto Hwy 29 and go west and hit Cedar Park/Leander within minutes.

Shopping is very convenient. For groceries, you just go North on DB Wood to the nearest HEB or you can take Hwy 29E and take Wolf Ranch Parkway North to go to Wal Mart. Wolf Ranch Shopping Center is located at the SW corner of Hwy 29 and I35. Bottom Line: Getting your shopping done is a breeze from this location!

All of the homes in Wood Ranch are custom-built which leads us to the second point.

2. The builder:

Choosing a builder in Georgetown, Texas is not the easiest thing to do. Some builders have great reputations, and then the next day you hear they’re bankrupt. Other builders may have no reputation at all, unless you’ve lived in Georgetown for the past 20 years and grew up with them. The builder of this home is Ed Wohlrab. Ed has been established in Georgetown for over 10 years and was one of the original builders for one of Georgetown’s most respected custom home communities, River Chase. Ed is known for building homes around unique and challenging environments. You can get a good idea of this on his most current homes he is building by driving around in The Falls of San Gabriel. Ed Wohlrab must have had fun with this home. He built if far off the road to give it tons of privacy and most of what you see from the front porch is just rows of trees. He positioned the home just perfect so you also have a generous backyard. Privacy in the front, privacy in the back. Perfectly achieved!

3. The home:

The home is built so that the bedrooms and living areas are larger then what you see in most homes. He kept the floorplan simple and uncluttered with lots of hallways and nooks and crannies. Just large bedrooms and living spaces that flow into each other very intuitively. Pictures speak louder than words, so this is the part of the post where I can show off my camera skills:

Front of Home and View from Front Porch

Back of Home and View from Back Porch

Interior Shots

You can read more details on Wood Ranch and search all the homes available in this custom home neighborhood at this link: Custom Homes in Georgetown Texas Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments?

Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below and don’t forget to comment on my blog, I love reader interaction!

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog

Worst 5 things for a small business owner

I don’t have all 5 yet…but I do know one that will top the list:  Hard Drive Crash!
Yes, I’ve been dealing with that for the past week or so and I feel 3 months behind.  Literally, 3 months, since that’s the last time I backed up.  Usually I back up EVERY HOUR, but since I had been moving into my new home/home office, I turned that system off.  I was planning on backing up this week when suddenly it happened…


So, I’m making lemonade out of lemons: I just purchased a Macbook Pro and am spending all day restoring my 3 month old backup.  Having a new computer kind of lightens the “ouch-effect”  What’s up with hard drives these days?  You would think they would be more reliable.  That was my second hard drive in 12 months!

Here’s the rest of my top 5 worst events for a small business owner (off the top of my head):

5.  Hard drive crash – (Technology failure)

4.  Getting a bad review from a client

3.  Working with a client for weeks and never getting a sale

2.  Getting through a slow business cycle

1.  Not being able to recover from the first four events and having to work at McDonalds.

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