Stone Payton: Welcome to Franchise Marketing Radio Stone Payton Lee Kantor here with you this afternoon. Today's episode is brought to you in part by the Business RadioX studio partner program. Equipping Franchisors to help franchisees dominate their local market. To learn more about helping more people and making more money, go to my mxstudio.com. Lee, It's going to be a fantastic segment. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast President with Home Clean Heroes, Mr. Joe Dalatte. Good afternoon, sir.
Joe Delatte: Good afternoon and thanks for having me.
Lee Kantor: Well, Joe, before we get too far into things, tell us about home clean heroes. How are you serving folks?
Joe Delatte: We are a residential cleaning business. You would be familiar with the business model we are based with Buzz Franchise Brands in Virginia Beach. We currently would be considered an emerging brand. We've got our first franchisee up and running in Williamsburg and our local performance proving operation here in Virginia Beach, where we serve two territories, been operating since twenty seventeen with that operation and the franchise's first franchise opened in Williamsburg in November of twenty nineteen. Those guys are doing very well. We're crushing it up there.
Lee Kantor: And now what makes home clean heroes different than some of the other home cleaning services out there?
Joe Delatte: Well, a couple of things would be, you know, the primary things that make us different. To start with the brand, you know, the business is a proven business model. But it's kind of got the sea of sameness as far as residential cleaning business with home clean air is. One of the things you'll find is that you won't find the word made anywhere in our collateral, in our brand. Take the hero persona really to heart. And we really like to serve our customers and return to their free time so they can do it. What is most important to them, the thing is as a franchise business that differentiates us, really no one would be our focus on customer acquisition and retention. So as a parent company, Buzz Franchise Brands has a shared services division, pretty much like an in-house advertising agency that provides direct mail service and digital marketing service, as well as website development for all of our franchisees. So that is all taken care of as part of your franchise operation. And one of the things we know is that this business needs to scale quickly. So marketing is very critical and we build that competency and we get the phones ringing for our franchisees. Another critical part, again, as far as the franchise franchisee goes, is our focus on employee recruitment and training is very important in this business course to keep your employees, the employees staff full so you can meet your capacity. So we provide tools both for recruitment and onboarding and techniques for retaining those employees on board as well.
Joe Delatte: But then the other important thing is with the employees or is the training process. So my background is I used to be a franchise owner myself. I knew about that business. And a home services business is really important to have a good, thorough training program for your employees. We built a seven part online video training and certification program that every one of our employees go through for their franchisee owners. So the franchisee knows then that the employees are trained thoroughly and in exactly the same way each time. So they don't have to come off of their duties to train an employee each time. And then the other thing that is really, you know, a hallmark of our business is the focus on business success for our franchisees. We spent a lot of time, one on one coaching and nurturing. We've worked with this model to really drive it to maximum efficiency so we can coach our franchisees to achieve the same kind of successes. We work with them on budget planning. We work with them on day to day reporting. The business analytics are a critical part of what we provide to employees or to our franchisees on a daily, weekly, monthly basis so that they know exactly how their business is tracking. And we can work with them then to help dial in their efficiencies in the routing, the important components of their business. So we know that we keep them on track and get them to profitability as quickly as we can.
Lee Kantor: Now, the person who is a good candidate as a franchisee, are they somebody who this is their first swing at franchising or is this somebody who has maybe an existing franchise? And this is a complementary kind of element to a portfolio?
Joe Delatte: Yeah, good question. It easily could be either one of the important things as far as a franchisee is that they are motivated to scale quickly. And really, I think one of the most important components is that they're passionate about customers. The customer experience is not a not a complicated business. There are some complexities to the efficiencies in the routings, but we provide the technology and the tools to do that. So a first time entrepreneur, a first time business owner could easily be an ideal candidate. They can as long as they're focused on the fact that they want to be a business builder. This isn't going to start a home clean heroes franchise to be the maid in the home cleaning. You're going to be building a business. You'll be managing your team, hiring, training, working with your customers. So you're a good franchisee. But again, that passion about customer service and customer experience is really important, too, because at the end of the day, what you're doing is making people happy. Right. And you have to really appreciate the value that brings both to your customers and to your business.
Lee Kantor: Now, when you're working in the home services, how do you do it? To help the franchisee kind of maintain the relationship with the customer when it's one of their people that are going to actually be the boots on the ground in the home of your customer?
Joe Delatte: Well, one of the critical components of our process is every relationship starts with an in-home estimate. Our focus is on recurring customers. This business model is a recurring revenue business model. So we want to start that relationship off on a very good, strong note for a couple reasons. And one, we want to get to know the homeowner. We want to get them to get to know the owner or the office manager, the person that they're going to be having the relationship with from the office side to the office manager or owner will visit the home, meet the the customer, but also spend a lot of time walking through the home, evaluating it from a couple of different perspectives. One, how long is it going to take to clean this home? You know what my costs are going to be in terms of employee cost, labor costs and cleaning, but what are the critical needs that the customer has? We call them hot buttons. What are the hot buttons that this customer, you know, either has not been pleased with from a cleaning service before or is just something that they're very passionate about within their home. We want to make sure we get every ceiling fan dusted every time we are careful around, you know, the priceless antiques or whatever it may be. So those are all recorded in our field management software system. And this is really the tool that provides the sort of conduit that answers your question. The technology system that we use to schedule bill, manage each account is a tracking system for this relationship.
Joe Delatte: So every time a cleaning team goes into that customer's home, they know what those hot buttons are. They know what the conversation was with the client, with the customer they won and they know what they need to do in order to keep that customer happy each time we service their home. And then there's another piece to this system that's really unique and it's a three way texting portal. So what happens is we will send a text to every customer before we, you know, on the day of service and actually a couple of days before, if it's a Monday, it'll come out on a Friday and then again on a Sunday. Hey, we're going to show up at the house. The customer responds to that text. That text thread actually becomes part of their account. So it's a conversation, right? The text thread goes both to the cleaner and to the office manager as well as the customer, so it's a three way conversation. So that relationship actually is an ongoing conversation, not just the one time that the cleaner can refer to each time. And that's how, you know, this thread and this relationship just continues to grow and evolve with that ongoing conversation. The cleaners, the cleaning specials we like to call crime fighters can refer back to that thread. They can see what the history is of the conversation. Make sure that we're dealing with the same, you know, problems or hotspots or or service components each time they go in the house. So it's a really unique way to serve and stay in touch with customers now.
Lee Kantor: But again, the relationship can easily manifest itself for the person that's doing the cleaning is the one that is spending the most time with the customer and the franchisee. If they don't have some sort of a way to check in or to, you know, stay in contact in a meaningful manner. Then you're relying on that person that's in the house as the one if they screw up or something happens as humans have something happen to her that they you know, the franchisee takes the hit, you know, because of the loss to count. So how do you kind of create these kind of moments or at least opportunities for the franchisee to to stay plugged in in a way that isn't, you know, kind of
Joe Delatte: A couple different ways. One one way that we provide from the franchise? Well, aside from the corporate side, a relationship with a third party is really an online relationship manager as well as a customer satisfaction survey component. So after every first clean, that customer will get an email survey from us asking us how we did. And it's a net promoter score system. So the ranking one through 10, how their service was 10 being the best. So that's the beginning of a tracking of their customer satisfaction through this survey system. In addition, as part of our process, the office manager, owner or owner is going to telephone back into that customer and follow up on that service as well. So that's the initial service every quarter. Another one of these customer satisfaction email services is going to go out to each recurring customer. So that, again, from the IT survey, from the actual franchisee, it's a corporate relationship, but it's coming out from the local franchise. So the franchisee is seeing these surveys. They're going over them with their cleaning team. It kind of closes the loop of here's what the customers are saying back to me, to the cleaning team so we know where we're dealing with any problem areas or they're getting the right kind of acknowledgment for a job well done as well.
Joe Delatte: And then as far as the franchisees process as well, there's a quarterly phone call that goes back to every customer as well so that, you know, we've got that ongoing touch and conversation because you're right, it's a critical part of this business model. You've got to give the customer the conduit back to the owner, the office manager. So you know what their perception of the service is. If not, if they can just be humming along, thinking everything's OK. But their customers don't like to complain if they don't have a way to provide feedback, they'll just you know, if something's not going right, it'll just kind of manifest itself into over the course of time, a bad impression of the company. And before you know it, that customer just disappears. So we take these special steps to make sure that that communication stays open and the customer feels like they can get back to us with any kind of feedback. We want it. We need it.
Lee Kantor: Right. And this is something that differentiates you from other other franchises that are in this space, as well as kind of the mom and pop, just the person that's an individual that's out there doing this. You're proactively looking for interaction as opposed to most people who try to avoid any interaction because they might get bad news. So you're trying to kind of nip things in the bud rather than letting them fester?
Joe Delatte: Exactly. We don't we don't want those festering wounds. We want to know exactly what's going on with our cleaning team so that they can get better if that's what needs to be done.
Lee Kantor: Now, you mentioned that part of being a good franchisee is someone who is kind of this empire builder that wants to grow something that doesn't just want a job. How do you kind of go about identifying that person? Are there clues or their breadcrumbs that these people leave that you can kind of identify them and make them aware of this opportunity?
Joe Delatte: Well, you know, we look for somebody who's passionate about the business, who, you know, really you can tell they're an entrepreneur. They want to belong to the process of building a brand, building a business. You know, there's a service component to it as well. You know, there's a difference between, you know, somebody who is expected to show up to work, but and someone who knows that this is going to belong to me. This is going to be something that I'm going to drive, whether they intend to be the hands on office manager or an owner who is building franchises and hiring that person to make those decisions. They know how to make those decisions and manage those kinds of people. A front line people, people, person, people, manager is an important skill, too, because you manage a different kind of person than you may if you're coming out of a white collar, corporate America job. And now you've got a team of front line people that you're managing. There's a different way to relate to them. And we've got the experience to help, you know, franchisees learn that it's you know, it's a learnable, understandable process. So it's something that most people who have a bit of business savvy and have the ability to relate to people can do. We can help with that as well.
Lee Kantor: So now are there parts of the country you're aiming this at? You mentioned, you know, where you're at and kind of what Virginia Beach is. Are you looking to kind of create some clusters around that? Or are you going on the East Coast where you're looking to expand to?
Joe Delatte: We really that's one of the beauties about home clean heroes would be called an emerging brand because we're fairly new in the space. But the business models proven and more importantly, Buzz Franchise Brands has experience launching over, you know, hundreds of franchise operations through our current franchise. And we used to be the owner of Mosquito Joe as well. So the original owners of the studio. So our team has launched a lot of franchises. We really have a footprint that's nationwide. We have the ability and we've built this company to scale quickly. So we have the resources to operate in any state. As far as, you know, the kind of markets that are the best for a residential cleaning service, they're the ones with larger populations. The metros in basically any geographic area of the country works. The beauty of this business model is its year round recurring revenue. For the most part, your employees are working in the homes, which are pretty weatherproof or weather resistant. So in just about any large, larger market, we've got the potential to plant a flag at any point in time.
Lee Kantor: Now for you, what's the most rewarding part about growing an emerging franchise like this?
Joe Delatte: The most important thing, the most rewarding thing is seeing people succeed, so being the entity that helps somebody realize their dreams, build wealth for their family, build a brand within their community that becomes known, that provides financial security and a future for them and their family, that's that's easily the most rewarding thing. I'm a builder. I like to build things when I own my own home services franchise. That was my goal. That's what made me happy, was seeing the operation grow, seeing it become known within the community and just the brand awareness and recognition. So I really enjoy and my team really enjoys seeing our franchises reach that and achieve that market.
Lee Kantor: And then what attracted you to Buzz?
Joe Delatte: Well, a lot of things, the success of the company, but I can tell you the model here with Buzz franchise brands, with all of our brands and home clean heroes in particular, is one of nurturing and coaching the franchise. I was offered the opportunity to build this on a national scale. The leadership team and the development team bus franchise brands. What they did with Miskito Go was the model for what we've built with home clean heroes. But for a franchisee, as I was when I was a franchisee, I needed the coaching and the connection with the business model, both for helping me to to train my employees and to know when the right times were to make the right moves within the business. So we've got that culture of establishing that. The franchise business coach, that's that's the title. It's the person that we have in place. Every 20 franchisees has a has a franchise business coach that they work with directly, and we work with them on a daily basis to make sure their business continues to grow and evolve properly.
Lee Kantor: Now, you mentioned that as a franchisee in a market. The brand or the franchisor handles a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of the launch and kind of the attraction of business, is that launch forever or is it something that is for a period of time. And then at some point it becomes the responsibility of the franchisee to take over that element of, you know, maintaining and growing the business.
Joe Delatte: You have to do two different pieces of it, I guess the launch and the whole entire ramp up piece of it, heavy operation component to that, right. So our franchise business coaches work day to day from the day you sign your franchise agreement through a 63 item checklist that starts with items like your business license, your location. If you're going to be located in a commercial location, your every every particular bit of your business or your LLC or corporate entity or whatever it might be. So everything is a checklist ready to go turnkey. So, you know, we've got everything set up to start you up, including dropping an entire startup kit of equipment, materials that will outfit your first two vehicles and teams on your doorstep 30 days before you open your boom. You're ready to go. So that's all packaged, processed, ready to go as far as the marketing pieces of it, that is ongoing. And the big components from the corporate end are a very comprehensive, targeted direct mail program that all of our franchisees participate in. They'll drop direct mail to their targeted households and their franchise territory three to five times a year based on the strategy and the budget digital advertising component. So its display search marketing and SEO search engine optimization that are executed by our shared services team here at Bus Franchise Brand, the website is set up, ready to go. Day one CEO is already in place and functioning. The search campaigns are in place, ready to go. So you're found when somebody searches for a home cleaning company, whatever it may be searching for, and that is mapped out and planned on an annual basis, executed on a daily basis for the entirety of your franchise agreement.
Lee Kantor: And how many kind of customers can a franchisee handle?
Joe Delatte: With rehab, it's easy to scale, so it's just a matter of how big the franchisee wants to get, you know, within a territory, a target, a good target would be three hundred to three hundred and fifty recurring customers over on an ongoing basis, 300 to 350 customers. We operate in territories with thirty five to forty five thousand targeted households. Those are zip codes or zip code defined within each individual territory. Thirty five to forty five thousand customers. So if you've got three hundred and fifty recurring customers, you've got a one percent market share and that can build you up to a million dollar business.
Lee Kantor: Wow. So that is very enticing for a lot of people. So I guess the sky's the limit for you guys.
Joe Delatte: Yeah, I mean, it's easy to scale as you grow, you add two employees in a vehicle, each vehicle's got two employees in it. Background checks ensured uniformed, professionally trained, ready to go. And as your business grows, you get to the point where that route that team is, is full reaching, reaching their milestones. Add another team, add another couple vacuum cleaners and the equipment and off they go. So, yeah, it does. It scales quickly and easily.
Lee Kantor: And it sounds like you're handling most of the things that would be a hurdle or a hassle for most of the, you know, the operators.
Joe Delatte: Yeah, that's our goal is to make the entire, you know, especially startup experience turnkey. So it's a great opportunity. You know, and I'll mention one other thing, too, where we said we're fairly early in the process of launching franchises well down the road of being built and scaled and ready to go. But there is a special program in place as far as franchise fee discounts for what we call our first five franchises. So for our inaugural league, we call them our franchisees. There's a twenty thousand dollar discount off of the franchise fee. So that's something that definitely if you're if you're interested in space, this kind of business model, I would encourage people to at least talk to us about good stuff.
Lee Kantor: And if somebody wants to have a more substantive conversation, what's the best way to get a hold of you?
Joe Delatte: Easy thing to do. I mean, there's an email address that's an easy one to remember leads at home, clean heroes, dotcom, there'd be one way. You can also go to our website Home Clean Heroes franchise dotcom. So as you pull that up, you'll see a request for a franchise in the form right on the homepage, fill that out, it'll go directly to our franchise development director and you'll get a call.
Lee Kantor: Good stuff. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story today, Joe.
Joe Delatte: I appreciate it. Thanks very much for the time.
Lee Kantor: All right, this is Lee Kantor for Stone Payton. We will see you all next time on Franchise Marketing Radio