Getting the Most Out of ProperHands (for New Customers)

Thinking of booking a cleaning session with us? Here are some suggestions and tips based on our experience to help you with your decision-making process as well as getting the most out of your booking!

Keeping an Open Mind

Engaging a new cleaner can be scary. You are basically inviting a stranger into your home for the first time, and literally display all your mess to him/her. Trust us, it can be as terrifying for the cleaner as well. Because of that, both home owners and cleaners tend to be cautious and wary when meeting for the first time. We hope that everyone can be as open-minded as possible and give it some time for the both of you to get used to each other, and for the cleaner to get used to your home. That is how we advise our cleaners as well when they are slightly apprehensive when faced with uncertainty.

Especially if you have hired someone to clean your home previously, please do not expect the same kind of behaviour and personality, or even the same style of cleaning as your previous cleaner as they are entirely different people. If you have certain preferences as to cleaning style and order, do communicate that with the cleaner and I’m sure that all the cleaners will try their best to adapt to you. Of course, we’re not asking you to tolerate behaviour that you’re uncomfortable with. If that does happen, do let us know and we’re speak to the cleaner or find someone else more suitable for you.

Allocating Enough Time for Cleaning Tasks

We understand that time is precious and some of you would like the cleaning to be completed as quickly as possible or you might not be willing to pay for more hours and thus have booked the shortest duration possible for your cleaning session. However, this normally doesn’t give cleaners enough time to complete the cleaning tasks, thus leaving customers with a bitter taste with a half-completed cleaning.

That is the reason why we have recommended hours for homes of a certain size. Typically it takes a cleaner an hour to vacuum and mop a 3-bedroom (4 or 5-rm HDB) home. Bathrooms take around 30-45 min each and the kitchen usually occupies 1 hour. If you’re looking at ironing, a rough average would be around 10 pieces of clothing ironed per hour. We’re not saying that all cleaners will clean at the same exact speed nor this applies to homes with different levels of cleanliness. That is why usually for the first two cleaning sessions, it might take longer than expected to complete all the cleaning tasks.

If you’re clear about the exact tasks and the standard time it needs for cleaning, please feel free to adjust the duration. If you’re not, we would advise you to book with our recommended duration and if there’s a need to, we can always adjust the duration after the first few sessions once you are used to the cleaner and the cleaner is used to your home and preferences.

Using the Right Tools for the Right Jobs

We’ve written about using the right tools for window cleaning to ensure safety for our cleaners. This also directly affects how clean the windows have been cleaned and how fast the task is completed. That is the reason why we also request that home owners provide the right tools for the right jobs. A good example is using a vacuum cleaner vs a broom. It is common knowledge that a vacuum cleaner is a much more comprehensive cleaning tool than a broom, therefore your expectations have to be lowered if you are only providing a broom for the cleaner. Another example is using a mop vs a cloth to wipe the floors. We have encountered families where the floors have always been wiped clean using a cloth, and although that can definitely done, the cleaner would have to spend more time and physical effort to get it cleaned. In the long term, some cleaners might not be willing to use this method for long as it puts extra strains on their backs and legs, thus choosing to quit the job. Providing the right tools and cleaning agents is important to ensure that the cleaner is able to do the cleaning in an efficient and effective way.

Booking for A Service on the ProperHands Website

If you’re still not familiar with our booking process, our website allows you to simply sign up and book for a cleaning in just 3 simple steps when you click the Book a Cleaning button:

  1. Sign up with your contact details and address
  2. Choose your service frequency (one-time or recurring), appointment timing and cleaning duration/tasks.
  3. Make payment by entering your credit card.

All these can be done within 5 minutes. Our system makes it easy and convenient for you to make payment so you don’t have to send cash manually every time a cleaning is done as well as this is handled automatically. We are currently Braintree as a payment gateway since our new website was relaunched in September 2016 and this is the same gateway that companies like Uber uses to store your credit card details. All your credit card information is stored in the Braintree Vault and not with us, therefore we do not have any access to your credit card information. Our new website also allows you to re-schedule or cancel your cleaning sessions without the need to contact us directly. This request will be sent directly to the cleaners for them to respond.

Conclusion

When you engage a cleaner, you are effectively building a new relationship. For a relationship to bloom, it’ll have to be nurtured with care and concern. This is similar with working with cleaners. We hope that the cleaners are given the respect that they deserve as they are human beings like you and me. To make it work, both you and the cleaner have to put in effort to make it work, and that includes proper communication and understanding. This builds trust and is the foundation for a long and lasting relationship. Many of our customer-cleaner relationships has been blossoming due to the right amount of effort being put in and that has definitely created happiness and satisfaction for everyone.

Cleaner Interview: Choo Hoay Si

This series of posts focus on ProperHand’s unsung heroes, the cleaners. These interviews allow us to share a little about the lives of the hardworking people who lovingly take care of our homes.

Tell us a little about yourself.

hoay-si-article-photoMy life and hobbies are quite simple and boring actually (laughs). My current life revolves around accompanying my husband to supervise his food business, doing assignments with Properhands, and handling housework at home. During my free time, I usually watch Korean dramas using my smartphone or do household chores at home. For some reason, I love to do cleaning a lot as I find satisfaction in seeing things at home being sparkling clean!

What made you want to join ProperHands as a cleaner?

I’ve mainly worked in the hospitality industry in the past after obtaining my diploma in hospitality management back home. After I got married, I’ve switch into something less time demanding such as admin to balance both work and family obligations.  In the recent years, I’ve tried something new by starting my own florist business as one of my interest is in floral arrangement. However, due to irregular working hours and due to orders peaking at certain periods of the year, I’ve decided to fold the business to take a break while looking for something new. That is when I saw ProperHands recruitment on some online job portal and decided to go for it!

Cleaning as a hobby? That’s interesting. Could you elaborate more?

Well, my husband is an avid collector of statues so my home is full of those at home, big and small. If I don’t clean them regularly, dust and dirt can easy accumulate on them and no one wants to see that! To prevent this, I clean them almost every day and while I’m on it, I thought I could also do other housework too. Thus, I always see my home in tip top clean condition. Perhaps seeing those statues in perfect condition made me feel a sense of accomplishment which leads to my interest in cleaning. My husband, on the other hand, thinks that I’m cleaning our home too frequently and that disturbs him a little (laughs). Therefore, in order to please him by not cleaning our home so frequently, I’ve joined ProperHands to clean other homes to pursue this hobby instead while also earn some extra cash!

I see. How do you find with working with ProperHands so far?

I find it great! Aside from doing what I love to do, I find the time flexibility aspect of the job a big plus point for me. I’ll get to choose which day I am available for assignments and ProperHands will contact me if there’s any suitable jobs that is convenient for me. This allows me to manage my commitment with family and friends better as I can freely adjust my schedule with ProperHands.  Aside from time flexibility, I find the non-repetitive nature of the job highly attractive. As I get to clean different homes on different days of the week, it feels more interesting compared to my old office jobs.

 

The Window Cleaning Dilemma (Part 2)

Previously we talked about the dangers of high rise window cleaning in Singapore and the steps that MOM has taken to protect the foreign domestic workers when performing this task. We’ve also mentioned that we expect our customers and cleaners to observe the same safety precautions while cleaning the exterior windows.

However, because of safety reasons, not all of our cleaners might be willing to clean the exterior windows. Or you might not have allocated sufficient timing for the cleaners to clean the windows as it’s a very time consuming task and you require him/her to finish up other more important cleaning tasks like ironing. Is there an alternative way to get your windows cleaned?

Because of technology, automatic window robotic cleaners have started appearing in the market a few years ago and have been a welcomed addition to robotic vacuum cleaners. There are several robots available for purchase in Singapore and some function differently than others.

Hobot 188

The Hobot 188 window cleaning robot uses 2 alternating suction pads to traverse the surface of your window pane, with 1 suction pad activated while the robot swivels around to clean the glass using the attached micro fibre cloth and to position the other suction pad in place for the subsequent repeating action to follow. There is also a vacuum which sucks out any dust on the surface. This model comes with the fully automated feature as well as a remote control for you to clean more specific parts of your window.

Evovacs Winbot 950

The Evovacs Winbot 950 is the highest end model in the Winbot range of robotic window cleaners. This is also known for its range of robotic floor vacuum cleaners, the Deebot. The Winbot 950 also utilizes a suction cup to adhere to the glass and moves in a straight line, turning 90 degrees when it hits and detects the window frame or even the edge of a frameless glass. Similar to the Hobot, the Winbot also has a remote control function which allows you to control the movement of the robot cleaner.

MyWindoro

The final robotic window cleaner we’re introducing here is MyWindoro. Using a different method to keep the machine on the glass, MyWindoro uses magnets to keep the 2 parts of the unit together and moves in a zig-zag pattern to clean the glass pane. Now you might think that this is a smart way to clean both sides of the glass at the same time. On the contrary, each part has a different function, one acting as the navigator while the other side does the cleaning, carrying the spinning pads as well as the detergent.

These robots represent a new era in home cleaning and automation. With their invention, it does seem that our lives have become simpler and safer. That being said, there are definitely ways which these robots can improve on such as better battery life, lowering the noise output and also reducing the size of these robots.

To purchase these robots, you can find them and other similar products online at e-commerce sites like Lazada. If you’re looking at a live demonstration of some of these robots, check out the electronics superstores or some of the local DIY stores such as SelfFix DIY.