January Newsletter 2024

10 Years of Newsletters

Hard to believe really, but this January newsletter marks 10 years of Denver Concierge monthly newsletters.

When we started these things, we weren’t exactly sure where they would go. Honestly, there just aren’t that many things that one can write about housecleaning.

If we did write solely about housecleaning, I suspect we might have only a few readers, so we decided to provide any content that we thought would benefit our clients and partners.

News around the Front Range comes at us pretty quickly, whether it’s a rash of car thefts, or bedbugs (yikes!). We want to help inform our readers about goings on, some serious and some light, which we hope we accomplish.

So, without further ado, we start our journey for another 10 years, hopefully, with you our loyal clients, partners, and casual readers.

This month is full of good content (we think), including Denver’s bedbug infestation, what do to about nasty voice AI scams that are circulating, and how to see if your vehicle has a recall. We suggest checking that one out closely, as the airbag recall by Takata is particularly dangerous.

One of the other common themes of this monthly missive is our gratitude. It’s real, folks. Each day we wake up so thankful to have a business in this crazy economy and world we exist in.

To have a platform to communicate with our clients is an amazing thing and we don’t take it lightly. As always, we welcome feedback, email us here if anything catches your eye or doesn’t seem right.

Thanks for following our humble housecleaning company. We hope to see you here for a long, long time.

Denver’s Bed Bug Problem

What exactly is a bed bug and where do they come from? As a cleaning company, we are constantly on the lookout for these little critters (see above for his mugshot).

Since Denver is quite high (15th nationwide) on the list of these pests, we figured it was a good time to educate everyone on what these things are, exactly, and how to prevent them.

According to pestworld.org, “Bed bugs are small, brownish-red bugs famous for dwelling in beds and feeding on humans while they sleep. They have been associated with humans for more than 3,300 years and are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores, and even public transportation”. 

“Bed bugs feed only on blood and must have regular blood meals to survive and develop. Humans are not bed bugs’ only targets, they also will attack many warm-blooded animals, including poultry and other birds.”

The good news is that they don’t just infest your home unless brought in by someone or, riding along on something, like a blanket, clothes, linens, or even a suitcase.

Then what exactly can we do? Well, vigilance is key. Pay close attention to the items brought into your home. Look at clothing and luggage, especially when coming home from trips.

The bad news is that the City of Denver
Will not investigate bedbug infestations because they’re considered a nuisance and not a public health problem.”

We think that’s fair, but we also think these things are pretty gross and we don’t want them on our teams any more than you want them in your home.

A good guide for recognition and then prevention of bedbugs can be found here.www.pestworld.org.

Of course, if you suspect bedbugs, we would always appreciate letting us know, so we can be vigilant about not letting these little guys hitch a ride with one of our teams. Thanks!

Latest Dangerous Scam 

AI has been in the news a lot lately, and not for all the right reasons.

When we read about the latest scam it caught our attention, and we figured it was appropriate to share with our readers.

Leave it to criminals to try and utilize every advantage they can. The latest? 

A voice.

It seems that about a 3 second clip of someone speaking is enough to create a full AI-cloned voice that can say whatever it is programmed to say.

Sounds innocuous enough, until it is your child on the line, telling you that something horrific has happened. 

That was the case with Gary Schildhorn of Philadelphia who thankfully figured out the scam before it was too late.

His son told Mr Schildhorn that he had wrecked his car and needed $9,000 to post bail. Brett said that his nose was broken, that he had hit a pregnant woman’s car, and instructed his father to call the public attorney assigned to his case.

Alarm bells went off when the money was requested via Bitcoin, which is a sure sign of a scam.

If you aren’t concerned about this, the FTC is, and recently launched a program to educate people about the dangers of AI voice cloning, called the Voice Cloning Challenge.

What exactly can you do? For starters, any payment method that is not standard is a red flag.

We also know of many folks that have a specific code or password that can be asked of friends and loved ones if a call is ever received.

The root of this is usually voice clips on social media, so take heed there too, easy for us adults to say though.

Finally, don’t rely on caller ID, as that can easily be spoofed as well.

LinkedIn actually did a fine article on ways to protect yourself and your families from these scams and it is here.

How Much Income to Buy That Home? 

We vividly remember when $100k a year seemed like a ton of money. Most days, we think it still is. We also thought it was plenty of income to buy a home.

Not if you live in one of these 11 zip codes in and around Denver. 

The magic number? $200k in income to afford a place in the following zip codes and counties, thanks to our friends at the Denver Business Journal.

  • Franktown, Douglas Co. $240,061
  • Denver (80209), Denver Co. $226,978
  • Larkspur, Douglas Co. $218,248
  • Greenwood Village, Arapahoe Co. $208,539
  • Evergreen, Jefferson Co. $210,260
  • Denver (80206), Denver Co. $212,111
  • Arvada (80007), Jefferson Co. $206,248
  • Castle Pines, Douglas Co. $205,770
  • Sedalia, Douglas Co. $204,031
  • Broomfield, Broomfield Co. $202,375
  • Golden, Jefferson Co. $201,461

Wow, how times have changed. From a national perspective, and also from the article, “Nationally, it requires income of at least $100,000 to afford a home in 25% of the more than 23,000 ZIP codes analyzed in the report. By comparison, the median national household income was $74,580 in 2022.”

“Additionally, there are now 10 ZIP codes where it takes an income of $1 million or more to afford a median-priced home.”

“Of the million-dollar ZIP codes, all but Aspen, Colorado’s 81656 were found along the coasts. California accounted for half of the top 10.”

Pretty stunning numbers, really. The complete article courtesy of the Denver Business Journal can be found here.

Important Auto Recalls

We suspect over the years you have probably received a few auto recall notices.

We are a bit embarrassed to say we don’t always treat these with the importance they are due. 

In some cases, the safety of the vehicle is directly affected. From the NHTSA website, “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for those parts of the vehicle that most affect its safe operation (brakes, tires, lighting, etc.) or that protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in the event of a crash (airbags, seat belts, car seats and booster seats, energy absorbing steering columns, motorcycle helmets, etc.).”

“These Federal Standards are applicable to all vehicles and vehicle-related equipment manufactured or imported for sale in the United States (including U.S. territories) and certified for use on public roads and highways.”

Some of the current auto recalls that are circulating involve the Toyota Corolla Cross, Buick Veranos, Chevy Cruzes, and Audi Sportback Quattros. 

Most concerning is a Takata airbag recall which indicates that certain airbags can explode when deployed. This one is particularly dangerous and Consumer Reports did a perfect piece on who could be affected by this.

The conclusion? Pay attention to recall notices, they might be highly safety related. 

If you are concerned about your vehicle, NTSHA has a cool feature where you can enter your VIN number and see if any recalls apply to you. 

Stay safe out there folks!

Monthly & Annual Award Winners

We love this time of year, as we get to recognize our top performers for 2023.

Before we do that, our monthly award winners for December were Maria Zapata, Mary Moreno, Josefina Quinonez, Juana Luna, and Xochitl Tehuacatl.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Socorro Ibarra.

For 2023, we are proud to announce our top Cleaning Associate, Maria Zapata. The runners-up were Josefina Quinones and Aurora Dominguez.

As Team Leaders go, our winner was Mayra Soto. Runners-up were Socorro Ibarra and Juana Olivas.

Huge congratulations to all of you, we are so grateful for your contributions.

Thanks to our clients for letting us be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of December, and for 2023.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Approximately 2-3 billion cleaning supplies are sold each year in the United States. A product for every cleaning need, it seems, with speed and ease of use being paramount.   

Denver Concierge has taken a different tack. We believe housecleaning to be a physical activity that no fast-working product can match for results.

Considering the reputation for high standards that Denver Concierge has consistently earned and maintained over the years, it may be surprising to learn that we use a very minimal amount of products. 

As the first cleaning company in Colorado to be certified by the Green Clean Institute, we realized from the beginning that our ladies’ hard work needed to be supplemented by healthy and safe products. The less is more approach means easier to transport, easier to use, easier to maintain.

To that point, finally, we clean well not because of what we use to clean but because our ladies understand what clean really is.

A plethora of “miracle” products will not rival Denver Concierge ladies on a mission to make your house the best and cleanest it can be.