Pool service businesses see increased demand
With more people staying home, pool companies are busier than ever.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, pool cleaning businesses and those remodeling and constructing new pools have seen a boom as more people are laying low at home enjoying their backyards.
Pool Scouts President Michael Wagner said they have seen increases across their whole system, up approximately 46 percent organically in existing business growth within their different markets across the country. They have serviced almost 3,500 pools across the country so far this year.
“We have been deemed an essential business,” he said. “What we have found, especially when people were staying home, is their pool was a place to be with their family. Because we don’t have to face-to-face meet with a customer, we can be in their backyard doing the cleaning. It has been a great thing for our business.”
At the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, Wagner said they added a sanitizing service. It was a bleach solution that was added to every surface staff came into contact with, such as gates and hand rails. He said they offer that service across the country.
To safeguard employees, Wagner said they created standard operating procedures, including personal protective equipment — masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. They also touched upon safe practices outside of work to share how important it was to stay healthy and not to come to work if not feeling well.
Wagner said they also took the time to educate their clients during May, which is Water Safety Month. It became a unique time with everyone being at home.
“For us water safety message is super important,” he said, which included having a designated pool watcher, fencing and alarm systems.
They blended those safety measures with how chlorinated pools kills the COVID-19 virus.
“A clean, well-sanitized pool is not a vehicle to transmit the virus. It kills it,” he said.
Pool Scouts Lehigh Franchise owner Joe Golio said they have received more phone calls and clients since the pandemic began.
“People need their pools taken care of,” he said. “We are working more since the shutdown that we ever have. We work from sun up to sun down.”
Wagner said Golio’s business is growing very fast.
“He is really engaged and involved,” he said. “He is early on in his business, up five times over last year as a business prospective. It’s really good to see that solid constant growth in a region. It hasn’t been isolated to a region . . . (we are in) eight states so far and everybody has seen very solid organic growth.”
Golio said some of their new clients have shared that now that they are home they are seeing what their pool company is doing and are not satisfied. He said that has worked in their favor with more business.
“We come out every week. We are brushing, vacuuming, taking care of the filter and taking care of chemicals,” he said. “We brush the tile, brush the walls, vacuum the bottom. We take pictures of the pool and send an email when we are done to let customers know what we did.”
In addition, clients of Golio’s receives a text message alert letting people know they are on their way. He said it’s another added security to ensure social distancing is being practiced.
Some of his clients have paused service, or respond to the text that it is not a good time to stop by. In addition, he said with some people out of work, payment issues have been expressed. Golio said they have worked with those clients.
Golio’s business already practices social distancing, and only has one service person to a truck.
“We do have masks and gloves available to them. We are isolated for the most part. If we are touching things we are wiping them down,” he said.
It is a family business for Golio, who works with his two sons Carter and Mason, and his wife Laura. Although they are based in Lehigh Acres, they clean pools in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
“Our primary focus in on residential service,” Golio said.
For more information, visit lehighacres.poolscouts.com/ or call (239) 264-1001.
There has also been an splurge in the new and remodeling pools business in Southwest Florida.
Siesta Pebble Owner Michelle Graham-Vamvakaris said when the pandemic hit and information about COVID-19 starting hitting the news, they thought business was going to be super slow.
“We are probably running between 50 to 75 phone calls a week for renovations. We had our best month last month, May. It was our best month to date,” she said.
Siesta Pebble, Inc. does complete backyard renovations and pool finishes. They are a Pebble Tec applicator.
Graham-Vamvakaris said new construction has not slowed down either. Siesta Pebble works with approximately 40 contractors, who are all keeping busy.
The reason for the increase in business, is because people are not taking that cruise, or traveling for vacation, but rather using those funds to create an oasis in their backyard, Graham-Vamvakaris said. In addition, when the beaches were closed, people were enjoying their backyard in their pools.
“Mostly in Cape Coral, the projects consists of new interior finish and tile. The projects, more in Fort Myers and Naples area, we are doing complete backyard renovations,” said Graham-Vamvakaris, which is complete with new screens, decks and outdoor kitchens.
“We have not missed a day of work. We personally have not seen any effects of COVID. I have a team of 40, nobody has been sick, or around anyone that has been exposed to COVID. In the beginning there was a lot of team meetings, more than usual, reassuring them, answering their questions and giving them our outline of what we think the next few moths were going to look like. At the beginning there was uncertainty and our crews were scared,” Graham-Vamvakaris said. “We are definitely blessed. We portray to our team weekly at our meetings that we don’t take for granted the team support and confidence in us.”
To help calm the nerves, and follow guidelines, all of Siesta Pebble’s trucks and vehicles have hand sanitizers and wipes and there is a hand sanitizer station at the office. Graham-Vamvakaris said some clients want to shake hands, but she has to nicely remind them they are in the middle of COVID-19.
Also at the beginning of the pandemic, she said they were emailing the proposals, brochures and literature and not seeing clients at all.
“That has loosened up since the governor has opened us up. We are now going back to properties,” Graham-Vamvakaris said.
For more information, visit www.siestapebble.com, or call (239) 567-1678.
They are at 1126 SE 12th Court, Cape Coral.