How Manning Pool Service trimmed the fat to one profitable commercial account
Commercial accounts can be a lot of work for little to no reward. Look for solid management. The neighborhood doesn’t always matter — rich or poor, they are all on budgets. Are they easy to deal with? Polite? Understanding? The budget impacts repairs getting done in a timely manner to keep the pool safe and operational. If your commercial manager is not willing to fix a pump or electrical issue, jump ship now.
Commercial accounts such as fountains or gardens often become problematic as they have timelines and people to impress. Residential accounts tend to be more patient and relaxed when it comes to repairs. You have fewer swimmers in residential, so the water does not get full of TDS, or the chemicals do not burn off as fast. Commercial pools seem to run their heaters constantly in the winter, which destroys the chemicals at their molecular levels and denatures the water. Some residential pools can be the same way, but it tends to be commercials who abuse heaters.
We only deal with one commercial customer who manages several properties (condos, apartments and townhomes) because they want a quality clean for their upscale properties, and they know you get what you pay for. We have built a relationship with this management group. Over the years, one property at a time, they gifted us all their commercial accounts. They could trust we would show up when we said we would; trust that we know our chemistry and would provide a safe swimming environment for their customer; and trust our repair department because we are legal (RAIL certified) to do the job correctly. Above all, they love dealing with our excellent customer service reps who take pride in solving their problems. We do not wish to do business with other apartment complexes, as usually our services are well out of their range. Commercial managers who have several properties will pay for the peace of mind. I would do the same, and do, with our suppliers and vendors. Commercial takes time to find parking, sign in, walk all the equipment back to the pool and get the key to the equipment. The requirements they impose on our maintenance team seem unruly at times. Time is money, and our techs can do more residential pools in the same time it takes to do one commercial pool — unless they are bid correctly and the compensation balances out. Aim for the sky.
Ana Manning Co-owner and COO Manning Pool Service Houston, Texas