Playing the Long Game

Payan Pool Service in California committed to customer experience

Javier Payan was just 21 years old when he started Payan Pool Service in 1987.

That year, his previous employer offered him the chance to purchase a pool route. He had never considered owning a pool service company, but the opportunity enticed him. The only problem was the cost: $23,000. “I did not have that kind of money,” Payan recalls.

Thankfully, his boss allowed him to pay it off over a couple of years. 

His plan was to be an owner/operator with no employees, but the company would grow to 24 employees. Payan Pool Service provides pool maintenance services throughout San Diego County including pool cleaning, repairs, equipment installation and some pool renovation services. 

Every week, the Payan Pool Service team maintains 10 million gallons of pool water, with service technicians cleaning more than 21,000 pools throughout San Diego County each year. In 2020, even amidst the global pandemic, the company repaired nearly 3,200 pools and spas. 

The company consists of Payan as the CEO, as well as an office manager; a pool cleaning and service department with managers and service technicians; and a pool repair department that includes a manager and five repair technicians. 

Pool service, maintenance and repair
Number of employees
Number of weekly pools serviced
Number of daily pool repairs

Since starting the company, Payan says he’s always strived to be professional and do things better than anybody else. He holds a certification in water chemistry from the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, the same organization from which he received the 2002 Region 7 Pool Technician of the Year award. He has also presented at numerous expos across the nation; is founding president of the San Diego County Association of Pool and Spa Professionals; and is treasurer and CFO for the Pool and Spa Apprenticeship and Training Committee.  

Additionally, Payan’s company was the first qualified employer in California to be approved and sanctioned to train apprentices through the PSATC’s Pool and Spa Apprenticeship Academy. 

Payan says pool service is the company’s biggest revenue stream. “To complement that, we can pretty much handle most repair, upgrades or remodeling opportunities that our clients will need,” he says. “With that, our main focus is to offer solutions to all of our clients’ pool problems and to be there for them when they need us.”

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The company’s main goal is to take care of clients as best as they can. 

“We prioritize our service base,” he says. “It is important to have a real person in the office to professionally answer the phone. And when we get busy, we stop taking on any new business so we can best serve our clients.”

Payan, whose favorite part of the job is helping people and solving problems, adds that it’s also important to motivate his employees and treat them well. To do so, the company hosts several social events throughout the year, like baseball game outings, Christmas parties and catered gatherings. 

“On a one-on-one basis, I am always available to answer any questions or to have a personal conversation [with my employees],” Payan says. “Of course, we also treat our team members with respect and pay them well.”

Moving forward, Payan plans on stepping back from the company a bit in the next few years to travel and to enjoy life to its fullest. Yet his commitment to Payan Pool Service remains the same. 

“Professionally, despite the inflation issues and economic uncertainty, there are a lot of great opportunities before us in the pool industry,” he adds. “I feel we are in a great position to adapt and thrive in the next economic cycle.”

Being a Latino Pool Pro

Payan says he is very proud of his Latino heritage, noting: “I have always considered myself as an American first and foremost.” Payan’s parents are first generation immigrants from Mexico who “came to this country in pursuit of the American Dream,” he says. “They made sure their children were born here and got an education. To that end, I hope that I have made my parents proud and am honoring their dream and sacrifices.” Payan advises that fellow Latinos in the industry set lofty goals for success. “As Latinos, we have all had our own struggles,” he says. “We live in the greatest country in the world. Working hard, making good decisions and getting the best education you can is a recipe for success. The only limitations you have are the ones you place on yourself.

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