Susan Markatos started her residential cleaning company out of her car in 1983, and for the first four years, she did all the work herself. Eventually, she added an employee, but she was still so busy that husband Harry helped out part time. In 2004, he left corporate America to join the business.
More than 30 years later, Markatos Services has 46 employees, and it offers residential, commercial, and institutional services. In response to customers’ demands, Markatos Services also added such offerings as window-cleaning, power-washing, floor-waxing and handyman tasks. You can even get your gutters cleaned.
Thanks to this one-stop-shop approach, clients now range from homeowners, to 55-plus communities, to schools, to rental properties.
Although the company has experienced remarkable growth, it’s rooted in the personal approach that made Susan Markatos so successful. “The majority of our business over the years has come from referrals,” Harry says. Thanks to Vice President Anna Scholl’s efforts, an enhanced online presence has also brought in business. The owners’ daughter, Nichole Peters, meets with every new customer. Peters, the No. 1 sales manager, caters to both commercial and
Unless the schedule changes, clients are always serviced by the same team, who wear photo IDs and arrive in clearly marked vehicles. Employees undergo background checks, drug screenings and character analysis surveys before they’re allowed on a client’s property.
Being a Better Business Bureau accredited business also enhances consumer confidence. “The trust factor is huge in this industry,” Harry says. “We always use the BBB to find good businesses to work with—that’s important since we base our business on referrals.”
The way he sees it, the BBB and Markatos have much in common. “We feel like our ethics and values at Markatos are parallel to what the BBB stands for,” he says. “It’s all about being a reputable business.”