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    Meet our AAA House Managers: Darwin

    Posted by Sophie Bousset on Oct 29, 2019 12:44:25 PM
    Sophie Bousset
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    Our House Managers are at the heart of our service. They are the ones visiting member homes, effecting preventive maintenance and repairs, giving advice, answering questions on a daily basis, and just all around saving the day they're our ambassadors out in the field. As such, we're really particular about who we hire and think you will appreciate them just as much as we do. To kick off our new Meet our AAA House Managers Series, we interviewed one of our earliest hires, Darwin.

    QUESTION: Hi Darwin! How did you get into home maintenance? 

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: When I moved to the U.S., a friend told me and my wife about an opening at a home on a military base. It was for a company that took care of the roads and maintained the grounds on the base. I started off doing that and, less than a year later, my manager told me he liked my work ethic and invited me to join the maintenance team. What he didn’t know was that I was already tagging along with the maintenance crew and learning the ins and outs of that role. In less than a year, I was promoted to that team. We prepared vacant homes for military families: fixed anything that had broken in the house, did touch-ups, repaired walls, etc. We made them move-in ready within a week. Less than a year after that, my boss promoted me again, to service this time. Instead of preparing homes, I would now be receiving calls and orders from customers. I did that for 6 years.


    QUESTION: What's your area of expertise? 

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: I can do a little bit of almost everything I'm a jack of all trades. In particular, I love to learn and troubleshoot HVAC systems. I find it challenging. Sometimes you have to really troubleshoot before you figure it out. So many things can go wrong. I love that it’s not a repetitive job. There’s a challenge every time!


    QUESTION: What’s your favorite tool or equipment to work with?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: My impact drill. Whoever invented that tool should get a medal. They’re powerful, cordless, and versatile. You can use it as a drill, a nut driver, and more. I use it the most.

     


    QUESTION: How do you take care of your own home?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: Lots of preventive maintenance! I frequently check that the faucets aren’t leaking and are working properly. I check the toilets too. I’m really big on water because it can cause so much damage. Plus, running water is a waste of money. A leak in your faucet is like a leak in your pocket!


    QUESTION: Have any tips or advice for homeowners?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: I often teach members how to prevent their garbage disposal from getting clogged and smelling bad. I do the following at my home: I use mesh you can put in your drains to catch pieces of food for composting. You can also plug the sink, fill it with hot water, add soap to make it bubbly, then when it’s half full open the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. Soap will help get rid of oil and grease. Turning the disposal on gives it pressure. The soap also cleans the pipe which gets rid of the smell.

    Here's another tip: before running your dishwasher, run your kitchen sink faucet’s hot water so your dishwasher starts with hot water. You’re priming your line with hot water. If you don’t do that, you just get cold water at the beginning of your wash cycle.


    QUESTION: What's your favorite song or music to listen to while doing work around your house?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: I’m an old school guy. I like New Wave and Nat King Cole. My favorite, though, is holiday music. Have you ever tried to look up which country celebrates Christmas the longest? Christmas in the Philippines starts on September 1st and ends in February. We call them "-ber" months. They go all out with holiday decorations over there!


    QUESTION: What’s your favorite thing about working for House Manager?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: Whenever I go to the office and have a conversation with my bosses, Jeremy and Tiffany. They’re really open to new ideas and suggestions. Out of the entire team, I’m the only one who’s certified for HVAC and Tony, another House Manager, is really eager to learn so whenever we have an AC call I let Tiffany know so he can go with me. It's great that they support our growth and development like that.


    QUESTION: What’s been your proudest moment in this line of work?

    Darwin HeadshotDarwin: Whenever I see a member who’s satisfied. After I finish each job, I test everything with the member, show them what I did, ask whether they have any questions, and make sure they're satisfied. If the member’s happy, I’m happy.

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    There you have it! We hope you enjoyed this interview with Darwin and got a better sense for our team. We'll be interviewing more of our House Managers over the coming months, so please leave any questions you would like us to ask them in the comments below.

     

    Topics: House Manager

     

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    The AAA House Manager blog offers tips and advice on all things related to home maintenance, including your seasonal to-do-list items and ways to protect your biggest financial investment: your house.

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