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Becoming a Boutique pool service company

Having fewer swimming pools to maintain but making more money sounds like a dream. I’m not going to lie; it sounds like a pretty sweet deal. There are folks across the country that have shifted to this model and are reaping the rewards. If you think this sounds pretty cush, think again. I never said easier – I said fewer pools, but more money in a Boutique pool service.

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Where are all the high end pools at?

Identifying this clientele should not be too difficult. Every county has a place or two where their rich seem to congregate. You probably already know where this is. Easy peasy. A good start to making your way into this neighborhood will be looking like you belong in that neighborhood. The Sanford and Son truck is gonna have to go! And, for goodness sakes, put some nice lettering on that thing, so the neighbors know who you are. Trust me, everyone knows each other’s business, and they will all know about the truck parked in a driveway. Let’s try not to look like you are there to rob the place.

Speaking of Rob

Rob Mathews

Question: You currently charge a fee for pool service that is much higher than the average rate in your area. And… You are doing this in Florida, which is notorious for double-digit monthly fees. How are you able to do this?

In any service industry, you get paid not by what you do, or how much you know. You get paid based on the relationships you foster. How well do you know your customers? Birthdays, children’s names, dog’s and cat’s names, etc… Stand out. This is a SUPER easy one. Wear decent clothes, walk straight, have a clean truck, be well-spoken and professional. Talk to your customers about anything they want to talk about and for as long as they want to talk.

Rob Mathews, Pristine Water, Dunellen Fla.

The local expert

You need to be up to speed on the latest and greatest. That means education as well as keeping abreast of new technologies as they hit the market. If you are going to be catering to swimming pools that have all the bells and whistles, you will need to know how to maintain and repair bells and whistles. These neighborhoods will not be very forgiving, so ‘learning as you go’ is a piss poor plan. You can attend all of the seminars, webinars, and trade shows you like (and you should), but the absolute best way to learn is to work for someone.

Part-time pool tech

I’m not suggesting that you sell your company and then go looking for work. Utilize your network or social media to see if maybe someone in a neighboring county will take you on for a day a week. View it as a mentor/mentee relationship versus a part-time side gig. Why wouldn’t you look in the county you are already in? No one wants to help someone who may try to take customers with them when they go. Be honest, be ethical, and be appreciative of the opportunity. Above all, don’t be a chooch.

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You’ve heard the expression ‘the devil is in the details? Well, how about ‘the bitch is in the kitchen? You will be increasing the odds that you will be working for a ‘Karen’ exponentially. I know it sounds like a horror story, but it’s not. This is the direction we wanted to go, and with good reason. Besides, if there is nothing to complain about, then there is nothing to complain about; the difference between a concierge pool service and your standard everyday run-of-the-mill pool service is about the same as the contrast between a carwash and auto detailing service. Go into this with the right mindset, and it can be extremely lucrative. Try to splash ‘n dash, and you’ll ruin your reputation and fall flat on your face.


Rudy Stankowitz is a 30-year veteran of the swimming pool industry and President/CEO of Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants

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