WHEN Vicki Williams says the family cleaning business started by her parents in Carindale 25 years ago “flies under the radar” she is not joking.
That fledgling business – the one Vicki grew up with and learned about – has evolved into one of Australia’s biggest now employing thousands, not just in cleaning jobs, but also in administration.
And it operates right here in Victoria Point, where more than 80 dedicated staff are employed organising schedules, checking on clients, co-ordinating cleaning jobs and generally ensuring things run like clockwork.
The action is not restricted to Redlands Coast clients either – the call centre is tasked with ensuring operations in Victoria, for instance, are operating efficiently, or checking the newest client in NSW has been allocated a cleaner and that Western Australia-based homeowners are being serviced thoroughly.
All of that applies throughout the nation, as there is an office in every State and Territory as well as in New Zealand.
The business – Absolute Domestics – is a Gold Sponsor of Redland Bombers, where, of course, Vicki’s husband Adrian has entrenched himself as one of the club’s all-time great players.
Adrian last year won his second successive Dowling Medal as the Bombers’ best and fairest and he was also named in the NEAFL Team of the Century for the second time enhancing his climb towards club immortality.
“Willo” is usefully employed in the business too, concentrating his energy on the Kiwi operation, after parking his mariner’s licence to one side although he still manages to command a Brisbane River City Cat every so often
But we should get back to Vicki.
Not in her wildest dreams as a young girl helping her parents and then later when she became more meaningfully involved helping mum and dad – Ron and Joy Vess – did she dare dream their “little business” would develop into the behemoth it has become today.
“I started working with mum and dad when I was 15, doing general administration at first, but discussing every single night at home how best to deal with clients.
“I think I was trained in about two days.
“I started answering phone calls, then doing customer service and my role then evolved into managing every branch throughout Australia.
“We now employ almost 5000 cleaners Australia-wide and in New Zealand, which Adrian and I look after, we’ve got another 600 or more on the books.
“Having that many people work for us throughout Australia is a really big accomplishment,” Vicki said.
Even in Redland, the business employs 300 cleaners.
So, while Ron and Joy envisaged an opening for an efficient, trustworthy and reliable cleaning service – and they can still be found helping out in the Victoria Point office – the fact it has taken off with such a significant force over a 25-year span is a tad mind-boggling.
Even to them.
When the business was showing signs of “exploding” Vicki enrolled for a Business Degree, where she learned the mechanics of economics and accounting, but still regards the day-to-day practicality of on-the-job training as the area from where she benefitted most.
It was the “dark days” of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 that sent shivers down the spines of some of Australia’ most successful business organisations that, in an amazing twist of irony, set the forces of Absolute Domestics into a heightened state of awareness.
“What it did was it meant people were trying to get back into full-time work where they could and when they did it meant our service was called upon more and more,” Vicki explained.
“It also meant we were able to provide work for people who had lost their jobs.”
So, it turned into a bit of a win-win for Absolute Domestics and for hundreds of people.
“We gave people the time to go back to work on the one hand and we were able to give people work with the other,” Vicki said.
“It was really a very busy time,” Vicki said, failing to add that it’s still a hectic operation to this day.
So, what are the nuts and bolts of Absolute Domestic?
It is a booking agency that provides the wherewithal for cleaners to operate efficiently in your home.
From police checks to training and insurance, Absolute Domestics takes the hard work out of finding the right cleaner to help with the household chores.
All you need to do as a client is to decide how many hours you require based on your budget and what chores you’d like covered in that time.
The point of contact are the area co-ordinators.
They painstakingly act as a referral agent matching trustworthy and reliable cleaners to individuals, families or busy homes needing help with the household chores.
The most popular service is the three-hour weekly, where cleaners pop in and give the home a thorough spruce-up, freeing the homeowner from those chores which might occupy too much of their weekends.
“The thing is we provide a service that really suits people from all walks of life,” Vicki says.
“The client receives something really tangible and our cleaners can work when it suits them and if that means 12 or 15 hours a week, then that’s the hours they work.
“And I’ve got to tell you – they love doing it.”
Vicki and Adrian certainly take advantage of their business.
With bouncing and bubbly six-month-old, Isla, joining the family the couple’s very busy lifestyles mean they’d really be silly not to.
For more information about Absolute Domestics click here