Growing Business & Customer Service

We’re always trying to find ways to improve our business and our customer service. We’ve grown exponentially in the last couple of years, but with that growth, it became hard to manage the business like it had been. We were so busy, one person couldn’t get back to everyone in a day. Our customers have asked for better customer service, so we’ve responded. We’ve hired two great staff members to run the show. The hard part (or the easy part, depending on which way you look at it) is that they are both named Melissa.

Please join us in welcoming Melissa…and Melissa.

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If you’ve had the pleasure of working with them already in the past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve been pleasantly surprised. We are so thrilled to have them part of our team here at Riddle Services.

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Customer Service is very important to us. Always has been, always will. Our goal here at Riddle Services is that you have a great experience from start to finish. From the first call to one of these team members, to those last moments when your project is complete, we hope it’s a very positive experience. We become friends with our customers because we enjoy what we do and enjoy the people we work with wholeheartedly.

So, when you are ready to have your next home project done, make sure you call Riddle Services and ask for Melissa or Melissa at 419-304-9343. If you want to get on the schedule, that is the quickest way to do it.

We look forward to serving you. Give us a call, or stop in and say hello over here at our office in Levis Commons. Our hope is that you walk away from your experience working with us here at Riddle Services knowing that we work hard to make your (home project) dreams come true. We want you to have a great experience and we value you and your opinions and will make the needed changes.

 

Super-Mom

 

My mom is, and always has been, my biggest fan.

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My mom was incredibly young when she had my brother, sister and I.  And, growing up on Put-in-Bay, people seem to think that everyone has a lot of money. But, we didn’t. I didn’t know as a child, but looking back, we had many struggles that my amazing mother kept from me.

My parents were divorced when I was 5 years old, so she was a single mom raising three kids in her early 20’s. Yet, my mom was always making sure I had whatever I needed.  Every morning I woke up to go to school, and she always had my favorite cereal for me. On the island, we had a 1-hour lunch break to go home and eat, and my mom always had my lunch ready and waiting for me. Dinner was always on the table. I can’t imagine what my mom went through to provide these things.

Mom’s outlook on life was, and always has been, fun.  She is the mom that would constantly allow me to be me. She rarely held me back from much. She allowed me to work at a very young age and made sure she cheered me on all the way.

In High School, I played sports on the island, and you would have thought I was a starter for Duke! After games, I would go home to an amazing meal and listen to my mom telling me how amazing I was and how the other team were a bunch of bullies. To this day, she still has all of my High School pictures and other things from my youth around the house. I never doubted her love.

My mom has one of those personalities that just grows on you. Everyone who knows her feels blessed to be her friend. Yet, she commanded my respect from the beginning. I didn’t talk back to my mom.

In time, my mom’s hard work paid off and she came into some money, and yet in my mind nothing has changed. I love her for this.  I now look back and realize how fortunate I truly am.

The reason my mother is a Super-Mom is due to the fact that I didn’t know anything different. I didn’t know I was poor. I didn’t know we had struggles. I didn’t know what it was like to go without. Yet, she taught me to work hard, to have fun, and to enjoy life. She taught me that being kind, having patience, cheering other people on, and having a great personality can get you far in life.

So, this Mother’s Day Weekend, in honor of my mom, I want to recognize all the moms out there that do what they can. Those moms that sacrifice for their families…that love their kids fiercely…and that work hard. To those moms who don’t get any recognition when they truly deserve it.

Mom, Happy Mother’s Day–I love you!

SR Superman Pink

Preparing to Sell Your Home?

Preparing to Sell Your Home?

The Big Checklist

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Spring and summer are prime real estate season around here. If you are looking to sell your home this year, there are some steps you can take to make the process a whole lot easier. Trying to sell your home is an emotional roller coaster as it is, so doing some pre-emptive steps before listing it will make the process go much more smoothly.

 

At Riddle Services, we help people with this all the time. We know what buyers and agents look at when they are looking at a home. It is essential to have these things taken care of so that you can get top dollar for your home, and more importantly, stay sane through the process

 


There are obvious and not-so-obvious repairs that need to be made. Hiring someone who can look at your home and do an inspection before you put it on the market, can be a huge help. We can give you a list of things that need to be repaired and prioritize them based on your budget.


 

 

There are so many little things that you can do on your own or we can help you with as well. Things like:

  • stained ceilings,
  • stuck windows,
  • broken steps,
  • damaged walls,
  • paint touch-ups,
  • power-washing,
  • burnt out lights, and
  • update landscaping.

They may not seem like a big deal to you, but in the eyes of a buyer, it means the home has not beenlandscape well-maintained and they will have more questions on what else “behind the walls” needs to be repaired. This does not help to sell your home.

The exterior and curb appeal of your home is the first thing a buyer sees. A well-trimmed, healthy lawn and landscape is important. The paint on your home, mailbox and fence needs to be fresh. Even a quick powerwash job on the walkways and stale spots of the exterior of your home will be worth it.

 

And finally, staging your home is important. Clutter is the enemy. You want to create a space that a buyer can see living in with their things. This may mean painting the walls a neutral color, and packing up a lot of your things and hiding them in a storage unit.  Yes, it takes time and is work, but you are going to have to pack it up anyways, so think of it as less work later.


At Riddle Services, we can help you with everything to sell your home. We help with repairs to painting. Powerwashing to staging your home. Yard clean-ups to freshening up the landscaping. We even have an amazing cleaning crew that can come and clean the home after you move out, so that you can spend your time settling into your new place.
Let Riddle Services be your first call when you are ready to sell your home!

Call us now at 419-304-9343.

Spring Cleaning-House and Landscaping

It’s time to walk around your house and do some spring cleaning to your home and landscaping, and make sure everything is in working order this spring.

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Here is a top 10 outdoor spring cleaning list to get you started!

1.) Gutters: Clean out those gutters. Remove all debris so that the spring showers have a place to go.
2.) Downspouts: Make sure your downspouts are connected and are dumping a good 4 feet away from your house. This prevents backflow of water near your foundation which leads to what we all dread—water damage.
3.) Grading: Settling in the ground happens. It is very important to make sure your yard is graded correctly so that water runs away from your home and can’t settle in by it, or worse, run towards it. Newer homes are more likely to have more settling and there can be as much as 12” in a year. So look for this closely to prevent water damage in your home.
4.) Siding: Make sure all of your siding is attached and there are no large cracks.
5.) Windows: Look around your windows. Make sure the caulking and seals are in good shape. If not, it’s a simple fix to re-seal those compared to the not-so-simple fix of having water leaks and damage next time we have strong rain storm.
6.) Roof: Look for folded or missing shingles. Call Riddle Services if you do not feel comfortable getting up on your roof. We do this daily and know exactly what to look for. Fixing a few bad shingles can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.
7.) Deck: Make sure there is no sagging or settling that has taken place during all the temperature changes over the winter. Look at see if it needs another coat of stain to prevent it from rotting.
8.) Fence Posts: Walk around and make sure they are all secure. Wiggle them—they shouldn’t give. If they do, a strong wind could take them down. Again, doing some preventative maintenance on these is much less costly.
9.) Mailbox: Again, make sure that the snow plow didn’t bump your mailbox and loosen it from its base. Make sure it’s in good working order. You can view the USPS rules and regulations here.
10.) Spray for Bugs: Now is a great time to spray for bugs. Go around the entire exterior an interior of your home to prevent those nasty bugs and spiders that we all dread seeing in the corners of our homes. Be sure to spray in your basements, crawlspaces and garages.

Preventative maintenance is huge! Believe me…I have seen worst case scenarios with water damage. Going through this spring cleaning checklist will save you time, money and headaches!

If you need help with any of these services, you know you can always call Riddle Services at 419-304-9343.

Spring Cleanup Time!

This is such an unpredictable month with snow and ice to nice, warm sunny weather. But, there is a lot you can do to get ready for spring now! And with nice weather right around the corner, now is the time to tackle some small projects!

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Clean up those flower beds

  • Cut back your summer perennials before they start to bud to prepare for new growth. Prune them to about 4-5” in height and 2-3” in height for grasses. But wait on those spring bloomers until after they flower.
  • Remove annuals if you never got around to it last fall.
  • Look at your beds and see if it’s time to thin out some crowded areas. You may need to transplant and fill some bare spots. Plants like hostas and daylilies are easy to dig up and transplant. We recommend leaving at least 3 stems per clump.
  • Make sure you remove leaves and other dead plant material from your flower beds. Then, add some good fertilizer to your existing plants. When those spring rains come, it will soak right in.

Tree Trimming

  • Now is the time to trim overgrown pines/evergreens and other trees back to where you want the growth to be.

Yard Maintenance

  • Grass in our area usually starts growing in April. But now is a good time to prepare your yard if any seeding needs to take place. Plows may have wrecked an area of your yard, or you may have some thin areas from disease or other reasons. Prep these area by raking the area and laying down some compost. All you need is ½” of compost to help maintain moisture for the new seed. New seed can be laid in just a few short weeks!
  • This is also a great time to spread your first round of lawn fertilizer. Preventing crabgrass and having a beautiful green lawn all summer long starts now.

Power Washing

  • Now is a great time to powerwash your driveways, sidewalks/walkways and any area of your house that needs it. It’s amazing how fresh and new these areas look with a good cleaning.

Take the time now to do these things and your house will be ready to go when spring truly hits. It you need help with any of these, please give Riddle Services a call and we have a crew that can swing in and take care of this in no time at all!

Call Riddle Services at 419-304-9343.

How do WE do it?

IMG_7350I can’t tell you how many calls I take from people stating how amazing my crew is.

I get asked all the time, “How do you do it”….how do you get an hourly employee who is often working in unideal conditions, doing physical labor, to WANT to go the extra mile?

The answer is actually fairly simple.  Teach it.  Model it.  Expect 110%.  Use “We”.

 

TEACH IT:

Here’s the deal. Anyone can do construction, landscaping or restoration if they really want to.  The skills can be taught, the tools can be bought, but the positive ATTITUDE must be caught.  I teach my crew, and they teach each other, to look for opportunities to provide that extra edge, the “it” factor that separates us from everyone else. Find a way to go above and beyond each day, and do it.

 

MODEL IT:

As the saying goes, a team is only as good as their leader.  I can’t expect my crew to give 110% unless I do the same.  I believe in leading by example, maintaining a positive attitude, and empowering my crew to go into a job with confidence, a smile and a customer focused mindset.  My guys know to never call me if a customer needs or wants something a little different than what was originally planned. Why?  Because they KNOW what I will say—“DO IT!”  Whatever it takes.  I feel the biggest mistake a leader can make is to become detached from what his employees do.  Sometimes you have to set down the paperwork and get out the tools to be reminded of who you are. When the boss works alongside of the team, the bar gets raised and amazing things happen.

 

EXPECT NOTHING LESS THAN 110%:

We always look for an opportunity to add value to the job we are doing.  Go the extra mile.  Know the customer and make sure they know you. I won’t settle for anything less than the best, because I know my crew is capable of it and I want our customers to expect it. And mess-ups happen in this line of work.  We have a motto of ‘we are only as good as what we do next’.  Own the mistake, fix the mistake, and make it better than it would have originally been. THIS is what separates a “good” from a “great” company.

 

USE “We”:

This company is not “My” company….it is “Our” company. Each employee is part of something bigger then themselves. “We” are Riddle Services.  “We” are Riddle Restoration.  “We” are a team. On the job, and off the job. When my workers are happy and enjoy their work environment as a team, our customers receive a higher level of care and customer service. Our crews develop bonds and friendships that reach outside of working hours because we have fun and enjoy what we do together.

I talk to my staff about the big picture and where “We”, as a company, are going. They need to know that each of them have played a role in getting Riddle Services and Riddle RestorBreakfast groupation to where it is today, because without them, we would be nothing.  I preach all the time to every one of them that the skills and the relationships that they are building now will be used later in life and in whatever job they do.  It’s not just about Riddle, it’s about creating life time relationships, positive work ethics and lifelong skills.

 

So “how do I do it”….

I teach my team by example, to give nothing less than 110%, so at the end of the day it isn’t “Me” it is “We” that has exceeded the customers’ expectations!

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

A few weeks ago, my dad retired after 40 years of service to the state.  As I sat at his retirement party and listened to him, and the many others that spoke about him, it brought on so many thoughts and memories.  It made me realize that this is how Riddle Services came to be and where we are as a company today.

I think I need to start with a little background about myself. My upbringing was a little different than most. I was born and raised on Put-In-Bay, and island out in the middle of Lake Erie. The “locals” consisted of a very small number. There were only 3 other girls in my class at school. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that I had a unique childhood. My mom was a child herself when she had my brother, sister and I at ages 13, 15 and 18.  As you can imagine, that brought on its own challenges. Neither of my parents had High School degrees at the time–they later went back and got them. So, growing up, there was never much money available.

I started working when I was quite young–probably 9 or 10. My first job was peeling fat off the chickens at the Chicken Patio. I also started making their potato salad and famous home-made sauce for the chicken. Around that same time, I started to help my dad and step-mom clean the school every evening.  While my friends were out playing and doing their own thing, I spent my “free time” working.

From this young age, work ethic was instilled in me.  I used all my own money to pay for everything since my parents really didn’t have much money. I realized pretty quickly that if I worked hard, I had money to do the things that I wanted to do, and buy the things I wanted to buy.

As I grew up, I used to spend the weekends working with my dad.  We would wake up and go over to work at the State Park and the Fish Hatchery.  We would work from morning until night.  I remember asking my dad, “Hey, when’s lunch?” And his response was, “lunch is when the work is done, and done right.”

Throughout my youth, my dad would do different things to challenge me and to see if I was really understanding what he was doing and trying to teach me. When we were cleaning the schools, he would periodically leave things around to see if I was paying attention to the details.  I will never forget the time he told me in passing, “When I have two people come in for an interview, I set a piece of paper on the ground.  Both of those people may have exactly the same skill sets, but it’s the person that picks up that piece of paper that separates themselves from everyone else.”  I’ve never forgotten that. It’s instilled in my mind that attention to detail and working hard are some of the most important things on a job, and it has made me and Riddle Services what it is today.

With a childhood like mine, I could have had a lot of “excuses” to not excel at what I did. But, it never seemed to be an option in my mind.  As I grew up, I worked a lot of hours. I was given the opportunity to start in management when I was very young.  The opportunities grew from there, and here we are today. We are constantly working hard and trying to improve Riddle Services to be the best that it can be.  One of the things I try to instill in my workers on a daily basis is that hard work wins every time.

As I sat back at my dad’s retirement party, looking around a room filled with people there for him after he had served 40 years with the state, I just smiled and got a little teary-eyed. I was thinking this right here summarizes what hard work looks like—dedication, commitment and treating people right. My dad did it the right way. He worked hard. He took care of people. He always gave his best.

At the party, my dad took the microphone and went around and talked about each person in that room—who they are, what they did and how he appreciates them. My dad connected with each one of those people and understands it’s all a team effort. He made it clear that he is who he is, and has accomplished what he has, because each person in that room is a valuable part of the team. There is nothing my dad wouldn’t jump in and do that he asked his workers to do. It wasn’t about him. Listening to my dad and his commitment to all these people, and the state, was just one of those great moments in life. Yes, he was the state employee of the year. And, yes, he saved so much money by doing things himself vs. calling in people. But it wasn’t for his benefit, it was because he truly enjoyed what he was doing.

That’s why I’m dedicating this first post to him. To the man who taught me these important values in life. To the man I hope to be one day. To the man who gave me the drive to continue making Riddle Services better every day. My hope is that our customers feel the same way every time we work with them. That the relationships we build with them make the jobs more personal for us. That we will work hard and pay attention to the details. That it isn’t about us, but it is always a team effort.  And that we will continue striving to be better than we are today.

 

Landscaping

We offer an entire selection of outdoor lawn and landscaping services. We have over 30 listed services, if you can think of it and/or need it – we can do it!

Lawn fertilizing, Tree & shrub spraying, Deep root tree & shrub fertilizing, Mole control, Rodent baiting, Insect control in lawns, Perimeter pest control sprays around buildings. Dutch Elm disease prevention, Oak wilt prevention, Emerald Ash borer treatments, Fruit reduction for various trees, Growth regulators, Plant nutrient deficiencies, Soil testing, Trunk injections, No spray child and pet safe applications for schools hospitals parks etc. Firewood, Vegetation control for parking lots fence lines, Weed control for ponds dikes etc, Weed control for flower beds, Sucker control on Crab Apple trees, Over top kill of unwanted grass in shrubs, Weed control for lawns, Mulching and landscaping, Mowing, Property maintenance, Shrub trimming, Slit Seeding, Over Seeding, Lawn Renovation and Lawn Grading.

Don’t see something you need, give us a call and we’ll do what we can to make it happen!

419-304-5036 or 419-873-8606