April 26, 2015

Take Children to Work Home-Tech Style

Steve and SonyaBack in 1993, Take Your Daughter to Work Day was established as a day of celebration and a way to celebrate women in the work force – in 2003, the celebration grew to include boys – and is now recognized as Take Your Children to Work Day. It’s always the 4th Thursday of April, and this year fell on April 22nd. But, here at Home-Tech, our President & CEO, Steve Marino has been taking his daughter, Sonya, to work every day since she was 7-years old. “Well, technically, Dad took me to work every day, because in the beginning, Home-Tech operated out of our house,” says Home-Tech CFO, Sonya Sawyer.

Bright Beginnings

When she was little, her sister had to move into Sonya’s room to make room for Steve’s office. And even at that young age, when her Dad went on service calls on weekends, Sonya would go with him, “It was fun,” she remembers. “I’d hand him his tools while he was working on an appliance, so I’d know the difference between a flat head and a Phillip’s head screwdriver. The customers were always really nice – sometimes, they’d even feed me,” she laughs.

The Tradition Continues

Sonya says she loved having quality time with her Dad – and seeing him help people. As a teenager, Sonya worked at Home-Tech after school and on weekends. She became a CPA and worked at a large firm, but in 1999, her Dad offered her the CFO position. “He really treats me like any other employee,” says Sonya. “But, then again, everyone’s treated the same because we’re one big family here at Home-Tech. We take pride in being a locally owned and operated business.”

Family Pride

These days, Sonya’s been known to bring her 7-year old daughter, Chloe to work – and her 10-year old son, Brandon, is already getting his hands dirty by helping out in the warehouse. “He’s already told me that when he grows up, he wants to work at Home-Tech,” she says, smiling.

At Home-Tech it really is all in the family. From management, to our team, and to the customer – family pride means quality work. So if you take your daughter or son to work – you never know – they might end up working just down the hall from you someday.

Home-Tech Gets 5 Stars for Appliance Service

Home-Tech ReviewsI am rating Home-Tech five stars out of five. I am also rating the appliance service person who came to my home five stars out of five. Here is why….

The company representative I spoke with (Pat, I think) when I first called told me exactly what rates, pricing, and time frames I could expect.

The follow-up was exactly what the home base representative told me to expect…. they called early in the day to give me a two-hour window within which the service person would arrive, and I was called by the service person when he was within ten minutes of arriving at my home.

The service person arrived in a company vehicle, was clean cut, in a white shirt and khaki slacks, with identifying patches and a name badge on his uniform.air condioning service technician

The service person had already been briefed correctly on the description of the problem I’d given to the base representative, confirmed that with me, and got right to work. His manner was pleasant, reassuring, and professional.

It was obvious that the serviceman was experienced in servicing this and similar machines. He was able to identify the problem within the first ten minutes, and was confident that he could fix it within a short time.

The serviceman exhibited an excellent work ethic, keeping to the task, working even while my wife and I talked to him, and had the job done well within his estimated time.

Whether planned or by coincidence, it was a smart move by the company to send one of their more experienced and efficient service people on a call to a new customer.

The labor rates charged are, in my opinion, somewhat high. But then I was paying for: a) someone to come to me instead of my having to bring the problem to them b) their experience and backup support, and c) the assurance that I wouldn’t get someone who comes into my home sweating and smelly, asking for a drink, stopping work to jibber-jabber on the phone, telling me the worst outcome I can expect before he’s even looked at the problem, leaves his basic tools in the truck (while I pay for the time it takes him to go back and forth from the truck), and who works like he’s already burned out on doing the work he’s in – OR – an inexperienced upstart who must spend half of his charged time on the phone with the company asking for help and instructions.
I would not hesitate to recommend Home-Tech to a friend, neighbor, or other family member. I was entirely pleased with their service, the service person, and the results.

Incidentally, the service person who came to my home was Matt E.. Extremely nice, capable, knowledgeable, professional young man who, from what I learned of him in a short time, seems like he’s going to do well for himself, his family, and for Home-Tech.

Sincerely,
J. Bogart

Spring Training is for Home-Tech Technicians Too

V__A0CEHome-Tech employee owners just attended a luncheon at the Minnesota Twins facility with the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. It’s great having the Twins spring training “machine” just a hop, skip and a jump away from our Fort Myers location on Techster Boulevard.

It’s a Big Hit

The entire Twins organization is now in full swing with Spring Training as well as their rivals across town at Jet Blue Park. It’s a lot of fun to go out and watch all the AMAZING young players sharpen up their skills in batting, fielding and pitching. The stars of the team are right there to chat with you and the future stars are on fire with the love of baseball. It’s beautiful weather and great family fun for everyone in Fort Myers. No wonder baseball has been called America’s pastime since it began in 1845 with the NY Knickerbockers.

Training is a Home Run

Major league baseball is not the only organization that appreciates the concept of training beginners. With baseball training you start with the basics and as skills improve the guys move up through the organization, always hoping to make it to the big leagues. Home-Tech has a similar concept in place with our Apprenticeship Program. Several weeks ago, new apprentices were hired and are now involved in the intense training program lead by Home-Tech Trainer, Gary Close.NATE certified

Suit UP

Not only do they learn the ins and outs of appliance and air conditioning repair but also the standard of service that is required to be a Home-Tech technician. They are issued uniforms, just like baseball players and spend many hours in classes with hands on training. And their training doesn’t stop with “spring training”. Every technician, no matter how long he has been at Home-Tech still receives ongoing training. Imagine how much training is required to repair every brand and type of appliance and air conditioner. But they learn it, because that’s what it takes to make the cut with you, our customer.

Enjoy some baseball in beautiful SW Florida. Have a hot dog, a cold drink and popcorn. And when you get home from the game, if you need us, Home-Tech will go to bat for you!

 

 

 

Home-Tech CEO Steve Marino Goes Over the Edge

Steve Marino and Brian Sawyer

Steve Marino and Brian Sawyer

It’s not often that you can watch your CEO performing a death defying feat and on a Friday the 13th to boot. But that’s exactly what happened in Naples last week. Steve Marino, President and CEO of Home-Tech hung over the edge from the roof of the Naples Grand for a full minute and then began his descent, rapelling down, carefully at first and then James Bond style as he got the hang of it. All of this was done in order to raise funds to help with the life skills & education of our youth through Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. The Over the Edge event continued on into Saturday the 14th with many participants enjoying their precarious descent and the cheers of the crowd below.

Many Sacrifices of Time, Talent and Energynaples grand

Home-Tech employee owners feel very motivated to support local causes and charities in our communities that we service. We are thankful to the residents of SW Florida for using our air conditioning and appliance repair services for over 34 years and feel compelled to give back. Home-Tech just recently began work on it’s 18th home construction project for Habitat for Humanity, is hosting the Duck Slap Party in Bradenton for the Pace Center for Girls Duck Race which is rapidly approaching, and has many more charitable events and giving lined out for the rest of 2015 to provide support in many different ways.

Much time, effort, sweat and great care is given by Home-Tech employees in order to provide service beyond the walls of Home-Tech. We hope to see you at many of these events.

Steamy Couples Come In Red When It Comes to Washers & Dryers

ValentinesAs we approach Valentine’s Day, counting the number of times the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer has played on TV has been a challenge; plus, keeping track of the many times the movie premiere has been mentioned on the Internet; OR adding up the number of magazines the stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have been on. But, their characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey aren’t the only hot, steamy, romantic couples being talked about during Valentine’s week.

Love Is In The Air

George and Amal Clooney certainly come to mind – yes, millions of hearts broke when the sexiest bachelor alive recently took a bride, but the tall, stunning, British lawyer he chose to be Mrs. Clooney seems to have been worth the wait. In an acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards this year, he said, “”It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life . . . and when your whole life is 53 years. . . . Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”

One of country music’s most sparkling couples, is also the cutest and most devoted – Miranda Lambert recently said of her husband, Blake Shelton, “I never saw him as a ‘hot husband,’ but I understand why women would think that. What makes him hot to me is that Blake is a real man’s man. He’s not one of those girly guys at all. He’s definitely a country boy, and what you see is what you get.”

Get out the Kleenex for this one. When it comes to royalty, Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate don’t seem to have the stiff upper lips that most royals do – in photos, they’re affectionate, laughing, and look truly in love – in fact, when Prince William proposed to Kate and gave her his late mother, Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring, he said in an interview, “The ring is very special to me – and Kate is very special to me now. It seemed only right to put the two together. It was my way to make sure that my mother wouldn’t miss out on the excitement that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. We’re both very, very happy.”

Steamy and Red Hot

Here at Home-Tech, we have our own happy couple – not only that, they’re even hotter and steamier than the stars mentioned above – we’re sure of it. It’s all about washers and dryers here at Home-Tech. In sexy Merlot, the Samsung Front Load Washer (model #WF5400) and its partner, the Electronic Front Load Dryer (model #DV5400) in the same bold, sassy color are a new couple on the Home-Tech showroom floor, but we predict their relationship is solid and will stand the test of time. The washer features SuperSpeed, which means a 40% faster cycle, plus Steam Wash, which eliminates stains without pre-treatment. The dryer steams away wrinkles and even features an inner dryer rack for your delicates. So, not only does this couple have a fabulous working relationship, they also look amazing – on Valentine’s Day and every day, look to Home-Tech for hotness.

Ground Hog Day 2015 Means Good News For Air Conditioners

6MoreWeeksIf you grew up in the North East or the Midwest, you probably remember when Ground Hog Day really was a big deal. In the dead cold of winter, that fat, furry rodent could change your whole outlook on the next six weeks of weather depending on whether he saw his shadow or not. Which if you think about it, is kind of nuts – Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog doesn’t have a meteorology degree, or any computer models, and yet he gives us hope — or dashes our hopes. And this week, on February 2nd, he dashed them – IF you live in a region where there’s actually a winter. Happily, here in Southwest Florida, we do not.

 Six More Weeks of Florida Winter – Not So Bad

Phil the furry rodent seeing his shadow means only good news to Southwest Floridians – our air-conditioners can continue their long winter’s rest, while the arrival of our power bills brings us joy instead of causing us to tear our hair out. And the best part? We get to leave our windows and glass sliders open, allowing fresh Florida air into rooms where only ceiling fans are needed to regulate temperature, and if it’s slightly chilly, we pull a blanket over our shoulders rather than cranking up the heater. When Phil sees that shadow, it only means six more weeks of fabulous Florida weather – AND the perfect opportunity to have Home-Tech come out to check and maintain your air-conditioning unit.Lee County AC Repair

This weather won’t last forever, the long summer months are inevitably on their way and preparedness is the key to not being stuck in a hot, humid house with a broken air-conditioner in August. Let us check your filter, fluids, and ducts – it’s the perfect time of year for it. Call Home-Tech today at 800-800-8356 and ask about an A/C Clean and Check.

And let’s hope that groundhog was right – at least for our sake. For your northern friends and relatives, you may want to prepare your guest room.

Clean Off Your Desk – Less Paperwork with a Home-Tech Service Agreement

CleanYourDeskWell, it came and went – National Clean Off Your Desk Day – it was last week. And I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t cleaned off my desk. Clean Off Your Desk Day makes plenty of sense – it’s a new year, after all, and we’re still only around three weeks into it – an uncluttered desk means an uncluttered mind, right? Unfortunately Feng Shui is not always easily achieved when you’re trying to organize bills, loose change, paper clips, business cards, receipts (we won’t even MENTION that tax season is right around the corner – maybe on April 14th we’ll start thinking about that), and more.

De-cluttering and De-stressing

While cleaning off your desk is a worthy goal, I propose going even further, because frankly, at my level of disorganization, I could use Clean Out Your Closet Day, which will include finally donating those jeans that I haven’t been able to zip up since I was in my 20’s. Also, Clean Out Under Your Bathroom Sink Day – because, really, does anyone truly need four cans of almost empty hair spray, 16 different shades of brown eyes shadow, and countless prescription medications that expired in the mid-1990s? While we’re at it, I would embrace Clean Out Your Car Day because if I actually recycled my vast collection of empty water bottles, it could likely save the world.

First Step – Service Agreementappliance repair technician

Getting organized and de-cluttering can sometimes feel like a challenge, but studies show that the more streamlined you make your living space, your mind will follow suit. Sometimes, it starts with the first step – like getting the paperwork off your desk.

Being a homeowner requires you to hire lots of different companies for help and that means lots of bills and business cards and clutter.  With a Gold or Silver Service Agreement, you’re taking an important step towards organization. There is only ONE PHONE NUMBER you need for all or our services. Having a Service Agreement with Home-Tech means that when one of your appliances or your air conditioning stops working, all you have to do is make one call for 7 days a week service – even if it’s a weekend or a holiday. As well, Home-Tech offers plumbing and minor electrical repairs. Our friendly, professional technicians are at your beck and call – and you won’t have to file a bill on your desk, because if you have a Gold Service Agreement, service calls are free and unlimited (Silver Service Agreements mean only a minimal service fee).

Peace of mind comes with a Service Agreement and once you have peace of mind, you’ll be ready to tackle that desk – and closet, and car, and bathroom cupboard – and it’s the perfect way to start out a new year.

Diet Resolutions – Succeed with Fabulous Refrigerators

Diet2One of the top three universal New Year’s resolution has always been “to lose weight” (the other two are “to get in shape” and “to start dieting” – a little redundant, yes – but, at least those of us who make resolutions are consistent). And these days, we have fewer excuses because we have lots of nifty new gadgets to take us down the path to skinny jeans and smaller belt sizes.

There are Fit Bits that keep track of every calorie you consume and every calorie you burn, there are cell phones apps that get you off the couch and into a 5K, and of course there are blenders, juicers, and Nutribullets to turn kale into juice and carrots into soup.

Smoothie Dreams, Refrigeration Woes

When I received a Nutribullet for Christmas, I immediately headed straight to the produce aisle at the grocery and went completely insane. Armed with a gazillion recipes from Pinterest, I filled my cart with everything from mangoes to mint leaves, raw spinach to raw flax seeds, coconut water to cranberries – and, trust me, a cart full of healthy fresh produce is NOT cheap (whereas a big bag of nacho-flavored Doritos are only around $3.00 – it really is cheaper to stay chunky). So, when I arrived home and was reminded that my fridge has only two measly crisper drawers with no temperature control, my dreams of healthy smoothies were dashed. How to keep all these celery stalks and apples, and blueberries fresh while I’m still feeling resolute?

Climate Controlled Refrigerators to the Rescuecarousel-refrigeration-more_space

Home-Tech is proud to feature G.E. Café Series French Door Refrigerators with up to four separate drawers to easily handle your enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables (as well as cheese and lunch meats). Not only is there plenty of room, the drawers are climate controlled with a variety of customized settings and temperatures. Seriously state-of-the-art chic, stainless steel, and sleek, the G.E. café series compliments any kitchen and the French Doors lend the look of a built-in without the extra cost. Check them out in our Home-Tech showroom today.

You will also want to check the Whirlpool 4 Door French Door Model: WRX988SIB with it’s carousel system.

Shop Local, Shop Fresh

Once you’ve got the perfect fridge, you can pick up all the vitamin-packed goodness you can get your hands on. And if you’re looking for tasty, fresh locally grown produce, here are a few area farmers’ markets that are super popular this time of year:

  • The Green Market at the Alliance of the Arts, open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the corner of McGregor Blvd. and Royal Palm Blvd. (10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers).
  • Third Street South Farmer’s Market, every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in downtown Naples on Third St.
  • Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market, every Saturday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. located on Lemon Ave. at the intersection of Main St.

Happy shopping, happy storing!

Home-Tech Mixed & Mingled in 2014

champaigne glassesAs we get closer to the biggest party night of the year, New Year’s Eve, we’re looking back at some of the most fun and festive parties and events that Home-Tech folks got to sparkle at in 2014.

At Home-Tech, it’s never all work and no play – we love getting out in the community, supporting great causes, and meeting our customers outside of the showroom and service calls – we enjoy mixing and mingling with you guys, getting your feedback, and raising a glass to the future with you.

We’ve been thrilled to honor your Service Agreements 7 days a week, help you choose the best appliances, and have you as part of our Home-Tech family. Here’s to a healthy, successful, and fun 2015!

American Heart Association Has Our HeartSonya Sawyer Community Home-Tech

April . . .  we got decked out in our best red and black outfits and hit the Hyatt for the American Heart Association Heart Ball – a cause we’ve loved supporting for years!

Sonya Sawyer Awarded the Apex AwardSteve and Sonya Sawyer Apex Award

September . . . we all got dressed to the nines and headed to the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa to celebrate our awesome CFO Sonya Sawyer being honored with the ultimate in honors, the prestigious Apex Award.

Breakfast Party – Key to the Cure

October . . . meant a festive sunrise party – the Key to the Cure Breakfast at Saks Fifth Avenue, where we had a great time decorating our table and supporting local cancer charities.

American Girl Fashion ShowIMG_1601

November . . .  meant it was time to get our little ones dressed up for the American Girl Fashion Show at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero where we thrilled to be a sponsor in support of Golisano Children’s Hospital.

WP_20141220_20_14_58_ProHome-Tech Christmas Party

December . . .  our whole staff got glammed up, as we celebrate all our hard work with a fabulous Holiday Party complete with awards, pats on the backs, and plenty of dancing.

And that doesn’t even count all the celebrations we have at the office – between birthday celebrations, the Fourth of July, Halloween and more. We love to have fun – and a happy staff loves to make customers happy.

 

Prep Kitchen Appliances for the Big Bird

ThanksgivingHave you ever felt like a holiday was so stealthy and sneaky that it crept up behind you, tapped you on the shoulder, and yelled, “BOO!”?

This year, Thanksgiving has been very, very quiet, as it sits patiently in the background, buried by tinsel, Christmas music, and holiday shopping. It seems like folks are so busy hanging wreaths and mistletoe that they’ve forgotten all about the poor neglected turkey. Well, guess what? Thanksgiving is this week! Stop licking stamps for Christmas cards and, with the help of Home-Tech, let’s start prepping the kitchen for the big bird.

Prepared Appliances are Happy Appliances

This is the time to check all of your kitchen appliances to make sure everything is in good working order – everything from the garbage disposal to the microwave needs to be checked and ready. We blogged about cleaning out the refrigerator recently and we can’t stress it enough – give both the freezer and the fridge good thorough cleanings to make room for all the groceries coming in – and of course, all the leftovers on the way.  If you have any trouble with your garbage disposal you might want to check out this tip video with advice from us to you.

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A Service Agreement Means a Happier Thanksgiving

If you have a Service Agreement with Home-Tech and one of your appliances needs repaired, we urge you to give us a call now so we can get everything in your kitchen up and running before the feast. Maybe you just need an extra appliance part or a burner on the oven is on the fritz – either way, we’re here for you. Oh – and speaking of ovens, don’t get bogged down by self-cleaning. You are going to get your oven dirty from cooking the Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s better to wait until after Thanksgiving when things have calmed down and you have less to worry about. And by “less”, we mean putting up the tree, figuring out what you’re wearing to 16 holiday parties, and finding the perfect recipe for egg nog. As for Thanksgiving, don’t say we didn’t warn you – don’t let all the tinsel blind you.