With all the cleaning services out there, KnightMaid knows their market and plans to provide a close relationship with the ever-growing student body.
By Michael Melendez
If there’s one thing college students aren’t notorious for, it’s there cleanliness. Whether it be school cramming their schedule or the nights that might have gone on too long, messes are bound to be made. Messes that aren’t always easily cleaned and/or fixed.
That does not mean you have to pay an arm and a leg to do it professionally. With such a large population of the Orlando area attending U.C.F., Valencia, Full Sail, and other state colleges, thousands of young adults end up in student housing.
Putting so many young adults together in one building is a recipe for a mess. Most cleaning companies charge over $100 for a carpet cleaning alone, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an apartment’s upkeep. This is where KnightMaid came into fruition.
Started by three U.C.F. students…Victoria Bohanan, Paul Pedron, and Ernesto Perez – KnightMaid offers an affordable service that gives an in-depth evaluation on such costs. With all three co-founders already working within student housing, they have a key connection to their market.
With a goal of lower expenses when students move out, there’s a clear vision of “making their lives easier,” as Pedron puts it. Aiming for a mid-fall semester starting date, KnightMaid already has their landing page up and running with programs that will share “Royalty Program” updates and discounts that are available. Also, their royalty club will have first round priority picks when they launch, access to scheduling first, better slots, and is connected to their social media, making it easily accessible.
“Since they’re committed to us, we want to be committed to them,” says Bohanan.
Bohanan and Pedron have been working together for over a year now, with Perez (the marketing director) and Pedron being friends since ninth grade, creating a clear and cohesive team between the four.
With the personal history of working for student housing, Bohanan says that on tours of the complexes’ units the same question was asked. “Do you have a cleaning service?”. We know that the niche market is there and it’s not being met, so we created it.
That was the birth of KnightMaid.
“We’ve already been approved to do advertisement for ACC properties in Orlando, which is the number one housing company in the nation,” Pedron says. “This allows us to promote in The Edge, University House, and Science Drive.”
On top of this, they’re seeking out to other living communities as well, such as Northgate. Another main goal, though, is to have returning customers in the form of incoming students and their parents, where they can schedule cleanings.
“With scheduled appointments within the month, you avoid a larger charge at the end of the year,” Bohanan adds, meaning that when they hire KnightMaid they will avoid the apartment complex in which they live charging them far more than necessary.
Also coming up they have videos to promote their service as well as an established and still growing social media base, currently already on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. From there, they contemplated how they could improve it for the student body, bringing in the concept of individually leasing. What this means is that each team member can provide a service for each tenant and their respective room.
If other roommates want to throw in for the costs, with a quote on expenses of the entire living area, KnightMaid can make their services that much more economical by splitting the cost. This system, though, provides not only a service for the students, but to the guarantors of the apartments as well.
“This goes hand in hand with individual leasing,” says Bohanan. “A big thing in student housing is knowing the fine details because when we go into the units we know exactly what we’re looking for and exactly what we’re charging.
What makes KnightMaid special is that it’s geared towards the student community, being students themselves. To this writer, though, what stood out the most is how actively KnightMaid is involved with charities, currently in the process of partnering with five that they believe to be well rounded in the community.
Right now, they are working on partnering with Harbor House, Back to Nature Wildlife, New Hope for Kids, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (specifically in the Orlando area), and Wounded Warrior Foundation, their one and only national charity.
KnightMaid wants the people of the community to connect with at least one of these charities and to have the option to pick which one they want to give to. From every cleaning, a portion of the proceeds will be given to the selected charity.
“We’re making your place of residence look good and in turn making the community you live in better as well,” Perez concludes. Although all the details such as pricing aren’t set in stone, trial runs are being conducted to calculate costs of products and labor to get a clear cut price. Marketing will be up and running very soon as well, with a video introducing everyone involved with KnightMaid, serving as a commercial of sorts to get to know who’s behind the business.
The projected launching date is late September. For more details on their services, please visit knightmaid.com.
Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism.