Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Small Business Spotlight: Brooklyn Entrepreneur Scales Property Maintenance Business to New Heights

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — This entrepreneur is coming into his own.

    Anthony Finkel grew up in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn where he developed an appointment-based snow removal service in 2013. He cleaned up, literally.

    “That first snowfall, I got a bunch of phone calls. They called us again that next time, and when that first winter was up, they started asking us, ‘Hey, can you paint my porch, can you clean out my garage, can you fix my deck?'” he told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    Finkel met their needs and expanded his offerings at DPH Property Maintenance Service. When the pandemic hit, demand surged.

    U.S. home improvement projects and repairs grew more than 3 percent last year to nearly $420 billion, according to a report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

    Finkel reaped the benefits, telling WCBS 880 demand has remained high over the past year and it’s picking up this spring.

    “They’re home, they’re not going to the office as much, and now, they’re converting that extra room that might have had clutter in it,” he explained. “Now, they want to clean it out, they want to re-paint it and they want to turn it into their home office or their studio space.”

    People are investing in their homes and personal space while many companies look to implement hybrid work schedules when they can bring workers back to the office with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Some employees may never return to the office.

    Finkel is renovating corporate spaces, too. He says it’s a “mixed bag” among his clients who plan to work from home long-term and those who will go back to their office.

    He had six employees pre-pandemic and has hired four more to keep up with rising demand. He hopes to double the number of workers in the next 12 months if he can double subscriptions to his home and garbage clean-up service from 50 city dwellers to 100.

    “When you understand the scope of the work that you’re doing and the quality, and you’re able to bring high quality, it makes it a little bit easier to stand by your pricing and stand by your ask because you know what you’re going to bring to the table, Finkel said. “When people hire DPH, they’re getting dependability, reliability, high quality service and no-nonsense.”

    He told Connolly and Carousso customer service and quality has been the key for DPH Property Maintenance Service’s growth not volume, emphasizing research as the foundation of his home improvement work.

    “It’s not about how fast, but it’s how precise,” Finkel explained. “You don’t want to have to go back and re-fix things that you thought were done before.”

    See how this small business is scaling quickly and meeting demand on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

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