Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Assistant Services

Q: What does a personal assistant service do?

A: A personal assistant service assists you in managing your personal or professional life. An associate is available to take care of your endless to-do list, act as a liaison with vendors, oversee work done on your home, run those time-consuming errands, and handle all of the other tasks that you never seem to have enough time to do.

Q: How can a personal assistant help me?

A: Potomac Concierge associates are available to assist you with your everyday tasks, as well as the out-of-the-ordinary tasks. Our corporate clients will find our services improve productivity and employee morale. The possibilities are unlimited.

Organizing Services

Q: What exactly does Potomac Concierge do when I hire one of their professional organizers?

A: When you schedule organization services in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia, our professional organizers will create completely customized solutions based on your needs and preferences.

Q: What types of spaces does Potomac Concierge organize?

A: Your home, office, or life! We will create exceptional professional organization solutions created specifically for you and your family. We have even organized a car!

Q: I’m embarrassed about my space. How do I know you won’t judge me?

A: All of our competent associates are committed to delivering high-end services with integrity, respect, and complete confidentiality. We are well known in Washington, DC and the surrounding areas for being non-judgmental and discreet. You will never see before and after pictures of your home on our website.

Q: Will I need to be present during my organizing sessions?

A: After we meet with you to discuss your project and develop a plan, you do not have to be present in the home in order for our professionals to effectively organize your belongings.

Q: Will you pressure me to throw things away?

A: Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we will not pressure you to do anything you do not want to do. It can be hard saying good-bye to your things, but we’re big believers in the power of home organization and decluttering. Letting go of the items that no longer serve you is an empowering shift and important step. If your project feels intimidating or overwhelming, don’t hesitate to call in for professional help. Sometimes outside support is all you need in order to make lasting positive change.

Q: How is your service delivered?

A: We would meet with you to discuss the project and develop a plan. Once we understand the flow in your home, what you need accessible, and what you use frequently vs. occasionally, we can set up a system to organize and maintain order. After evaluating your space and lifestyle, we will create a personalized home organization system that will keep clutter out of your life. As a part of our decluttering service, our home organizers will help you decide what to keep, sell, donate, and discard. Once your personalized organization plan is complete, things should fall smoothly into place, and we are always available for scheduled maintenance visits.

Q: Will you take items to donate and recycle for me?

A: Our team of experts is here to help coordinate all your donation and recycling needs. We know who takes what, who picks up from your home and who doesn’t, the fees involved, the prep work required, the best haul-away service providers, and the lead times that need to be built into your schedule.

Staging Services

Q: What’s Potomac Concierge’s approach to home staging?

A: If you want to sell a house quickly and get your asking price, consider professional staging. This might include rearranging and/or replacing furniture, artwork, bed linens, towels, and more.  It sometimes involves modifications to enhance curb appeal, such as driveway repaving or new clay pots at the front door.

Q: How much will staging increase the value of my home?

A: Everyone perceives a staged home in a better light: buyers see a move-in ready home and can better imagine their belongings there; building inspectors view it as well cared for; and appraisers may subconsciously attach a higher value to a home that shows well. HUD claims that staged homes sell for up to 17% more than their non-staged counterparts and the National Board of Realtors claims that 93% of staged homes sell within 33-42 days. Get a showcase price for your home, not a fixer upper one. We are happy and able to coordinate with realtors and stagers on your behalf to create the optimal showing.

Unpacking Services

Q: What’s Potomac Concierge’s approach to unpacking my home?

A: When you arrive at your new home, your Potomac Concierge move management team can assist with unpacking your belongings. We go far beyond what you might expect of an unpacking service: we organize your belongings as we put them away, ensuring that their placement is optimally functional for your home. If you have engaged in our pre-move management services, this process is seamless as we will have already discussed where your belongings will go. With our help, you can enjoy an unpacked and organized home soon after you move in. You can expect to have your slippers at hand and coffee ready your first morning at your new home.

Q: Can you work with my interior designer to get everything set up in my new home?

A: Of course! We are delighted to be a part of a team that helps make your home a home.

Moving Preparation Services

Q: Why would I hire Potomac Concierge to help me with moving preparation?

A: Moving can seem overwhelming. Packing and decluttering takes time—time you don’t necessarily have. Our move management services will take the pre-move process off your hands, letting you pay more attention to other aspects of your life. Our moving concierge can manage the packing process or coordinate your entire move—your services will be customized based on your needs. Our white-glove move management company has experience with local, national, and international moving, and there are no details we leave untouched.

Q: What other home prep services can you help me with?

A:

  • Planning, coordinating, and organizing the entire moving process, including a moving timeline and vendor management
  • Coordinating and overseeing professional packing services
  • Arranging, sorting, and labeling possessions by category (keep, donate, discard, sell, or pass along to family and friends)
  • Coordinating shipping, estate sales, appraisers, and storage facilities
  • Assisting in securing a dependable moving company
  • Preparing a complete household inventory
  • Laying out floor plans for new homes
  • Guiding clients through a structured and simple decision-making process to eliminate clutter and organize belongings.
  • Overseeing vendors to prepare previous house for sale
  • Labeling every box and piece of furniture with room location
  • Preparing new homes for move-in (cleaning, window treatments, etc.)
  • Purchasing new items for home
  • Discontinuing services at old home (lawn services, mail, newspaper delivery, etc.) and, when appropriate, transferring services to new home

Payment

Q: What methods of payment do you accept?

A: We accept personal checks, certified checks, online bill payment, and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express).

Q: Will my credit card be charged as a deposit?

A: No, we will only charge your credit card if we receive your authorization to make a purchase on your behalf or process an invoice.

Q: Do you work on a strictly pay-as-you-go basis?

A: We have found that pay-as-you-go works well. Typically, when we start, a client has many needs that we take care of, and then we go into “maintenance mode.” Also, different people have different times of need. Thus, we charge for time spent and do not require monthly fees or memberships.

Q: Are materials, expenses, and taxes included in your hourly rate?

A: No, the client is responsible for paying all additional charges on top of the hourly rate.

Q: How will I know what additional service charges are?

A: Potomac Concierge will provide a detailed invoice of all charges. We will do our best to estimate any additional charges that may be required.

Client Satisfaction

Q: How do you gauge client satisfaction, both for specific tasks and in general?

A: Potomac Concierge prides itself on our communication skills. We are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful client base who are generous with their praise and feedback, which is the best compliment and gauge of job performance.

Q: In the event a client is dissatisfied with a task you perform or work you oversee, what is your usual approach to addressing their concerns?

A: While a client might not always be right, our policy is that they are never wrong. We do not consider a job complete until the client is satisfied.

Project Management

Q: Does each client have a single go-to manager who is their primary contact, or do you take more of a team approach?

A: Potomac Concierge works in teams of two. We select the lead concierge according to your needs, location, and relevant experience of our staff, and they have the backup of another associate. This ensures that someone familiar with your account is always available to help you if your lead person has a scheduling conflict. Owners Aida Middel and Libby Kinkead are always kept up to date to step in if necessary.

Q: Do you have service providers with whom you have an ongoing relationship, whom you regularly use and recommend?

A: Yes, after decades of living in the metropolitan area, we have a number of trusted, vetted vendors on whom we rely.

Q: Will you instruct and oversee the work? Or do you limit your role to meeting providers at our home to let them in and out?

A: Yes, we will ensure the work performed meets our mutually high standards.

Q: How do your clients provide tasks and instructions?

A: We can communicate via phone, fax, text, email, and Google Sheets or Google Docs; however, we encourage email or written instructions.

Q: How do you ensure that anyone entering your clients’ homes is honest and trustworthy?

A: Potomac Concierge is a local company with owners that are established in the community. We perform background checks and have a thorough vetting process. Additionally, we have a long-standing relationship with most of our staff. Your assigned associate will always be there to oversee any work performed by others.

Q: I have a relative who is older and handicapped at home. How can you help?

A: We will do everything we can to assist, including facilitating at-home medical services like hearing tests, nurse’s aide visits, and podiatrist appointments provided by our trusted providers. We can also help with home maintenance tasks such as paying bills, scheduling HVAC tune-ups, keeping records of warranties and serial numbers, and more to ensure that your relative is taken care of.

Company Profile

Q: How long has Potomac Concierge been in business?

A: Potomac Concierge was founded in 2005 by two women who realized that the demands of a career, family, and personal needs can be overwhelming. With their staff of specialists, they enjoy helping others find a balance in their lives.

Q: Do you only service the Potomac area?

A: No, we service the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area, including DC, Chevy Chase, McLean, Great Falls, and beyond. We will consider jobs that are out of the area on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Is your company insured and bonded?

A: Absolutely!

Q: Do I need to be concerned about my personal information becoming public?

A: No, we are responsible professionals and all dealings will be kept confidential. All associates sign confidentiality agreements.

Coronavirus Precautions

Q: Are you still able to help me manage my move, provide personal assistant services, or organize my belongings during the coronavirus pandemic?

A: Yes, we are still here to help ease your burden. We have implemented extended measures to further ensure the health and safety of our team and clients. Each job is reviewed thoroughly and a custom-made implementation plan is devised to address your family’s needs and priorities. If you are looking for peace of mind with your next home project during the pandemic, contact us.

Q: What precautionary measures are you taking to protect staff and clients at this time?

A: Currently, we are executing many of our services virtually using technologies such as Zoom, Facetime, Dropbox, and more when we are able to. We strongly recommend virtual meetings but are able to make accommodations when this is not possible. During all in-person client appointments, members of our team will be wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of distance at all times, washing their hands frequently, and using alcohol-based sanitizer before entering your home. We will assess our health daily and cancel any upcoming appointments if we are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with a known COVID-19 case.

Q: Are there any fees to cancelling or changing appointments if I am exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms?

A: No, there will be no fee for last-minute appointment changes due to this illness.

Q: Have you provided any coronavirus-related safety training for your staff?

A: Potomac Concierge has successfully completed the COVID-19 certificate course in Prevention and Safety Excellence for the National Association of Senior Move Managers.