Cleaning up the Lehigh Valley, one property at a time

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / Pressure washing provided by City Wide of Lehigh Valley. 'The better our service providers, the better we're going to be,' says Matt Tolan, City Wide Maintenance president.

When it comes to cleaning and building maintenance, many businesses are attracted to the lowest price, but there’s often some sort of pain along with the perceived gain.

When it comes to cleaning and building maintenance, many businesses are attracted to the lowest price, but there’s often some sort of pain along with the perceived gain.

“It usually takes about six months to see that the quality isn’t there and things aren’t getting done,” said Matt Tolan, president of City Wide of Lehigh Valley, which manages 25 facility services for hundreds of building owners and property managers throughout the region.

Tolan said, for example, that some cleaning vendors may not have insurance, or they may be understaffed so if someone gets sick, the building gets neglected.

City Wide launched in spring 2013, providing a range of interior and exterior services, including janitorial, window cleaning, handyman, mold remediation and even security services.

Businesses typically begin using City Wide for cleaning, then build in other services such as windows and floor care. The business quickly forged partnerships with service vendors and established itself as a reputable company.

Tolan brings a background in procurement sales, so it comes naturally for him to deal with vendors, whom he views as “partners,” working together for a single cause.

“We started off very hot,” said Tolan, recalling how he and his associates closed one to two new businesses in the first 30 days of operation. In the last year, business has doubled, but like any business, there’s an ebb and flow.

“Sometimes it comes all at once,” he said. “In one month, you’ll get a lot of business; another month it’ll be slow.”

But now approaching his third year in business, he said: “I know a lot more. I know how to get from Point A to Point B a lot quicker.”

Tolan attributed much of his success to his service providers, some of which are small, minority-owned cleaning companies that have just a few employees but are committed to good service and have proven to be reliable. Being able to apply his experience and know-how to help these companies grow is a highlight of the job for Tolan.

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