Moms can’t always be there to help, but Lauren Hillard’s company can be. She’s the founder of Dorm Doctors, a Miami-based firm that provides laundry and housing keeping services.
With Dorm Doctors, students pick their plan of service based on their individual needs; laundry is cleaned and returned in 24 hours and dorm cleaning services can arranged weekly, bi-monthly or monthly.
Hillard’s business began in 2017 under the name Laundry 305. Over the years, she recognized new opportunities the more she got to know her customers.
“At that time, we were strictly a laundry service for college students and slowly branched into a commercial and residential service. The relationships I developed with the students and parents I served was very personal in nature. Inquiries to refer a cleaning company for their students’ dorm or apartment came often so I did what any entrepreneur would do—research. I developed a plan and launched our housekeeping services…It took me two years to come up with the name Dorm Doctors. I tested the concept through Laundry 305 and rebranded to Dorm Doctors.”
Today, Dorm Doctors serves students at University of Miami in Florida, as well as George Washington University, Georgetown and University of Maryland, which are all based in the greater Washington, DC area.
On the front lines of cleaning needs, Hillard says she is seeing a shift in the brands that customers want used in their spaces since the pandemic began.
“Green cleaning was frequently requested pre-COVID. Many customers had a preference for gentle cleaning on most home surfaces, and we often received requests for Method and Mrs. Meyers products. Nowadays, Lysol and Clorox have become our best friends,” she told Happi.
In addition, Dorm Doctors now uses ionized disinfecting foggers for its residential cleanings which, Hillard called amazing.
“Some surfaces we don’t typically clean like hockey sticks and basketballs, however germs are found on every type of surface. The great thing about the fogger is that it instantly sanitizes objects housekeepers ordinarily only ‘tidy up’ and organize rather than sanitize,” she said,
While Dorm Doctors is focused on more than laundry now, it still offers this essential service, and its procedures remain unchanged. Hillard uses brands that are well-known and Dorm Doctors can adapt to specific customer’s needs.
“We’ve always adhered to the proper sorting procedure and follow instructions on garment tags. Customers are provided two bags, one for general laundry and the second for dry cleaning and delicate items requiring special attention. Standard detergents are P&G products like Tide, Downy and Bounce. For our clients who have skin sensitivities, allergies or are vegan we offer Ecos laundry detergent,” she said.
The entire college experience changed on a dime this spring when COVID-19 hit. Thousands of students were sent home for Spring Break, and many didn’t get a chance to return until months later, if at all, to clean out their spaces.
Dorm Doctors was at ready as Hillard’s business also provides storage services.
“When schools closed abruptly in mid-March we quickly transitioned to moving and storage services for college students,” she said. In addition Hillard, said commercial laundry business picked up substantially for items like mop heads and towels and linen services.
“Being a diverse business has many benefits and the mobility to pick up in one service area despite another being on the decline is amazing. Our services have always been essential and the demand for service in our industries naturally increases,” she insisted.
While Dorm Doctors currently serves students on four main campuses, the expansion plan is to begin awarding franchise agreements in every city in America, Hillard told Happi.
In addition, Dorm Doctors will soon launch an iOS and Android mobile application that compliments its business services.
“The goal is to service everyone everywhere whether it be student, residential or commercial clients,” said Hillard.