Average House Cleaning Prices
Comparing pricing from different types of cleaning companies?
If there is a single point that we'd pick for our clients to know about the cleaning business, it has to do how to properly compare the pricing from one company to another. All things being equal, such as experience level, location, and similar market demand and supply metrics, it is quite easy to know if you are getting a fair deal or not from a prospective cleaning service provider.
We're not sure what all the mystery is behind pricing and why some companies decide to make it over complicated. Really, other than the mentioned items, all you really have are two variables left to accurately compare the pricing, and that's the total amount of time spent doing a cleaning job AND the level of LEGAL compliance.
Price per job vs Hourly Service
Let's look at an example of a quote given by a company that prices on a per job basis:
Company A gives a quote of $100 to clean a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home once every two weeks. After a few visits you notice the cleaner is in and out in 2 hours, which means the RATE used for comparison is $50/hour. Company B gives a quote of $25/hour and they take a total of 3 hours to clean the same place by an equally qualified cleaner. The RATE to compare is $25 per hour, or a total of $75. In this case company B has a better price, $75 is less than $100. You see, the number one problem with per job pricing is that it creates a motivation to finish as fast as possible. In their mind, the faster the gets the job done, the "more they get paid per hour." This works in the favor of the service provider, but NOT for the client.
What usually happens with these types of arrangements is the following:
Details start to get overlooked because of the motivation to clean as fast as possible, the floors and bathrooms start to accumulate dirt and grime, and items start to get broken. What sounded like an excellent deal soon turns into a deal from hell! The ONLY reason this situation plays out over and over again is because the company fails to establish a reasonable "time-frame" needed to properly complete a cleaning job. On the other hand, if you hire a company that clearly states a price range which is dictated by an hourly rate, you will gain control of the situation. Once a base-line time is established that is consistent with the amount of work that needs to get done, the client will have a comparison to go by with that company or any other one.
The other factor used to see if a deal being offered is better than another one has to do with legal compliance. So let's just say that two different companies have the same price, except one has a Business License and the other one does not. The one with the Business License is a better deal. Not only do unlicensed people undercut legitimate business, they give the industry a bad image in more than one way. By not being licensed they can't be bonded, which means that if they break an item or something goes missing they will probably skip town and not be seen or heard of again in your city. Not only that but by not being licensed, they will not contribute to the local, state or federal tax base.
You see, the most accurate pricing hierarchy that has evolved in the service industry is directly related to the level of legal and tax compliance of the business involved. So, in order from least to most expensive business models, here is a brief explanation of the varied prices in the house cleaning industry and what to look for when comparing:
No License, Bonding, Insurance, Employment Insurance. Example: The "cleaning lady referred by a friend.
Licensed and Bonding. Example: Small Business, usually family operated or well established cleaning lady.
License, Bonding, & Insurance. Medium sized companies. Example: We are in this category. Usually established as an LLC or a Corporation.
License, Bonding, Insurance, AND Employment Insurance. Example: Large companies with state-wide or national locations; franchised LLC's, Trusts, Corporation.
The point is that each level of business usually comes with a higher level of compliance, and along with that more expenses, primarily in the form of taxes and insurance. So, if you find a lower level echelon business charging the same or more than someone higher on the echelon matrix, then you are not getting the most bang for your buck. So the next time you get a quote from one or more companies, just be sure to ask the amount of TIME they will spend during each service visit and the level of LEGAL COMPLIANCE they currently have. This will give you a clear price comparison between any type of person or cleaning company to another.