Q: How much will house cleaning cost me?

A: Having been in business since 2004, it is understood that you would like to have the same cleaner, day and time at each visit, and have a thorough cleaning. A very reasonable request and is also how I like to operate my business. The elephant in the room is always; how much is house cleaning going to cost me?

For me to get the same cleaner to your home for each cleaning visit; I must pay him/her a lot more than minimum wage which is currently $12.00 an hour in MA.

The employees earn a good wage and what I end up with are loyal, trustworthy employees that show up to work each day to do the job they are trained to do. Cleaning prices range from $90-$200 depending on the size and condition of your home and cleaning program that you are on.

 

Q: My neighbor has the same size home as me and she only pays $80 to have her home cleaned. Why are your prices so much higher?

A: That’s a great question!  Numbers don’t lie so please forgive me  for boring you with the details of the costs involved to send a professional house cleaner to your home. Inquiring minds want to know!

Example: I pay your cleaner $17.00 per hour because let’s face it, house cleaning is very labor intensive. That’s why you’re here reading this, right?

Your cleaner is at your home for 4 hours cleaning @ $17.00 /Hr.  =$68.00. Employment taxes= Medicare, Fica, MA unemployment, Federal unemployment, Workers Comp= 28% or $19.04. Direct labor cost = $87.04.

Overhead costs of running the business: insurance, cleaning supplies, equipment, office space, company vehicles, gas, car insurance, travel time to your home etc. The list is exhaustive unfortunately, but the number is about $35 per cleaning bringing the $87.04 to $122.04.

I am a for profit business and would also like to be paid:  There is a 30% before tax margin added on to the labor and expenses. $122.04 + $36.06 bringing the final cost to $158.10.

My apologies if this is too much info however the average consumer doesn’t understand the real costs involved in running a service based business. If you do own a business you know exactly what I am talking about.

So, your neighbor may be paying $80 however I am willing to bet that your neighbor’s cleaner is not paying or withholding taxes, carrying liability or workers compensation insurance or perhaps not even vetting who is cleaning in your neighbor’s house.  Your neighbor’s cleaner likely runs his/ her operation out of his/her home or even the trunk of  their car enabling him/her to do it for a fraction of what a legal business needs to charge.

Not every homeowner  is concerned whether the people that provide services to their home are insured, properly vetted or being paid a living wage and that is OK; to each their own. I am of the mindset that everyone today should be paid a living wage especially when the work is so very labor intensive and can often times be unpleasant.

 

Q: Why should I choose a professional house cleaning service to clean my home?

A: Hiring a professional house cleaning company means your home will be cleaned from top to bottom in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it on your time off. Your whole house is cleaned all at once, versus dusting one day, vacuuming another, bathrooms on Friday etc.  As trained professional house cleaners, they know where the dirt lurks and can eradicate it before your mother-in-law finds it. More importantly, you have the time to do what you want to do on your time off.

You can’t pay someone to spend time with your spouse and kids, but you can hire someone to clean your house, do your laundry or mow your lawn. -Sandra Bienkowski, SUCCESS Magazine November 2009

Q: Am I responsible for Workers Compensation insurance, and local or federal taxes when you are working in my home?

A: Because you are hiring a company, as opposed to an individual you might hire through a friend of a friend, you don’t have to worry about payroll taxes. Worker’s Compensation insurance is mandated for companies that operate with employees in the State of Massachusetts and is carried on all employees.

Q: Do you carry insurance and bonding ?

A: Hopefully you wouldn’t hire an electrician or plumber to work in your home without verifying that they are insured. The same is true for housecleaning. You should always request a copy of an insurance certificate to protect your home and valuables.  There are many documented catastrophic incidents that homeowners have experienced because their service provider didn’t carry insurance. I carry $2,000,000 in liability insurance. An insurance certificate will be provided to you prior to service.

 

Q: Do I have to be home when you clean?

A: Most of our clients are at work when we clean and prefer to give us a key or garage code.  An alarm system can be shut off, or you can give us an access code. The cleaners do prefer that you aren’t home however we would never make you leave your home so we can clean.  It is just easier for them with less distractions. Picture your boss hovering over  you all day at work; it’s kind of the same thing.  If you must see your cleaner in action, there are many home security apps that you can watch right from work on your phone.

Q: Is my key safe?

A: Your key will never have your name and address on it. All keys are coded and kept in a locked safe and are signed out on the day of cleaning. In the event your key was lost or misplaced we carry the proper insurance to have your locks re-keyed.

Q: Do you bring your own cleaning supplies?

A: Yes of course we bring all our own green cleaning supplies. We don’t want you running out to Cumberland Farms at 9PM to pick up Windex the night before your cleaning because you just discovered you are out and the cleaners are coming the next morning. We use Shaklee and Thieves Cleaner.

Q: What towns do you service?

A: We service the following towns; Acton, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Boylston, Boxborough, Clinton, Harvard, Hopkinton, Hudson, Littleton, Lancaster, Leominster, Maynard, Northborough, Shirley, Southborough, Sudbury, Sterling, Stow, Shrewsbury, Westford, Westborough.   If you don’t see your town here just give us a call to see if we can arrange service.

Q: Do you guarantee your service?

A: All our work is 100% guaranteed. Simply call me within 24 hours of the clean and whatever the issue is, it we’ll taken care of it immediately.

 

Q: What time will you arrive, and do you clean on weekends?

A:  We do not clean at night or on the weekends and is one of the many reasons the employees love their job! Business hours are Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM . We offer two arrival windows- 8:30 -9:00 and 11:00-1:30 arrival time. Arrival times are on a first come first serve basis depending on availability and when we are in your neck of the woods.

Q: Will my cleaner speak English?

A: All the employees speak English; I want you to be able to communicate with whoever is working in your home.

Q: What if I am not comfortable with someone in my home?

A: If you are uncomfortable with people in your home that is understandable, after a few visits they will no longer be strangers. Then again, if you feel that strongly about it a house cleaning service may not be for you.

Q: How do you handle pets?

A: We love all pets, in fact my 100# yellow hunk of burning love lab comes to the office with me most days.We don’t expect you to take your dog to the daycare when we are scheduled to clean, unless of course that is what they love to do.

Q: Should I do bi-weekly or monthly and why don’t you recommend monthly cleaning?

A: Bi-weekly is the sweet spot for most of the clients. It just makes sense to keep your home on an even keel of maintenance. There are some clients that enjoy monthly cleaning however after awhile they typically fall off the schedule as they are not gleaning the benefits they were hoping for by hiring a house cleaning service. If you don’t have any children or pets and live alone monthly cleaning may be just fine for you.

Q: Do you clean in teams or send one person?

A: Team cleaning was the model for many years and I have switched over to sending one cleaner to your home as of the past couple of years.  Quality of cleaning is up, complaints are minimal and office drama is almost non-existent. This does mean that the cleaner will be in your home longer than a team and should be a consideration for you if you are going to be home and like the in and out gang cleaning model.

Q: Do I have to sign a contract?

A: No of course not; you are a client at will.  You may not like us, and we may not like you so no sense in prolonging the misery 🙂

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

A: Most of the clients pay by credit card.  It is the safest, most convenient and efficient way to accept payment. The money goes from your financial institution to my institution without any 3rd party handling of your financial information.  We also accept ACH payments which  are processed electronically via your bank routing and account number; once again protecting your financial information. Paper checks are not a safe payment method as all of your financial info is on the front of the check leaving you vulnerable. Here’s a link explaining why paper checks are not as safe as you believe they are.   We do not accept cash for payments as we want to be able to track and reconcile payments and cash is just not a reliable way to do that.

 

Q: What if my cleaning day falls on a holiday?

A: If your cleaning day falls on a major holiday; I will be in touch with you a week or so before to get you rescheduled. We do work most of the non major holidays.

Q: Do you offer any discounts?

A:  Yes, if you pay for your service in full for the year there is a 10% discount. There are also referral discounts when you refer a friend or family member. If you refer a friend and they sign up for bi-weekly cleaning you will get 1/2 off of one of your cleanings.  If you don’t cancel your appointment and get 26 consecutive cleanings  for the year the 27th will be on us!

Q: What kind of homes or clients do you clean for?

A: That’s a great question as not all clients and homes are created equal and not every client/home is a candidate for my cleaning service.  Most clients that use the service are busy, two income families with 1.8 children, a couple of dogs/cats, soccer and ballet on the weekends who occupy a 1300-3000 square foot home. There are also empty nesters, stay at home moms as well as  single professionals that enjoy the convenience and the peace of mind that a clean home brings.

Q: Where do you find the cleaners you hire?

A: We use traditional methods such as Indeed and job boards. However our best cleaners join us because a friend or family member works for the company and they hear great things and they want to be part of what we have to offer.  The hiring process is lengthy and time consuming as the standards are very high.  It is not uncommon to screen 25 prospects to hire one good employee. Then there is the vetting and training process that can take a few months.

 

Q: Are you an equal opportunity employer?

A: Yes we don’t discriminate against age, gender, race, disability or familial status.