Pricing without the sticker shock - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 08-14-2013, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Pricing without the sticker shock

We've been doing really good lately largely thanks to my professionally built website.
In the beginning we were pricing everything by the hour but i find it's confusing for the clients so we started giving a flat rates for our clients instead of hourly.

Now with the website positioned very well on Google, I started getting many calls for one time cleanups. My problem is that when I tell them our hourly rate, they either don't understand that the rate is per person per hour or they think it's very expencive when I tell them that I'll send 3 girls at $35/hour, the response is "Wow you charge $105/hour? I can get someone for $20/hour."

Lately I started experimenting with per sq.f pricing. I"ll see how this goes but any ideas or advice?
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post #2 of Old 11-20-2013, 05:24 PM
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post #3 of Old 11-26-2013, 02:20 AM
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post #5 of Old 12-25-2013, 07:45 PM
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Pricing is key.
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post #6 of Old 02-03-2014, 06:23 AM
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square footage pricing

How much do you charge per sqft for residential cleaning and office cleaning? Do you measure the house, take the owners word on the sq footage, or look the property up in the local tax website?
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post #7 of Old 02-22-2014, 11:57 AM
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When I am figuring out the square feet of an account, I do a search on the county it is located in. For example, this is how I figure out square feet for an account here on Fripp Island. I live in Beaufort County South Carolina, so I begin by typing Beaufort County South Carolina Property Max into the search engine. From there you should get an option of typing in the last name of the client or street address. This should bring up the property records which includes
square feet, number of rooms, etc. I would rather do the research myself, as sometimes the owner doesn't know how many square feet the property is. Doing your own research lets you make sure you don't shortchange yourself as far as pricing goes.
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post #8 of Old 02-22-2014, 12:23 PM
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We started out hourly, but that only lasted a couple of months. We found that when we were having a good day we would not charge as much, then when we were having a bad day we did not want to charge more. A set price for the client is the best.
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post #9 of Old 02-24-2014, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies

Islander and Maid to Shine,

Thank you for the replies. What do you recommend as a price per sqft for residential cleaning? Do you charge less for bi-weekly than monthly? I've been trying to research it, but it seems like anything I find is for large office footages like 10,000- 50,000 sqft. Do you charge extra for the first time cleaning?
Thank you for any advice
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post #10 of Old 02-24-2014, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimB View Post
Islander and Maid to Shine,

Thank you for the replies. What do you recommend as a price per sqft for residential cleaning? Do you charge less for bi-weekly than monthly? I've been trying to research it, but it seems like anything I find is for large office footages like 10,000- 50,000 sqft. Do you charge extra for the first time cleaning?
Thank you for any advice
Price is hard because it changes from area to area. CA and NY can be as high (or higher) as $50 an hour. I know some areas that are as low as $25 an hour. What you need to do is call your local franchise stores and find out what they charge.

Make sure to give prices for weekly, bi-weekly, and Monthly. And a first time clean should be at least 2x the price.
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post #11 of Old 03-03-2014, 10:06 PM
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Ive been cleaning houses for about six months. I charge by the job. I get the square footage of the house, usually just go by what customer tells me. I can usually guess my rooms/bathrooms if they're lying. Under 1,000 square ft is $50. 1000 to 1500ft is 60$. And it goes up from there. First time in I add $30. I add 10 to $20 for gas, if house is over 15 miles from me.
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post #12 of Old 03-11-2014, 01:25 AM
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First of all let me say that you will make WAY more profit at the end of the year if you go to every bid and give them a price in person. 1) They meet you and you can win them over by a great personality. 2) Try saying out loud $199 for a first time in clean. Now write down $199 for a first time in clean. The eyes can see it as much less money that the ears can translate it to the brain. 3) Have a price sheet. You can give them a first time in price. Once a week price and a bi-weekly price. All without ever saying any price at all. They read it on paper while you are making friends with the kids and the dogs. 4) If it turns out to be a job you don't want you can either tell them you don't want the job or you can jack your $199 price up to $499.

As for 1 time cleans... you will find that it is best to collect ALL monies up front before any work is started. Even for regular customers my girls were always suppose to collect the check before any work was started. We all hated 1 time cleans so my starting price was very, very high. I wasn't scared to give them a $750 price for a small house.
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post #13 of Old 03-14-2014, 12:30 PM
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As far as residential goes, I would never take the clients word about their square footage. Too much potential to get screwed. I plug in their physical address into Trulia.com or Zillow.com. If it's an apartment complex, usually their website will give you an idea of the sq. footage of the layouts they offer.

Wow, Raelyn, your prices are super cheap.

Last edited by lunamartinmi; 03-14-2014 at 12:36 PM.
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post #14 of Old 03-14-2014, 10:39 PM
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I'm surprised not many of you charge by the room. We charge $40 per room/area. We discount this down based on the more rooms you ad. ($100 for 3 rooms, $140 for 4 rooms) etc. This includes everything for the deep cleaning. We also are a dry carpet cleaner and not steam. So pricing may be a bit different for us.
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post #15 of Old 03-15-2014, 12:28 PM
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Carpet Cleaning...

I think the above replies are more related to house cleaning services vs. carpet cleaning. But a carpet cleaner I know also measures up by square footage and has a minimum charge of $150.00 while others do by-the-room deals.
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post #16 of Old 03-18-2014, 03:54 PM
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Commercial Cleaning Pricing

How to price all depends on your location and type of cleaning you are doing. Although hourly pricing may be better for you as far as making sure you are getting paid for your time properly and not getting snagged when something takes longer than expected, but business can sometimes feel worried about this. When they hear hourly, they wonder, "what if this company slacks? What if I'm paying for longer then I should? How will I know if I'm being over charged?"

Another good tip is if you do use flat rates or a standard hourly price, that you put it directly on your website so if it's not what a business is expecting, you don't have to worry about wasting time speaking to them about the facility if they are not interested in paying your rates.
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post #17 of Old 03-19-2014, 01:41 AM
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Back when we added carpet cleaning on to our house cleaning I always went and measured the house with my little wheel and gave an over-sized price on the spot. Now let me tell you a little secret, first of all... kids LOVE to play with that wheel once they see you use it so that's a huge PLUS! Next... it didn't matter if I did a crappy job of measuring, I was there to make a big hit with the family. I'd see all those guys advertising 3 rooms for $99 and LMAO! I'd usually walk out with a $500 job (3 rooms) because they like people that seem like a friend. And my job was just water like the rest of them, if they wanted extra they had to pay extra. I'd make friends with the dog and the cat and the kids and look the customer in the eye. The funny thing to me always was... I hate dogs and cats... but they LOVE me so I'd treat them like royalty. If you play as a sales game you will reap the profits.

On the down side... I spent a lot of time going on bids.... but if you spend that time wisely, it will be well worth it!
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post #18 of Old 03-25-2014, 01:08 PM
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I would not charge by the hour.People have an idea what they think cleaning is WORTH and let's just say I know how hard I work and I'm sure the rest of you understand this completely.If you charge by the job and you list and they sign an agreement saying what you are doing for the price then there's no problem.You do the work and you get paid.
Also supplying chemicals and other supplies helps...
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post #19 of Old 12-01-2014, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintcar93 View Post
Back when we added carpet cleaning on to our house cleaning I always went and measured the house with my little wheel and gave an over-sized price on the spot. Now let me tell you a little secret, first of all... kids LOVE to play with that wheel once they see you use it so that's a huge PLUS! Next... it didn't matter if I did a crappy job of measuring, I was there to make a big hit with the family. I'd see all those guys advertising 3 rooms for $99 and LMAO! I'd usually walk out with a $500 job (3 rooms) because they like people that seem like a friend. And my job was just water like the rest of them, if they wanted extra they had to pay extra. I'd make friends with the dog and the cat and the kids and look the customer in the eye. The funny thing to me always was... I hate dogs and cats... but they LOVE me so I'd treat them like royalty. If you play as a sales game you will reap the profits.

On the down side... I spent a lot of time going on bids.... but if you spend that time wisely, it will be well worth it!
This is EXACTLY how I was able to sell Kirby Vacuum cleaners for $1,000+ a pop when I did door to door sales back in 1999. I ended up quitting because I got sick of selling the over-priced cleaners, but it was all about making a friend and the family laugh.

People buy from people they like, which is why I think I'll do well in this business!

- Michael
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post #20 of Old 12-28-2014, 10:31 AM
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Much better profits with pricing per sq ft vs piece work.
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