House cleaning services have currently been on the rise, especially after the pandemic in early 2020. People are now more conscious of the clean surroundings they want to live in, and hygiene is most focused. If you’re a cleaning business yourself, then you must have witnessed a rise in demand amongst your business as well as your competitors.
House cleaning is not an easy job. Like anything else, there is a procedure that, when followed, will get the job done better and faster. Also, cleaning homes for a living involves a lot of manual labor that most people don’t even consider. Tasks include carrying heavy equipment, lots of bending, being on your knees for long periods. Your cleaning business has to charge customers enough to employ individuals who can be compensated adequately for their hard work.
Things to pay attention to when creating your pricing structure
According to the rates in different countries and cities, the average cost of house cleaning differs from area to area. In places where there is greater demand for cleaning services, the rates are high, and the areas that do not have high demand are lower.
Before we understand how to calculate the area of a home that needs cleaning, we also need to decide how your company is structured. First, do you want to provide in-home estimates, or do you want to give a quote online without ever stepping into a home? Regardless of how your company operates, this guide will fit both; cleaning businesses that do in-home estimates and those that do not.
Companies who do cleaning estimates in houses
What are the pros?
- More accurate pricing per job
- No surprise costs
- You can establish a connection with the customer, which will help you turn them into a customer
What are the cons?
- It’s a long process
- It can be expensive if you have to employ sales individuals
- Harder to scale your business
Companies who do NOT do cleaning estimates in houses
What are the pros?
- Easier to scale your business
- You’ll save time
- You’ll save money on gas and sales individuals
What are the cons?
- There may be surprises, especially if the customer misleads you when entering the information online
- There is more room for error when pricing jobs
- Some customers might fall through the cracks because they may want someone to do an in-home estimate as they feel they will get a more accurate price
- No customer connection when selling
Which one should you be doing?
In-home estimates are not for everyone, and we believe that not every company should follow this method. For example, if you’re operating a cleaning business that focuses on small homes, you’re probably better off doing online pricing and scheduling. Typically all the houses in the area where you do business will be similar, and in the long run, it will save you a lot of money giving the pricing upfront. On the other hand, if your business specializes in jobs priced at $500+ or are custom, in-home estimates may be the better option for your business.
These should also be things you consider when deciding what type of cleaning business you’re starting (if you’re not yet in business). If you’re someone that likes to do everything from home, structuring your business around online pricing may be the better option. What if you can’t stand to sit at home all day? Perhaps in-home estimates may give you a way to get out of the house several times a day and better fit your personality. Now that you’ve decided on the structure, let’s continue.
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Trial and error
First, just like anything else, it takes trial and error to learn the proper techniques to giving the correct quote to a prospect. It’s okay if you quote too high or too low because all that matters is that you gain the experience you need to get better. If you’re doing in-home estimates, you’ll adjust over time to avoid errors, and if you have an online booking form, you can always modify it till it’s perfect. Take it job by job and optimize your pricing structure. When most customers mention you’re too expensive, it may be an excellent sign to decrease pricing, and if no one ever says there’s a pricing issue, it may be a sign to test higher pricing.
Another thing that will come to play when giving pricing to a customer is branding. At first, you may need to start by charging a bit less than your competition charges and increasing as your brand reputation spreads. Undercutting the competition will allow you to gain clientele quickly, which can then be turned into online reviews. Then, when clients are looking up your business, reviews will help support a higher pricing structure.
Studying your competition
The best place to look when pricing your services is to find your biggest competitors and stay competitive with them. Does that mean copying their services? No, it means getting ideas from them and turning them into your own. If you’re doing in-home estimates, you’ll want to call your competitors and try and get a quote from them to see what they offer, how they offer it, and how much they charge. If your competition does online pricing, it will be easy to visit their website and study their entire quoting process.
After you’ve collected the data from some of your competitors, you’ll have an idea of what services you’ll offer and how much you will charge for them.
Where are your clients coming from?
Understand where your customers are coming from because it will help you understand how to market to them. Often, entrepreneurs will price their services only to change the pricing plan a week later because everyone is saying they are expensive. Yet, they are not analyzing the data to understand where your customers are coming from.
For example, if you’ve priced your service based on all the above factors, and you start advertising on Craigslist or Groupon, you’ll almost always have customers say you’re too expensive. This is because the users who shop on those sites are looking for deals and great offers. If you listen to all those customers, you’ll change your pricing calculator after a few of those complaints. Instead, it would help if you left your main pricing calculator as is and offer these users a coupon or discount inside your ADs. Other forms of traffic such as Yelp users and referrals may be completely fine with your main pricing structure, allowing you to profit from such customers.
Now that you know what to pay attention to let’s go to the calculator
We’ve created a calculator for you using BookingKoala:
Example variations of what you’ll see inside the calculator:
One-time without extras examples
- One-time cleaning of a studio with one bathroom will cost $109.
- One-time cleaning of a one-bedroom, one-bathroom standard cleaning will cost $119.
- One-time cleaning of a four-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom standard cleaning will cost $209.
One-time with extras examples
- One-time cleaning of a studio with one bathroom, interior fridge, and interior oven will cost $149.
- One-time cleaning of a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, interior fridge, and the interior oven will cost $159.
- One-time cleaning of a four-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom standard cleaning with requirements such as inside oven and inside fridge cleaning will cost $249.
- Weekly cleaning of a studio home with one bedroom will cost $87.20 per cleaning (4 times per month).
- Monthly cleaning of a studio home with one bedroom will cost $98.10 per cleaning (once per month).
- Weekly cleaning of a four-bedroom, 3-bathroom home will cost $127.20 per cleaning (4 times per month).
- Monthly cleaning of a four-bedroom, 3-bathroom home will cost $143.10 per cleaning (once per month).
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Several things are going on inside this calculator so let me explain
- First, the calculator made for this blog post is for the home cleaning industry only
- It can be used for apartments, condos, townhomes, and houses of all sizes
- We’ve included the flat rate pricing structure inside this calculator
These are just estimates, and you’ll want to pay attention to all the points mentioned in the first half of this blog post when creating your prices. For example, if you’re doing online pricing, you may use a similar structure as our calculator with minor tweaks. Such tweaks might be due to your location, competition, or the fact that you’re just starting without an online reputation.
The first thing you’ll notice is the zip code area of the calculator. We’ve included all the zip codes from the United States inside the calculator. If you enter a zip code such as 60654, the calculator will give you an estimate of the home. If you’re building your calculator inside the BookingKoala software, you can use the location feature to offer different pricing depending on where the house is located. For example, if the user is in a metropolitan area such as Chicago, the prices may be higher.
To save time, we did NOT base pricing per different US areas; instead, no matter what zip code you enter, the price will remain the same.
Flat rates are the standard in the home cleaning industry which is what the calculator displays by default. Of course, there are other ways to price a cleaning, such as per hour or per square footage of the home. However, we kept it simple and went with the flat rate option. If you’d like, you can customize your calculator to show all three options and have the customer select how they’d like to receive pricing. If you do so, an option to select ‘flat-rate pricing,’ ‘hourly pricing,’ or ‘pricing based on square footage’ would show on the calculator. We do not recommend making such an adjustment. However, you can test that method if you wish to do so.
Instead of adding the three options above, you may want to add in the type of home the owner has for more accurate pricing. For example, you can add ‘Apartments and condos,’ ‘Townhome,’ or a ‘House’ option. This will allow you to give a different set of prices for apartments and condos versus houses. This strategy makes sense because houses are typically bigger than apartments and condos.
We’ve divided the pricing based on the most popular frequencies in the home cleaning industry. Those frequencies are one-time appointments, weekly, every other week, and monthly appointments. The calculator automatically offers a discount to the user depending on the number of monthly appointments they have. If they select weekly, they will receive the highest value.
What needs to be done?
Here is where you can add all of the things one would select that are inside their home. The standard way would be to display the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are inside the home. We’ve also seen a third option being added, which would be the home’s square footage. However, this is not recommended because some homeowners may not know the square footage of their home. Always keep in mind, the simpler the form, the more bookings one will receive due to less friction and clutter.
After the customer selected the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, you can add extras they may want or need based on those selections. You may also organize them based on a specific selection. For example, if someone selects one bedroom, you may have a ‘deep cleaning’ option that costs $40, or if they choose four bedrooms, the ‘deep cleaning’ option could be $100. By making such adjustments over time, you’ll be able to have the perfect quote form for your prospects.
Other ideas that could go as an extra could be ‘interior window cleaning, ‘garage cleaning,’ ‘post-construction,’ and ‘move-in/out cleaning.’ We did not include those inside the calculator; however, it would be good to have those add-ons in place if you offer those as a service.
Now that you understand the pricing calculator, if you’d like to add one to your website, you can create it by signing up for a 14-day trial and testing one out.
If you price everything at home, having a calculator to go off of can be a good idea. With BookingKoala, you can have an internal calculator to use when going into a home. The calculator can serve as a base, and you can make adjustments accordingly when you’re at the property.
To help you get started in the cleaning industry, check out these helpful blog posts:
- How to start a cleaning business
- How profitable is a cleaning business
- Cleaning business marketing ideas
- Best cleaning business names
- Cleaning business insurance
- Cleaning business license
- Finding employees for cleaning business
- How much should I pay my cleaning employees
- How much should i charge for cleaning a house
- Cleaning business software