Pricing a residential house cleaning job doesn’t have to be all consuming. The easiest way to charge for a residential house cleaning job is to track your clean time and cleaning material. In this article, you’ll learn how to create a house cleaning pricing guide for estimating house cleaning, condo cleaning, and apartment cleaning so that you make a profit from every cleaning. BONUS: FREE professional cleaning checklist printable!
So, you’re new to the professional cleaning industry?
The one thing you don’t want to get wrong is estimating your clean time at a customer’s home like we did.
It was a disaster!
Many years ago, our staff had to clean a 3-story home and provide 2 loads of laundry services for an estimated time of 2 hours. It should have worked, but enough thought wasn’t considered for the laundry’s dry time and folding. (Our customer’s dryer was old and took waaay too long to dry clothes.)
We had just purchased this 75-client based residential cleaning business and we were desperate to keep every single customer!
Even with the option to stop by his home first thing in the morning to put a load of clothes in the washer, then return after cleaning another home to complete his basic cleaning services, we still lost out.
We couldn’t seem to reach our usual profit margin due to time and fuel wasted in travel.
Simply put, the job should’ve been charged much more for laundry services even if we were washing his clothes concurrent to cleaning the rest of his home.
We didn’t consider the total clean time which threw everything else off.
We eventually had to increase our customer’s price. And to remedy this from ever happening again, we developed a house cleaning pricing guide for estimating so that we’d make a profit from every cleaning job.
We never wanted to run into this problem again! Never! And we’re here to help you do the same.
Since my husband (business partner), and I decided not too long before this customer to never give house cleaning estimates over the phone, or, give residential cleaning estimates by the square foot, we had to come up with a better method of how to price house cleaning services.
I get it, and you honestly don’t know which way to go.
Later, I’ll show you how to give an estimated cleaning rate based on estimated clean time! Again, this is the best way to price house cleaning when you’re starting a house cleaning business from scratch.
I say, keep it simple and charge by the hour for house cleaning jobs.
Why you should charge by the hour for house cleaning and not by the square foot
It’s simple. Estimating by the total square footage presents the issue of not capturing trouble areas in the home that can’t be calculated.
Issues such as mold and mildew, stains on the walls, greasy kitchen cabinets, and bathroom tile that needs extra care – extra time, can’t necessarily be calculated by the square foot.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum, you may have areas in that same home that are seldomly used – and wouldn’t take a lot of time to clean at all. Areas like guest bedrooms, home offices, and sections of the basement.
Again, when it comes to pricing for cleaning, it can get tricky when you’re starting a residential house cleaning company. You don’t need this hang-up. You need results you can trust when creating a house cleaning pricing guide because you’ll want to profit each and every time you clean.
Pricing a house cleaning job has to be considered when estimating clean time the right way, then multiplying that clean time by your hourly rate.
In fact, here’s a simple pricing formula for house cleaners for you to download, FOR FREE!
Or, if you want the more expanded version, visit our online shop for house cleaners.
This cleaning pricing guide is an aid to help you create your unique house cleaning price per hour. It also breaks down why you should charge a certain cleaning rate and what those percentages should be allotted to.
Listen to your customer’s greatest house cleaning problems
At your initial meeting, get an understanding of what matters most to the customer. Ask them about their main concerns – what is so overwhelming about house cleaning that they’ve reached out to you.
As you listen to your customer, and walk through their home, use this FREE residential customer profile worksheet. It’ll help you calculate every estimated hour of clean time per room.
Or visit our online professional cleaning shop for the more advanced version which has links to additional articles regarding professional residential cleaning services
Easy kitchen cleaning checklist for estimating
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Most would agree that it is also one of the most enjoyed rooms but, can easily become neglected.
Many of your customers will want you to give special attention to this or that in their kitchen. Your job will be to focus on the time and material needed to carry out each task discussed.
This is where you can use the residential customer profile worksheets. Be sure to grab your free copy!
If your customer expresses the need to keep the back splash clean, jot that down on the worksheets and an estimated time to clean it thoroughly.
If the stove top is a concern, write down your guesstimate clean time and the cost of any additional house cleaning supplies you’ll need.
And, since each home is different, be willing to adjust in order to cater to your prospective customer’s needs.
How to price bathroom cleaning easily and calculate every minute
When it comes to pricing bathroom cleaning, again, if the customer’s main concern is the odor, be sure to address that concern. If she stresses about having her shower tile grout cleaned properly, even at the very top, jot down the need of a step ladder to clean with.
Keep in mind, you’re estimating clean time. So, take advantage of being in the home. LOOK OVER everything and imagine the time it would take you to clean each item. Now, add any other products you’d need to complete the job.
We have a list of the 21 best cleaning products for kitchen, bath, and the rest of the home. Just fill out the form below to get the access code to our FREE resource library for new cleaners! Oh, and the resource library has your PROFESSIONAL CLEANING CHECKLIST PRINTABLE!
How to price cleaning bedrooms and all other living areas to get paid right.
Just as you’ve looked over the kitchen and bathrooms to estimate time and material, do the same for all the living areas as well.
Take your time.
Make sure that you’re taking notes of anything out of the ordinary in each room. Here are a few pointers…
- Write down if there’s a lot of glassware or woodwork or mirrors. And, if you’re not sure already, research how to clean mirrors that are floor to ceiling. You’ll want the best way to clean mirrors and windows without streaks.
- Count any steps and landings. Are they carpeted or hard surface?
- Is there a lot of clutter or toys or furnishings? Write it down. The room’s ‘density’ will make all the difference when pricing. Trust me. Make your best guesstimate of how long it will take you to pick up and tidy as well as clean,
- Take note that when creating your house cleaning pricing guide for estimates, it will take more time to clean hard surface floors than carpet. Hard surface floors such as wood, tile, or concrete will need a double pass with cleaning supplies as opposed to carpeted floors. Keep this in mind 😊.
- What is the care for electronics? Do you know how to clean a flat screen TV without streaks, or how to clean a computer screen, mac or PC? Find out if your customer wants those tasks completed.
- Are there ceiling fans, large wall art, curios, or china cabinets, pianos, or anything else that would require special attention? Ask your customer for specific cleaning instructions. By the way, here’s the best ceiling fan cleaning tool this side of heaven. Check it out.
Grab the best 21 professional house cleaning supplies list and professional house cleaning checklist printable right here >>>
Add your estimated clean time. Multiply your hourly cleaning rate.
Once you’ve come up with your house cleaning rate by doing the math, you should be good to go. But before you tell your customer their final price chew on these few things…
- How are your prices compared to your competition? Sure enough, your competition is not your focus. However, you still want to be on the playing field when it comes to giving housekeeping estimates.
For instance, if your prices are 50% higher than all your competition, you’ll want to justify that. Simply, what are you bringing to the table to warrant the price difference? On the other hand, if your competitors are a lot higher, don’t be the cheapest on the block – raise your rates.
- Have you considered all the additional cleaning material needed to perform all cleaning tasks you were shown? All degreasers, various scrub pads, step ladders, extending dusters, the number of flat mops needed, knee pads, mold removing solution, specialty wood polish/ restorer, and rust, lime and calcium remover. Whoo!
Whatever types of professional house cleaning supplies you need, be sure to purchase before your scheduled cleaning day.
- Ask if your customer wants any deep cleaning services. Typically, the first house cleaning should be considered a deep cleaning and it’s why you should charge more for the first house cleaning.
If you want to know what’s included in a deep house cleaning, take the FREE Deep Cleaning Challenge and we’ll give you a list of several cleaning tasks you can incorporate into the initial house cleaning estimate. You can customize your customer’s cleaning package!
Giving an estimated cleaning rate window is better than giving one price for house cleaning
Once you’ve done the hard part of developing a systematic way to create a house cleaning pricing guide, it’s time to put everything together.
Most residential house cleaning customers appreciate flat house cleaning rates. However, when you’re first starting your residential house cleaning business from scratch, give your customers an estimated cleaning window.
Trust me on this.
Because, giving an estimated cleaning price ‘window’ will ensure you to profit from every house cleaning.
Let’s break this down…
Hypothetically, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,800 sq ft low density (clutter) modest home may take you 4 – 6 hours to perform an initial deep cleaning. You’ve calculated your hourly cleaning rate at $35 per hour. Now, take your hourly rate and multiply that by your estimated clean times. According to the attached picture your cleaning rate will be $140.00 – $210.00 PLUS $25 in additional supplies and equipment.
Hypothetically, if you want to get a recurring cleaning rate, do the same math but with a different clean time and less material cost.
Once you’ve been cleaning for a while, and you and your customer have become familiar with one another, simply average the difference to favor yourself at $125.00 per cleaning.
Room by room house cleaning checklist
Once you know how much to charge to clean a house, use the basic house cleaning checklist found in our FREE cleaner’s resource library.
A professional house cleaning checklist is always helpful – you don’t want to miss anything.
You can also leave this sheet for each of your customers highlighting that you’ve completed all tasks that were discussed!
Creating a house cleaning pricing guide doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simple step by step and room by room estimating clean time and material for professional house cleaning.
And once you’ve done this over and over, making small tweeks with your material and supplies, clean time, and other facets of your business, you’ll have an iron-clad house cleaning pricing guide so that you make a profit from every cleaning!
But, before I go, I wanted to leave you with one more thing…
RECOMMENDED READING: ‘The Blue Ocean Strategy’ by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne teaches how to think outside the box, how to respond favorably to your customer’s needs while providing a product that your competition can’t match.
Remember, this is your professional housekeeping business and it’s best for you to create systems that work for you! And, creating a house cleaning pricing guide for estimating IS one system you want to get right.
Again, it helps to know what your competitor’s house cleaning rates and services are, but it’s always best to have your own unique way of charging for house cleaning. Learn to think outside the box when it comes to creating a house cleaning pricing guide so that you make a profit from every cleaning.
Seriously, get this book.
I’m excited for you and hope that you succeed with your new professional house cleaning business!
Anything else we can help you with learning how to create a house cleaning pricing guide for estimating house cleaning, condo cleaning, and apartment cleaning so that you make a profit from every cleaning job? Comment below!
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Lao Tzu
If you liked this post, subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking here. We share all kinds of personal stories of the past 25 years in the professional cleaning service industry. They’ve got just the right spice and juice, like an Italian Beef, with sweet peppers, dipped from Buona Beef here in Chi-Town. 😉
One other thing we talk a lot about other than our 3 boys, love of traveling, eating good/ greasy food, and using ketchup to clean copper kitchen sinks is our love for not wasting your precious freaking time! Seriously, we’re not about that!
In fact, enter the FREE Deep Cleaning Challenge so that you won’t waste your precious freaking time only performing basic cleaning. Level up! Your customers will love you for it – so will your pockets!
So good to meet you. We’re glad you stopped by!