House cleaning services are are not a commodity. If they were, you could simply shop the lowest price in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, house cleaning services are far from uniform. If you take multiple estimates, you will get multiple prices quoting different services. Each house cleaning company will clean your home but they will all do it differently, with different products and different cleaning systems. Each will offer strengths and weaknesses. A higher bid could actually reflect a higher quality cleaning; while a lower bid could reflect a quicker surface clean. It is not the same cleaning being bid at different prices.
To compound the problem, three companies can all tell you they clean baseboards but one will feather dust it, another will wet wipe it and a third will wet wipe and spot and scuff remove. With all these variables, price shopping and allowing the companies to quote prices on their terms will often lead to confusion and an apples to oranges comparison.
What we have to do is boil down the service to the lowest common denominator that all competing bidders share. The answer is really simple. Every house cleaning company is fundamentally sending you 1 house cleaner for 1 hour to clean. So the solution is to find out what the companies’ hourly rate is for 1 house cleaner offering 1 hour of cleaning services.
The house cleaning services your interviewing may not want to tell you their hourly rate but it would be very difficult to avoid the question if you hone in on it. They may tell you an hourly rate that covers a group of girls. Thats fine, just divide the rate by the number of girls to get the hourly rate for 1 maid for 1 hour. This is the lowest common denominator. They also might give you a flat rate with an expected time for completion. Divide the flat rate by the time to get an hourly rate for 1 house cleaner for 1 hour.
This method won’t tell you who is your best choice but it certainly will tell you who is the cheapest bidder.
Useful Tip #1:
Be wary of house cleaning companies that offer to send 3 or 4 house cleaners on a flat rate. These companies often have to clean a large number of houses in a day and use the ambiguity to charge you the flat rate but cut your cleaning time. Remember 15 clock minutes equals 1 billable hour for a group of 4 cleaners.
Useful Tip #2:
Why would a house cleaning service not want to clearly explain their rates and the expected time they plan to spend in your home? I guess there could be other reasons, but we believe it is because they plan to over-charge and the less specific they are the better. Some of the other reasons may be they do not have a credible pricing system or they are unsure of something in your estimate.
We make our prices available online 24/7. Anyone can see them. If you are a price-shopper we make it easy to find our price (we also make it easy to book with online booking.) for all to see. We don’t want to waste our time with clients who think our price is too high. We believe transparency in all matters, although uncomfortable in the beginning, is the best way to a successful long-term relationship.