Its one of the most sought after questions for new entrepreneurs. How do I deliver a house cleaning quote? First, before we get to far into this, you will need to know what your price structure is. If you don’t have any idea or know where to begin on what to charge for cleaning services, jump on over to my post that dives into it. —> What You Should Charge for House Cleaning Services
Its exciting when you start getting requests for quotes. You’ve marketed your business and finally got that first call. Now what??? If you don’t have all your ducks in a row and a consistent process then you will not have a very high conversion rate.
Decide if you are going to give in home estimates or phone estimates. These are the 2 most popular quoting methods, and the most debated on whether which is best. They both have their pros and cons.
In Home Estimates
Lots of cleaning companies only do in home estimates and will argue that they are the only way to go. Whats great about them is you will be able to to see the condition of the home. Because the condition of the home has an impact on cleaning times, seeing it will give you a better idea on how long you should plan to be there on the first clean. It also alleviates any surprises…Trust me those are never fun!
The down side is that they eat up valuable time. You might be confused…Wait, isn’t landing a job one of the most valuable things you can be doing? Well, yes … and no. You can have a converted quote just the same whether you speak to the potential client on the phone or in person. The difference is the amount of time invested to convert the quote.
When you are a business owner, your time is very valuable and you will need to be very selective on how you spend it. Most in home estimates will take about 2 hours. This allows for driving time and for the actual face to face time with the client.
You could only realistically do a few in home estimates a day. And that is if your doing them during regular business hours. But, most of your estimates will be done around a time convenient for the potential client. This means you will be spending weekends and evenings delivering quotes. This will cut into family time, leisure time and sleep time!
These are my #1 choice. You can still get information concerning the job AND you can still create a connection with the potential client BUT you are saving 1/4 of the time! You could give 3 times more quotes this way!
The down side to phone quotes is you won’t be able to see the home until the first cleaning day. In my 2 years of running a cleaning business we walked into 1 complete disaster. But this was a move out clean, not a recurring client. The way around this is to set a disclaimer letting the client know up front, that the Estimate may change due to extenuating circumstances causing additional cleaning time than expected.
If you have a consistent cleaning system and pricing system your cleaning times will not vary greatly for the majority of clients. Obviously there are those outlier’s, but that is what the disclaimer is for. This makes phone quotes more effective and accurate.
Related Post: Cleaning Efficiently, The Most Efficient Cleaning System
Website estimates have grown in popularity in recent years. When you are first starting out, it more than likely will not financially make sense for you to invest in an online booking form. If you have a website, you should definitely make it a goal of yours to putting one on your site. The great thing about online estimate forms is they happen on autopilot. A client finds your site when they do a web search for a reputable cleaning company in your area, they can get a custom quote immediately AND can book their cleaning at the same time! When a quote is submitted, or booking made, you will get a notification.
The online booking form I used for my cleaning biz was Launch27. They are currently the best out there. Pricing starts at $59 a month. But they the sleekest and most user friendly format for both clients using the form and you as the business owner managing it. They have an easy to install plug-in for your site and offer tons of resources to help you through the process.
Whether you are providing an in home, over the phone or web quote you’ll want to gather pertinent data to help you set a price as well as prepare for your first cleaning. You will want to know the following information before entering a home.
- Square footage
- Number of Stories
- How many Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Any other rooms? Laundry, Den, etc.
- Type of flooring throughout the home
- Any Pets?
- Is there currently a cleaning service
- One time cleaning or Recurring service
- Any additional information the client would like to add
Not only will this information help determine price and cleaning times, it will also help prepare for the first cleaning. It will help give you an idea of a cleaning time and help determine what supplies and equipment will be needed. If the client has wood floors you’ll want to bring a wood floor mop and cleaner, if none then that can be left in the vehicle. (BTW Click here —-> for the best Wood Floor Cleaning System) The more information you can gather about a home before you enter it, the better. This will help to eliminate any special surprises.
Define your services
So, why should clients choose your cleaning service over another? Now’s your time to SHINE!!! Tell them all the fabulous reasons your company stands out over another. Remember that you will be competing with cleaners who work by themselves, have no insurance, and don’t have any formal cleaning program, and are not insured. So tell potential clients this. If something is broken or property is damaged, cause lets face it we are all human and accidents happen, liability insurance protects your clients home and belongings. (P.S. If you don’t have business insurance, you need to hop on over and read this article —-> Why every cleaning business should carry insurance!)
Show them a cleaning check list used with each cleaning. At a minimum your service should include dusting of furniture, vacuuming, moping, kitchen surfaces, bathroom surfaces. Think of including areas that many other cleaners miss such as long dusting of ceiling fans and hard to reach area’s (this can be done with a simple long dusting tool).
Offer a unique service, and tell potential clients about it, that will separate you from your competitors. The way we stood out over our clients is offering ‘Extra’s’ like wet wiping baseboards, cabinetry, vacuum living room furniture, and other periodic tasks that most companies charge extra for. When I would tell potential clients this they were always excited about this. Its so easy to offer. At each cleaning you complete one task. Because you are keeping up on the tasks, it does not take much effort to add to the cleanings.
This is important. Some times potential clients will ask for a quote and may be get busy, or something else comes up. If we didn’t hear back from a client in 3 days I would email them or call them to ask if they had any questions I had not answered. This does 2 things. One it puts your company name in front of them again. Maybe they have called around for several quotes (which most people do when shopping for a cleaning service). Two it lets the potential client know that you care about their business and care about them. If they were to hire your cleaning service, they know they will be services with care. And three it makes you look professional.
Ask if you can send them promotional emails
I always asked those that received quotes if we could put them on our mailing list. I don’t recall anyone saying no! I let them know that we ran promotions or specials periodically for clients and that we would be happy to add them to our mailing list. Almost every time we ran a special, we had a prior quote sign up either for a 1 time clean. Some times homeowners get quotes and realize they can’t afford the service. But jump on the special promotions. These clients are great for generating referrals too! Once we got into their home to clean, we impressed them with our stellar service we either got a great review, referral or new continuous service.
Also, if there is an issue with budget with a potential client you can suggest once a month visits rather than weekly or bi-weekly. They still get the heavy cleaning done, but may have to do light cleaning chores such as vacuuming and wiping down counters.
So there you have it! How to give an effective house cleaning quote and get a sale. The key here is collecting the right data to determine the price, consistent pricing, having a consistent cleaning system and following up. Clients will hire a service whom they trust, so remember to always be professional and keep all promises.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a response or shot me an email at Roberta@WellKeptClutter.com! I am here to help you start a successful cleaning business with as little extra work necessary!