Questions to Ask Before Cleaning Someone’s House

Questions to Ask Before Cleaning Someone’s House

Don’t be blind sided when first cleaning a new house. Questions to ask before cleaning someone’s house. It may seem to be straight forward: A client hires you, you arrive to the clients’ house, clean and then leave.

But often there are many variables through out that process. In the beginning months of my cleaning business, I would sign up a new client, and only collect their basic contact information, how they would pay me and that was about it.

But there always seemed to be some unknown that would cost us money, lost time or client frustration. So I came up with a list of what to ask new clients.

Before cleaning a clients home it is important to get as much information about them, their home and access to service to create a smooth cleaning service. You can do this by using a new client data sheet and when you are quoting the cleaning service.

New Client Welcome Forms

Before we get too far into this…if you are looking for a new client data sheet and new client welcome forms my new client welcome kit is just that. The Kit includes a Customer Data Sheet, a Welcome Letter, Client Policies and Procedures, Cleaning Checklist and a Client Referral Program.

New Client Welcome Kit for Residential House Cleaning

These are done for you forms that are ready to print and use.

 

Questions to Ask Before Cleaning Someone’s House

Questions to ask before cleaning someone's home

Below are questions that I have developed throughout the years with my cleaning business. This allowed us to offer a professional cleaning service and avoid any unwanted costly surprises.

 

Collecting important contact information:

Ask questions about who your client is and how to get ahold of them during a cleaning or after hours.

Common questions include:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email

Ask if there will be a different name on their forms of payment. Especially if they are paying by check. This will make it easier to reconcile your payments to your client.

Don’t forget to ask if they have a preferred first name.

Always ask for a second contact

If you can’t get ahold of your client and their is an emergency, who should you contact? Don’t assume if you are talking to a female that her spouse is a ‘he’. Be aware and sensitive to all different family make-ups. I like to ask for the Significant Other. Or to make it easy, just say 2nd contact who lives in the house with you.

What is the best number to reach you while we are at your home in the even of questions, emergency, or if we can’t get into the house?

If the client is not going to be at the house while you are cleaning, you will need a contact number to reach them at whether it’s a cell phone or a work number. Anything can happen while you are in the home, and you’ll want a way to get ahold of your client quickly if needed.

Collect important information about the home to help with pricing & cleaning time:

The next set of questions you want to ask about is their home. These questions will help you understand how long it will take you to clean and what types of cleaning products you should be bringing with you to the first cleaning service.

These questions will help you get a better understanding of how long it will take you to clean, so that you can more efficiently price the cleaning service.

Read this article to learn How to Price House Cleaning Services.

When was the last time you had your home professionally cleaned?

This will give you a good idea of how long the first cleaning will take. If they had their home professionally cleaned in the last 4 weeks the first cleaning will not have to take as long.

The first cleaning service will more than likely will take up to twice as long if a client has not had their home professionally cleanedlike ever.

If this is the case, you may want to suggest your client to purchase a deep clean for their first cleaning service and then regular maintenance cleaning after.

These questions will help you understand the size of the home.

Basic questions include:

  • What is the square footage of the home? You can verify this on Zillow.com
  • How many bedrooms do you have?
  • How many bathrooms do you have?

These questions will help you to know what kind of equipment, tools and cleaning supplies you need to bring to the house. These questions are really important so that you can come to the house with the right tools.

What kind of flooring do you have?

You’ll need to know if you need a vacuum for carpet or a vacuum for hard floors. If the client has hardwood floors you will want to make sure to bring your hardwood cleaner and mop. Tile flooring and other types of hard floors require different types of mops.

How many stories is the home?

Is there 1 or multiple stories. You’ll need to know this because of the extra cleaning time with the stairs. Additionally when cleaning 2 story homes you will approach cleaning a little different as it is more efficient to clean the top floor first then move down to the bottom floor.

Questions regarding Special Cleaning instructions

Ask your new client questions about any special cleaning instructions. These questions are NOT meant to cater your cleaning services for each specific client. Rather you will want to ask questions about any special no-touch items or items they hold near and dear to their hearts. This way you know the whether you should skip cleaning these items or not.

Do you have any special cleaning products you will provide? Where are they located?

The majority of maid services bring their own cleaning supplies to clean client homes. But every once in a while, a client may have a special product they use on a certain piece of furniture. It is not best practice to buy cleaning products specific to every client. Instead, if a client has a special product, they provide it. You’ll want to know where to use it and where you can find it in the house.

Do you have any family heirlooms?

This question is important because you want to know which items hold sentimental value to your clients. These are the irreplaceable items in the home. In my cleaning business these were generally ‘no touch’ items, especially if they were breakable.

Money can’t buy everything. That holds true to a ceramic vase that has been passed down from 4 generations. You will never be able to replace a family heirloom like you could a lamp that was purchased at a home goods store last year.

What are your no touch items?

There might not be a family heirloom, but some clients may have a no touch item. These items may be expensive, one of a kind or just unique and can’t be replaced. You’ll want to stay clear of them when cleaning the home.

Let the client take the responsibility to cleaning or dusting these pieces. It will save you headache (and heartache) if in the event the items get damaged during the cleaning process.

Are there any rooms in the house we should not venture into?

Sometimes you’ll have clients that may have area’s of the house they don’t want you to clean in. These could be nurseries, offices with confidential information or storage areas.

Usually, they will tell you up front, but it is always good to ask the question. It shows you care and are professional. Make sure you respect the wishes of your client and stay clear of these areas.

 

Ask questions about your clients pets before cleaning a house

Questions about your clients pet’s

Don’t get caught off guard by a large dog. Or let a cat run out of the home when you are arriving or leaving. Ask about any pets your new client may have and what to expect with them.

Do you have any pets?

It is a good idea to know your clients’ pets. You’ll be in the house for a few hours with the pets.

You also don’t want to leave a door open when carrying cleaning supplies to and from the house if they have a cat or dog. The last call I would want to make is that I allowed the dog to run out of the house.

Which leads me to the next question….

Are the pets allowed outside?Will the pet be locked up?

These are great questions to get a gauge on whether or not the pets are allowed outside. We had clients that had cats that were allowed outside. The cats would roam in and out of the house, and there was a kitty door where they could get back in.

If the client has a large dog or dog that is prone to running out of the house, it is a good idea that you request them to cage the pets during your visit, especially if the client will not be home.

What are your pets’ names?

If they have pets, write down the pets’ name. Pets are often time treated like family and children. Learning and remembering the pets name will help build report with your customer and it will show you care about their belongings.

Questions about getting into the house/locking up

Clear up any questions about how you will be getting into a clients home and how to lock up. This will save you wasting time on or accidently setting off an alarm.

Is there a gate to get into the home or complex?

Some neighborhoods will have a gate or guard at the front. With these many times there are codes that you will need for these to enter the neighborhood.

Where should we park?

This question is not always obvious. Your client will appreciate you asking the question. Answers will vary such on the left or right of the driveway, on the side of the road, on the side of the road across the street. Or if the client lives in an apartment complex or condo there may be visitor parking or service parking.

Some communities don’t allow parking on the side of the road and may result in towing or ticketing. Make sure you clear up any parking restrictions before you arrive for your first cleaning service.

How should we get into the house?

This is an important question. Many clients will not be home when you clean their house. That means you will need to know exactly how you will be entering the home.  It is best not to make assumptions here.

Some clients will provide a key, others will have garage door codes you can use, or some may want you to come into a side door rather the front. I even had clients who left a key under a planter or mat and that was how we got in.

If the client says they will leave the door open for you, or that they will meet you on cleaning day to let you in, make sure you make it very clear what time you will be there and how long you are willing to wait. Also, this is a good time to remind them of your lockout or last-minute cancelation policy. (Our lockout/cancelation policy can be found in the New Client Welcome Kit)

One thing to note here; I always presented the question saying most of our clients prefer to provide us with a key. If at any time they termed service, we would provide the keys back to the client. Having a key is the best way to prevent any lock outs or having to wait for a client to meet you at the home.

Is there an alarm/alarm code you will have to shut off when entering the home?

If there is an alarm that will be activated, you will want to get the code so that you can shut it off when entering the home. You don’t want the police showing up because the alarm went off.

Ask the client to show you how to use the alarms control panel, or do some research of your own to get an understanding on how to use it.

Most alarms will allow the homeowner to set a secondary code just for service providers. That way if they terminate service, they can inactivate the code that they give you.

If the client does not want to give you the code to the alarm because they say it will not be set on cleaning day, make it clear that if you walk into the home and the alarm does get activated, that the client is responsible for any costs associate with the alarm going off.

How should we lock up the house before we leave?

If there is an alarm code do, they want you to set it before leaving? If the client meets you at the home to let you into the house, do they want you to lock the door when you leave?

Where is the location of your central trash container?

As part of your cleaning service, you more than likely will be collecting and taking out the trash. Make sure you know where to take the trash out of the house. Most residential homes will store their outside garbage cans in the garage or on the side of the house.

For apartments and condo’s this may be in a different location than the unit.

Next Steps:

Read this article to learn how to present a house cleaning Quote to a potential customer.

Are you looking for new customers? How to find house cleaning jobs near you. OR Low cost marketing for cleaning businesses.

New Client Welcome Forms for Cleaning Businesses

Essential New Client Welcome Form Kit with fillable and ready to go forms. Just update the area’s highlighted in Yellow with your information and you are ready to print or use on your webpage.

Forms Included in the Kit

  1. New Client Welcome Letter
  2. Client Data Sheet
  3. Customer Policies
  4. Cleaning Checklist
  5. Customer Referral Program

Get the Forms Here

 

Questions to ask before cleaning someone’s house

 

5 Things Your Cleaning Business Website Needs

When you want to purchase a new gadget, where do you go to start your search? I bet you go to the internet, am I right?

Your first search may be, what is the best ….. ? Or maybe you search how much does ….. cost? Then once you get a little more information you may search the terms, where to buy ….. ?

Guess what, this process is no different to how potential clients are searching for someone to clean their houses. If you do not have a website or not marketing online for your cleaning business, you are leaving high quality leads on the table.

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Benefits for having a website for your cleaning business

Website’s provide High Quality Leads who are looking to buy

Online shoppers are high quality leads. If they are searching the terms Cleaning Services near me then that means they are in the market to purchase house cleaning services.

These leads will be way easier to convert to sales than if you tried to sell to 25 people who were not in the market to buy cleaning services.

I did some key word research and found that 15,000 people search the words Cleaning Services near me a month. That does not include searches for Cleaning services <town name>

Keywords for cleaning service websites

 

Book clients when you’re sleeping or cleaning houses

If built right, your website will sell your cleaning services without you being present. Build a clean, organized site with calls to action and you will be able to get leads calling you.

You’ll be able to sell your cleaning services when you are taking care of other tasks in your business. If your still cleaning houses, you don’t have time to make cold calls or network. You’re website will help you put your business in front of ready to buy clients.

 

Book more clients while you are cleaning houses

Having a website is a great tool for you to drive potential clients to learn more about your services. Your website works to book more clients while you are working on other aspects of your business.

Use it as a tool to send potential leads to learn more about your business. If your shopping in the grocery store and start a conversation with someone who maybe interested in your services. Tell them to visit your website for more information.

Your website will be a one stop shop where you can send potential clients to see what you offer, what kind of clean they can expect each visit, learn about you and your team, what pricing to expect, and even book an appointment if.

 

5 Pages for your Maid Service website

 

What to Include on you Cleaning Business Website

When first starting out, you may not have a large budget for custom webpages.  Your long-term goal should be to incorporate online booking, your short-term goal is to create a page where local customers can find your business, get to know you and the services you offer.

 

Call to Actions

Most importantly your cleaning business website needs a call to action.  Add your phone number in bold lettering and bright colors. Add a Request a quote form button.

You can add a free webform using google forms for your request form.

About You/Your Company

This is where you can create a connection with your potential clients. Be real and tell your story.  What are you passionate about? What will your customer get if they choose you?

Think about when you shop for services online. Do you visit the About Me page to get to know the people behind the business? You’re looking for some sort of connection.

Include a photo of yourself. If you have employees, add them here as well. It provides an opportunity for potential clients to make a connection with you as a person and not just a webpage.

 

Listing of Services

This area of your webpage is really important.  This is where potential customers learn about the services you offer and if your business is what they need.  Include a copy of your cleaning check list.

Don’t have a cleaning checklist?  Stop here and create one NOW (this is so important to keep consistency and maintain efficiency).

Ok, now that you have a complete cleaning checklist, post it to your website. Use bullet points for easy to read. Stay away from long paragraphs when listing your services. Users are more interested in what will be cleaned for each service

Add cleaning checklists for each of the cleaning services you may offer.
  • Maintenance cleaning services (where you visit the home weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly on a recurring schedule).
  • Deep cleanings
  • Move out
Here are some samples of cleaning services checklist on other Websites.

 

 

 

Pricing

There is some debate of whether or not you should include your prices. My recommendation is to include a range of prices. Your house cleaning prices will be different depending on the size of the home, how frequent you clean and whether or not you are doing a deep clean or just a maintenance clean.

When I had my cleaning business I provided a range here for the different services we offered. Here is a sample of what I included.

  • Maintenance Cleaning services
    • Weekly Cleanings – Starting at $75
    • Bi-weekly Cleanings – Starting at $85
    • Monthly Cleanings – Starting at $105
  • Deep Cleanings – Starting at $150
  • Move out cleaning services – Starting at $200

Each of the services listed should have a link to a page that tells them what is included. You want to make your website as user friendly and easy to find information.

 

Contact Page

On your Contact page, include a few options on how to get in contact with you.

At minimum include a phone number and your Email address. You can even create an easy webform for someone to fill out with their information to request more information.

If you have Instagram, Facebook or some other social media account you can include it here as well.

The easier you make it for a potential client to get a hold of you the more likely they will book with you and not some other business.

 I love this contact page. It has 4 options for people to get ahold of them and includes links to their social media platform, which is great for engagement.

Request a Quote or Book Now page.

If you’re not ready to add a book now button on your website that is ok. The programs that run booking applications on webpages cost money and have to be maintained. When you are new and starting out it is ok if you do not add one.

Instead you can create a Request a Quote or Booking page using a webform. Some website templates will offer an easy webform that you can create write on your website.

I like to use Google Forms (it’s Free). They are easy to create write in your google account and link onto your website. You can set up notifications so that you get emailed when someone submits a response.

It is easy to build a web form on your website that will collect pertinent information from a potential client so that you can contact them to either provide a quote or call them back.

Here are some sample webforms.

 

What to do with your website once it is published:

Once you have your website up and functioning it is important that you add it to ALL of your marketing materials as well.

Here is a checklist of where to add your cleaning business website:

  • Email Signature Line
  • Facebook Profile
  • Instagram Profile
  • All Brochures
  • All Customer Information Sheets
  • On your vehicle, if you advertise on it
  • On your Business Card
  • Your Google Listing (Click here for a step-by-step guide to list your business on Google)
  • All Review sites such as Yelp.com you may be advertising in
  • Anywhere else you may have your business name printed.

 

5 Things your cleaning business website needs

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with Clients

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with Clients

Cleaning fees is a tough subject to bring up with your cleaning clients and is not always fun. Many maid service owners lack the confidence to clearly state cleaning fee’s without breaking down and offering their services at a much lower price than what they want. These discussions can be difficult to do, but are so VERY important for the success of your business!

When fee’s are clearly explained and combined with excellent customer service, it can lead to strong customer relationships. On the flip side, failure to clearly discuss fee’s can lead to mistrust with clients.

 

Why do many Cleaning Business Owners hate to discuss cleaning fees?

Discuss cleaning fees with clientsCleaning Business owners often times, do not want to talk cleaning fees with their clients upfront for fear of pushing them away.  There are lots of cheaper options out there, so many try to avoid it.

Don’t Loose your Value

But you know your value, so stick to it.  You don’t want the client to start the conversation and end in a bidding war, or worse end up cleaning a home for less than your value.  You have set your prices so that you know you will cover expenses and make a certain profit.  Any fee’s less than that you will be loosing money.

Don’t Loose your clients trust

Hiring a cleaning business is personal.  Home owners invite you into their home based on trust.  Create a trusting relationship that will last for many years. Clients do not do business with companies they do not trust!

Set your Cleaning Business up for success by being upfront with your clients when discussing cleaning fee’s.

 

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with your clients

There are a few steps you can take to start having the conversation with clients from day one. Discussing fee’s with clients can be easier if you follow along with these 5 steps.

1. Take the Lead on Discussing Fees

Take the lead on discussing service price. You should start talking about the fee’s before the client does.  Don’t let the client or potential client ask the question. This can take the discussion in an awkward turn.

While it may be difficult to start the conversation on fee’s, it demonstrates leadership and starts to build the trust between yourself and the client.

Related Topic: How to Quote Cleaning Services

What you don’t want to happen is to have the clients start the discussion. They will most always come lower than your asking price. But then when you tell the This can lead to the client negotiating and setting their own cleaning fee’s.

2. Always be upfront and consistent on what your price includes

Continuing on the lead with your price discussion, you want to be very clear on what services are included in your cleaning service. Clearly define what is and what is not included in that service.

Always have a Cleaning Service Checklist to provide to the customer.  This way they have a list of what is included in their regular service you are quoting them on.

Related Topic: What to Charge for House Cleaning Services

If you offer any extra services make sure to leave a price list of those services. This way when the client asks you to clean the oven during a clean, you can refer back to the price list on the extra charge. What you don’t want to do is let clients assume there is no extra charge. This creates a sticky situation, one which does not end very well.

3. Discuss the value of the service

You know your value, now communicate with the client.  What value do you bring to the table?

Is it the time your client will save by not having to clean their home? Is it the awesome reliable customer service your client will receive? Or is there a special product you use that others Cleaning Company’s do not?

Whatever it is, make sure you communicate it when talking about price.

In my Cleaning Business no one in the area could mop floors like us.  We used a heavy duty steam cleaner that cleaned tile floors quickly and very effectively.  Our clients never had sticky floors (you know that feeling when you walk over a recently mopped floors and your shoes stick to the floors!) and never had any cleaning residue left over.  

It was a true value proposition that other companies could not offer and we made sure our clients and potential clients knew it.   

4. Ensure your client understands your fee schedule

After you have clearly explained your fee structure, ask the client or check with them to make sure they understand. Provide print outs or hard copies of what your additional fees are.

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You should be leaving each new client with a new client welcome kit.  These kits should include information about policies, cleaning checklists, and pricing for additional tasks. This will provided needed information to your clients so they know want to expect with future services.

If you are providing a quote to a potential new client, always provide a cleaning checklist so the client knows what exactly it is your company cleans when they visit a home. Make a clear list of what is included and what is extra. 

5. Put it to Pen

When you quote a client a price, always document it. This will avoid any miss communication. You can document it in an electronic format or on paper. Provide a copy to the client for their records. In the future when the client asks for extra tasks, you can always refer back to what was quoted originally.

After providing a quote to a client, follow up with a letter thanking them for the opportunity of provide them a price for cleaning their home. Include how much it will cost to clean their home on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis. 

If the client does not sign up for a while after the initial quote, you have a copy of what was originally quoted.  This way if they do call you in the future, you will have it ready. It is ok to put a time limit of how long a quote is good for. It is safe to use a 90 day rule. 

When your quoting a customer for pricing following these steps will increase trust. Consumers buy from those they trust. If you can develop trusting relationships, you can quickly build your customer base! 

 

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The last thing you need to know about discussing cleaning fees with clients

The take away with discussing cleaning fees with clients is to

  • Be open
  • Always be upfront
  • Have consistent pricing

If you stick to these rules you will be successful in taking to clients about pricing. You will dodge the haggling some clients like to get into.

As always this is your business, don’t let clients set the prices. And always maintain trust and credibility with having a consistent price structure that all clients will come to expect and understand.

What are your biggest struggles with talking cleaning fees with clients? Leave a message so we all can share in our experiences ?.

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