Types of cleaning services entrepreneurs can easily start with little money. Check out this list of different types of cleaning services you can offer. Choose the right types of cleaning services for your newest business venture.
In this article:
- Foreclosure Cleaning Services
- Post Construction Cleaning Services
- Move-Out Cleaning Services
- Residential House Cleaning Services
- Vacation Rental Cleaning Services
Different Types of Cleaning Services to offer:
Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Starting a Foreclosure Cleaning Business
When deciding on the types of cleaning services to offer, keep in mind that foreclosure cleanings will be one of the most labor-intensive cleaning services you can offer. Many foreclosed homes have been abandoned and left in ruins.
What to expect when cleaning foreclosure cleanings
Cleaning foreclosures will not be a glamorous job by any means. A foreclosure is where homeowners default on their mortgage and are forced to move out. When a homeowner is past due with their mortgage banks take legal proceedings to take back the home.
Many times, these houses are left in terrible conditions and it would be your job to clean up what was left behind. Many times these homes are left empty for long periods of time before the bank is able to list them for sale. Therefore these homes can become victims of vandalizing.
To give some perspective, when I was in College my grandmother bought and sold foreclosures. She hired me to help with the cleaning. We cleaned houses where families left all their belongings. When I say all belongings, I mean furniture, closets full of clothes, and even albums filled with family photos. We had to rent large dumpsters and haul all the belongings out of the home.
Some homes we cleaned had been broken into and trashed. There would be graffitied walls and items left behind were scattered everywhere. We would find broken bottles and at one home we even found a pile of human feces….YUCK! So as I said, these types of cleanings will not be glamorous and will require heavy-duty cleaning.
These reasons are why you can charge hundreds/thousands of dollars to clean foreclosures.
Equipment/Supplies needed to clean foreclosures.
As you can imagine from the picture I created above, foreclosure cleanings require heavy-duty supplies and equipment to help clean up the mess. Equipment you will want to get will include a heavy-duty shop vac to vacuum up debris, a heavy-duty steam cleaner to disinfect and clean walls and surfaces to remove built-up grime, and a truck or trailer to help haul away furniture and garbage.
As far as cleaning supplies, foreclosure cleanings will require a heavy-duty degreaser, mildew remover, lime, and rust remover. When cleaning with these cleaners, make sure to have good ventilation and wear a mask to lessen the amount you will inhale.
How much you can make cleaning foreclosure
You can charge $100s or $1,000’s to clean a foreclosed home. the amount you charge will depend on how dirty a home is, how much you will need to haul away, and the size of the home.
It can take a week or longer to clean a foreclosure. When first starting out, it is best to estimate the number of hours it will take to clean and charge an hourly rate. Then add a disclaimer, letting the owner know that your price is an estimate and can vary.
Before pricing a foreclosure clean, make sure to do a thorough walk-a-round to avoid many surprises. Take note of any equipment rentals you may need and add the cost of the equipment rental to the cleaning service price. For example, if you have to rent a large dumpster bin to haul junk add the cost of the dumpster to the cost of the cleaning service.
How to market foreclosure cleaning services
With foreclosure cleanings, you will not be marketing to homeowners. Instead, you will want to market to banks and realtors. Look for local realtors who specialize in foreclosures and begin building relationships with them. Contact banks and speak with their foreclosure departments, find the person in charge of cleaning contracts, and start building a relationship.
It is also helpful to attend local networking events with your chamber of commerce. Realtors and banking professionals almost always attend these types of events to network with local businesses. Find your local professional realtor associations and attend their networking events. You can even develop a training presentation on property cleaning restoration.
Starting a Post Construction Cleaning Service
With Post Construction cleaning you will be cleaning homes just after they have been built or renovated. You will be cleaning up after the construction crews have left.
If you specialize in construction cleaning, you can offer to clean both the inside and the outside of the home. Many contractors will also hire cleaners to clean the home in 2 phases.
The first clean would be after all the carpentry is completed and just before finishes like the flooring go in. The second clean would be the final detail clean, just before the homeowner moves in.
What to expect when cleaning post-construction homes
Cleaning post-construction homes require hard work and detailed work. If you choose this type of cleaning service to offer, you will be cleaning up construction debris. This may require hauling the debris off the site as well.
To give you an idea of the cleaning think about when you last hung a picture. When you put the hole in the wall, you probably noticed the drywall dust just from drilling that one hole. Well, after a construction crew leaves, the home is covered in that drywall dust and it will be your job to clean it up.
Your job will be to remove the sawdust, paint or glue from all surfaces including walls, doors, baseboards, appliances, cabinetry, windows and windowsills, light fixtures, and of course the flooring. Things like excess grout may need to be removed from tiles, paint splatters may need to be removed from cabinetry, the glue may need to be removed from laying wood floors, and factory stickers may need to be removed from newly installed windows.
Equipment/Supplies needed to clean foreclosures
Post-construction cleaning will require heavy-duty equipment to help you to haul the debris away and clean up the construction residue. A good quality shop vac that can pick up the construction dust with a good filter will be needed. Make sure the shop vac has attachments so you can vacuum inside cabinet drawers, window sills, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Bring cleaning supplies that can remove leftover glue, grout, or other finishing residues without ruining the surfaces. Make sure you know what surfaces the cleaning supplies are safe to use on. When I first started, I cleaned cabinets with a cleaner that scratched the cabinetry. Some of the doors had to be replaced, it was not a fun situation to be in.
Having a truck and trailer will be useful if you have to haul large debris from the construction site. Bring a tall ladder to reach light fixtures or tall windows.
How much you can make cleaning new home/post-construction cleaning
As you can see, cleaning a post-construction home can involve several man-hours due to the tedious tasks of cleaning construction dust and chemicals left behind by construction crews. It can take more than 1 day to clean depending on the size of the home and would require more than 1 cleaner. Because of this, you will be able to charge more for these types of cleanings.
According to Home Advisor, the national average for these types of cleaning services is $445.00. Your price will of course vary on the size of the home and the scope of work that will be expected. You can also add additional tasks such as exterior cleaning of windows, yard waste, or pressure washing.
How to market new home/construction cleaning services
For new home/construction cleaning services you will want to market to construction firms, general contractors, handyman services, and other construction-related businesses. These businesses will contract directly with you to clean homes that they have built or renovated. You will rarely get hired by the homeowner for these types of cleans.
To market to construction-related businesses, it is helpful to make calls or visit in person to meet with either the contractor or whoever oversees hiring subcontractors. The idea is to build a solid relationship with these businesses so that you can service all of their projects that they finish.
It is also very beneficial to visit local chamber events to network and make connections with local contractors. It may be easier to start with smaller firms if you do not have the crew to service multiple projects a week. As your reputation builds you can land larger clients and hire more employees.
Starting a Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning Service
Move-In/Move-Out will be less manual labor than foreclosure cleanings and construction cleaning businesses. Homeowners generally leave the home voluntarily whether they are selling the home or if they are ending a lease/renting agreement.
In each case, there is an incentive to leave the home in good condition. But these types of cleanings do take longer to clean than a regular cleaning service where you come in every 2 weeks to clean.
The homes will be empty or should be when go in to clean a move-in/move-out clean. They will take longer to clean than a recurring house cleaning service would take. You’ll be expected to clean out cabinets/drawers, and remove smudges off walls, doorways, and trim. Dust and clean high-to-reach areas such as vents, ceilings, and ceiling fans. Expect to clean windowsills and window tracks.
Equipment/Supplies needed to clean Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings
Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings require some heavier tools. For your cleaning supplies make sure you have a heavy-duty all-purpose cleaner, mildew remover, and rust stain remover.
For tools and equipment, you’ll need a razor blade (a professional tip: this is a great way to remove years of built-up soap scum). Shop vac with hose attachments. This will come in handy when needing to vacuum out cabinets and heavy-duty debris that you don’t want to ruin a residential vacuum with.
A quality high-powered steam cleaner that can help clean surfaces and floors quickly and efficiently. If you get one that has some pressure behind it, you can blast out grim in crevices like faucets, drains, and toilet seats. A carpet cleaner is not necessary but would be a great upsell if you have a machine to clean carpets with.
How much you can make cleaning move-in/move-out cleaning services?
According to Home Advisor, a move-out clean can start at $110 for a small apartment and up to $650 for a larger 3,500-square-foot home. The larger the home, the longer the cleaning service will cost. You can also do upsells such as carpet cleaning, baseboard painting, and small handyman work such as filling in holes in the wall, replacing doorknobs, fixing cabinet doors, etc.
How to market Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning
For Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings you will want to market to Realtors, property management firms and apartment complexes. These businesses will be the ones handling most move-ins and out transactions. For apartment complexes do research on their unit sizes. Start by sending in a letter introducing your business and quoting a price per unit.
Property management firms manage rentals of single-family homes, and reach out to them to service their rental properties. Relators are either buying or selling homes. Visit local chamber events to network and make connections with local realtors to service their home listings.
Starting a Residential House Cleaning Service
Recurring house cleaning services will be the easiest homes to clean. For the most part, there won’t be many surprises, or heavy-duty cleaning. You will clean the home either on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Therefore, the cleaning will be regular and will not require a lot of heavy-duty cleaning supplies and labor.
This type of house cleaning business is the easier to build a consistent income. When a customer signs up for weekly cleaning at $90/week, you can count on that income each week. That one client will make you $4,680/ year. With each new client that you bring on, your business will continue to grow.
Instead of building relationships with other businesses, you will build relationships with each of the homeowners. Provide a quality, trustworthy and friendly service and you will be able to exponentially grow your business with each new client.
Equipment/Supplies needed to clean recurring house cleaning services.
The great thing about only cleaning recurring house cleaning jobs is you will not need to invest in expensive equipment since you will not be cleaning heavy-duty jobs. Therefore, a residential vacuum and a steam mop are all you will need in the way of equipment. For cleaning supplies, a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber towels will go a long way for these types of cleans.
You’ll want to get good quality dusters one that will reach high places such as ceiling fans and a small hand duster for surfaces. Because you will be cleaning the home frequently, there will be little need for heavy-duty dusting with wet clothes and cleaners.
How much you can make cleaning recurring house cleaning services?
Each cleaning service will bring in anywhere from You will make less money with each cleaning service. $65 – $200 a cleaning service. The less frequently you clean, the more you will charge, and the larger the home the more you will charge.
To scale this type of business, it is best to develop a cleaning checklist that you will perform at each visit. This will make it easier to set your cleaning prices. Any services outside of that checklist you would charge more for. This way too, you can charge a flat fee based on the size of the home and charge the same rate for each cleaning service.
How to market for residential house cleaning services
To market your recurring house cleaning business, you will target homeowners. Networking events that are more focused on homeowners and working professionals will be your target. Local online marketing will be beneficial. Creating a website and linking to local review sites will be great exposure to the market to homeowners looking for recurring house cleaning.
You can also target and network with large employers. Reaching out to HR departments to create a relationship and possibly offering free cleaning service to the employee of the year.
Starting a Vacation Rental Cleaning Service
Vacation rental types of cleaning services are more common in high tourism areas. Where I live on the coast of Florida, most of the homes lining the beaches are vacation rentals. So, cleaning businesses can focus solely on cleaning vacation rentals.
Vacation rentals generally have to be cleaned in a very tight timeframe. If you think of a hotel, they have check out at 10 am and by 3 pm the new renters are checking in. Therefore, with these types of cleaning services, you have to clean all areas of the home, plus change out linens and make beds. In addition to cleaning, you may be asked to stock supplies such as soap and paper products.
To save time, some cleaning services will bring clean linens with them and bring back the used linens and wash them after the cleaning. This way they are not doing laundry on top of cleaning.
For the most part, these types of cleaning services are predictable and don’t require heavy-duty cleaning. Most renters want to get their deposit back so, the home is generally left in a clean manner. There may be the occasional mess, we once cleaned after a 4th of July weekend. There were bottles left everywhere and smudges on walls and surfaces. We had to do a thorough deep clean, and there was so much trash we had to haul bags and bags away.
Equipment/Supplies needed to clean recurring house cleaning services
With vacation rental cleanings you will not normally have to use heavy-duty cleaning materials. Most supplies used for recurring house cleaning will suffice for vacation rental cleanings. If you clean in an area where most floorings are tile, it would be a good idea to invest in a good steam-cleaning mop. Not like the upright steam cleaners, but those that use steam vapor. These types of steamers cut your mopping time drastically.
A larger industrial broom is also helpful if you have to keep outside patios or garages swept.
How much you can make cleaning vacation rental cleaning services
Vacation rentals do take longer to clean than recurring residential house cleaning does. Not because the cleaning is harder, but because of the time to replace the linens and restock supplies.
Because of this, the cleaning services will cost slightly more than what can be charged for recurring house cleaning services. Vacation rental cleaning fees can range from $75 – $200 per clean. This depends on the size of the home and the scope of the cleaning. If you are expected to stock paper products and soups, you will add the cost of the restocking to your cleaning price. It is normal to charge a flat fee for this. For example, $10 to restock toilet paper, and $5 to restock soap.
How to market for residential house cleaning services
To market your vacation rental cleaning business, you will target realtors who specialize in managing vacation rentals. Like move-in/move-out cleanings, you will be working more with realtors than with homeowners.
To find individual rental owners, such as those listed on Airbnb you can list your business on a listing site such as TurnOverBnB.
What are your Next Steps?
- How to start a Cleaning Business – Your step-by-step guide on getting your cleaning service up and running.
- 10 things to know BEFORE starting a Cleaning Business – still unsure if a cleaning business is for you? Read these 10 things you should know.
- How to choose the best name for your cleaning business – Ready to start your business, but need some inspiration for choosing a name? Read this article for some additional help.
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