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Getting The Most From A Cleaning Service

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If you’ve thought about using a cleaning service, but you’ve heard horror stories, here are some tips for getting the most from your cleaning service. 

The first thing you have to understand is there is a big, big fundamental difference in the way the customer and the provider think. 

You, as the customer, want a perfectly spotless home for the least amount of money. 

The cleaning person wants the least amount of work for the most amount of money.

Both sides are understandable. 

There is also a fundamental difference between using a private person vs. a commercial service. 

While a commercial service gives you a sort of comfort level in that you at least have someone else to call should there be a problem, there are trade offs. 

Here’s the first problem, the math. The going rate in my area is $50 per hour for a crew of 2. Most homes fall into the 1 ½ to 2 hour range. Let’s say that the person selling the job quotes on the low end to get the job. That’s $75. A lot of money, right? 

That $75 will be split 3 ways. The service will take their cut, usually 20%. The crew will split the remainder. So if it indeed takes them 2 hours - That will come out to $15 per hour. Doesn’t seem too bad, right?

The crew members have to cover their own expenses, gas, and often equipment, vacuum bags, rags, any cleaners that are not supplied by you.

Many times the job will get quoted at an even lower price. You feel like you got a deal. The crew feels like they got a raw deal. Are you beginning to see the problem?

Also it seems for some reason, the people who pay the least complain the most. Don’t ask me why that is, but it is. So now the crew is dealing with a low paying constant complainer. How thrilled are they to be working in your home? You’re asking for trouble. 

Unless you have the boss or the boss’s sister (that’s me), it is unlikely that your house will get as clean as you would clean it if you were able to. In time, you will have to strike a balance between your expectations and what you can reasonably expect. 

If you use a private individual, you don’t have the extra layer of protection that you would with a service. On the other hand, you have someone with whom you can form a relationship with. This person will come to know your expectations, and usually will try hard to keep you happy. It’s a lot harder for a private individual to get accounts. Plus, you have the added benefit of the fact that they don’t have to split the fee with anyone else. Just make sure to check references carefully!

To get the cleanest home out of your service, here are some great tips - 

Be willing to pay the going rate. If you have some unusual cleaning tasks, expect to pay more. Also expect to pay more for things like changing the bed sheets, doing laundry doing dishes, and picking up toys.

Treat your cleaning people with dignity and respect. It may be true that they can’t program a computer or perform brain surgery. But for the most part, they are good at cleaning and you are not. 

Treats, food, and good holiday bonuses go a long, long way towards getting better service. Just like anyone, appreciation and incentives do work.

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