The normal process for someone looking for a house cleaning service is to search for cleaning companies in their city and ask for some type of service quote. They want to know what services the business provides in order to determine if they can meet their needs. They also want to know if they can afford to pay someone to clean their home.
Many of the new high-tech cleaning business websites provide an instant quote for their visitors. These sites are basing their cleaning on square footage, and content. In my experience, most people don’t view their homes as a professional cleaner does. What I mean is they will not tell you they have a lot of stuff in their home because they really don’t think they do. And they certainly don’t view their messes or level of dirt and debris the same way we do, so it’s difficult to provide a realistic quote without actually viewing the interior of the home yourself.
Businesses that run their prospecting based on a website are relying on high traffic to convert a good number of their visitors to paying customers. They can then average the revenue to ensure they are earning enough profit.
Most small businesses can’t justify losing money on new jobs. Realistically, you need to interview your prospect and view their home in order to provide a valid quote.
The House Cleaning Quote
A quote is your professional assessment of a house and informs the individual what you will do, approximately how long the work will take, the cost, and when the work can be completed. A house cleaning quote for a first-time appointment is usually an estimate based on the condition of the home at the time you provided the quote.
You must inform the individual whether this is a hard quote that will not change – such as for ongoing, regular service, or that it is an estimate for an initial clean and will be based on the time it takes to complete the job.
Imagine yourself looking for a residential cleaning service; you’ve never had your home cleaned by a professional and you don’t know what to expect. You call a house cleaning service and they tell you on the phone their service is based on an hourly rate and the time it takes to clean your home. Since it is not a fixed price, you’ll want assurances they will clean what is important to you in a time-frame you can afford. This is why a formal quote is required – it will tell the individual exactly what you will do in the time-frame they have agreed to pay.
Most residential cleaning services also provide separate quotes for the initial clean and the ongoing service. The initial cleaning prepares the home to the standard they have defined. This standard is then maintained in the ongoing service. Since there are many unexpected conditions that can be encountered on the initial clean, they are sometimes quoted at an hourly rate for an estimated number of hours. These hours can be negotiated on-the-job with the customer if the actual time will exceed the estimated hours. The ongoing service is quoted as a fixed rate that will not change. In this example, your quote will include both the initial cleaning and the ongoing service.
When to Provide a Quote
Anytime you provide a quote to a prospect is when you should follow-up with your documented information. Even if it’s just a phone call, your follow-up provides them with the information they requested should they decide to book an appointment at a later time. This quote should clearly specify whether it is an estimate or a firm price, when you are available, and when the quote expires.
Although you may receive a lot of phone calls, not everyone will be ready to schedule an appointment – many will just want information. In this case, you should get as much information as possible, document the call, send a quote, and perform several follow-ups.
Download my FREE Phone Quote Template
In-Home Estimates Provide the Most Accurate Quotes
The easiest prospects to convert into paying customers are those who agree to a free in-home estimate. Although these take time, they are extremely useful because they allow you to get specific information about the home and at the same time, allow you to talk about your service. I always obtained invaluable information during these estimates which I used to prepare the quote.
For instance, as you’re viewing each room in the house you have a chance to chat with the prospect and get a view into their living habits. You may learn they have step-children and pets that visit twice a month. This will directly affect the time it takes to clean the home every month. You may never have learned this on a phone estimate because the prospect didn’t think it was important.
During the walk-through you are able to check first-hand what condition the rooms are in – not just on the surface, but by feeling surfaces and looking behind things. This will reveal the level of soap scum in the shower, the grease in the kitchen, and the dust that has accumulated in the living areas. You can’t base your quote on the phone on this because you have no first-hand knowledge to base it on. Without this knowledge, you would be providing an inadequate quote that would lead to you not covering your costs on the job, i.e. losing money!
The quote for an in-home estimate is provided at the time of the inspection or after you prepare a formal quote. Be sure you let your prospect know when they can expect the quote to arrive.
Want more details of the bidding process? I’ve included everything you need to know from the phone interview to the home walk through in this report.
Need a script to follow? My bidding process followed an easy script I developed and used in every home I inspected. This is so friendly I was able to land 98% of the jobs I bid. Get the script here.
Why You Should Provide Formal Quotes
Once you start providing quotes for your house cleaning service, it will become difficult to know who you spoke with and what you told them. This leave you open to communication issues in the future. Documenting your quote provides clarity between your prospect and your business so you both know what was discussed and agreed to. This brands your business as professional and reliable – someone they want to do business with.
Your quote also ensures that you have accounted for any extras the prospect may have requested that needs to be included in the price to complete the job.
Your quote is a legally binding agreement between your business and the customer. This ensures you get paid for the actual work you perform with no surprises on-the-job. Once you start working for this individual, your quote document (contract or agreement) can easily be referred to should any questions or disputes arise.
Keep in mind that it’s very usual for a customer to ask for more once you start working for them. Your quote is your assurance that you get paid for the work you agreed to do – not the extras they ask for at a later time. These extras are above and beyond the quote you provided which means you need to price it on an individual basis. This is a good reason to have a separate rate sheet so all your clients know how much you charge for specific extras.
What to Include in Your Quote
The most important information you should include are your company name and contact information. You may also want to include your website and social media links as validation for your business.
An informal quote from a phone interview can be as simple as providing the prospect with what you discussed, what you charge, and when you’re available and can be sent via eMail.
A formal quote should include:
- Customer contact information
- Detail information about the residence
- Notes taken during the walk through
- The estimate and/or flat quote
- Date service begins
- Your company service policies
Keep in mind your formal quote provides you with all the information you need to service the customer – and – provides the customer with all the information they need to know about the cost of the service, what the service includes, and how you do business (service policies). For instance, if you have a cancellation fee it should be included on the quote.
Earn More with Your Professional Branding
Using the right business forms for your house cleaning business can provide you with valuable information to EARN MORE. Provide consistency, tracking and professionalism.
The ability to write an accurate quote is essential to running a professional business and as a customer service benefit. It instills trust and provides assurances for customers wanting to use your house cleaning service. It can ultimately reduce or eliminate communication issues and provide answers to common questions that usually arise.
Your house cleaning business quote instills confidence with customers because they understand what you do, when you will do it, and what it will cost. It’s a win/win for everyone.