How to Give a House Cleaning Estimate

Before you can schedule your first cleaning you need to know how to give a house cleaning estimate. Once you know what your rate is going to be (how much you will charge per hour) and you have a pricing sheet, you are now ready to give estimates. There are three types of estimates that you can give your customer. You can give them an over the phone estimate, an in home estimate, or a website or email estimate.

Types of House Cleaning Estimates

Over the Phone Estimate

The over the phone estimate is where the customer calls you and you give them a price over the phone. Once you get used to cleaning and know how long each area will take to clean, there will be little time difference between the phone estimate and actually seeing the home before you clean it. I have come to find that it really doesn’t matter if I look at the house before I clean it or not. You will not know how long it’s going to take until you actually start cleaning.

To deliver the phone estimate, make sure you have your pricing sheet on hand along with the questions you will ask to get the times you need to give them a price. The questions will basically correspond with the areas of the home you will clean. For example,”How many bathrooms do you have?”. As you’re asking the questions,write down the times on your pricing sheet. Once you have all the areas and times of the home you can give them their estimate. After giving the estimate, ask if they would like to schedule the cleaning. If they are hesitant, you can ask if they have any questions

In Home Estimate

The in home estimate is basically the same thing as the over the phone estimate, but you are actually giving the estimate in person at the customer’s home. To give the estimate, make sure you bring your pricing sheet and a calculator. Have the customer take you on a tour of the house, or you can walk through it yourself. As you go throughout the home, write down the areas and times on your pricing sheet. Calculate the estimate and give it to the customer. Finally, ask if they would like to schedule the cleaning or if they have any questions.

Website or Email Estimate

For the website estimate or email estimate, you can set up an estimate request form on your website or have customers email you for an estimate. I have a “Request an Estimate” form on my website where I ask the customer to provide their contact information if they want an estimate. You can also set up a form that asks the questions you need in order to give an estimate. I like just asking for the contact information because it makes it easier for the customer to submit a request. This method also allows me to ask more thorough questions.

Once I receive their information through email, I email them back with a list of questions about their home. These are the same questions I would ask on a phone estimate or in home estimate. After calculating their estimate I will email it to them or call them based on how they want to be contacted.

Which One Should I Use

Which type of estimate you use is up to you. There are pros and cons for each one. I mostly use the over the phone estimate and the website request estimate. I like not having to spend my evenings driving all across town doing in home estimates when I could be home with my family. I will go on an in home estimate if the customer asks and they are requesting a bi-weekly service.

The phone estimate is beneficial for customers because they can get a price right away and they don’t have to wait for you to set up an appointment to meet them. It also keeps you from having to spend your time going out to the in home estimates that might not even turn into a sale.

However, the in home estimate can be beneficial if you are just starting out and have the time because you might be able to impress the customer and make them feel more comfortable. Although, some customers might feel that it is a waste of their time and would rather not have to meet with you in person to get a price.

The website or email request estimate helps you to get those customers that don’t like calling or would prefer to communicate with you through email. Also, if you are not able to take their call it can be difficult to get a hold of them. I have found that it is easier for a customer to get back to me through email rather than picking up the phone and calling. It also helps you to avoid playing phone tag or not being able to get a hold of them.

In conclusion, the estimate method that brings you the most customers should probably be the one you consider using.

Comments

  1. Cheryl Gould says:

    I clean for a living. I like the theory of estimates, however, If I see the home then I get an idea of what I’m getting into. Some people I have cleaned for are particular. They want me to do “everything” which started out being just general cleaning then adding more to the list for the same cost. I call that “taking advantage of”. I have 2 people who only want me once a month and the dirt really builds up which also takes me an hour to clean 1 room. I want to get my money’s worth too! The last home I cleaned took me 7 hours and got paid $75. I felt that I didn’t get paid enough. I recently told this lady I wanted $15/hr. She only wants me once a month. She has 2200 square feet house. So, what would you charge her?

    • Hi Cheryl, I understand your frustrations. I would find out on average how long it takes you to clean each area of a home. Also determine how much time you are going to add based on the square footage. I use 2001-2500 sq.ft. as a base starting point. I don’t add any extra time for homes that fall into 2001-2500 sq.ft. range. I add or subtract 15 minutes for every 500 sq. ft. more or less than my base of 2001-2500. Once you have figured out how long it will take you to clean a home, times the amount with your hourly rate. For example, 3 hours x $30 hourly rate = $90. It takes longer for one-time/first-time, monthly, move-in/move-out, and spring cleanings compared to recurring bi-weekly or weekly cleanings. You will want to add extra time for any cleaning other than a bi-weekly or weekly recurring cleaning. Once you come up with your pricing sheet and know how long it takes you to clean, you can do over the phone or in-home estimates. I would also suggest giving the customer a cleaning task list along with their estimate so they know exactly what you will clean for the price you quoted them at. Never let them add on additional tasks without getting your approval first. If my customers add on additional tasks they will need to ask me first and if I decide to include it in their cleaning I will charge them for the additional amount of time it takes. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

  2. My friend and I are starting our own cleaning business hopefully within the next month. We want to start residential at first, then move to small businesses as well. Also we want to have eco-friendly cleaning supplies as an option along with the regular selection. Homemade eco friendly if I may add. Do you have any words of wisdom you could pass on? Thank you for your time..
    Jackie

    • Hi Jackie, glad to hear! I would say just go for it! You will learn along the way. Learn as much as you can from others that have started their own cleaning business. I have a lot of great resources on my resources page that you can get started with.

  3. Jeaneen Najarro says:

    Hello! I just open a Cleaning Business and Im getting very confused of What Estimate Form to use. There are so many! Can I have a copy of the ones your company use! Thanks so much

    • Hi Jeaneen, Yes, it is a little daunting on how to give customers a estimate. I would suggest timing yourself cleaning your own home or friends and families homes to start with. I have a estimate spreadsheet in my store here that I use to give estimates.

  4. Carmen Santiago says:

    Hi Josh
    My husband has a Landscaping Business and charges by the Job
    I am starting with my Cleaning Business soon and would like to know if I should do the same..Thanks

    • Hi Carmen, Yes if you are just starting out you can charge by the job. After you get going you could always offer payment options for customer to pay for service in advance. This option might be attractive if you offered a discount. Example, you could have them pay for a year worth of your service at a discount. Although, you need to keep in mind that once they pay you in advance you are obligated to clean.

      I personally just charge for one cleaning at a time for various reasons. One, you are not obligated to clean for them for the amount they paid you for unless you saved their payment and can pay them back. Two, let’s just say you do not wish to clean for this customer anymore for whatever reason, you are still obligated to clean for them unless you happened to have saved their payment. Lastly, I don’t think it’s worth it unless you have the capital to pay back a customer if you decide to no longer clean for them.

      • Carmen Santiago says:

        Hi Josh,Yes I agree I wouldn’t want to charge in advance but I will charge per job I think is better that way..Thanks for your your response..

  5. Chelsie Ellis says:

    I am worried about putting my card information online to buy your price spreadsheet.
    How do I know it’s safe

    • Hi Cheslie, once you checkout you will be redirected to PayPal which is a secure website. Your payment is processed through PayPal, not my website.

  6. Hi Josh,
    I am so grateful for this website you have put together. It is full of value. I am purchasing your spreadsheet and was wondering if you would give me the link to your business website where you would send potential clients so I may see an example. Thank you

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