Choosing a Home Cleaning Service
April 1, 2022 - 9:07 am
Choosing a Home Cleaning Service
The home cleaning landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. The gig-economy, and ‘marketplace’ apps like Uber, Dolly, and Sitter City has changed how we hire home services since using contractors by the minute can make our lives so much easier. The home cleaning market is no exception, and in this booming market space, there are some important considerations when looking for your next home clean.
What’s changed? TMS vs. VMSThe emergence of VMS (Virtual Maid Services) in the US has helped take a lot of the guess work out of ‘finding a good cleaner’. Customers can now focus on what services they want delivered (light clean, deep clean, dust ceiling fans, clean oven, leave the guest room as it hasn’t been used), rather than bothering with the recruiting process of first having to find a cleaner. So what’s changed between TMS and VMS? Let’s take a look... A Traditional Maid Service (TMS) can take on different forms. It could be a local cleaning agency that sends round a cleaning crew, a dedicated house keeper, or it could be that cash-in-hand cleaner that was referred by a friend. If you’ve ever had a home cleaning service, it’s more than likely that you’ve had some experience with a TMS.
- Expensive - Dedicated house keepers are typically high-end services, but even traditional cleaning crews, and their overheads, are being priced out of the market.
- Increasing rates - Intro prices and temporary discounts often mask increasing rates that occur a few months in. Even cash-in-hand cleaners will push their prices up.
- Decrease in quality of service - Your business can be taken for granted, and the quality of the work can often go unchecked.
- Less customization - Changing the schedule of the clean, customizing what needs to be cleaned, or even making payment/tipping can be more cumbersome with a TMS.
What to look for:
- Trust - Safety and security should be your top consideration. Whether you use a TMS or a VMS, you should make sure any cleaner entering your home has been background checked, and has a reputable number of reviews under their name (some services allow you to filter cleaners by their star rating).
- Quality - Finding cleaners who can consistently deliver a great service is the holy grail. The key is to find a service that offer’s it’s cleaner’s the right incentive structure. Cleaners should be fighting for the best customer review, knowing that the quality they deliver on the current job, will directly impact their next job, and the one after. This extends beyond the quality of the clean and should include professionalism and punctuality.
- Convenience - A good cleaning service should require minimal effort from you, and deliver exactly what you need with complete transparency. Here are some things to look for:
- Mobile - Do they have a mobile app that allows you to view, book, edit, and cancel jobs on the fly?
- Alerts - Is your cleaner on the way? Have they started the job? Is the job complete? These alerts and reminders can help with remembering to put furry friend in the cage, or make some last minute changes to the job.
- Customization - If some rooms get used less frequently than others, you can save money by customizing your clean to select rooms. Some services now offer the ability to customize which rooms you want cleaned. Some advanced services allow you to customize to light and deep cleans, or add on custom cleaning jobs like kick boards and air vents. For example, you might want a deep clean once month, and then a light clean once a week on select rooms, and get the fridge and oven deep cleaned once a quarter.
- Payment - Look for payment automation. You don’t need to reach for your wallet at the end of each job. Payment and even tipping are now available in some in-app services.
- Expectations - Have the parameters of the job been clearly defined so that both parties can agree what constitutes as a ‘completed’ job? You need to know what you are buying as much as the cleaner needs to know what they are delivering. This includes the details of what needs to be cleaned, any custom add-on jobs, as well as basic things like the time they show up and when they will be complete.
- Access - If you live in a high-rise building, gated community, or even in a remote location, you will need to consider how accessible your home is to the cleaners. If you want the freedom to not be at home during the cleaning, are you able to guide the cleaners on how to access the home?
- Customer Service - If you have questions or concerns, you probably want them to be dealt with swiftly. Some larger companies will have you send them an email with the promise of a response in 48 hours that never actually happens. Look for cleaning companies with a support team that can be reached by phone, email, and chat and that they also prioritize your time over their’s.
- Price - You get what you pay for, right? Well, kinda. Some cleaning companies put profits ahead of substance, which means that cleaners are under-paid and customers are over-charged. Of course price is important, and you should shop around, but also ask your cleaner how they are treated by the company. This is usually a great indication of the continued quality service you can expect, and whether you are happy with the price.