Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole Angela Brown

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole

This Ask a House Cleaner rabbit hole tunnels through your cleaning questions to rapid fire answers you can use today. “Should you pay for a cleaning slot if you have to cancel the cleaning?” and “What if it’s too hot in a home to clean?” “Should I go to the ISSA conference this year?” And, the favorite of everybody “How much do I charge for a home this size with these specifications?” and more.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

Welcome to the Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Writing on ClipboardWelcome to the Ask a House Cleaner rabbit hole. And you say, rabbit hole? This is something new. It’s a new tunnel we get to go down. The answer is, yes, it is.

Now, instead of building a whole entire show around your question, we’re going to go down a rabbit hole and we’re going to answer lots of questions that don’t have enough content for their own show. Here’s the first question.

Hi Angela. I love your show and I’m curious about something. I’m a solo cleaner. I’ve been in business for about two years. I have an LLC set up and I work about 20 to 25 hours a week. And I’m happy with my business the way it is. I’m retired from another job. Is it worthwhile for me to consider going to the ISSA conference in Las Vegas this year? I’m thinking about it, but I don’t know if it’s just a waste of time for me or if it would be worth it. Thank you

I Wouldn’t Recommend the ISSA Conference

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, ConferenceAll right, as a part-time house cleaner with no intention whatsoever of growing and scaling a business, I do not recommend that you go to the ISSA conference this year. Here’s the reason why.

If you are a member of ARCSI, which is the American Residential Cleaning Services International Association, which is a division of ISSA, and you are a member, which is about $450 a year, you can get into the conference on the early bird registration for as little as $180. That’s just to get inside the conference. So, boo-yah. Now, if you are not a member, the conference registration is about $380 early bird registration.

The Conference Gets Very Expensive

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, AirportOkay, now, 600, 700 bucks already just to get into the conference. Now, we got to talk about also airfare getting you to Las Vegas. All right, the airfare right now is super expensive because, during COVID, the airlines took a huge hit from the travel industry. The hotels took a huge hit from the travel industry and all of their prices have skyrocketed.

All right, so that said, it’s going to cost you about $1,000 from anywhere in the country to get to Las Vegas right now and stay for three or four nights. And that’s a minimum. So you’re talking 1,500 bucks and it’s going to cost you upwards of $2,000 by the time you count in your food.

I was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and the lunches are $20 to $35 every single lunch. Super expensive. And if you’re at a convention center, the prices just went up.

You Can Find Resources at Home

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Online ConferenceSo it’s very, very, very expensive to go to this conference if you’re a part-time house cleaner and you have no intention of scaling your business. For the same money, there are access passes to webinars and conferences and coaches and network groups and masterminds and all kinds of resources that you can do virtually without leaving your home.

You can still meet people and network and learn about the business. I would recommend that you spend your money there this year instead of trying to go to a conference if you have no intention of growing and scaling your business.

Can Cleaners Ask Clients to Turn on the AC?

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Thermometer and SunHi Angela, I clean houses for a living. I have a small business in Rochester, New York. What I’m wondering if it’s about 95 degrees today and I walked into a large two-story home with multiple bathrooms and the homeowner had the windows open and no air conditioning on with about 100% humidity.

So 95 degrees, 100% humidity, windows open, and literally a hot breeze blowing in. Was I wrong to ask her to turn the air conditioning on? I’ve cleaned houses without AC and in the same kind of weather and I get to the point of almost passing out and not being able to continue. So just wondering what your take is on that. Thanks.”

You Did the Right Thing in This Situation

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Thermometer in WallYeah, you did the right thing by asking the homeowner to turn on the air. And my suggestion is if you are a homeowner, please understand that the minimum your air should be on when the house cleaner is there is at about 72 degrees. The reason being is as they’re working and cleaning the house and they’re moving around, it’s like exercising. And they build up a sweat and they’re working out and you don’t want them to pass out and have a heat stroke on your watch because they are inside your home.

So my suggestion is during the period of time, it’s a very short window, you crank up the air and you let it be super cool for your house cleaner to come. And I’ll share a secret with you.

It saves you money as well, especially if you’re paying your house cleaner by the hour. Because if they’re slow and they’re lethargic and they’re cleaning like a zombie because they have no energy and they’re just drenched in sweat and they’re super-hot, they’re not going to be very effective either.

You Want Your House Cleaner to Be Comfortable

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, House Cleaner SweatingSo you want them in. You want them to do their job. It’d be proficient to do a great job. Get through the house in a reasonable amount of time and then leave. So yeah, during the hot summer months, please crank on your air if you’re a homeowner. If you’re a house cleaner, please ask your homeowner to crank on the air for the period of time that you’re there.

My suggestion is if you have a worksheet, make note of the air conditioning temperature when you arrive and when you leave. Make a note so that you can check it off, that you’ve returned it to whatever it was so that you’re not running the air conditioning if they’re not going to be home till 5:00 or six o’clock that night.

Do I Pay My House Cleaner While On Vacation?

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Woman Packs SuitcaseShould I pay my house cleaner because I have to cancel while going on vacation?” All right, this is a fun question. And the answer is, yes, you should pay the house cleaner for the time that they were supposed to be at your house while you’re on vacation. Here’s the reason why. Being on vacation does not mean your house does not need to be cleaned.

And so they’ve put it on their schedule and they’ve hired help and they’re planning on coming during that particular window of time. So unless you need to be there with an alarm code, with a house key. House cleaners come and go all the time and nobody’s at home.

House Cleaners Can Still Clean When You’re Gone

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, House Cleaner With SuppliesSo they can still come to clean your house while you’re on vacation. No harm, no foul. You get your house clean and they still get paid. So yes, I recommend that you do. If you’re going to leave and you’re not going to pay them and you’re going to be gone, give your house cleaner as much notice as possible.

One of the things that we teach at Savvy Cleaner, which is the training company that I run, we teach house cleaners how to train their customers for vacations. So if I’m planning on four vacations this year, at the beginning of the year, I’m going to give you a list and say, “These are my four vacations this year. You have a choice. Do you want us to send someone else that you don’t know or do you want to put a hold on that week? You just will not get any cleaning that week.”

Let Each Other Know Your Vacation Schedule

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Woman Talking on PhoneSo as a house cleaner, I’m going to let you know when my vacations are. In exchange, you can let me know when your vacations are. And that way we won’t book anyone for that week or that way we won’t charge you for that week if you know in advance and we don’t have to put that on our schedule, right?

We can book other people during that time as far as special projects or deep cleanings or whatever, but then that way you’re not charged.

Now, as far as the cancellation goes, if you cancel within 24 hours, even if you weren’t planning on being away, there’s usually a 50% to 100% cleaning fee. This is because they’ve staffed their people and they’re expecting to show up and clean your house. So don’t cancel on your house cleaner unless there’s a need to do so because your house still needs cleaning and they still need to pay their bills.

How to Price a Two Story Job

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, HouseHow would you price a two-story home that you had to go into and do general cleaning, has 11 rooms and also laundry, wash, dry, and fold, and putting away dishes from a dishwasher and loading another two loads full of dirty dishes?

Well, what I would do first is I would have a customer conversation. What that’s going to involve is there’s a breakdown between daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, deep cleaning, and special project chores. There are six different types of chores. That doesn’t count move-in, move-out cleans, and specialty cleaning like a forensic restoration cleanup, or if you have mold remediation or any of those things, right?

Those are All Separate Types of Cleaning

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Service ScheduleThose are all separate types of cleaning. All right, so for the six types that we talk about, it sounds like you’re trying to cram three or four of those into one cleaning. And how would you price that?

How you’re going to price it is you literally have to do a walkthrough with the homeowner, you have to agree on every single item that you’re doing because laundry, for example, is a daily chore. That is not part of any of the packages that we offer. And so if you’re going to be removing dishes from the dishwasher and putting those away, those are not part of any package that we offer.

So if you’re going to piecemeal something together and you’re going to pull it together, my question is this, is this for an ongoing customer or is this a one-time deal? For a one-time deal, you can figure out a fair price and it’s going to be something that you both agree on.

Break It Up Into Separate Packages

Ask a House Cleaner Rabbit Hole, Writing on ClipboardThe next thing that I would talk about is if this is an ongoing situation, I recommend breaking it up into separate packages that you can charge for separately. Those are all different packages. They all have different prices.

But if you’re trying to combine them all and you’re trying to create a fair price, you’re going to have to create a program that is fair to both of you. You’re both going to agree so that when you both leave, you both feel like you got a great deal and you both feel like that was worth the time and money spent.

000 Savvy Cleaner Spacer Bar 2020Resources

ISSA Conference Registration –

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter –

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life –

Art of Asking, the: Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers –

Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything –

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter –

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life –

Art of Asking, the: Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers –

Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything –

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