Booking software – is the price firm or is that an estimate? Homeowners price shop cleaning services and fear bait and switch pricing.
House cleaners and maids use booking software to give ballpark pricing before doing a walkthrough.
Pricing cleaning service is not a flat rate estimate. The variables on cleaning change from house to house. And accurate pricing comes from homeowners filling out truthful details in the booking software.
Listen: Booking Software – Is the Price Firm or is That an Estimate?
Watch: Booking Software – Is the Price Firm or is That an Estimate?
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.
Are Booking Software Prices Firm or Estimates?
Booking software – Is the price firm or is that an estimate? Many house cleaners have questions about booking software. Once you have your website up and running and you have that extra feature where people can book online using an online booking system. There could be add-ons, definitely questions that you would ask them to come up with that estimate.
Do you offer a free consultation after that to determine if that estimate is correct? Or do you need to bump it up, depending on the density of the clutter in their home or, if they’re going to be picking up their home? Maybe they say they will pick it up, but they don’t. Do you adjust the price based on that actual visit to their home for the free consultation, or do you go ahead and do the first job based on the estimate?
Then from there, you’ll say, “Listen, you know your home is denser with items or clutter or needs more time cleaning because the bathroom’s filled with mold.” Then you would up the price on them for that.
Booking Software Prices are Estimates
Booking software – Is the price from or is that an estimate? It is an estimate, not the final price. You cannot give a firm price until you actually see the house.
Now there are lots of house cleaners that can do pretty accurate pricing over the phone. This comes with experience after you’ve been in the business for a very long time. You know your systems. You know your processes. You know the square footage. You know how to navigate whatever it is you come up with and you have a good grasp on how much it’s going to cost you to do a house.
With that in mind, you can bid a job over the phone. But here’s the caveat, you can never actually clean a house without doing a walkthrough. Because as you see the house for the first time, you still have to go on a walkthrough of the house.
You Need a Walkthrough in Addition to Booking Software
You don’t know the house and you don’t know all the nooks and crannies and you don’t know where stuff is hiding. And you don’t know if there is anything that’s fragile or it needs extra attention.
Even if you give a price over the phone or even if you have a booking software, there still has to be a walkthrough before any cleaning can ever happen. To say, “We do no walkthroughs whatsoever,” is impossible because you can give a fair price over the phone.
But, if I get to the house and things are different, the price will be different. There are lots of people that get all angry and they say, “Oh, it was a bait and switch.”
When Homeowners Lie on Booking Software
The bait and switch happen when you lie on your form that you’re filling out. Here’s how the booking forms work. People have a website and there are plugins. The plugin allows customers to sit there and go through the numbers.
And they say,” Here’s how many rooms of my house, here’s how many pets we have, here’s how many people we have living in the house. On a scale of one to 10 our house is a seven on the messy side”.
You factor in some of these things. If you get to the house and it’s a 10 on the messy side because some people like to trick themselves into thinking their house is “not that messy”. If it’s super-duper messy, you’re going to have to factor in extra time.
Factors House Cleaners Consider When Customers Lie on Booking Software
You’re going to have to factor in the clutter cleanup. You’re going to have to factor in a lot of stuff that you did not bid in that initial bid. Don’t go clean and honor that online quote because what was the quote based on?
That’s like customers picking their own price. Well in a perfect world, yeah, that would be awesome. That’s not reality. You have to factor in all your costs of labor and your expenses and all that stuff when you’re bidding a job. All that stuff comes together to bid the job.
In order for you to give an accurate quote or an accurate estimate, I like to have a note that’s on that booking software that says this is an estimate only. We will come as close to this as we can, but the more accurate the information you give us, the more accurate our pricing can be.
Booking Software Prices are Based on the Customer’s Home
Booking software is going to spit them out a number on the website right there and they’re going to go, “Whoa, that’s way out of my price range.” If you have 55 windows in your house and there’s a price in there for the windows. Then they might take out all the window cleaning because they decide that, “Well, that’s way too much money. I’m not going to pay $10 a window to have the windows cleaned.”
They take that out and now we’re down to a reasonable budget that they can afford. Now when you go to do that walkthrough with the customer, they’re not going to say, “Oh, by the way, can you clean my windows?” No, they already know that it costs so much more.
It’s a great piece of software to have because it gives people a ballpark without you pigeonholing yourself into a specific price. Because your competitors, of course, could come on and check your prices as well.
Use Booking Software to Give a Fair Price
The reality is, we want you to not leave money on the table, number one. Number two, we want you to charge a fair price for your cleaning. There are a lot of variables at every single house that has to be factored in before you can do that job, you have to price your cleaning services right.
It is not set in stone. This is not a firm price. It is an estimate only. When someone says, “Well, you told me it was going to be X amount of dollars,” that’s based on the information that we have.
You Can Offer to Stop By to Get a Fair Price
One of the things you can do, even if it’s on the phone is say, “Hey, I can give you a more accurate price and I hope I didn’t overcharge you. Would you like me to swing by? I’m going to be in your neighborhood this afternoon at 4:00 PM.
I can swing by and take a look at your house and I can see if we’re on target with the pricing.” Then people go, “yeah,” and they’re thinking in the back of the mind, maybe I overpriced it.
They’re going to have you come over and then you can do a walkthrough. When you do the walkthrough, that’s where the magic happens. Where the customer meets you and they fall in love with you, and they see how your business operates. You walk them through your worksheet and your rules and regulations, and you sign the contract right then. The booking software is great to have on your website, but it is an estimate only. Resources
How to Price Your Cleaning Services – https://amzn.to/3alLfkh?
The 6 Figure Cleaning Business Master Class: Compilation of Class Materials, Previous eBook Material, Cleaning Proposal Sample, How to Calculate Price, & More! – https://amzn.to/3dnUBxQ
Killer Advertising for Cleaning Businesses: The Hitman’s Guide – https://amzn.to/3bfqrL5
How to Start a Window Cleaning Business: The Window Cleaning Blueprint – https://amzn.to/33B5BmR
How to #Price Like A Girl: Know your value, set your fees and start making real money – https://amzn.to/2wrNRy8
Permissions To Share
Savvy Cleaner Training – House Cleaner Training and Certification
My Cleaning Connection – Your hub for all things cleaning.
HouseCleaning360 – A hub connecting homeowners with house cleaners
Savvy Perks – Employee benefits for your employees.
Turnover Cleaning Tips – for Vacation Rental and Airbnb Hosts