Ask a House Cleaner, Extra Charge for Extra People, Savvy Cleaner

Extra Charge for Extra People?

“Do you have an extra charge for extra people if you come clean my space? Or is there an extra fee for pets?”

We Ask a House Cleaner if you should have an extra charge for extra people. Because if there is more work you need more money. Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says don’t advertise an extra charge for extra people. It’s tacky.  

“If I were trying to grow my cleaning business or maid service, and you can’t do speed cleaning, you’ll have to raise your rates. Prices go up when the clients cleaning expectations change.” 

Today’s sponsors are My Cleaning Connection (a hub where you can find gifts for the maid in your life.) HouseCleaning360 (where you can find more leads as a house cleaner.) And Savvy Cleaner (house cleaner training.)

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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.

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Question: Should I Have an Extra Charge for Extra People? 

Extra Charge for Extra People, Child and Puppy“Should there be an extra charge for extra people?” That’s a great question.

You get a job at a customer’s house and let’s say they have three kids, and then the lady gets pregnant. And then, low and behold, they have a whole nursery that they didn’t have before.

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Answer:  You May Need an Extra Charge for Extra People or Stuff

Extra Charge for Extra People, Baby CryingSo now, we’re talking about another bedroom. A new baby means a new nursery. And there are a bunch of little baby toys, and diapers, and extra things lying around the house. 

And maybe the mother has a little mother station with blankets, and burp rags, and diapers.  There is a host of extra things that you were not cleaning around before. Can you charge extra money for extra people? 

Okay, well, it’s a tough question, and you can deal with it on a case-by-case basis. 

Because that extra person may not be a baby. 

Extra Charge for Extra People or Rooms

Extra Charge for Extra People, Baby Changing StationThe extra person might be an elder parent that has moved in with you. And now the guest bedroom is now a full-time bedroom that needs cleaning every time, where before it was on a rotation basis.

And so, if the scope of the job has changed, I think it is fair that you go back to the homeowner and you say, “Hey, listen. When I started cleaning, there were three people that lived in the house. And now there are four, and one of them requires a whole lot more cleaning than it did before. 

And so, we need extra time to do that cleaning. We need to adjust your pricing so that we can adjust our time.” 

And so, it’s a graceful way of saying, “We need to charge you more money for this extra person.” 

Extra Charge for Extra People Don’t Put it in Your Contract

Extra Charge for Extra People, Girl Eating Chocolate in BedI don’t think I would put it in your contract up front and say, “If you add an extra person, we charge more money.”

We had a scenario where a teenage girl or a college girl came home from school. And she was now occupying one of the guest bedrooms. And she drank lots of beer and soda. Then she would leave the tops off, and they would be half full when we found them.

So, there were ants crawling over her bureau and the bed stand. And she must have had 40 or 50 of these half-drunk containers. Just imagine if you bump any of them, they could spill and leave a mess.

And she ate lots of chocolates and would just leave the wrappers on the floor. Then there were clothes, shoes, dirty clothes, books, and handbags, and papers strewn about. It was just this chaotic mess. 

You Can Negotiate an Extra Charge for Extra People

Extra Charge for Extra People, Women Chatting at Kitchen TableWell, the house already took four hours to clean and that’s what the parents were paying us for. And so, we had to go back to the parents and say, “Hey, listen. Your daughter is home from college and collecting ants in all these half-full containers.”

“In order for us to clean out that stuff and to maintain the room, we need more time. Would you like us to adjust our cleaning schedule to accommodate that room?” 

The mother is like, “Oh, my goodness. Would you do that? I know it’s going to be a whole lot of extra money and a whole lot of extra time, but she’s a slob, and yeah, we can work it out.” 

So, we did have to adjust the pricing. Because there’s no way that we could clean the room with the time and price range we were working in.

Extra Charge for Extra People or Extra Work

Extra Charge for Extra People, Laundry PileSo, if the scope of your job has changed you may have to adjust your pricing, and it may be on a case-by-case basis. 

There may be a new family member that moves in and they carry their own weight. So, no extra cleaning, and no extra charge.

But if you feel your tasks increase a simple conversation with the owner works well.

This way they know why you’re there longer, and why you’re raising your rates.

It’s also a great time to review and renew expectations now that someone new is living in the house.

Extra Charge for Extra People If You Need More Employees

Extra Charge for Extra People, Woman MoppingIf jobs are taking you longer, you may need to shift jobs around which means your team can’t clean as many houses in a day. So, you have to hire other people to cover those other jobs. 

Charging extra money for extra people or pets allows you to pay for your new cleaning technicians.

Extra Charge for Extra People and Pets

Extra Charge for Extra People, Three TerriersLet’s talk about pets. Because there are people you’ll work for who have no pets. And then one day you show up and they have three new dogs. And you’re like, “Whoa, three dogs.” 

Now you have a whole bunch of extra pet hair that you have to clean up. There are dog bowls, there’s slobber everywhere, they’ve tracked in mud from outside, and the whole scope of your job has changed.

Again, you need to have a conversation with the owners. And it won’t come as a surprise to them because they have lots more work too. They have to feed and bathe the pets. They have to take them walking and clean their dirty dog paws when the dogs come inside.

But it’s not standard in the industry to charge for extra people and pets. So, advertising and making a big deal of it is going set you apart from your competition and not in a good way. Don’t raise red flags nobody is expecting.

Customers Understand an Extra Charge for Extra People

Extra Charge for Extra People, Smiling Woman With Laundry BasketClients understand that when their lives change, it affects everyone around them. So, if you need to raise your rates, be upfront and open about it and the reasons why. Most homeowners will appreciate your willingness to continue your service even with all the changes.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Raise Your Prices, Attract More Business –

How to Price Effectively: A Guide for Managers and Entrepreneurs –

Selling Out Sell Everyone! –

How to Set Prices in a Service Business – A Step by Step Guide to Pricing Your Services (Pricing Strategies) –

How to Price Effectively: A Guide for Managers and Entrepreneurs –

How to Speak and Listen Effectively –

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