How much to clean an apartment complex? When coming up with a fair price for house cleaning what questions should you be asking? How do you determine the costs of your cleaning services?
Listen: How Much to Clean An Apartment?
Watch: How Much to Clean An Apartment?
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.
How Much Do You Charge to Clean Apartment Complexes?
How much do you charge to clean apartment complexes? There’s a house cleaner or a homeowner that called in and asked this question.
Due to the nature of the question, its unsure whether this person is a house cleaner or a homeowner. So this question or a variety of this question is probably asked about 20 or 30 times a day. This question comes in a lot, and it looks a little bit different every time it comes in. It’s going to be how much to charge for four bedrooms?
How do you charge for a house with three bedrooms? How do you charge for a house with 2,500 square feet or whatever? The question is, how much do you charge to clean this particular space? And then the question is usually an open-ended question. This particular question, was, how much do you charge to clean an apartment complex?
How Big is the Complex?
Firstly, how big is the apartment complex? Are you talking about one unit or several units? Are you talking about the interior of an apartment complex? Are you talking about the outside area with the stairwells, the hallways and the parking area?
What exactly are you talking about? Is there a lobby of the apartment complex? Is that what you’re bidding on? How much does that cost? When you say, “How much does it cost?” it depends on the variables that are associated with the job.
For example, if you are asked, “How much does it cost to fill up a tank of gas in the car?” Well, you would have to ask what kind of a car is it? Because a Mercedes is going to eat a lot more fuel than a tiny Honda, for example. And then, is the tank full, is it half full, or is it completely empty and running on fumes?
It’s Hard to Give an Exact Price for Cleaning
We’ve talked about pricing a lot on this show, and it’s not that I don’t want to give you an exact answer. I would love to say, “$119” and then you go, “Awesome“. And then you go running to your customer’s house and you say, “$119“, and then they’re going to ask you, “For what? What do I get in exchange for my $119?”
You might rattle off a whole list of things that you provide them, but you don’t know the parameters yet. What if they say, “Well, it’s this entire apartment complex with all of the units? And so, for all of the units for $119, that’s a steal of a deal, because we have 64 units inside this apartment complex.”
Suddenly you’ve just way underbid yourself. And so, if I just give you a price, it’s probably going to be inaccurate unless I know the other things that are associated with that price.
You Have to Ask the Homeowner Questions
So when someone asks, “How much does it cost?,” and this could be a homeowner, “How much does it cost to charge or how much do you charge to clean an apartment complex?”, is it the homeowner? But then, now I have a question for the homeowner. “How messy is your house? Is your house really clean or is it really messy? Do you live in it alone or do you have other people that live there with you? Do you have pets?”
There are other questions that will then change the variables that will also change the price. “If you live alone and you’re a professional and you’re gone and you’re out of town most of the time, it’s going to take a lot less time and energy to clean, I’ll just be doing dusting and light cleaning, than if there are five people that live inside the house, and it’s super busy and they eat in every room of the house, and there’s food and stains and spots and stuff scattered all over.”
Find Out the Scope of the Work
The rules of the job are going to change, and we call that scope of work. The scope of the work is, once I know all of the variables, then I can give you an accurate price.
I don’t want to give you a price and just randomly pull a number out of a hat because when I say it’s $119, it might really be $516. I don’t know. I don’t know what the different variables are. Without knowing, I can’t give you a fair price.
So, although I get this question a lot, what I would like to do is, I would like for us to ask better questions. We made another video called Asking Better Questions and Getting Better Answers, and you can watch that on YouTube.
Start Focusing On Asking the Right Questions
What I want us to start focusing on are what are the questions that we need to know in order to be able to come up with that fair price, because every house has a fair price.
If I give you the wrong price for that house, you’re not going to hire me. You’re going to hire someone else. You’re going to call them, and you’re going to say, “How much do you charge?”
Well, how much do you charge based on what? Based on what? We need to narrow that down and get our questions very specific, in order that we can ask the right questions that will help us get an accurate price.
Some Customers are Price Shopping for House Cleaners
Because if we’re just price shopping, and we want to hire a service, and even if we’re not ready to hire them, we want to know how much money we have to save in order to have them come. We still have to have an accurate price, because even if someone comes all the way over to our house.
And they spent 45 minutes of your time, and they give you a walkthrough, if you are planning on spending $119 because you thought that’s what it was going to cost, and then it costs $516, you’re going to be upset because they wasted all of your time coming over and giving you a job.
And then you’ll feel like it’s a bait and switch. They gave you a price, now that they’re at your house and they see what it’s really going to take to clean your house, it’s going to be a whole lot more money, and that’s not what you’re prepared to pay.
Don’t Waste Time With Vague Questions
So, don’t waste your time and don’t waste the house cleaner’s time by coming up with a general or a vague question. Be as specific as you can, and with the specificities, you’re going to say, “There are five people that live in my home. I have two dogs. I have a 2,800 square foot house. It has three bathrooms. It has three bedrooms. It also has an eating area, a dining area, like an official dining room. It has a living room we never use. It has a family room we use all the time. It has a bonus room, a kitchen, a hallway, a stairway, and a landing.”
And then they’re going to go, “Oh, okay. Now I understand the scope of the job. For that price, with that many people, this particular style, I can give you our range. The range is going to be from here to here, and it’s going to be fairly accurate.”
Then they’re going to come over to your house, they’re going to take a look at your house, and they’re going to say, “Okay, we’re closer on this side than we were over here. So, yay. You saved a little bit of money, but this is about what we think it’s going to be to do this job.” And then they will give you a timeframe of how long they think it will take to do that job, as well.
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