Can you do move-out cleans only and keep a cleaning business going? And how do you market a move-out cleaning business? Do you work with realtors directly or moving companies? Is move-out cleaning too much of a niche market?
Can You Do Move-Out Cleans Only?
Can you start a house cleaning business on move-out cleans only? There was a woman who wrote in and she asked this question.
“Hello, my name is Mary from Oregon. I have a question. I’m wanting to start a business doing mostly estate cleans or vacated properties to get ready for the next year. Is this a thing?
I can’t find out a lot about it. Am I better just looking for a standard house cleaning or is there a niche market in there somewhere?”
There is a Niche for Move-Out Cleans
Mary, this is a great question. And the answer is yes, there is a niche there, and there are some businesses who go after the move-out cleans only. Now the move-out clean is going to be very different from your regular house cleaning.
When you go to a home, usually it is vacated. So, there’s nobody around. Nobody around can also mean there’s no electricity and no running water. So, you have a little bit of a glitch there. How are you going to run a vacuum? And how are you going to rinse out mops and things if there’s no running water and there’s no electricity.
So, you have your work cut out for you, and that you have to have a different kind of contract. Because when we go to a regular house cleaning, we just assume that the lights are on and there’s running water and all that stuff.
Who is Your Target Audience for Move-Out Cleans?
The next thing that we have to think about is who is your endgame? Who is your target audience? Because in regular house cleaning, we work in neighborhoods. So, any of the neighbors that live nearby can be customers based on referral.
But how many people do you know that live in the neighborhood that are moving right now? It might be a few, but it’s going to be rare that you’ll have ongoing business in the same geographical location. So, you’re going to be bouncing all over the city for people that are moving, which is a lot of commute time. Which is not very cost-effective and you do not get paid for commuting time.
How Do You Market Your Business?
Realtors are more interested in closing the deal, but they’re not the ones that are going to be paying you. That’s going to be the homeowner. So, they have to sell you to the homeowner. And so, there’s confusion on who’s actually making the promises on what you’re going to deliver.
I like to be the person that promises what I’m going to deliver, because I know I’m good for the goods. When you have someone else selling you a lot of times, there’s a discrepancy on what the expectations are. But, you can clarify it and you can have a special package of what you offer.
I Recommend Offering 3 Packages
If you do go down this route, I recommend that you have three packages that you offer. You have a big, better and best package.
And those would be packages like, oh, we just do the cleaning. After you’re gone, we pick up any loose things that are there. We sweep, we vacuum, we clean the baseboards, wipe down the walls, wipe down all the fingerprints, and we’re good to go.
What is the Better Package?
There’s another package that might be a little bit more in-depth. It might include things like when you lift up the windows and the windowsills have all that muck in there. You’re going to clean out all the windowsills as well. You’re going to clean out inside the cupboards.
And you’re going to open up the cupboard doors and you’re going to wipe out all of the cupboards. Then you’re going to open up all of the drawers and wipe them out. Things like that. So, it might be an extended package.
The Best Package for Move-Out Cleans
Then there might be even a bigger package. That includes things that we typically don’t include in normal house cleaning, like cleaning the windows, for example, or maybe even the carpet, maybe your company does other things.
Maybe you outsource them to a third party so that you can guarantee that when a new customer walks in, especially if they’re going to buy a house and they’re going to want the house to be house ready.
When you walk in, you don’t want dirty windows that haven’t washed anything. You want to walk in and be able to see crystal clear through the whole entire house. It’s going to make everything look better, right? So, there might be a bigger package for more money that you offer and you can put together these packages.
The Challenge With Only Move-Out Cleans
But here’s the challenge, and I want you to be very clear about the challenge. If you’re running a business, the object of business is to automate everything as quickly as possible. So, the business runs itself when you are working on a move-out clean and the customer moves. Boom, your client is gone. You have no way of getting new business coming in, unless you start the sales cycle all over again.
So, you have to get in a frame of mind or a situation where you have a regular marketing program. And that’s one of the reasons I love house cleaning is because once we have regular customers, we come back week after week or month after month or bi-weekly or whatever the agreement. The sales cycle will last for years, we don’t have to keep reinventing the sale at every cleaning, which you do if you have move-out cleans.
Doing Only Move-Out Cleans Isn't Impossible
So, there are a couple of things to think about. It’s not an impossible business. I know some people that are just terrified of people, they don’t want to be in people’s homes. They don’t like working around people. They like working by themselves in a home that’s vacant with nothing in it and no one is around.
But another thing that I would challenge you about is the money. How are you going to get the money? A lot of times there’s confusion and you wonder, is it the realtor that’s paying me or is it the homeowner?
You Have to Know Who is Paying You for the Job
A lot of times house cleaners will have move-out jobs and they don’t get paid at all because the person that was supposed to pay you moved away. That’s that we knew they were moving. This is a move out, clean. They moved away. They didn’t get their home phones hooked up. There was no money up front, just lots of weird things happening. And then the house cleaner is left behind.
So, you have to have your rules, very crystal clear and in place and the expectations in place. You have to have the packages that you’re offering in place and a way to guarantee that. That way if they come back in and it does not meet their standard of excellence, that you offer a satisfaction of some sort and we’ll come back, you will give the money back.
So yes, you can do only move-out cleans. However, a regular house cleaning company is easier to get into. It’s going to be more revenue on a regular basis and it’s going to be easier to market long-term.
*** PROMISED LINKS AND GOOD KARMA RESOURCES ***
Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff – https://amzn.to/2rpSAgP
The Essential Moving Guide: Practical advice to create a smooth transition and sense of belonging – https://amzn.to/2XcomKl
Organize Pack Move: Strategies and Money-Saving Ideas to Simplify Your Move – https://amzn.to/2rxy3XT
Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master – https://amzn.to/2PX2Irb
Organizing: How to Clean and Organize Your House – The Ultimate DIY House Hack Guide for Speed Cleaning, Decluttering, Organizing – http://amzn.to/2ydbYwi