Before You Give a Rough Estimate for Cleaning Services

Rough Estimate Angela Brown Ask a House Cleaner
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What do you have to do before you give a rough estimate for cleaning services? There are a ton of different questions that you must have answered before you can give a rough estimate for pricing a cleaning.

What do you have to do before you give a rough estimate for cleaning services? There are a ton of different questions that you must have answered before you can give a rough estimate for pricing a cleaning. Today we will cover the questions to ask and steps to take before you give your pricing estimate.

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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.

How Do You Give a Rough Estimate?

Rough Estimate, HomesHow do you give a rough estimate on a cleaning job that you’re bidding on? We have somebody that wrote into the show and they asked this question.

Hi Angela, good morning. My name is Douglas and I own a cleaning service in central Florida. I was just offered to come bid a job for a huge subdivision. This is my first time having a job of such magnitude and I was wondering if you could help me out on this one on the proper way to bid.

I can send you the papers of what they want done and could you give me a rough estimate on how much you would charge for the service. That would help me out tremendously.”

What Does This Job Mean?

Rough Estimate, New Houses Under ConstructionOkay. The first thing that I want to suggest is this, congratulations on being offered to bid a job on a huge subdivision. But what does that mean? So the next question is what does it mean to bid for a job in a huge subdivision? Is this new construction or are these existing homes that have people living inside them?

Now I know in the area where I live there are a lot of retirement communities that are big subdivisions. But part of the living there includes landscaping and house cleaning and house maintenance and all this stuff, right?

Is this one of those where people already live in the homes or is this pre-construction?

There are a Lot of Questions to Ask Before You Give a Rough Estimate

Rough Estimate, Inside House ConstructionThe reason I ask is that there are a whole bunch of questions that need to be answered before any rough estimate can be given. How often is the cleaning? How big is the cleaning? Is it one house? Is it lots of houses simultaneously? Are you cleaning up between every section of the construction process?

Is this the final clean for a model home where everything is already carpeted and the walls are painted? Where in the phase is this? And does this require ongoing construction cleaning?

For example, if it’s five model homes that are next to each other in a subdivision are you expected to come in and clean those homes between. Every day after the realtors go home for the day and people have trucked stuff in and out from the carpets and they’ve used the toilets or whatever. Is that what we’re talking about? Or are you talking about the homes themselves getting them ready for customers?

Is There Electricity and Running Water?

Rough Estimate, Extension CordThe next thing that we have to wonder about is is there electricity and running water in the homes? Because if this is a pre-construction home, there’s no running water and there’s no electricity.

So you’re going to be expected if there is flooring, you’re going to be expected to bring extension cords and whatever, which is a different game. Then how are we getting electricity into the house? And do I have to bring buckets or jugs of my own water? That’s a very different type of cleaning.

There are lots of questions that go on. And then the question that you want to ask is who is paying for the project? Is it the builder? Is it the development, the realtor? Are they homeowners?

You Have to Find Out Who is Writing the Checks for You

Rough Estimate, Woman Writing CheckWho’s actually writing the check? And it’s important to find out who the person is that’s writing the check because oftentimes people will get somebody on the job and then they kind of expect other people are going to pay for it. Realtors do this all the time.

There’s a move-out clean and then they expect that the homeowner either the one that’s moving out or the one that’s moving in will pay for it. And the cleaner comes without clarifying that.

They do the job and then they never get paid because nobody knows who’s supposed to write the check. So it’s very important that you get all of that stuff figured out before you even give a rough estimate.

Use Software to Help You Estimate Your Price

Rough Estimate, Confused ManThere are softwares on the market for the type of construction that you’re doing. Or the type of cleaning that you’re doing, or the type of commercial jobs that this is. Because this is not just residential if you’re doing an entire subdivision okay?

It’s going to be a commercial contract and I should warn you that the pay is different. When you do residential cleaning and you go inside someone’s home, you get paid that day.

When you have a contract with a subdivision or with an apartment complex or with a building, what happens is usually 30, 60, 90-day terms.

You Don’t Get Paid Immediately for Commercial Contracts

Rough Estimate, Team of House CleanersSo you do not get paid immediately, which means that you might have two, three, four, $5,000 of earnings that are out there floating around in space. And you still have to pay your employees, but you haven’t been paid for it yet. Right?

And you hope that the property manager doesn’t default on the payment, because even if they get you to clean for one month. That’s $5,000 that you did not get paid for that you still have to pay your employees. That’s your gas, it’s your fuel, it’s your vehicle expense. It’s your cleaning supplies, your equipment, your equipment maintenance.

It’s a whole bunch of other things that you have to be aware of and can your business afford to do that? So you want to ask a bunch of questions up front and not just send them to a third party and say, “Hey, can you tell me how to quote this?”

I Don’t Know the Answers Either

Rough Estimate House CleanerBecause I don’t know, I don’t know any of the answers either. If I gave you a random number when you get there and you give them this random number that I give you, they’re going to say what is this based on? And because I don’t know the variables and the parameters of the job or the scope of work, I can’t give you a fair price.

So, you can’t give them a fair price either until you go through all of these questions with them. They have to walk you through exactly what a day in the life of looks like so that you can then make a fair guesstimation on how much time it will take.

And how many supplies, what that looks like for your business, and how much that’s going to cost. So I’m not trying to be vague, what I’m trying to do is get you to ask better questions.

Ask Specific Questions to Get a Rough Estimate

Rough Estimate, Ask the Right QuestionsSo when someone says, can you give me a rough price? Here’s what that means. Your rough price question means I must ask a series of very specific questions.

That’s the trigger. I need a rough price, can you give me a ballpark? Can you give me a range? That translates into I need to ask a series of very specific questions.

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