Price By The Hour or Job for House Cleaning?

Price By The Hour or Job for House Cleaning?

Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask
a House Cleaner. This is the show where you get to ask a house
cleaning question and I get to help you find an answer. Today’s question comes from a brand-spanking-new
house cleaner who is going to start her own business. And she wants to know “What am I supposed
to charge customers for house cleaning? I have no idea what the going rate is. I have no idea what I’m supposed to charge. Wow. That is a that is an exciting question because
every house cleaner at some point has asked that question. So, what you need to know, and this is based
on Home Advisor and Angie’s List which are two national websites that do house cleaning
referrals across the country. And this is the country of the United States. In the United States, the going rate for house
cleaning is anywhere from $25 to $45 per hour. There’s a range in between you could say the
average is $35 an hour and that would be a fair price just about anywhere. There are some way tiny remote places out
in the country the charge a little bit less. There are places in New York City and probably
Boston and some other really highly populated areas where might be a little bit more. But the going rate across the country is about
$25 to $45 per hour. Now there are two ways you can bid a job. The first way is you can bid by the hour and
you can just charge a flat rate. “I charge $30 per hour or $25 per hour.” The second way you can charge by the job. And it depends on the way your business is
setup which will determine which way you choose. If you’re just getting started in the house
cleaning business and you’re brand spanking new and you don’t have a business plan setup,
and you’re just getting started, my recommendation is this; make it easy on yourself. Don’t get hung up on, “what is the square
footage of the home?” And “what is going to be involved?” And how… you don’t know how to bid a house
you don’t know how long it’s going to take to clean. You don’t know what is involved as far as
the chemicals and the cleaning supplies and all of the things that you’re going to have
to bring and provide, in order to offset those expenses. So, having said that. Don’t charge by the job when you’re getting
started. It’s super complicated for somebody who has
no idea what they’re doing. If you’re brand-spanking’-new to the business,
(I love this,) just charge by the hour. Now, you don’t have the credentials because
you have not done this as a business. You don’t have a big list of happy customers. Okay? So, you don’t have the credentials of the
referral system behind you. You probably don’t have a certification of
where you’ve been through house cleaning training. So, if you’re just kind of winging it, and
you’re going to figure it out as you go, my recommendation is that you don’t charge top dollar. If you screw up something people are going
to be really quick to fire you. And say “I’m paying top-dollar and you’re
just kind of screwing around figuring things out.” So, don’t do that. I don’t want to encourage you to lowball your
prices because I’m a very big advocate that has house cleaners we get what we are worth. Having said that though if you’re just getting
started here’s an easy way to get started; charge $25 per hour. And I know that’s right at the very bottom
of the rung, but here’s what that is; this is an easy math problem. So, the easy math is I only have 4 hours to
clean your house. So however big or however small your house is, I only have four hours.” So if I can clean your house in 2 hours it
will be $50 dollars. If I can clean your house in 4 hours it will be $100 dollars. And you can do the math and so can the client
so that’s super easy. When you get to a customer’s house and the
customer says “Well, I have a hoarding problem and I have all of these things that I have
collected over the years how long will it take you to do that?” Please do not try to bid by the job. You have no idea what you’re doing, and you
have no idea how long it’s going to take. So, bid by the hour and say “Listen I only
have 4 hours, let’s see how far we can come in 4 hours that will cost you $100.” Now, as you’re getting started, what this
is going to do for you is it’s going to fill a time slot. They call it low-balling the price. And the reason I recommend this is because
you don’t have a system in place. You don’t have cleaning systems in place that
will tell you how quickly and how fast. The more you do this the more proficient you
will become. You’ll walk into a house and you will look
around and will say “This will take me 2.5 hours and it’s going to cost x amount of dollars.” And you’ll get that good at it. But right now, in the beginning, $25 an hour. And then you can figure it out as you go you
have a chance to create some systems. And to figure out how fast and how efficient
you are. What cleaning supplies you’re going to need,
and it gives you a little bit of wiggle room. Right? Because the customer is not taking the biggest
bet on you at $50 an hour. If it takes her twice as long at least that’s
the $50 bucks. So, they’ll say “Well, I’ll give this
girl a chance. If it takes her twice as long at least that’s
the $50 bucks.” Right? So, they will give you a little bit more leeway. The second thing is once you fill up your
schedule there will be people that drop off. That’s just the natural progression of this
business. As people drop off if you decide that you’re
worth more, and you want to charge more, you can certainly raise your prices. But keep your beginning clients at $25 so
the people that you hire you in the very beginning when you’re just getting started, that you’ve
got them locked in at that rate. This is the only profession I know where you
can jump in, This is not anything that you should laugh
about. This is the only profession I know where you
can jump in, where you don’t need a college degree. You don’t need four years of training, and
you can walk in the first day on the job and say “I get $25 an hour.” Right? That’s a pretty good income for somebody just
starting out on any job. On any job that’s pretty good money. If you work 8 hours a day at $25 an hour you
just made $200 in your pocket. If you do that five days a week, you just
made $1,000 in one week in your pocket. Right? So my point is that you can earn some pretty
good money just starting out even if you start at the bottom of the rung. And as you start out at the bottom of the
rung and you work your way up you’re going to become quicker at what you do. And your processes will change. And you may switch altogether from bidding
by the hour to bidding by the job. But at the $25 an hour there’s another element
here that’s really important. Because the math is simple, the math is also
simple for the people that you work for. So they can turn around to their friends and
say; “Listen, I just got this really great house cleaner and he only charges $25 an hour.” And the person that they’re speaking to thinks
in their head “Well, wait a second. I’m paying my current housecleaner $35 an
hour and they’re not very good. I should give your guy a try.” And immediately you’re going to pick up some
referral business from friends and neighbors of the people that you work for. So very quickly, your schedule will become
full. One of the biggest problems that I see and
this again goes back to social media. There are house cleaners that will jump on
the internet and say; “Well, I’m worth $50 an hour I’m going to charge $50 an hour.” Okay. That’s fine but how do you justify that price? If you’re just new and you don’t have the
systems in place, and you’re not efficient, and you don’t have the credentials, and all
of these things, you’re going to get fired very quickly. And then instead of having some money coming
in, you have no money coming in. And now you have to go out and spend money
to advertise to get new customers. Because you have this attitude that’s a little
bit on the arrogant side; “Oh, I’m worth so much more money.” If you don’t have anything to back it up,
guess what? You’re not worth that much more money! You have to be able to back it up. And so stay humble in the beginning. Charge a lower price, completely fill up your
calendar. And in the event, that you have customers
that drop off. And you’re going to get new customers, and
I’m talking six months down the road and you want to raise your prices, you can do that
at that time. Right? Because now you can justify that price. Alright, so until I see you again, figuring things
out.” if I can clean your house in 4 hours it will be $100. where you don’t need a college degree. leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

83 thoughts on “Price By The Hour or Job for House Cleaning?

  • Wow I am a house cleaner in England and going rate here is £8-12 an hr. I charge £12 if I turned to my clients and said I now charge £25 (which I would love obviously) I'd be shown the door!!! Maybe I should move to the USA 😀

  • I charge $15 dollars a hour but I have my clients come up with all the equipment and supply's for my cleaning I think is a fair price plus it is just extra income for me for I have a full time job.

  • hi I work for a company for a very long time I have beeen consider a professional I know How to do estimates so if I charge $25 an hour does that includes my travel time / gasoline. cleaning tools and materials plus insurance and being bonded?

  • How do you price your cleaning jobs, by the hour or by the job? How do you determine to charge by the hour or by the job?

  • New subscriber here! Loving your information. I am leaving my corporate job and relocating for  better quality of life. I plan to start a cleaning business, as I am naturally Type A and very much a "clean freak." Your videos are very helpful! I feel like I will be able to take this on with confidence! Thank you so much Angela!

  • Hi Angela, thanks for your videos and advice. I used to clean years ago and am starting again now that my kids are older.

  • hi!!!!. I just wanna know about an building or cleaning offices in a building. how much I charge per hour please help me

  • Men this lady said all the truth about this business , is hard to start but she is completely right , I start this business with my mother like a year ago and is a hard work and you find all kinds of people nice and bad but all my customers love my job that make you feel good now .

  • Yes Angela very wise what you teach us. I have clean for almost 30years and now I even can tell customers who want a professional cleaning service and no want to pay for it. they want to pay cheap labor it make me mad that I walk those rouds. but I'm no longer acept that. I know now that im very valuable because of my expirance and I have happy satisfied customers that I earn over the years😊

  • As a customer, I prefer to be quoted by the hour. And I will back up exactly what was said… I have paid too much per hour for very little cleaning from inexperienced people. I don't mind having someone as a first time cleaner, but I do mind having to pay a top amount for someone who is not as efficient as someone who as done this in their sleep for years. $25 per hour is a great beginning and one I would jump on. In our area, it is hard to find someone who will work this way, therefore, I have gone without help (and disabled) which has caused more stress. I'm not blaming housecleaners, but as was said "what can you tell us of value about your cleaning if you have never cleaned PROFESSIONALLY"? I've cleaned all my life, and learned by a very meticulous mother….so I might think I know it all. But through the years I've learned short cuts that are helpful and have taught them to my own house cleaners. Short cuts are not bad, as long as the outcome is the same. I know my home, and I know how we live. I am aware it takes me about 2 hours to clean my home, as it is only my husband and I that live there. But when I have someone tell me that for the SIZE of my home and the bedroom, etc… it will be $100+ per clean, I know they haven't listened and don't get it. There are two of us. We live in the living room, kitchen, dining and our bedroom and bath. Those are the main areas that will be the main target. The other rooms are quick and easy to keep the dust from collecting. I know that the extra 2 bedrooms and extra bath will take about 30 minutes max. Most likely with time left over. So when bidding for the job, and I know how long it will take and when I'm told YOU MUST USE 3 HOURS, I wonder… "do we have tea for the last hour"? So likely I will not chose someone who charges in that way, as I loose money and it should be a win-win deal. On the other hand, if they are charging by the hour, and it's been 2 hours and 30 minutes and they have done a great job and because of my loyalty and wanting their loyalty, I usually give the 3 hour amount. While that isn't much, it's a small token of my appreciation. I have never heard of tipping a housecleaner, and that was news to me when I heard it on another channel. I and other's can't afford to tip on top of paying a good dollar amount to clean. However, when the holidays roll around, there is usually extra given and sometimes it amounts to a very good deal. (depends on my husbands bonus.) I have had excellent housekeepers at $20-25 hour and I made sure they took a break, had some coffee and a little chat. After all, isn't that what everyone does at work? When I see the extra that goes into working for me, and their hard work and appreciation for making good money to start out on, we can't help but reward them for helping us out and keeping stress at bay. Isn't a little bonus – while it won't make a house payment – isn't it worth knowing it will get a gift for your child(ren) if necessary? And when your child is sick, no problem. And when I can't have you – no problem. Somehow, through time, we both notice the pay is more…it just happens because of loyality on both ends. I wish I could find someone like I used to have…but I can't. I feel cheated at times, and I don't like that feeling. But I know housekeeping is one of the toughest jobs to do….that's why we have to have help, especially when there are health issues. But building loyality, as she mentioned, is something that will help us both and before long we will cover for each other in some way or another. YOU make me LOOK GOOD… so of course I'm going to like you if you are efficient and not expensive. As my trust builds, then you and I BOTH reap the rewards. Thank you to all who work hard to help us look and feel good about our homes~!

  • Angela is $26.00 an hour For 5 days 3.5 hours a day a low ball? Job requirement covers cleaning 3 full bathrooms 3 bedrooms deep clean. 2 half bathrooms a kitchen sweep and mop. Living room dust and vacuum one office dust and vacuum. Dinning area Florida room dust sweep and mop front porch dust and blow. Back side walks blow everyday. Sweep mop pantry. 5 hallways vacuum weekly and dust.

  • Thanks, you have taken so much stress off of me. I have experience but new to starting my own business.

  • Hi Angela you rock! So awesome that you make these videos!!! I wonder how I can write to you. Can I have your Email? Thanks.

  • I'm just getting started as a house cleaner and this video was very helpful, best advice for a newbie like me! thank you

  • That’s crazy on the price . I pay 15 dollar per hour. Some People that have degrees don’t even make 45 dollars an hour. Focus on doing a good job .

  • Hello Angela! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I took a year off college, got a job working for a nationwide housecleaning company, moved out of my parent's place, quit my job, and now I'm going to be going back to school. This time, though I need to make money to support myself because I have rent, electricity, yada-yada-yada.
    Because I will be schooling, I need a flexible job. I'm thinking about starting my own cleaning business because I can say when I work and I have experience. I cleaned for 8 months, 3-5 houses a day, and by the end, I was meeting the company's time frames and even going faster. Considering all this, would you still suggest 25/hour or could I get away with 35? I would like to have a pay for job type deal, but after hearing what you had to say, will settle for hourly pay to start.

  • Hi I am from uk 🇬🇧 how do I find out prices that are charged per hour for cleaning in uk 🇬🇧 you got any idea ?

  • Hey Angie, when you say the going rate is between 25 and $35 an hour is that for one cleaner? If a client request or is given two cleaners does that mean I should double the 25 to $35 an hour rate? What I've been doing is charging $55 an hour for clients who just simply cannot seem to stomach my initial clean rate. We give them three hours at $55 for two cleaners and although I love knowing exactly when I'm going to leave I always feel cheated when we're done because we always start with the hardest projects in the house like deep cleaning appliances bathrooms and inside kitchen cabinets. ( maybe I should be asking this on your FB house cleaner platform🤔)

  • great channel, I am just starting a house cleaning service in Milan, thank you very much for the advice. Priceless

  • I cleaned now for a place for 3years . And done extant for the family. I charge $20hr should I ask for a raise haha

  • Angela, you're awesome and I really appreciate your videos. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to make these.

  • Hi Angela!
    I was hired (first time house keeper) I went in head first with absolutely no experience and the bosses own a company and I was hired through the company at $15.00 an hour and I am required to work two days / 10 hours a day I have been there for almost 3 yrs 2018 and I get a dollar a year raise when he this year will be at $18.00 an hour- because I am part time I get no benefits from them, it’s family owned and other housekeepers are paid via the company work full time with benefits. I choose to work only the two days. We live in Houston Texas, it’s interesting to know the going rates!!! I am also a babysitter, pet sitter, bather, feed 5 cats all for same pay!!!! Thank you for enlighten me

  • If my son and I are just starting out together..Do we charge by the hour as a team or is it 25 per hour each person?😁

  • Hey Angela thanks so much for your quick response. Yes hes an adult hes 23 and would be a team. Also sorry would that mean that we each would have to be bonded and insured or just myself.

  • Love this topic. Whatever you charge whether its $25 or $50 an hour, you will always get clients who can afford it. That's the reason they hire us to help with chores they can't do or their work schedule doesn't give them time to do it. Like the Law of Attraction, like attracts like. If I charge $50 an hour, I'll attract clients who can afford $50 per hour vice versa. Plus, if you hire someone who charges $35 an hour and doesn't do a great job vs someone who is experienced who charges more. You get what you pay for. Quantity over Quality. We always get jobs that was cleaned by another company and we gotta re-do it because it wasn't done correctly or efficiently. That's my 2cents…lol

  • Hi Angela here in the Bay Area house cleaning is we’ll payed, I charge 50 per hour when customers want per hour but most of my customers I charge per the job and I have a big list of happy customers, I’ve been doing house cleaning for 17 years and I will retire in 4 more years with a retirement plan that I planed since the beginning, since I don’t work for a company I have to have a resource for my future, thank you for all your advice on all your great videos, We speak the same language as house cleaners, love you!!!!

  • We have been operating for 8 years now and enjoy your videos. You give great advice! We price by the job as we find it keeps everything straightforward. It ensures that we understand what the customer has requested, the customer understands what they have requested and we can make sure that expectations on both sides are managed. We have a gained a good reputation working this way and it also helps us keep our employees happy as they have clear guidance. Everyone works at a different pace and even a hot day can slow you down a bit. We focus on getting the job completed to a high standard, not watching the clock. When you go to get your haircut you don't pay by the hour, the emphasis is on being happy with the outcome, not the time taken.

  • What the heck, they want to make more than a college graduate, good luck with that.
    I pay 15 Dollars/hour and that's all I will pay. Easy job with A/C and Heater in the winter.
    It's not like you are paying for a unique technical skilled job, it's just cleaning!

  • Hey Angela. Thanks for all your tips . I have a question : how and where can I get the required certification for cleaning houses?
    Thanks already for your answer.

  • I've had my cleaning business for 16 years now and the very first thing I learned from my very well off mentor was to ALWAYS charge by the job a flat rate! I have never and will never work by the hour! You make the most money by the job…unless you have no clue what you are doing and take 6 hours to clean but I have found over the years almost every house takes 3 hours to do..I try to get $100 a house which comes out to about $35 an some homes take 2 hours… That's the benefit of not being hourly..You would not want a client to know you charged $100 for only 2 hours work but again, They have to realize you are not there employee..they are not paying your taxes or benefits..they do not get to dictate how much you make per hour!! You are like a plumber or other home service contractor providing a service! Look at what a plumber charges..$100 for 15 minutes to unclog a drain.. You are providing the service of cleaning a home..You are paid to perform certain tasks and clean certain areas…Once that is done you are free to leave whether it took 1 hour or 5 hours…This has worked quite well for me and enabled me to usually ear $1,000 or so a week alone…doing 2-3 homes monday thru Friday..NO WEEKENDS..BTW..the clients that ask for weekend cleaning are the ones that will give you the hardest time and micro manage you…I won't clean a home full of people..if they are home I will empty my bleach spray in the shower so the strong smell drives them out!!! Sounds bad I know but look at it like this..How would you like it if I came to your work and stood on your desk while you were working???

  • Hi Angela. Hi thank you for all those videos.
    I have a client and when I tell her my rate for the cleaning services I did tell her I charge by the job. Well last week she said my friend have a house cleaning lady and she charge her only 20 dollars by hour and I’m paying you 100 dollars for two hours!
    She wasn’t mean or anything she is vary nice lady but what do you supposed to answer when that happens. She counted now two hours because I work fast and I know the house already but in the beginning always takes me around 3–4 hours.

  • Hi Angela just joined your channel. Love the way you clean.
    May I ask is cleaning your main topic or do you have any other house hold ideas. I desperately need advice for other house hold items.
    Many thanks Angela

  • Soon I will start my cleaning job and your advice is very helpful thank you, but I scared to make any mistake and don’t know how to deal with customers do you have any advice. Thank you 😊

  • LOVE THE video! Very inspiring. I've been doing a bunch of research on this topic. I currently run my own cleaning business which is VERY successful. I figured why not create a channel about why I work for myself and the extreme benefits that comes with it. I currently have 4 videos already! Thanks again for your channel and inspiring others like me!

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