I've been charging the same price for about 5 years; once a month for $150. She now wants it twice a month for less since she feels it will be less dirty, however, she has 2 hairy cats and a dog inside which of course shed a lot so I have to sweep and vacuum all floors before moping.
The home is about a 12 mile drive round trip. She calls me last minute lots of times so I am very convenient for her and trustworthy. I was getting ready to ask for $25 more, but don't want to be over charging if its not fair price.
I'm in Kansas (KC Suburb). I have a cleaning company (bonded) clean my house. Around here bonded companies/individuals charge more than those not bonded. I am charged per room for about 3.5 hours & 2 cleaners (no oven, fridge or clothes washing included).
I pay more for them to come weekly or bi-weekly than monthly. If they come bi-weekly there are scrubbing my floors each time then it takes longer than scrubbing it once a month. They also figure their rate based on the number of adults/kids living in the home. The cleaners here make just over minimum wage & use the companies supplies. The company gets the rest. Hiring an individual here cost less.
You need to make a living. Check Craigslist for what others charge. Call other companies & get prices.
Sounds to me like this lady is trying to take advantage of you and wants to get all she can out of you. You give in and later down the road it will only be something else. My guess is she doesn't want to loose you. You haven't gone up in 5 years and she can depend on you showing up on a moments notice.
I think sometimes people who clean are considered a lower class by the people they clean for. I cleaned for awhile and people will take advantage if you let them. If the work were easy they would be doing it themselves.
I also run a small cleaning business and contrary to what some have said it is very hard work when done correctly. If you are only cleaning her house once or even twice a month I hate to think of the amount of pet hair and dirt everywhere.
This sounds like a large home and I highly doubt it will take you any less time to clean it a second time considering the pets and the fact that you do laundry and dishes. These jobs are a constant, as are bathrooms and floors, it is possible, though not probable that the dusting will be less, but you should not take a pay cut and then double your work load.
I recommend you raise your rates as you first thought, that is already a significant price break. If she questions this, ask her if she would be willing to work 80 hours a week for the same amount that she makes now working only 40 hours. She is paying for your time, labor, and expertise. Don't be afraid to charge accordingly.
I pay my housekeeper by the room for cleaning as she does not do the whole house all the time (guest bedrooms, sewing/office/music practice area almost never etc) It works out to about $30-$35/hr.
She does not do refrigerators, ovens, laundry, or windows. When she started, she charged a one time higher rate to get things in order. After that it was a flat fee. I am very satisfied with her work and her reliability. I give her a nice bonus at Christmas, too.
I provide all cleaning materials (although she occasionally brings something in) as she realizes that some customers have allergies or preferences. If you want to work for her 2 days/month, I think she should pay the same rate for each day - whatever it is you work out.
You do not say how long it takes you to do this cleaning, nor what the going rates are for cleaning or other work in your area. That makes a difference. Certainly no one would pay $30 an hour for housecleaning where I live.
That being said, if you haven't raised your prices in 5 years, it may be time for an increase, and I do know that many people in rural areas charge a mileage fee because of the cost of gas. I also think that the fact that you come just whenever and not on any sort of regular schedule makes you more valuable. And I think the same number of hours requires the same rate of pay.
In my own experience, cleaning twice a month does take less time than once a month. But not much... 20 to 30 minutes at best. The going rate for cleaning by the hour runs from $10 to $35 depending on where you live. Here in the PNW I charged $30 an hour. the cost of living here is high...similar to NY and LA. Perhaps if you explained your rates based on an hourly charge your client would understand better. If you then gave her a small reduction (say $10) off your new rate of $175 she would think she was getting good deal.
$150.00 is a lot of $ unless you are cleaning the oven & fridge too. Dusting & sweeping is not hard work at all.
I would be happy to have you come to my house to clean everything in it for $150.00.....and that would include the oven and fridge.
I am 68 and would gladly take a job that pays that much for half a day's work with no taxes paid!
You can certainly justify raising your rate to $175 - you've kept your price at the same level for 5 years while costs of supplies have gone up, you accommodate her last-minute requests, etc. If your client wants her house cleaned twice a month, you would still be doing the same cleanup. Dust and dog/cat hair still accumulate, whether 2 weeks or 4 weeks go by!
You have proven your professionalism by being trustworthy and available at a moment's notice (unlike others who might not do so). Your client should honor these wonderful traits!
I would charge her the $175 you were planning on and tell her that is the price per visit. She may tell you she will find someone else, but for what you are doing, she won't find anyone. Don't let her take advantage of your good nature...that's what the request for a lower price is. This is business, not friendship.
If you are doing the exact same cleaning twice a month and it takes you the same amount of time, you should ask for more. Or start charging for last minutes cleaning calls. If your customer can't stick to a schedule then she should have to pay for last minute requests. Your time is valuable and you deserve to be treated in a professional manner. Your customer's should not take advantage of you.
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