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Charging for Cleaning Apartments?

I am new to the industry and I think I'm being taken advantage of. I recently started my own cleaning company, nearly a month ago. I do move In/Out cleaning for a real estate company. After cleaning an apartment I had the manager show me a globe (a lighting fixture) and tell me it is still dirty. I said "I don't do lighting fixtures" . Does anyone clean lighting fixtures, vents, fire safety water sprinklers? How should I charge for windows? Some stoves really need heavy scrubbing. My mom use to say, "put some elbow grease on it!"

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April 7, 20210 found this helpful

Cleaning is hard work, hard labor! People who don't do it, like your clients, don't realize this. I would charge a little less than your competitors or at least charge what you feel is enough for your labor.

I would be scared to clean a lighting fixture for fear I'd break it. I don't even clean my own. It sounds more like extensive cleaning to me and I would charge a bit more for doing things like that...vents, fixtures, walls etc. My auntie used to do this type of job. She however, quit doing it because she felt it wasn't fair. She worked in a pair with another lady and they cleaned large houses for rich folks. She herself only got paid $900 for each house but she said it wasn't enough since the house was so huge and it took 2 weeks with long hours to clean thoroughly. She said she couldn't even afford her rent and bills with that job.

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I've never been paid to clean, but if I did I'd want at least $14-15 an hour myself (in NC). I hope I've helped in some way!

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April 7, 20210 found this helpful

Most cleaning people in my area will charge a set price for basic cleaning. The price includes dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. The larger the home, the more it costs.

Windows, laundry, getting on a ladder to clean light fixtures are special jobs and cost extra. Find out what people charge in your area for this.

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April 7, 20210 found this helpful

I'm sorry to say this but all of this type of information should have been collected before you started doing the actual jobs.

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You should also have a contract that states exactly what you will do and anything above that will be extra money even if the extra is charged by the hour.
A contract for this type of work has to be very explicit about everything that is included even to the size of property, type of property and cannot say things like 'general' cleaning. A contract for this could be 2-3 pages long.
Most of the time agencies will inspect the property and provide an estimate or price for doing that exact job. Of course, if these apartments are all the same size that may be different.
If you have already signed a contract to do this work then I'm afraid you may be stuck with whatever they want you to do until the contract runs out.

When you say you started your own business, do you mean you actually have an official license with all the bells and whistles that states and counties make you have to open a business?

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Created a business plan?
Or do you just have a business that is like a 'home' business and you seek out your own jobs?

I believe you really need to start from the beginning and maybe contact the Small Business Administration as they have very good classes on opening a business and they assign business people to help you with finding all the information you will need to be able to survive in any business.

If you cannot do this then you may be able to work for one of the cleaning agencies in your area and maybe learn how they do this same type of jobs. Find out how they charge, what type of contract they use as all of this is very important.

If this was just a regular house cleaning you were trying to do, you may be able to ask some of the agencies for an estimate on different size houses but I do not believe they would supply you with information on this type of work.

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April 7, 20210 found this helpful

Are you in the US? If so, I think you need to contact your local Small Business Development Center and talk to someone there. They can help you with a business plan and part of that will be pricing yourself for your market, helping you understand your market, learn how to market to your ideal client, etc.

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The SBDC has mostly free services and is the best thing you can do to get your business on the right footing. The mentoring is even free (paid for with tax dollars).

They can tell you what to expect for working for a real estate company vs. home cleaning (and yes, where I am , they have to do everything...lighting fixtures, vents, fire safety water sprinklers, windows, blinds and carpet. Maybe your town is not the same, but it sounds like it is.

If you are not in the US, maybe your country has a comparable service. It sounds like you need to go back to square 1 and get your underpinnings in order!

Blessings in your ventures!

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April 9, 20210 found this helpful

I would from now on I would amend my contract to certain cleaning details. Be very specific on the details of do's and don'ts of your contract and what is offered.

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Listing chores within your contract and making it very clear and the responsibility of you , and the clients responsibility.

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