How to Use Craigslist to Get More Clients For Your Cleaning Business

Cleaners on Craigslist

In this article we will share how to use Craigslist to get more clients from your cleaning business and pro tips for growing your cleaning business using Craigslist ads. We’ll also cover the history of Craigslist, including some juicy details you may not have known. Can you guess how long Craigslist has been around? Read on to find out…

Craiglist for Your Cleaning Business


If you’ve been living in the western world and using the internet for any amount of time, you’ve heard of Craigslist.

If you’ve ever tried to buy a used car, find a job, buy or rent a home, you must have stumbled upon this massive online directory.

The same goes for any efforts to advertise your services or connect with another human being – Craigslist is an eternal go-to for anyone in the know.

This is for good reason – the simple, clean design hasn’t changed for over a decade. And why should it?

The website has been reported to receive over 9 Billion unique visits per month.

That makes it a rival for marketplace giants such as Zillow and Yelp.

And to think, this beast of a site was launched by a guy in San Francisco with a single mission: to tell his friends what events to go to.


The popular website was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark.

Craig’s original purpose was to tell his fellow San Francisco natives about events happening in the area.

Since then, the site has steadily expanded into over 450 cities and 50 countries.

Nowadays, Craigslist is ranked as the #19 most popular site in the US as of 2019, according to an Alexa ranking.

The company even started the Craigslist Foundation, a nonprofit which helps other nonprofits grow and establish themselves.

Rather than contributing money directly, the charity throws local events to help charities at the grass-roots level.


Craigslist has come under criticism before, such as when it was pressured to ban ads relating to the sale of dogs and cats.

The platform was accused of promoting reckless breeding, but the claims ended up being unjustified.

In another less public scandal, Craig and his leadership team were accused of diluting eBay’s stock by injecting a ‘poison pill’ into the company.

They were accused of lowering eBay’s stock in the company and also eliminating eBay’s right to appoint a member to the board of directors.

The controversial listing site has even been accused of such heinous things as enabling child pornography.

According to Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, 85% of these types of atrocities were due to listing sites like Craigslist.

A Craigslist spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.

Despite the criticism against Craigslist, the company is still a major source of traffic for small businesses and freelancers around the world.

If you are a small cleaning business owner, you should be using Craigslist.

Why Craigslist works for Cleaners


Articles have been written about why you shouldn’t hire a cleaning service on Craigslist.

And yet, it is still a great way to generate new business as a house cleaner.

Recently, Craigslist added a $5 fee for posting cleaning services.

This may discourage you from posting, but it’s actually a good thing.

It has cut down on spammers and folks not willing to invest in their business.

For this reason, the amount of posts has drastically decreased, which means you have a better shot at getting quality leads.


How can you best target your ads to get the most bang for your 5 bucks?


One of the reasons folks search Craigslist vs. Google or Yelp is because of price sensitivity.

Consumers know that smaller businesses are advertising on Craigslist, which usually comes with a lower price tag.

If you have lower prices, you can use this to your advantage by pointing this out in your ads.


This tip should be applied differently, depending on your pricing structure.

If your prices are on the lower end, put ‘FREE ESTIMATES’ to communicate this right away to clients.

If your prices are on the higher end, communicate the value of working with your business by saying ‘LICENSED/INSURED.’

Take care not to use capital letters in your entire title, as that will come across as spammy.

One or two words capitalized is more than enough to capture browser’s attention.


Remember, you’re trying to mimic the simplistic style of Craigslist.

You’re also attempting to separate yourself from the corporate-sounding ads of large businesses.

Here’s a great example of a simple ad:



Hi, my name is Flores and I pride myself on providing affordable, dependable cleaning services for my clients.

My specialties are:

  • Deep Cleaning
  • Apartment Cleaning
  • Move in/ Move out Cleaning
  • Recurring Cleaning

Call me today for a free estimate!




You might also want to consider adding some benefits of using your business over the competition:

  • You’re licensed and insured
  • You’ve been in business for X years
  • You have large corporate clients (if applicable)
  • Your Satisfaction Guarantee
  • You provide Free Quotes
  • You provide a discount for first time customers


Make sure you use keywords at the bottom that reflect what folks would be searching for to find your listing.

Just don’t over-do it, or you will come across as spammy.

For example, don’t follow the example below:

Do Not Follow This Example


Create a ‘flyer’ for your Craigslist ad using this guide, or just use a free image editor to throw one together.

Remember, the most important thing is that your flyer is clean and attention-grabbing.

You don’t have to worry about having the perfect ad or professional photoshop skills.

You might also want to check out Adobe Spark, which you can use for a low monthly fee to create professional-looking graphics.


Unfortunately, Craigslist won’t let you put clickable links in your services posting.

So make sure you put a phone number that folks can call if they want to hire you.

Better yet, let folks know they can text you at the phone number you’ve provided.

Pro-Tip: Utilize PocketSuite’s Smart Campaigns to create an auto-reply to any text messages that come in to your number.

Smart Contracts Auto Reply Texts

Simply use your PocketSuite Premium Business number in your Craigslist ad.

Then create your Smart Campaign in PocketSuite and set the timer to 0 (instant).

Put your PocketSuite Online Booking Link in the auto-reply, which will help folks book your services online.

As soon as folks text your number on Craigslist, they’ll get an automated reply with a link to book your services online, right from their phone or computer.

Using this fully automated system, you can start getting bookings for your cleaning business on autopilot.

So how are you going to utilize Craigslist to get more cleaning clients?

Use every tip from this article, and you’ll be raking in dozens of new clients in no time.

Just don’t forget to stock up on microfiber towels and business cards, because you’ll need them for all of the new clients you’ll be servicing.

Like this article? You’ll love these articles:

Our Frustrations with Square article

Podcast: Why is No One Cleaning Their Own Home Anymore?

Listen to “Episode #23: Why is No One Cleaning Their Own Home Anymore?” on Spreaker.

The Sharing Economy has made it possible for everyone, not just the super wealthy, to have services on-demand, and this includes house cleaning services. With a higher demand for cleaning services, how has the cleaning industry grown and changed? We discuss:

-How technology has helped cleaning professionals make more money
-Why trust is key for a cleaning professional’s relationship with a client
-Why cleaning service professionals have the potential to retain a particularly high percentage of clients
-How companies like Handy and TaskRabbit have impacted the cleaning industry
-How associations like ISSA help cleaning professionals be successful
-The outlook for implementing certifications and standards in the cleaning industry
-The biggest reasons cleaning businesses fail

Our guest is Alonzo Adams, the owner of Busy Bee Cleaning Company. He is also currently the chair of ISSA’s Residential Cleaning Council, the residential cleaning arm of the worldwide cleaning organization.



U.S. Home Cleaning Pricing Report

Finding the right home cleaner for your home depends on 2 things: quality and price. Companies like HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Thumbtack, Facebook and others are crowdsourcing feedback from consumers to make it incredibly easy for others to find out who are the best local cleaners to hire, and who are the worst ones to avoid. But quality is just half the battle.

Once you have a target of quality cleaning businesses to potentially hire, you need to assess pricing. And depending on where you live, hourly cleaning rates can vary quite considerably.

We did a review of the thousands of cleaning professionals using PocketSuite today, and collected pricing data on the top 10 most active cities of PocketSuite professionals across the U.S.

The top 3 most expensive cities to hire a cleaner (above $40 per hour) are:

1. Seattle, WA: This might surprise you that residents of the Seattle area paying the most for home and apartment cleaners. On average cleaners charge $45.67 per hour to clean a residence. With Seattle-based Amazon slowly taking over the world, Seattle is becoming flat out expensive. Prices of real estate, retail, food and home services are rising across the board as young professionals are willing to pay the price.

2. San Francisco, CA: The tech boom has now become the cleaning boom! Residential cleaners are charging $45.09 per hour for their cleaning services inside this technology hub. Earlier this year San Francisco jumped to the #1 city with the most expensive rent in the U.S. Professional services – like home cleaning – appear to be catching up.

3. New York, NY: Widely known as the most expensive city in America, it’s no surprise that New York is in the top 3 here. Seeing as many NYC residences are smaller apartments, maybe if there were sprawling mansions New York would be #1 for cleaning cost. At $40.50 per hour, cleaning professionals are definitely charging a pretty penny to support their own lifestyle in the city that never sleeps.

Depending on what city you live in across the U.S., it’s important to always have a benchmark to gauge costs when evaluating cleaners to hire. At times collecting a variety of quotes across 5-10 cleaning companies can be time consuming. So benchmarks by geography are an efficient and accurate way to make sure you’re not paying too much (or too little in some cases!) for quality home cleaning services.

Packaged Service Pricing

Many cleaners don’t necessarily sell their cleaning services on a per hour basis. They have packaged services depending correlating to the type of job.

The majority of these packages are based on the number of bedrooms in a home or apartment. The most commonly purchased home cleaning services across PocketSuite’s platform of cleaners are:

  • 1 Bedroom Cleaning
  • 2Bedroom Cleaning
  • Move-OutCleaning

We crunched the numbers and have reported (below) the average package pricing of these cleaning services across 5 regions in the U.S. Each region is represented by the most active city (across the PocketSuite platform) within that region:

  • West – Represented by San Francisco, CA
  • South – Represented by Dallas, TX
  • Midwest – Represented by Chicago, IL
  • Northeast – Represented by New York, NY
  • Southeast – Represented by Miami, FL

San Francisco tops the charts whether you are living in a 1 bedroom (single or married), a 2 bedroom (with a family), or moving to your next residence.

The MidWest (Chicago) and South (Dallas) are consistently ranked as the more affordable options to live if you need any basic packaged cleans or if you are on the move.

Service Price Tracking & Trends

Our goal with pricing reports is to provide more transparency for consumers across the U.S. when it comes to purchasing and hiring service work.

If you’d like to see different types of data – by industry, geography, service-type, etc. – fill out the below and let us know! We love feedback and will continue to issue data reports on a regular basis. 

First Name

Last Name

Company Name (if applicable)

Business Email


How to get more clients from Handy!

Are you a cleaner who’s working on the Handy platform and you’re wondering how to make the most of it? In this article we’ll be talking about how to make the most of working as a 1099 contractor on the popular cleaning platform, where you can choose your jobs and get paid within 1 business day. You’re not alone – Handy has completed over 1 Million bookings as of 2014.

They also offer handyman services, however the bulk of their revenue comes from cleaning (about 80%).

Handy has over 692 reviews on Glassdoor, a website where employees (and contractors, in this case) can review their employer.

As you may expect, not all of the reviews are positive. The average rating that employees gave Handy is 2.4 out of 5 stars.

Why such a low rating, you may ask?

If you’re familiar with the business practices of this NYC-based tech startup, you won’t be surprised by some of the shocking Glassdoor reviews that you come across:

“Unstable and Unpredictable Work”

“Very little consideration for the employee”

“Dont expect to much if you’re a cleaning professional.”

Okay, you smirk, but that’s just one review site – Glassdoor.

How about Indeed?

Indeed places Handy at 3.0 out of 5 stars with 373 reviews and counting. Plus, some of the reviewers are calling out Handy for submitting fake reviews to boost their rating (the ones from New York).

And on and on it goes.

How could a company that has raised over $100 million dollars in funding be such a wretched place to work?

You’d think they would at least have some perks for their workers, as most startups do.

This backlash from 1099 contractors is not a new thing – as far back as 2012, cleaners have lambasted Handy for its questionable treatment of contractors, low wages, and frustrating customer service – they were even sued for labor violations in 2014.

One article even called them a “Hellscape of Labor Code Violations.”

A former Handy customer writes in Money Under 30 that professionals were being paid a meager fee, and also mentioned that some reviews talk about customers being “robbed by Handy’s contractors.”

With all this hullabaloo over Handy, they still managed to be acquired by ANGI, the same company that owns Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, for an undisclosed amount in 2018.

What does this mean for you, a 1099 cleaner that is interested in making some extra cash doing some cleaning appointments with this company?

Keep on reading to understand the pros and cons of this decision and how it will impact your life.

As a cleaning professional, I’m sure you’d like to make the most of working with Handy.

Although former contractors advise to stay away, you’ve decided to take the plunge and see how this “ATM in your pocket” works, as some cleaners have described this app.

Here are several ways you can make the most of dire circumstances – we’ll be talking about how to get more clients on Handy and keep your rating high at the same time.


The best advice I can give you is to read the Handy Pro Terms carefully and thoroughly.

You may find that there are policies in place that you disagree with, but it’s better to be knowledgable about these practices rather than taken aback by them.

For example, it’s important to cancel bookings as early as possible if you can’t make it.

If you cancel a booking within 24 hours of the booking, you’re charged a fee.

If you cancel within 2 hours of the booking, you’re assessed an even higher fee that can border on how much you would have been paid to complete the booking.

Yes, you read that right. They will take the fee out of your earnings.

Some cleaners find this bordering on criminal, others are more understanding.

It makes sense from a business perspective, as Handy is losing out on revenue and angering their customers by having cleaners cancel at the last minute.

However, if you have a genuine and legitimate excuse for not being able to make it to a cleaning appointment (car trouble, other emergencies) it can be frustrating to have your pay docked as well.

Ultimately, by working on the Handy platform you are dependent on the platform to give you jobs.

It’s different than being a solo-preneur or small business owner, because Handy can re-route your clients to another professional or change the algorithm at any time.

Additionally, you can be locked out of the platform if you don’t abide by one of their litany of rules and regulations, as described in the Pro Terms.

In order to truly control their destiny, cleaning professionals are switching to using PocketSuite to manage their small business and clients, as this allows them to actually own their clients.

With PocketSuite, your clients are using and paying for your services directly, not utilizing a toll booth like Handy.

I would advise you to weigh the pros and cons of giving up control of your customer base to another company, as this ultimately means they control your destiny.

Instead, check out some of the cleaning pros that are making six figures using PocketSuite to manage their business.

They aren’t dependent on another company to manage their customers or give them more business.

If you’re using Handy, you have to play by their rules.

If you don’t, they will lock you out and you’ll need to search elsewhere to earn your day’s bread.

This may be more riskier than going out on your own and growing your small cleaning business.

By becoming a solo-preneur and using PocketSuite to manage your business, you’re running the show and you get to call the shots.

You get to decide on which policies you enforce, which clients you keep (and which you fire!)

Every aspect of your business is up to you. No longer will you be subjected to unnecessary fines, outrageous work conditions, and draconian policies.

You can set your own hours, communicate with your own clients the way you want to, and not have corporate regulations imposed on you.


If you’ve decided to embark on a mission to build your own business and shed the limitations imposed on you by Handy, your first step is to read our article on How to Generate Online Leads for your Service Business.

Leads become sales, and sales are synonymous with bottom-line revenue. Revenue is the oxygen that your business needs to survive – without it, your business will fail and you’ll be right back in the same place you started.

A consistent stream of leads is important because it guarantees your future business will grow stronger and survive.

You should also create an online presence by submitting your business to online directories such as Yelp and Google, which will help to solidify your business as a trustworthy entity.

This is important for two subsets of folks – to potential customers searching for cleaning services, and to customers that have already found your business and are researching it to determine your trustworthiness.

Lastly, make sure that you read up on all of the articles online that describe how to start a cleaning business (even if you have no money!)

These should point you in the right direction:

Your fate is in your hands. If you want to take the plunge and become a small business owner or solo-preneur in the cleaning field, you need an app that will help you manage your clients, payments, accept credit cards, and every other aspect of your business.

Give PocketSuite a shot – there’s a free plan, and you can join the countless cleaning professionals making 6 figures on the app.

You can do this!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Written by Ilya Ornatov