When property owners need a deep, comprehensive cleaning of their houses and do not have the time or desire to do the job themselves, they hire a home cleaner.
Home cleaning is different from housekeeping or maid services, which are intended for general cleaning and upkeep, often on a weekly basis. Home cleaners go further. Their services may be required when a homeowner wants to sell the house, complete a good spring cleaning or perhaps prepare a vacation home in advance for the summer.
It may take several visits to clean the house to the client’s expectations. Vacuuming and mopping can instantly make a house smell fresher and look cleaner, but it takes a good scrubbing to remove the film of grease that can settle on kitchen surfaces (peek on top of your refrigerator some time or run a finger across the range hood). It may also take two or more treatments and scrubbing to remove stubborn stains or get the mildew out of bathroom tile grout. The good news is you get paid for every visit.
While at one point house cleaning might have been seen as a luxury, today it is becoming a necessity as busy professionals struggle to maintain a work/life balance and would prefer either to work more on their careers or pursue hobbies and personal interests rather than spend time giving their house a deep cleaning. As a result, home cleaner services are in demand.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How much money you can make as a home cleaner
- The required training and certifications
- Professional groups to join
- Employment opportunities for home cleaners
- Finding clients
- Plus helpful tips
How much money can you make?
Home cleaners make $24,850 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That works out to $11.95 per hour. The top 10 percent of home cleaners make $37,900 per year.
One way to ramp up your income is to start a home cleaning business with employees who work under your supervision. With cleaning teams in place, you can bid and work on more jobs. Plus, when you own the company you spend less time scrubbing and more time supervising.
Training and Certification
There is no specific license required to be a home cleaner. It’s not like working in a regulated trade, such as a licensed electrician or cosmetologist. You may need a business license, though. Check with your local government to determine the requirements for operating as a home cleaner.
If you intend to work for a housecleaning company, you may want to become certified in the field. Many training programs are available to learn efficient house cleaning practices, how to manage and grow a cleaning business, find customers and more. Here is a list of training programs to review that can help you get started.
This list covers the basic services house cleaners provide:
- Clean and disinfect bathroom tiles
- Remove all mildew and scales from bathroom and kitchen tiles, shower heads and fixtures
- Dust common areas, bookcases, cabinets and furniture, as well as picture frames
- Wipe baseboards
- Vacuum or mop all floors
- Wipe down the surfaces of all kitchen appliances
- Clean tables and chairs
- Clean and remove spots from mirrors
- Wipe down window sills and clean interior windows
- Remove grime behind appliances
- Clean lamp shades
- Vacuum upholstery and furniture
- Wash blinds and curtains, unless dry cleaning is necessary
- Clean cabinets
- Shampoo and vacuum carpets and rugs
Training programs focus on the most efficient techniques to complete a cleaning task thoroughly yet quickly, as well as safety precautions, including the use of chemical cleaning products. You’ll also learn basic business skills and customer service etiquette.
Professional Groups to Join
Joining a professional home cleaning organization shows you are serious about your career. These affiliations look good on a resume and can help make the difference in securing that new job because employers see that you are so dedicated to your work that you are involved in professionals groups. Here are two professional organizations for home cleaners to consider:
The Association of Residential Cleaning Services, International (ARCSI) helps residential cleaning service owners and professionals in starting, promoting, building and expanding their businesses. ARCSI provides information to ensure the growth and development of member businesses.
The American House Cleaners Association is a community of cleaning professionals helping each other become better cleaners and better business owners. They discuss strategies, share cleaning tips and tricks, and even help each other bid on jobs. Membership levels vary from $10 to $50 per month and come with different tiers of benefits.
If you’re not ready to start your own home cleaning business, print out your resume and take it to area companies that offer these services. Think of it as on-the-job training for your own business while you’re getting paid. Be sure to include professional references (not family members) and their contact information. If you can show an established track record of customer satisfaction combined with good experience, you’re in.
If you live near a resort area or close to beaches where people maintain vacation homes, make appointments with all the realtors and property managers in the area. Introduce yourself and your services. Vacation home owners routinely pay house cleaners to freshen up their properties before they arrive for a long holiday. In a beach area, this could provide steady work from spring till fall.
When you’re self-employed as a home cleaner, it’s up to you to find the work. This means marketing your business. You’ve got to get your name out there.
You’ll need a website. Something basic but attractive, a page or two outlining your services and contact information, and a few pages of photos showing off your work. Some “before” and “after” photos make a nice contrast to illustrate the benefits customers can expect when hiring you for the job.
Work with a printing company to produce a large magnet sign you can attach to the side of your vehicle. The sign should include your business name, the fact that you offer home cleaning services, and a phone number. You can include your website address at the bottom. As your business grows and you become wildly successful, you can have your business information professionally painted on the side of your work van – or your entire fleet of vehicles. But in the beginning, a magnetized sign is enough.
While you’re at the printing company, order some business cards with your company name, phone number and website address. If there’s room for a slogan or catchy motto, add that, too.
Create Google Business and Facebook pages for your company. Include all services you offer as well as contact information, plus photos. Both of these platforms are free and can be promoting your business 24/7.
Customer retention is also important. Keep your customers happy and you’ll enjoy repeat business for years to come. People almost always stick with companies they trust, but a reliable house cleaner is precious.
As an incentive, offer regular customers a discount for referring new customers to your business, then give those new customers a discount.
Ask all happy customers to review your services online. Make it easy for them to do this by handing out cards printed with the websites you want to feature your reviews.
Good to know
If you’re just starting out in home cleaning, call the homeowners association (HOA) for every subdivision and neighborhood in your service area. If you can secure an appointment with a representative of the HOA, you’ll be able to introduce yourself (always dress professionally) and leave a stack of business flyers promoting your home cleaning services. Homeowners in a subdivision who learn about you through their neighborhood association are much more likely to view you favorably because you’ve already established a measure of credibility – they’ve found you through their HOA.
The benefit of signing up multiple homeowners for cleaning services in the same subdivision is the substantial time and cost savings. You probably won’t spend so much time driving around your city or county getting from one job to another. Instead, the next job might be a block away or even next door. Even better, you’ll gradually become established as the go-to home cleaner in that neighborhood if you keep customers happy.
If you enjoyed this article, check out some more great PocketSuite.io content that can help you grow your career as a home cleaner. Here’s a great place to start.PocketSuite has thousands of business owners who all started where you are right now. Our community is always happy to help you ramp up, grow your client base, and achieve your income goals, both within the PocketSuite app and as part of our exclusive Facebook Community Group. PocketSuite’s vision is for any professional to be able to work for themselves and make a great living. It starts here. It starts with you. It starts today. Let’s get started, download PocketSuite now! Feel free to reach out with any questions (we’d love to hear from you)! Text us @ (415) 841-2300.