5309 West Broward blvd. Suite 305
Plantation, Florida, 33317
Welcome to Kimberly's Cleaning service:
We all know that housework takes out a big chunk of our time at home. I know I have many reservations about hiring a house cleaning service. Mainly it's the money and being distrustful of strangers in my house. Many of my co-workers use cleaning services and I may consider it in the near future. By sharing some ideas I found in discussion a forum on the Internet, That Home Site perhaps I will feel more comfortable and maybe you will too.
Here are the highlights of the points of view from a homeowner and a cleaning service owner perspective.
I used **** Maids once to get the house clean after it had been neglected awhile and they were OK but not as good as the cleaning lady I hired after that. Their crew didn't work particularly hard or quickly and didn't seem to know how to clean the right way---I caught two of them just before they started to mop wood floors with a bucket of sudsy water! They did pretty much everything my private cleaning lady did---dust, vacuum, clean kitchen cabinet fronts, kitchen counters, sink & stovetop, mopped the kitchen floor, and cleaned all the bathrooms thoroughly.
I can't remember if they changed the sheets on the bed. Maybe. My regular lady didn't do that. They didn't do laundry and I wouldn't have trusted them to do it right so that was OK. They didn't wash windows but neither did my cleaning lady---around here it seems that you hire a window-washer to do that. Bonded and insured is good but there can still be theft, of course. It's way better than no insurance, though.
I'd call a few places and tell them what you want done and get estimates. They are generally quite a bit higher around here than private cleaning ladies since the owner of the business takes a cut and still has to pay his or her crews who do the actual cleaning. But they are generally easier to find than a good private cleaning lady, so I guess that's what you're paying for----the convenience and availability. I wouldn't use them regularly but for a one-time-only thing, they're OK.
Bonding is great if your cleaners are charged and convicted of theft. Otherwise the bonding company won't pay off. It's not easy to convict a thief unless they are caught red handed in which case you won't need reimbursement because the goods are recoverable. I suppose bonding would work in a check theft case with photographic evidence from the bank. I have a cleaning company and won't get the bonding until I have to for a bank building or condo building or something. The insurance is a must have ,however. The best solution is to keep the valuables locked up in a room they don't have access to. Make sure to run a criminal background check on whoever you hire. Check the references and remember that someone who has 50 or more is probably not fibbing, and someone who only has 1 or 2 may have their mother on the other end of the phone when you call. A small reputable firm where the owner is still involved in the cleaning is your best bet...............
................I have had several cleaning ladies in the past 6 years or so. I don't suggest *** maids (or any similar cleaning service for that matter) because they bring their own equipment. I don't know what they are using to clean my house. Rags from other peoples homes and a vacuum that vacuumed everyone else's dirt. My last cleaning lady brought her own Electrolux but it never seemed to clean well. It was a shock because I own a similar, but more expensive model Electrolux and it is one of the best vacuum cleaners I have ever used. I don't think that she changed the bag often. My other cleaning ladies used my equipment. I always new if my vacuum bag was full or needed to be replaced. I also knew what they were using to clean my wood floors and what they used to disinfect my bathrooms.
I strongly suggest that you get a recommendation of a cleaning person from a friend or co worker. Be sure that they have cleaned for them for a while and that they are totaly satified with them. Be sure to find out if they have had any problems with then at all, major or minor. My neighbor just got though interviewing about 5 people. Interview the people before you hire them! Be very specific about what you want done! If they dont do something or you want them to do something else, tell them! I could never be without a housekeeper. It will never be like cleaning your own home but it will be close. Be sure to hire someone that is there to do business and not chat with you. If there personality is not like yours or not to your liking, but they clean well, then you will be less of a distraction to each other.
My sister and I own and operate a cleaning business. Here are a few tips we use to establish good customer service.
1. If the customer has had a cleaning service in the past, we ask them what they liked and disliked about the service.
2. When meeting the first time and providing an estimate, I walk with the customer from room to room, and I write everything down... what the customer wants cleaned and what products the customer uses. Many of our customers are very particular about the type of cleaning agents they prefer. We type up the duties, listing each room, and frequency of the cleaning in each room. We keep a folder at the customer's home that contains: our welcome letter, a list of the dates when I will be in their home to clean, that way they can also know in advance regarding holidays, for rescheduling cleaning. This form is also a check off each time we clean...we initial this as well. We also keep a copy of our insurance, a few reference letters, and we created a "cleaning notes" form, for coorespondence with the customer. The customer can write special requests, we also use the form to remind the customer, if they are out of a cleaning product. The customers seem to really like this.
3. We also do pet sitting, and have found that the customer really likes having us keep a daily journal about their pet's activities. We have "dog notes" and "cat notes" and basically document play time, where we took the dog for a walk, when we changed the litter box, etc. We also have a form for the customer to complete listing emergency numbers and the number for the pet's veterinarian.
4. We often see other areas of the home that need to be cleaned, that is not part of our general cleaning, like cleaning the blinds, scrubbing baseboards, etc. We will make a suggestion to the customer, then schedule a time for this additional work...the customer is satisfied, and we received more business.
5. We have a customer that tips us very well, and in return, I usually do a little extra chore, and give her discounts on other services, like the pet sitting, or I don't charge her a handling fee if I am picking up products for her. She's good to us, and we try to be good to her. Most customers do not tip, or even realize that it is common curtesy to leave gratuity. We created a receipt form and have a space to write in any gratuity. This kind of gives the customer a little hint.
6. We have found that our customers love our name and the fact that we are sisters and doing the cleaning ourselves. One of the most common complaints about a cleaning service, it their turnover. We are insured but not bonded....being bonded doesn't make me any more trustworthy...bonded or not, my customers trust me.
7. We never give an estimate or bid over the phone. We only provide an estimate for the actual place to be cleaned. I did an apartment turn once, and the manager showed me an apartment, but not the one I was supposed to clean. He said it was similar. I trusted him...big mistake, he pulled a bait and switch on us. We walked out, invoiced him for $175, which he paid, and I almost called the health department...................
..................Well, I also own a cleaning business. I clean commercially as well as residentially. Here's a few tips that I have learned over the years. In my area Bonding is very important. I guess it makes people feel much more secure. I would never hire anyone to come into my house that was not bonded. I also have insurance. Keep in mind though that most insurance policies have a $500 deductible. I have broken a couple windows (two different times in the same ladies house. It's cursed I tell you. LOL) I pay for the replacement out of my own pocket. There are some companies that do windows as well as the cleaning. I charge a separate fee for this.
I prefer to use my own cleaning products. I know what works. If my client has a preference, they are required to make sure that it is on hand. I use my own vacuum. It never dawned on me that this would be offensive to anyone. I guess I will start asking my clients.
If the house is vacant, I go in and put a bid in for it. If the house is occupied, I charge a flat $10 per hour. This is the average for my area. I do pretty much anything for that fee except cleaning blinds ( I will dust them) and windows. I will clean the oven, dust, vac. scrub the bath and kitchen. I do the baseboards as needed as well as the window and door frames. I would go with a smaller company if I were you. The customer service is much better. I know there is a big company here in town that hires out of the pre release center. I personally wouldn't want criminals in my house..............