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Ask these questions. It’s about more than cost.

1. How Long Have you been in the business?
It takes more than a base level of cleaning knowledge and a mop bucket to start and run a good cleaning service. With cleaning businesses, an estimated 50% will go under within the first year. By the end of the fifth year of business, nearly 90% will have shut their doors for good. So this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go with the newer company, but more established maid services that have been in business longer tend to be more trustworthy, experienced, and professional.

2. Are you Insured?
Having the proper insurance with quite a large amount of coverage is just vital when you’re in the business of cleaning inside people’s homes. An uninsured cleaning company will be able to offer you lower prices. But what are you going to do when you realize your favorite clock was broken? Or your wood floors have been accidentally scratched beyond repair? Well if they’re not insured the short of it is, you’re going to be footing that bill. So always get some kind of insurance verification before making a deal.

3. Do You Carry Workers Compensation Insurance? If you work with an independent maid or small business, you run the risk of them not having workers comp insurance. This means if a maid is somehow injured while working in your home, you could end up being liable for that and that can be expensive!

4. How do you go about Pre-screening Employees? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for house cleaners to be doing this work because they struggle to get other jobs with a criminal history. With this in mind, you aren’t at all out of place to ask about hiring practices, background checks, references, and more. You need to be smart about who you give access to your home, you don’t want just anyone coming in there.

5. What kind of training do they give?
The average industry turnover is quite high, a lot of services are just looking for warm bodies they can send out. It’s not uncommon for new hires to be expected to learn on the job. The best companies will have new hires work with a supervisor and team to familiarize themselves with procedures.

6. Do you work off of a checklist?
This is really important, as different maid services are going to have different ideas as to what a basic cleaning consists of. You need to know what you’re going to be paying for before anything happens so you can compare cleaners and make the right choice for you. Have a list of what you are looking for when your home is being cleaned. If you don’t make your needs clear you will risk being disappointed.

7. What Happens if I’m not satisfied?
If you aren’t satisfied with something and the maid service won’t come back or give you a future discount for it, you can count on never using them again. A reputable service should come right back and take care of whatever it is, or be willing to offer you a discount of some sort to make up for it. Mistakes happen, we’re all human.

8. Who Provides the Cleaning Products and Equipment?
The general rule is that the cleaning service brings their own supplies. I like my service to use my vacuum and my cloths. I also like natural, safe products used in my home, not unregulated products purchased in 5 gallon drums from another country.

9. How do You go About Getting into an empty home to clean? If you’re going to have maids coming into your home, not only do you need to be sure you can trust them but you need to figure out how they go about getting into your home. Ideally, the cleaning service will have one copy of your house key that they keep locked up and is only accessible by a manager or owner. The manager should be retrieving and giving just the one key to the maid as they head to the job, so your key is always going to be accounted for. If a cleaning service requests you leave a key outside or doesn’t have a strict guideline, you need to be wary.