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By the Room or Square Foot?
#1
This is the age old Question.
So you charge by the square foot or by the Room.

Do you give a firm price on the phone or do you say you will give an exact quote before you start the job?


Do you charge extra for lots of spots?
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#2
Room.

I do empty homes so no one is ever there to argue.

I charge more IF they extra spots take extra work.

But, since I started using Peroxcellent, the extra work thing has stopped.

Maybe I need to stop using that.
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#3
room, free onsite quote when we suspect its over $200, if min ch @$105, then we try to avoid onsite quote - or we schedule it for cleaning at the time of the quote & encourage them to send us on our way if the $114.42 was too much for them to bear....

never firm on the phone

Con
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#4
agreed I never give a price over the phone. Some of
my apartment contracts have a set price so I don't have
to worry about that. I like to see what I'll be getting into
before I price it.
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#5
Room pricing worked great for me for over 20 years.... It is easy, and I like easy.Big Grin
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#6
room
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#7
I have been in business for 23 years and with the exception of the first 5 years of business, I have always priced by s.f. Last year I got tired of having to go do estimates ... getting to old for the hassle. Now I price over the phone, but change the price when at the house if things are weird.
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#8
I charge by the square foot. For residential cleaning I give an estimate over the phone and give myself a $50 window. I have been in business 12 years and have been off by $50 twice. If the job sounds unusual or is going to be over $500 I will give an in home estimate.
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#9
I've been charging ft2, but I'm wondering if charging by room would be better/easier. which would bring more profit, if any. If you charge by the room, and there's beds and dressers in there (and most don't move these items) then you're charging to clean floor space that's not being cleaned.

Looking at Grant's and Andy's websites, I notice they charge by the ft2 of the whole house. Was wondering if these 2 guys could share how that works? For example on Grant's site a house that's 1500ft2 is $159. But on average, how much of that house is carpet? you subtract kitchen, 2 baths, entrance area. Now you're down to say...900ft2. Would that be a decent guesstimate? So about 17.5 cents/ft. But, if you have a house that's 1500 ft, and 1200 is carpet, then it's only 13.25 cents/ft.

I like the idea of pricing by room or house, but just not sure on how to figure out your profit margin. The more carpet in a house, the less $$$ per ft2 you make. By ft2 it's quite easy to figure out what it costs to clean a ft2. Measuring is a pain, but using an electronic tape sure makes quick work of it.

reason I'm asking all this is I'm just building a website, and I'd like to be able to put my rates on there. But when you tell people $0.30.ft, then they're adding up their ft2 and getting scared off. If you could tell them a room price, or $$$ to do the entire house, then they seem to be more relaxed and willing to let ya in.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#10
Sq/ft

.35 sq/ft with $148.50 minimum to roll a truck

I prefer to do an estimate if they will let us, we sell most in home & business estimates.

We can calculate it over the phone if they want, but they crews will measure when they get there.
You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#11
I noticed that most customers who call me are women and they would like a price over the phone. I've tried the sq ft pricing but most customers do not know the sq ft. Lately I have been thinking of charging by the room but I have some questions for those who do.

Do you give the customer a price like $30 per room up to so many sq ft?
Do you mention that spots or stains are extras?

The problem is giving a price over the phone and when you arrive it is trashed out. I had a job that I quoted a lady $150.00 for 3 bedrooms and a flight of stairs. When I arrived it was completely trashed out with lots of protein stains and dirt. I told the lady that I would have to charge her more since it would take longer to clean. She refused and said that it would put her over her budget. I ended up doing the job since it has been slow lately and I need the money to pay bills. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Steve, since you said you charge by the room, how did you approached this?
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#12
Well, after a couple of months of getting screwed, I am now back to s.f. pricing. Bang Head
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#13
(01-26-2011, 06:36 PM)Pigchip Wrote: I have been in business for 23 years and with the exception of the first 5 years of business, I have always priced by s.f. Last year I got tired of having to go do estimates ... getting to old for the hassle. Now I price over the phone, but change the price when at the house if things are weird.


Sorry Martin I just had to ask, We all know you are getting too old and with you when are things not wierd
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking...

Henry Ford
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#14
I've heard of some who price by room that they charge $35 a room.
And double that for living rooms/family rooms.

The living/family rooms usually require you to move furniture.

The areas in bedrooms with nothing moved is around 100 sq ft so your right at .35 cents a sq ft.

Stairs go from 2-4 dollars ea.

Basements are typically around 900 sq ft but reserve judgement because some are alot bigger. So price on site.

I can't see doing a living room/family room for $35 even if it's only traffic areas. Maybe go up to $45 for traffic areas.

Most rooms are typical for every home.

But there are exceptions.

So before you start tell them there is a price adjustment because their living room is 2,000 sq ft!


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#15
I knew Marty was a bait n switcher. Tongue


Pricing is relative to your area and what you are offering.

It's all square foot AND room prices when you think about it.
Any room over a certain amount of square ft will be considered 2 rooms anyway right?

I've always priced everyone different. How big is the house, how many rooms are carpeted, stairs etc.
Once I figure out what I'm sorta looking at I give them a ballpark over the phone...and I let them know it's a ballpark figure.

I always finish my "pricing" speech with "We never know what we are doing until we see it".
Logical people understand this.

With that said...

I'm thinking about going to area pricing. I'll let the customer know how much over the phone...while still getting the picture of the house in my head.
People like to hear " so much per room" etc. ....and it does make it easy.
I don't like giving "pre inspections" because I don't like making 2 trips just to cover the cost of 2 trips by getting a higher price.

Relying on your upsells like pet urine, upholstery, Scotchgard etc is where you will put the icing on the cake anyway...so don't stress too much on the pricing of the carpet.


This has been a moment with BrianCool
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#16
If a custy has been honest with me, they get the right price over the phone...or at least close enough.

I also tell them exactly that.

However, if they tried to screw me or are stupid...they get a higher, more accurate, price on-site. Once or twice they got a lower price. Imagine that.

IF they balk at the 'new price' I explain how they missed the boat...not me.

I tell them how easy it is to count, I walk em through it and if they still balk, I walk.

NEVER have I done the job for a price I gave if they info they gave was wrong.

I think some folks do it on purpose.

I walked once and was called before I had left the area. FYI I smelled curry in the house. I returned and did the gig at the right price.
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#17
A couple of times, lately, I have attempted to convert over to room pricing, only to abandon the attempts in short order. The past few years, when my busy season starts, I have grown tired of trying to answer the phone (cell), schedule estimates and also do my work! However, when I start doing the jobs and realize that I have screwed myself out of money, I get frustrated and go back to the estimating approach.

I suppose if I were running multiple crews that I wouldn't be able to do in-home estimates and would price over the phone. Or, if I were the kind of person that could see the big picture, and not get all caught up in the minutia, I could overlook the money lost and see the money saved.

As it is, I simply recognize that pricing over the phone makes me pissy, and I am a much better person to be around when I get my way. Besides, I don't do all this as a ministry. Demon Wink
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#18
(04-01-2011, 04:23 PM)Brent Wrote: I've been charging ft2, but I'm wondering if charging by room would be better/easier. which would bring more profit, if any. If you charge by the room, and there's beds and dressers in there (and most don't move these items) then you're charging to clean floor space that's not being cleaned.

Looking at Grant's and Andy's websites, I notice they charge by the ft2 of the whole house. Was wondering if these 2 guys could share how that works? For example on Grant's site a house that's 1500ft2 is $159. But on average, how much of that house is carpet? you subtract kitchen, 2 baths, entrance area. Now you're down to say...900ft2. Would that be a decent guesstimate? So about 17.5 cents/ft. But, if you have a house that's 1500 ft, and 1200 is carpet, then it's only 13.25 cents/ft.

I like the idea of pricing by room or house, but just not sure on how to figure out your profit margin. The more carpet in a house, the less $$$ per ft2 you make. By ft2 it's quite easy to figure out what it costs to clean a ft2. Measuring is a pain, but using an electronic tape sure makes quick work of it.

reason I'm asking all this is I'm just building a website, and I'd like to be able to put my rates on there. But when you tell people $0.30.ft, then they're adding up their ft2 and getting scared off. If you could tell them a room price, or $$$ to do the entire house, then they seem to be more relaxed and willing to let ya in.

It's something I'm playing with. Does remove having to do estimates most of the time, but the other day I had a 1500 (exactly) sf house and every bathroom and even the kitchen were all carpeted. I really got hosed on that one! Bang Head

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#19
Grant,

I've been waiting for your response to this. What would you think would be your average ft2 for a 1500 ft2 house? I love the idea behind your pricing, but I just can't get my mind around the pricing. And getting a different price per ft2 in every home. I'm thinking it kinda' "balances out" between jobs throughout the day/week, but I can't ever see charging only $.010 or $0.15 a foot.

I'm always thinking of plumbers or electricians who charge "X" amount per hour. I work toward $75-$100 per hour for res. But at the prices on your site, I don't know how to do that. Maybe I'm way off on my $/hr. But I know I've done that amount, and I don't see why I can't do it on future jobs.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#20
This is kinda funny, but I do both?

For my existing customers I do by the room and will adjust the room (1 or 2 size) to the size of the house/room.

For my new customers/accounts I am now charging by the sq ft (of cleanable space of course) and IMO it is more profitable than room pricing. This way I can be more accurate and they can figure it out themselves before they call?



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