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By the Room or Square Foot?
(04-01-2011, 09:40 PM)C Spot Stop Wrote: .......

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.

When pricing over the phone, it pays to listen to the accent before giving a
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Products that make you a HERO in your customer's eyes!Rdance
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Most have a general idea of the types of houses in their area I would think.
If you're going to do room pricing or whole house pricing you really should be able to get an idea of that average house.

You will win big on the small ones and lose little on the big ones.

So at the end of the day you really should be able to make the same money either way.

You just have to set your room pricing at a point that will make money...and not feel like you're getting screwed on every job.

I like simple...but I do like money more. So even though I've always been right around 30cents 2ft...I'm always thinking of how I could do it better.

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I do tell people that we need to see it before we give the final price but I also tell them that rooms are "usually" right around $25.00 or $30.00 depending on the size of the room.
That of course changes when I run deals etc.
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I'm always comparing my time on the job with a figure of how much per hour I'm making.

So If I spend 2 1/2 hours in a house and make $300 I think I made out alright.

So what if they have a carpeted small bathroom?

You can only nickel and dime so many people.

And do you really leave too much money on the table after all's said and done? Sure I've been on some jobs where I might have bid alittle lower than usual but you can make up some time with little shortcuts. Like a quick flash extract in certain areas that are not that dirty etc.
Or doing just the tops of stairs because the risers are clean anyway.

Time is money and if you are stuck doing a 12 step process on every home when not needed then it's time you start adapting or then you are losing money.

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Most 1500 sf homes I've found to have closer to 900 sf of carpet. Many times on the 2 level homes it breaks down into about 4 or 5 rooms, hall, and stairs. However most don't have exactly 1500 sf houses, if they are below about 1200 sf then my 4 area special tends to be what they get. These jobs tend to take me about 2 hours. 1 1/2 if custy vacs regularly, 2 1/2 if lots of extra vac time, spotting, deodorizing etc. are needed.
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(01-26-2011, 09:41 AM)Rick Imby Wrote: 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?
I started by sq ft but had too many questions and custy's were confused so i just started by the room they understand "by the room" better over the phone I used to try to give an exact onsite estimate but with gas closing in on 4.00 Costs me too much to run around

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I find when I'm out doing quotes at night, lots of times they'll say just do around the furniture. So you measure it out and give them a price, but then when you get there to do the job they have everything moved out of the rooms. And then they wonder why you can't honor the quote you gave them.

If I was to charge by the room, then it really wouldn't matter what furniture was left in there or not. Plus pricing a job would just be quicker I think. Of course, not giving a final price till you see the job.

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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I charge per room. It's primarily an advertising and ease of quote thing. Most of my business is empty apts, and the owners call me primarily because of price (though, if I sucked, the price wouldn't matter), however we want to move more into residential. Our advertising budget is very small currently, so we work to get into peoples homes cheap and get word of mouth going. It costs less than a dollar a room to do most of my jobs, until you figure in gas, so 90%+ of what I charge is profit. I rarely drive more than 7-8 mile to a job so gas price doesn't have much effect.

This thread makes me think.[/align]
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I agree that customers will be less confused with room pricing.

In essence, no pricing structure will be right for every customer.

If someone "needs" a price over the might lose them if insist on in home pricing.

If someone will be ok with in home might sell yourself short with room pricing.

I do believe in the "time is money" factor so really I don't see a problem with giving your base room price over the phone and then telling them that it could be more if there is pet urine, larger rooms, filthy dirty carpet or it's just going to take longer for some reason.

Has anyone noticed that I can't make up my mind on this subject either? lol

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There is NO way I can make up for lost time/gas by giving in homes prices.

I have way too big of a geography. Some homes, one way, are 60 miles.

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I have told customers over the phone that I don't like to make 2 trips and that helps to keep my overhead lower so my prices aren't as depends on who the customer is.
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We price PSF and give ballpark numbers with a $30 or $40 spread over the phone. We're usually close.

Most folks are reasonable anyway and are looking for a general idea of what to expect.

Basements can make things a little interesting. I suppose room pricing is no different. Customer says, "Oh, it's about the same size as the family room" when three or four times the size is more like it.

The bigger the job the more likely we are to quote it in-person.

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

Can I suggest that this is part of an industry fallacy that too many of us buy into? We should be charging enough to make profit on our cleaning & not have to rely on upsells to survive or buy the new van you need in 3 years.

This whole thread is answered very very well at SFS for anyone wanting the answer & the reasons for that answer. If I remember this is a 1.5 hour conversation in class.

Brent, you specifically will be miles ahead by attending!

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Good point, Con. Up-sells should pay for your toys and things, not the mortgage.
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For the guys that charge buy the room, how big do you go before you decide it's considered 2 rooms? Do you consider hall's and stairs as rooms?

When I first started out with HWE, I was at $30/rm but everything was empty. Since the first of the year I switched to full time OP and sq ft pricing and feel that my overhead is a lot lower and my profit is way higher!
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I get what you are saying about the upsells....but I believe every company needs to offer more than just carpet cleaning to make the money you speak of.

Take if from a guy who used to own "Just Carpet Cleaning" years doesn't work.

As soon as I added some services AND the little upsells like scotchgard....that's where your bigger profits come into play...but you already knew that.Wink

You can make an ok living on just carpet cleaning alone....but who the hell wants that??Big Grin
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Brian, You can make a decent living on cleaning... but I fail to see why protector should be or needs to be sold at 2-400% profitability when cleaning itself is sold at cost. Cleaning itself surely should be profitable in & of itself. No wonder the public has mistrust issues with our industry. Many cleaners charge (ie $150) for the clean, the charge 1/2 of that for protector - when it costs less than $8 for it +labor of course. Not to mention deodorizer for $75 when it costs .50.

I am pretty sure no one that reads my comments wants to get screwed - and yet we as an industry do it all the time to clients. IMO - integrity says charge what you need to charge for the clean including PROFIT, add on the things the client needs at a reasonable profit, not obscene profit.

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Yeah, I'm not looking to screw anyone either.
I'm just saying any profitable carpet cleaning type company should offer more than just carpet cleaning.

Scotchgard is 50 bucks a gallon and is supposed to be 1 to 4 ratio I think right? I have to read the damn bottle every time. lol

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I make damned good money when I clean by just cleaning carpet.

I also do empty homes.

But in the day I did have someone to upsell to, I up sold tile, upholstery, protector, window cleaning and power washing...

But none of those averaged more than CC'ing did and there are so many hours in a day I want to work.
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I have never been one who did a bunch of upselling once on the job, but I also see nothing wrong with it, if it fits your personality and the upselling you do is of true benefit to the customer. My focus has been primarily on residential cleaning for the past few years. Most of my business is commercial and I have been trying to get more residential. I just like residential more ... for several resons. However, pricing by the s.f. doesn't seem, to me anyway, to be as productive (sales wise and from a standpoint of managing job costs) as pricing by the room.

I just can't seem to get over how much I fail to "see" when pricing over the phone, as opposed to giving a tailored quote in person.
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