Have you been considering hiring a home cleaner or home cleaning service, but you’re not sure where to start?
Stick around because we have five tips to make sure you hire the BEST person for the job, including a complete list of 14 interview questions you’ll want to ask before hiring them.
If this is your first time here, welcome! My name is Lindsay and I‘m a proud Anthem resident and your local REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. We have a lot of fun talking about all things Anthem and real estate, and we would love to have you along for the ride, so consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel.
Why Hire a Home Cleaner?
Hiring a home cleaning service can make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. Whether you’re physically unable to clean your home, don’t have the time, need an extra set of hands, or the thought of cleaning your home top to bottom one more time makes you want to scream, this post is for you.
Now that you’ve decided you could use some help around the house, how do you make sure you hire the best person, or people, for the job?
Great question! In this post I have 5 tips to help you hire the best cleaning service for your specific needs. In addition, we’ll also be giving you a complete set of interview questions, so that you can schedule in-home consultations confidently and quickly.
Let’s jump right it!
Tip #1: Get Recommendations & Read Reviews
This one is kind of a two-parter! Firstly you want to get recommendations on who you should use from friends, family, or colleagues. In addition to recommendations of who they like, they may also be keen to share advice on who NOT to use. This can be just as valuable.
If you’re new to an area and don’t have friends or family that you can ask, local community groups online can be a great resource. You could post on NextDoor or even your local buy and sell group on Facebook. Fair warning, if you go this route, you will probably be inundated with recommendations, and will need to sift through them carefully.
Now that you have a list of recommendations, I encourage you to do some research online. If they have online reviews read them. Check out their websites, Facebook pages, the Better Business Bureau, etc. The more informed you can be, the better.
The goal here is to create a list of 3-5 home cleaning services that you are most interested in.
Tip #2: Know What you Want
This is probably just generally good life advice, but when it comes to hiring a cleaner, you need to know what type of service you want. Walk around your home and think about it critically.
What tasks do you most want help with?
Are you looking for someone who can come in and do a weekly whole house cleaning?
Do you prefer a monthly deep-clean, where you take care of the day-to-day cleaning?
Or are you looking for help with a specific project like cleaning your home to list it for sale?
Maybe you just need help with a specific project like cleaning walls or light fixtures. Be honest with yourself about what you are hoping to accomplish by hiring this home cleaner. Taking time to think about this in the beginning will save everyone a headache and confusion down the road.
Tip #3: Conduct Interviews
Remember that short list of 3-5 companies or individuals you put together? Now, it’s time to set up interviews with them. You will want to conduct these interviews or consultations in your home, so that they can see the space and you can clearly show them what it is you want help with.
What should you ask when they get there?
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of questions to ensure you make the most of your interviews. I will run through them now at a high level, but if you want the complete list on a printable sheet to follow along, simply click here. You can print one out for each of your interviews and make notes as you go.
Here are the key questions you’ll want to ask:
- What type of services do you offer? Let them know what you are looking for. Some companies will customize their service to you, others will have fixed services. Be clear about what you want, but also ask what they would recommend for your home. If they don’t do every service, every single time they are at your house, ask how they cycle through. For example, if you have weekly cleanings, will they dust the baseboards every week and then wash them once a quarter?
- How do you set your fees? Understand if the price will be determined by the number of hours worked, by the type of project, or by how many people they require.
- Are you bonded and insured, and do you carry workers’ compensation? The answer to this, in my opinion, needs to be YES! Accidents happen, if anyone was to get hurt while cleaning your home or there was damage to your property, you want to know that they’re covered. This is very important.
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you work alone or as a team? If they have a team, you want to know who will be coming to your home and how those people are vetted. Do they conduct background checks on their staff? Will it be the same people coming to your home each time?
- Do you supply the cleaning products and supplies or do I? You will want to factor this into the cost, and this will lead to some follow up questions:
- If they supply the cleaning products and supplies, you may want to ask them what types of products they use. This is particularly important if you have pets, kids, or are generally concerned with using more environmentally and health conscious products. Make sure you are comfortable with what they are using. Also, you will want to make sure that items like rags and mops will be thoroughly cleaned before being used from one home to the next.
- If you will be supplying the products and supplies, make sure you understand exactly what they need.
- What happens if something is broken or damaged during their cleaning? It’s important that you hire someone who stands behind their work.
- What should I do with my pets? Ideally you would introduce the cleaning staff to your pets beforehand. They may ask that you crate your pets while they are at your house. They may also have an additional fee for cleaning homes with pets.
- How will you access my home? Will you leave a key under the mat, use a mechanics box, let them in yourself, or give them a door code? It is best to discuss the logistics upfront, so there are no surprises.
- How does scheduling work? For example, if you are hiring them to do weekly cleanings, will they show up at the same time each week?
- What is the change and cancellation policy? It’s important that you understand their policy should you ever need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. They may have a fee if you have to cancel at the last minute.
- How much will is cost? Ask them to provide an estimate for the services you would like.
- What forms of payment do you accept? Will you pay online? Leave a check on the counter? It’s good to have a plan in place.
- Do you have references we can speak to?
If you ask all of these questions, you should have a great idea of how this cleaning service operates. Rather than grilling the cleaner the moment they step in the house, you may want to let them speak about their business first. It’s possible that they will answer a lot of these questions for you up front, and you may learn even more about them and their business practices.
Tip #4: Check References
During the interview we recommended that you get references from the cleaners. Now is the time to call those references. Here are a couple of pointers for conducting reference checks:
- Ask them to describe their relationship with the cleaner. You are looking for someone who has a professional relationship, rather than a personal relationship, with them. Of course, if you call their mom, she’s going to say they’re awesome! But you want to know what a past client has to say, instead.
- Ask what services the cleaner provided for them and for how long. A longer term or ongoing relationship is a great sign.
- Ask if there were any occasions when the reference wasn’t satisfied with the work done by the cleaner. If yes, ask what was done to resolve it.
- Ask if they still use this cleaner. If not, why?
- If you sense any red flags while talking to the reference, ask them about it
If all checks out, you’ve probably found a great candidate, or maybe even a couple of great candidates. Pick the one that stands out the most, in a good way, of course, and get your first cleaning scheduled.
Tip #5: Be Patient but Firm
Remember this is your first time working with this company or individual, and you are letting them into your most treasured space, your home. There are bound to be a few bumps along the way as you find your rhythm. Kind of like finding a hair stylist, it probably took a few times before they totally perfected working with your hair, right?
If something isn’t perfect after their first visit to your home, don’t throw in the towel and don’t assume that it was intentional. It could easily, and very likely, be a miscommunication or misunderstanding. Let them know about your concerns and give it another chance.
If after a few appointments you are still not getting the results you’re hoping for, and you’re doing your part to manage your own expectations, then consider moving on to another cleaner.
So, there you have it! What do you think? Are you ready to hire the best home cleaner?
Before you go, don’t forget to download your complete set of printable interview questions.