People and businesses are moving from homes, apartments, and offices on a daily basis. As people and businesses move, they either need their old location cleaned or want to make sure their new location is clean before moving in. Your cleaning company can fill this niche by providing what is known as move-in/move-out cleaning. It can be an added service that your cleaning business provides, a way to give employees new skills, and a great way for your company to make more profit!
Move in/out cleaning can be cleaning a building after an old tenant moves out or before a new tenant moves in. The type of clients looking for move in/out cleaning includes residential and commercial property owners and managers. Commercial move in/out cleaning can vary from small, quick jobs of just a few thousand square feet to large office buildings of 15,000 square feet and up.
A good place to start when looking for move in/out cleaning accounts is to contact property management companies. If you happen to be located in a college town there will probably be no shortage of work. If you have been cleaning commercial buildings, your clients will no doubt ask you to provide move in/out cleaning services when they move into a new office or building.
When first starting out with move in/out cleaning it may be necessary to meet with the property manager on-site to give an estimate on the time it will take to clean the apartment, office, or building. Once you establish a relationship with the property manager you may be able to skip doing an estimate and just bill for your time. They will most likely need floor cleaning services too (carpet, tile, wood). These are specialized cleaning services, which you will charge separately for. Offering these specialized services will also add more profitability to your cleaning company since you will charge more for these services.
The prices charged will vary depending on the type of facility you are cleaning, but you should be able to bill $20 – $25 for your services. Apartment buildings tend to be less profitable than commercial buildings because many apartment managers have a budget to adhere to, so they like their cleaning contractors to bill a flat fee because it’s easier to stick to their budget. Cleaning contractors need to be cautious about bidding this way. Some apartments take much longer to clean than others so you don’t want to lose money because you underestimated your time.
No matter if you are cleaning a residential apartment, home or a commercial building there are several steps you should take to guarantee your success and your customer’s satisfaction with your move in/out cleaning services.
· Use teams of 2 to 4 people for apartment cleaning, depending on the size of the apartment. Larger teams may be needed for commercial locations.
Team members should be specialists in the tasks they are performing. For example, in a two person team, one person will be assigned to dusting, windows, and vacuuming. One person will be assigned to bathrooms, kitchens, hard floor vacuuming, and mopping.
The team leader is responsible for making sure that all equipment and supplies are brought to the job site and gathered when the job is complete. Put all tools and chemicals into a plastic tote.
· Before you begin check with the client to make sure the job site has working utilities. You cannot clean without running water and you need electricity to run a vacuum. If it is the middle of the summer, you should make sure the building’s air-conditioning is working properly. Cleaning chemicals and drying times can be affected by heat and humidity.
· Begin cleaning by removing all trash. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. You will be able to vacuum more efficiently as you will not have to stop and pick up large objects.
· Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.
· Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand and make work easier on the cleaning staff. Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, and along the baseboards. It is also much easier to vacuum out cabinets and drawers than wiping them.
Some of these items will need to be wiped down after vacuuming; light fixtures, insides of cabinets and drawers, ceiling vents, heat registers, and blinds.
· Windows and patio doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.
· After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.
Spray spots and make sure you give dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. It is important that you have enough air movement so employees do not breathe in fumes. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) when working with chemicals.
· Deep cleaning. If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – paper towels, terry cloth rags, microfiber cloths, pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.
. Use paper towels, terry cloth rags, or microfiber cloths for most cleaning tasks. Use a green microfiber cloth for dusting; blue for windows, glass and polished surfaces; red for cleaning restrooms and yellow for countertops, sinks and walls.
. Use hand brushes for scrubbing showers, sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Use grout brushes for cleaning up grout on countertops and ceramic tile floors. Toothbrushes can be used for detail cleaning around faucets and around the rims in toilet bowls.
. Use white pads for surfaces such as glass, chrome, stainless steel and plastic. This is because white pads are not as abrasive as green pads.
. Green pads are good for greasy areas including cabinets, toilets and scrubbing shower stalls. Be careful when using green pads however, as they can scratch surfaces.
. Use a 2″ utility scraper for build-up and adhesives in kitchens and bathrooms.
· Save time by spraying the inside of the refrigerator and showers/tubs with a pump-up sprayer rather than using a spray bottle. When cleaning kitchens, be sure to pull out the stove and refrigerator. Clean the walls, sides of appliances, sides of cabinets, floor, and vacuum the coils. Also clean the oven hood and filters.
· Clean floors last. Use the backpack vacuum to give the floors a final vacuuming, and then mop all hard surface flooring.
Offering move in/out services is one way to start your cleaning business. It also provides a way for an established cleaning company to provide added services to their existing clients while putting extra dollars onto the bottom line.