Employees Work to the Level of Their Pay

By:  Cathy  Green


Every now and then a potential client will share with me how much they paid to their “former” cleaning company and they will ask me if I could bring my price down some more.

My hope is that every potential client reading the FAQS section of my website will read this explanation.

First of all, our prices are comparable (and often less) than the prices charged by local franchises.

Here is the difference.

Most cleaning companies (including “mom & pop” as well as huge franchises) pay their workers between minimum wage, which I believe is about $6.55 in Maryland—and $8.50. But in order to earn $8.50, the workers have to rise to the position of “manager” or “Team Leader”.

Let’s stop there for a moment. You are reading this so my guess is that you probably are college educated. But imagine for a moment that you never attended college and you are just the “Average Joe” out there trying to earn a decent wage so you can live a comfortable life. 

In other words, you need gas for your car.  You need enough money to pay your car and house notes. You need money for other expenses and you need a little extra for enjoyment—-just like everyone else.

Now think about the back-breaking work that goes into cleaning a house well. Would you do all that hard work for $6 – $8? Of course you would if you were desperate and needed money—but not long term.  Here is the thing.

a. Human nature is such that people work in accordance with what they earn. So if you are making $7 an hour, chances are that you are going to do about $7 an hour’s worth of work.

b. Cleaning techs who make that tiny bit of money don’t take the job seriously.  They treat it as a “jump off” until they can get something paying a higher wage. And the second they find another job paying more for less labor, they leave—often without notice.

This is what happens to the consumer:

a. The consumer is now annoyed that a different person or different crew is in his/her home cleaning and the crew seems to change every few weeks.

b. The consumer is agitated that he/she has to explain things to a different crew every few weeks.

c. The consumer is worried—wondering if the present crew is as trustworthy and careful as was the last crew.  After all, the consumer’s HOUSE KEY is being passed around from crew to crew!

Eventually the frustrated consumer starts to search for another cleaning company.

NOW….let’s say you stumble upon UpperCrust Maids, LLC. Either a friend told you about us or you received a postcard in the mail or you saw an advertisment or found us via a Google search.

a. You make contact with us.

b. We come out and complete an in-house estimate.

c. We give you a quote that is $25 – $35 more than the last service that was in your home.

d. You inquire as to the price difference.

OKAY….here goes!

Our employee turnover rate is “zero” at the present time and I will tell you why.

a. We pay our employees well above the minimum wage.  And because they are earning a decent wage, they take the job seriously. And since they take the job seriously, they work harder to perfect their skills. And because they work so hard to continuously perfect their skills, my clients LOVE them! And because clients rave about them, they are inspired to work even harder. And because they work even harder, I shower them with praise. And because I shower them with praise, they blossom and bend over backwards to continue to shine.

It’s a chain reaction.

b. The reason we are able to pay our employees a wage that shows that we respect and appreciate their hard work is because we charge $65 an hour for first time cleanings (which averages about $260). And we charge a competitive but realistic fee for ongoing cleanings.

Several local franchises and “mom & pops” charge $75 an hour, so we are not the highest service out there.  The difference is that franchises charge $75 an hour and pad their own pockets, while paying their people minimum wage. 

Then there are the services that charge $40 – $50 an hour and the only way they are earning a profit for themselves is by paying either below minimum wage or barely minimum wage.

Did you ever hear the old saying that “you get what you pay for”? Guess what? It’s TRUE!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by crystal clean housekeeping on June 28, 2009 at 1:19 am

    wow i read this –an u hit the nail on the head u get what u pay for-i have been wrking 4 the middle man for months-geting payed cramp but i do a great job but started to feel cheated so i slacked at one time not having that passion-so i started my own -allthough i have never lost my passion only for my boss not for the client i always cont the same wrk ethnic with the client but my boss ughh 4 get it –great advice

  2. Crystal,

    Thanks for sharing. You speak from the perspective of a house cleaner so you know I’m telling the truth. House cleaning is back-breaking work when it’s done correctly. Cleaners often sweat and have to take breaks. It’s not an easy job, so you deserve a decent wage.

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