Archive for the ‘Leave the Cleaning to Us!’ Category

Would You Hire a $10 an Hour Maid Service?

By:  Cathy Green

A woman contacted me recently to tell me that she was looking for a company to do her laundry.  I told her that we do not do laundry. We only clean homes.

She went on to indicate that she already had someone cleaning her home but needed a company that would do her laundry for her.  She wanted to know if I would be willing to bend my rules on her behalf and have an employee to do her laundry.

Again, I told her we don’t do laundry but I asked her how much she was looking to pay.  She told me that she was searching for a company that could do her laundry for $10 an hour.

$10 an hour?

Truth is, there is no legitimate company out there that is able to do her laundry or anyone else’s for slave wages which is what she was in search of.  There also is no legitimate company out there that can clean a home for slave wages.  Where on earth is the profit margin in $10 an hour?

My question to you is, would you hire a “company” that would offer to do work in your home for $10 an hour?  If your answer is “yes”, I will just tell you that if you ever bring in someone who is charging you that low rate, that is not a real company.  Instead, that is a “scab” service that is paying zero taxes and such a person will demand that you pay them in cash, so as not to leave a paper trail. 

If the $10 an hour person gets hurt in your home, you will be responsible for her medical care.  And if the IRS finds out that you are not taking care of the taxes regarding this person, you’ll be in a heap of trouble.  Have you ever heard of the “Nanny Tax”?  It applies to these “10 an hour” cleaning ladies.

I tell people all the time that they certainly don’t have to hire my company but they definitely should hire a legitimate company to entrust to their homes.  Why hand your key over to someone who is not in business for real and who could easily disappear off into the sunset with stolen goods from your home? 

With real cleaning companies, at a minimum there is an owner whom you can call if there is an issue.  The owner has registered the business.  You can ask the owner whether or not he/she is insured and bonded.  You can ask the owner whether or not the employees have had background checks.

However, with the $10 an hour cleaning ladies from off the street, all you have is a hope and a prayer that this person will not get hurt in your home and that her boyfriend will not get the key to your home and enter it.

Yes, you will definitely save by hiring a $10 an hour (or less) cleaning lady from off the street.  But it could end up costing you soooooo much more in the long run.

Looking for a real cleaning company that is licensed, bonded and insured?  Call UpperCrust Maids, LLC at 301-322-7112

Note:  I write on this issue all the time.  PRESS HERE   for a recent article I wrote about the dangers of hiring these “$10 an hour” scab serves.

Choose Only Companies That Train Employees

By: Cathy

Each of my cleaning techs is put through an extensive training program prior to me allowing them to work independently.

House cleaning may sound like a simple job but in reality professional house cleaning requires skill.  And unlike many companies that send their workers out with no direction, my employees are given the best equipment and supplies and taught how to use them for the benefit of clients.

After all, no one has money to throw away and if a client is paying to have their home cleaned, there are no excuses for it not being cleaned and cleaned well.

Are you tired of dealing with untrained cleaning techs who enter your home, rushing through and leaving it uncleaned? Give us a call:  301-322-7112

Hire a Real Cleaning Company and Avoid the Cleaning Ladies

      Most of us don’t just wake up one morning and decide we need some help in the home. It generally is a process.  Over a period of time it occurs to us that yes, it’s time.

It’s time to stop scrubbing baseboards. It’s time to stop dusting furniture. It’s time to stop mopping floors.  It’s simply time to turn it over to hired help.

There are several choices that a consumer needs to make when s/he finally makes the decision to bring in hired help.

I.     Hire a cleaning lady or a cleaning company?

II.   Hire the cheapest cleaning company out there or hire a reputable company that charges a little more?

Let us look at #1 first.  The cleaning lady.  Are you aware of the fact that cleaning ladies carry with them a tremendous amount of liability?

Check this out:

a.  Once you bring a cleaning lady into your home, you become her direct employer.

b.  You immediately are responsible for her taxes as well as her health. This means that if she slips in your home and gets hurt, you have to pay her medical bills. 

c.  If you are paying $1,400+ a year to her, you had better be taking care of the taxes. Otherwise, you are in a serious heap of trouble with the IRS if they ever find out that you are cheating them.

d.  Assuming that you are willing to work with the IRS for your cleaning lady, you will need to fill in form 926, located at  http://www.irs.gov

e.  You may also need to file for an employer ID number, as you are that person’s direct employer.

f.  You will need to withhold and pay 7.65%  [at this time] for the cleaning lady’s social security and Medicare taxes (check with your accountant to verify the percentage)

g.  You will need to withhold federal income taxes, as well as state (again, check with your accountant for direction)

h.  That’s not all.  There is something called “unemployment taxes”.  Guess who is responsible for paying that fee?  YOU are, if you hire a cleaning lady.

i.  There’s more.  Guess who is responsible for giving the cleaning lady her W-2 form at the end of the year?  YOU are.

BUT….if you hire a cleaning company, you are able to avoid all that!

II.  The legitimate cleaning company

If you have decided to avoid becoming an employer, then you have certainly chosen to avoid the cleaning ladies.

That means you have decided to seek out a cleaning company. Guess what? Some cleaning companies are not functioning legally.

Do the following:

a.  When you call around, ask the cleaning companies what type of insurance they carry.   Ask them what insurance company they use.  If they cannot answer, move on.

b.  A legitimate cleaning company will charge you a little more because insurance costs money and it is not cheap. 

Questions? Confused?  Give me a call!

Cathy @ 301-322-7112

UpperCrust Maids Cleaning Academy

By:  Cathy Green

     House cleaning may appear to some to be an easy task but I assure you that professional house cleaning is far from easy when it is done correctly.

When people clean their own homes, 99% of them will target one or two rooms at a time. Very few people will clean their entire home in one session. Yet, employees of cleaning companies clean the entire home at once.

Because of  how overwhelming it can be to take on such a task, any cleaning company worth its salt will teach and provide ongoing training to its staff.

This company has created the UpperCrust Cleaning Academy and every employee is required to undergo extensive and ongoing training. They are trained in each aspect of house cleaning and taught what to look for in a home.

The Training Academy is an ongoing process and after the initial 3 month period where the most intense training takes place—there is updated training based on situations that arise. Training never officially ends because we want to perfect the art of professional house cleaning.

We also are on a continuous search for the best products and equipment to use in clients’ homes. And as we make changes, our employees are re-trained.

UpperCrust Maids, LLC is not a “perfect” company and never will be. However, our goal is to strive for perfection and to live up to our motto: White Glove Service on Us!

So when you hire us, rest assured that trained staff are in your home giving it the best cleaning they possibly can.

Does Your Cleaning Company Offer You a Consistent Schedule?

By:  Cathy Green

    I’m the first to admit to you that UpperCrust Maids is far from perfect; however, we strive for perfection. At all times I’m searching out ways to perfect the cleaning process and to ensure that clients have a home that is in top condition.

If one were to ask me about the strengths of this company, I would have to point out the personalized, customized service. My clients have my cell, home and business numbers, as well as email address. They have no problems reaching me.

Another thing my clients have is a set schedule. They are not a number. We treat every client with respect because they are important to us. Never will you find us offering impersonal service or dehumanizing a client.

While surfing the web and checking out other Maryland/DC cleaning companies, I happened upon a website which had the blurb below:

Your service is scheduled for a specific day. Unfortunately, we cannot predict a specific time the team will arrive, nor can we make appointments.

Upon reading that, I was left scratching my head. They are a professional cleaning service, yet are unable to offer a ball park time of team arrival and they don’t make appointments? Huh?

Look again at that company’s policy:

a. They cannot offer a time. That means that the consumer is at the mercy of the company, and has to sit around the house hoping that they will show up. Well suppose the client has other obligations? Who has the time to sit around wondering when a service will arrive?

b. They do not offer appointments. I cannot help but wonder how such companies stay in business. Rest assured that UpperCrust Maids offers you both an appointment as well as a consistent day and time to expect services. So for example, if you receive services biweeky, we would assign you a stable day, such as a Monday. And a stable time, such as 8:30 a.m. or 12 noon. You “own” that timeslot and day as long as you desire. And you will be assinged the same cleaning tech or team unless there is a substitute.

Believe it or not, it’s not unusual for cleaning companies to refuse to offer their clients regular schedules. I have no idea how such companies stay organized but I assure you that it’s not to the client’s advantage to deal in such chaos.

Are you looking for a quality company that cares about your home and are wiling to offer you the stability of a schedule? Call us at 301-322-7112

Cheap Continues to Sell

By:  Cathy Green

 

Looks like cheap is still selling. I received a form letter recently from a potential client. I figured out it was a form letter after he forgot that he had sent it to me once, and he sent it a second time.

In the letter he mentioned that he had recently fired his cleaning person due to poor services and said that he would be interested in receiving an estimate. He made it clear in his note that he was on a tight budget and he was going to go with the cheapest estimate.

Below is an edited copy of the letter that I sent back to him. I believe that all potential clients will benefit from it:

If you ever read my blog or the articles I write for the DC Examiner, you will see that I am a person who always is educating the consumer.

[edit]

Cheap sells but cheap renders awful results, high turnover, and other problems in the long run.

Another issue you are going to run into is that very few cleaning companies are worth their salt. Only about 1% of them train their people or can hold on to employees. They pay minimum wage ($6.55 – $7 per hour) and therefore the employees give abour $7.00 an hour’s worth of labor.

I charge more because I pay my people a real wage. Therefore, they see it as real job, as opposed to a “jump off” that they can leave the second they find something paying them more for their hard labor.

[edit]

You’d do well to seek out a “mom & pop” establishment where we pay our people more and actually care about what goes on in your home.

You will be able to find a company to clean your 4 b.r., 2 bath home for a low price, but you will probably end up only keeping them for a month or two due to shabby service. You get what you pay for.

I have no idea what he will end up doing. My guess is that he will find another “cheap” company to go in and clean his rather large home for dirt cheap prices. They will do an awful job and he will again find himself in the market for a cleaning company. Most people rarely make the connection between cost and service. Cheap just keeps on selling!

If you are looking for the cheapest house cleaning service in town, you have landed in the wrong spot.  But if you are looking for a thorough, professional company with trained employees who take their jobs seriously, you are in the right place.  Our prices are competitive and our service is “white glove”. Give us a call:  301-322-7112

Is Your Home Dusty?

By:  Cathy Green

   When I go out on an in home estimate, I make it a priority to check the “dust meter” in each home. Generally, I run my finger over furniture, etc.  While it is impossible to remove every ounce of dust, the goal is to remove as must dust as possible.

Dust build up is not safe. Look at the blurb below:

New research shows that bacteria lurking in household dust produce chemicals that may trigger asthma and asthma-related symptoms such as wheezing. These bacterial chemicals, called endotoxins, particularly those found on bedroom floors, were linked with increased respiratory problems in adults. This study, supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, is the first nationwide study of endotoxins in the household environment, and it involved analysis of more than 2,500 dust samples from 831 homes across the U.S.

Researchers at NIEHS and the University of Iowa found a strong association between endotoxin levels and the prevalence of diagnosed asthma, asthma symptoms, asthma medication use, and wheezing. These relationships were strongest for bedroom floor and bedding dust. Households with higher endotoxin concentrations experienced higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms.

SOURCE 

If you are asthma free, good for you. But in spite of that, you could have a guest come into your home who has respiratory issues and dust build up could adversely affect your guest(s).

Call UpperCrust Maids today and allow us to start eliminating your dust tomorrow!

301-322-7112