If you’re like most of the people I know, you probably love your home but hate cleaning it! More and more people are hiring maid services to help them out – some people hire help with the day-to-day cleaning and others hire help to come in once a month, or even less frequently. The truth is, no matter who you are, hiring a maid service can give you a little extra time to spend on more enjoyable things! If you’ve been thinking of hiring a maid service, here are a few things to keep in mind…
Insurance & Bonding
Make sure the company you hire is insured. Your homeowners insurance may or may not cover an accident that occurs while I maid is working for you – for example if she slips and falls while mopping the floor, so the company you hire should have coverage that protects both the company and employees, but also your home. Bonding is different than insurance – be sure that the company protects you and not just themselves in case of a problem like theft.
Hiring & References
Make sure the employees references and criminal background have been checked. Find out if the maids are employees or subcontractors – generally speaking, you want a company that has employees. If the workers are subcontractors be sure they are trained and insured. Find out how long the company has been in business and ask for a list of references. Call references and ask how long they’ve used the company, if they’ve ever had complaints and how they’ve been handled, and how highly they would recommend the service.
When calling references, find out how satisfied they are as customers. Also ask if the company has any measures of customer satisfaction (but be sure to find out how they collected the data – it doesn’t mean much if the only customers they report are the ones that have given glowing testimonials!). If the company cares about customer satisfaction and goes out of their way to measure it, they are probably the kind of company that will care about you. While you’re at it, you should also find out how the company measures quality of service and how they assure that quality is maintained. You want to make sure that whoever is working for you is working up to the standards you expect. In the case of complaints, you will want to know if there is some kind of guarantee. Make sure any guarantees are in writing and whether or not there are limitations. Find out before you hire a maid or a service how complaints are handled and how long issues usually take to be resolved.
Products & Equipment
Find out who is responsible for providing products & equipment. Some services provide their own supplies, while others expect you to provide everything. If products are provided by the company keep in mind that many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals and/or poisons. Be sure that everything the company uses is safe for pets and kids. Even if you don’t have pets or children running around your house, as a rule you should avoid unsafe products for yourself too! If the company uses environmentally friendly products, be sure they will still be effective for cleaning and disinfecting purposes. Find out exactly what equipment the company expects you to provide (mop? vacuum? broom? rags? buckets? – and the list continues) and make sure you have it. If the service provides their own equipment find out their policy for keeping things clean and up to date. For example, if they use a vacuum with a dirty filter it isn’t going to do much good. Similarly, you don’t want them using dirty rags that have only been rinsed clean to wipe down your kitchen counters. If the company provides products and equipment, but you would rather provide your own, make sure that there is a policy in place for you to do so.
When you hire a cleaning service you want to be sure that everything is above board. Know both the federal and state tax laws for your situation and follow them. You should also be sure that you are hiring legally documented workers. Finally, know the ins and outs of any contract that you sign. Understand your rights as a consumer and the recourse that you have if you are unhappy with the service that is provided.
And if you are not one of the people who love your home, give us a call at Cooper Realty and let us help you find a new home – 302-644-2266!