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Iain jones

First time cleans or one off cleans



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Iain jones

When I do a first time or one of clean how much should I charge 

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Part Timer

As much as you can get away with really. For first cleans it seems to be standard you charge double, for one off cleans then it really boils down to how much you want the job. At the end of the day the whole pricing system relies on you trying to judge what the customer is willing to pay and if you're prepared to do the job at the price.

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Cleanco

It depends how bad they are. If they’ve been looked after previously by another cleaner or by them selves it’s 1-2x to get them to my spec. If they are mingin and not been done I’m ages then it’s usually around 3-4x. 

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Davy G

I would charge what you think is fair to both parties (you and customers). That's what I aim for. Charge as much as I can get away with and I will feel guilty, and also won't be confident of retaining their loyalty. Charge what's fair, but not cheap and I'm happy I'm not ripping anyone off. Customers are not fools and they also talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. 

I think aim to price correctly for a regular wash. Use that as a base. If you think you're likely to be gaining a good, friendly, regular customer don't go too rough on the first clean price. Charge a bit more for the first clean by all means and charge enough for maintenance cleans, but think apast it to what could be a good loyal customer for years to come and they will likely be the seed sown to others within their circle. 

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steve garwood

First cleans, clean them twice and charge them double.

One off cleans, I tell them I’m not interested 🙂

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P4dstar

Surprised so many people think double for the first clean. There's a few lads round here that seem to do that. I just stick £5-10 on the job depending on the size of it.

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Davy G
8 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Surprised so many people think double for the first clean. There's a few lads round here that seem to do that. I just stick £5-10 on the job depending on the size of it.

 I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have the customer base I have if I tried to change double for first wash. 

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P4dstar
15 minutes ago, Davy G said:

 I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have the customer base I have if I tried to change double for first wash. 

I feel the same but then I think would I actually have a much stronger customer base who doesn't skip cleans in winter as they understand the importance of regular cleaning 🧐

 

Maybe when i've filled one round i'll grow a set and join em charging double for the first clean.

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steve garwood
6 hours ago, P4dstar said:

I feel the same but then I think would I actually have a much stronger customer base who doesn't skip cleans in winter as they understand the importance of regular cleaning 🧐

 

Maybe when i've filled one round i'll grow a set and join em charging double for the first clean.

I’ve filled rounds and sold rounds doing this. 

If you explain the reasons why, (using more water, labour time etc) they will understand.

If the windows are extremely dirty, I’m honest with them. I tell them I’ll clean them twice on the first clean, but there still might be the odd drip line.

Never encountered a problem 🙂

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Iron Giant

Agree with the above as in charging what feels right more so you're a newbie, I think it can be a bit difficult to gauge at times over the years I never charged extra then it went to 50% more then double and now back to 50%, my decision to cut back on the first clean price is I have lost about 10 jobs in recent weeks due to people selling up and they averaged around £14.00 per job along with the fact that I quoted quite a few jobs and didn't get any of them so I am feeling a little cautious shall we say at the moment. 

4 minutes ago, steve garwood said:

I’ve filled rounds and sold rounds doing this. 

If you explain the reasons why, (using more water, labour time etc) they will understand.

If the windows are extremely dirty, I’m honest with them. I tell them I’ll clean them twice on the first clean, but there still might be the odd drip line.

Never encountered a problem 🙂


When quoting I always say a first clean will take 2-3 times longer than a regular clean to get the frames up to standard, but I can usually blitz them as I have mastered my technique, like a Jedi 😀 

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Davy G

If we're straight and fair, I find that mostly what goes around comes around, once we explain that first washes take more time, effort and water, and so therefore need a higher payment they usually understand and mostly become good customers. It's all about being fair and balanced. We will get messers as well but get skilled at reading people. I say again though that if I tried to charge double I don't think I would have the good, strong customer base that I have. 

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P4dstar
16 minutes ago, Davy G said:

If we're straight and fair, I find that mostly what goes around comes around, once we explain that first washes take more time, effort and water, and so therefore need a higher payment they usually understand and mostly become good customers. It's all about being fair and balanced. We will get messers as well but get skilled at reading people. I say again though that if I tried to charge double I don't think I would have the good, strong customer base that I have. 

I dunno mate. We're not far apart and would have a similar customer demographic. It's the norm in Gloucester for them to charge double with the biggest complaint being they come once and don't return 🤷‍♂️

In the little cotswold villages I go to it isn't the norm which is what has always stopped me, doesn't mean it wouldn't work. Before I started this my window cleaner didn't charge me any extra but his price was really high £20 for 7 windows and 2 doors, extra £5 for the conservatory. Now I know the going rate is £12.50-15 for something this size round here but I can see what he did. He booked 2 of my neighbours too, £60 in 45 minutes by my reckoning.

 

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Part Timer
22 hours ago, Part Timer said:

At the end of the day the whole pricing system relies on you trying to judge what the customer is willing to pay and if you're prepared to do the job at the price.

All the charging double etc is covered by this, be it first clean or regular clean. We all think we charge a fair price for our services, the traditional guy with a ladder or a WFP guy with a new van, electric reels and hot water. It's the customers perception of what is and isn't fair that matters, how we sell our services is important. 

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Robbo

Treat a 'first clean' and a 'one off clean' as two completely different things.

 

If it is a 'genuine' first clean and they are really dirty then you should definitely charge more. It will take you longer and the customer should respect that. 

If the customer is a bit iffy on paying more for a first clean, then perhaps you should be wary about the long term quality of this customer!

I usually think, how much longer it would take, and charge accordingly. Some may be only 10 mins more, some may be 3 times as long. 

You need to be honest, explain to the customer, and charge fairly. You are trying to build a relationship here with the customer, but not get 'had over'!

Also, the more thorough you are on the first clean...the more easier the next cleans become.

 

If it is a 'one off' clean and the customer has said they are moving, or just want it done the once, then this is a bit more fun. The simple answer is 'how much do you want the work'?

If you are just starting out and need the work then don't go too high, get the cash coming in. If you are overloaded, then you may not even bother quoting, because you won't have the time.

 

The real trick is trying to work out, 'which is which'. We all get custys that say they want a regular and really only want a one off, especially this time of year!

That only comes with experience. Go with your gut instinct, price is right and keep smiling. You'll win some, you'll lose some!

Edited by Robbo

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Davy G

Yep. That's about the way I see it. 🙂

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RWCleaning
29 minutes ago, Robbo said:

Treat a 'first clean' and a 'one off clean' as two completely different things.

 

If it is a 'genuine' first clean and they are really dirty then you should definitely charge more. It will take you longer and the customer should respect that. 

If the customer is a bit iffy on paying more for a first clean, then perhaps you should be wary about the long term quality of this customer!

I usually think, how much longer it would take, and charge accordingly. Some may be only 10 mins more, some may be 3 times as long. 

You need to be honest, explain to the customer, and charge fairly. You are trying to build a relationship here with the customer, but not get 'had over'!

Also, the more thorough you are on the first clean...the more easier the next cleans become.

 

If it is a 'one off' clean and the customer has said they are moving, or just want it done the once, then this is a bit more fun. The simple answer is 'how much do you want the work'?

If you are just starting out and need the work then don't go too high, get the cash coming in. If you are overloaded, then you may not even bother quoting, because you won't have the time.

 

The real trick is trying to work out, 'which is which'. We all get custys that say they want a regular and really only want a one off, especially this time of year!

That only comes with experience. Go with your gut instinct, price is right and keep smiling. You'll win some, you'll lose some!

That’s the most intelligent thing you’ve ever said !

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Chris34

I've only just started so all of my jobs are first cleans  : ( .....  ha ha.  I've decided to set first clean price at 50% more than the regular clean price.  

 

The first job I got was a 3 bed semi, customer used to pay £6 but cleaner had disappeared, I quoted £20 first clean and £15 regular and got it.  I know it's not 50% but I was unsure about the £2.50 so just thought £20.  It's a tricky one I'm still undecided on the £20 or £22, at the end of the day it is only £2, that's not going to make or break the business.

 

The second job was a detached house, easy access and not too many windows.  I wanted to quote £20 regular but didn't know whether to charge £25 or £30 for the first clean.  Then I thought it through and thought well from the customers perception they will look at the first clean price and think it's not much different to the regular price if it's £25, so therefore doesn't look like they get much of a discount for going regular.  £20 and £30 there is a greater difference so it looks a lot better to the customer.  So I went with the £20 and £30 and didn't get any quibble, also got them to sign up for dd.

 

Now I think double price would be a fair price for the first clean but I am going to stick with 50%.  The reason is that's the discount they get from me, it's a discount on the first clean to entice them to get the windows cleaned regular.  It may or may not make a difference but it's something that I'm comfortable with, if I don't get the job then that's fine they were not for me but I will not be blaming my price.  If it was double then I would have that question in my mind.  

 

I'm sure double is probably the way to go, but starting out and learning I think 50% is fair as my work will not be as good as it will be say in a years time when I have more experience.

 

 

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Incheck

It really depends how much time you’re going to take and what sort of job you’re going to do. If you’re just going to do wfp and degreaser then i dont know, double the rates?

Lately i’m offering a premium type service to windows that haven’t been cleaned in years, where i water fed & de-grease every window, followed by ladder out & trad gear, blade scraping paint specs, spider poo, fly spots off, then micro fibres out & buff up all frames and sills that i can access safely from grey back to white using the pink stuff. Also restore the UPVC doors removing all those dark rubber scuff marks from peoples shoes etc. This can take a lot of time and the charge can go in to the £££’s. not many people are willing to pay for it and many just cant afford it but i’ve done a few lately and i really enjoy doing it.

i dont do builders cleans though so if I come across plaster/cement and loads of horrible stuff all over every window then i’m not interested in those jobs as i just find it horrible and frustrating + they've generally chipped the glass and damaged pvc fittings when they’ve made that sort of mess and i could do without the hassle of “who’s done what” type questions. 

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scottish cleaning service

I did a first clean yesterday and only charged the monthly price of a tenner. They were done in December but I scrape all the glass on first cleans so I was there over an hour. I wasn't bothered because I knew it was a great customer and we spent 20mins talking. I know I will be getting many more customers on that street. You can get a feeling just by looking at the property and state of back garden. If its immaculate then you know you are on to a winner, because cleaning is high up on their maintenance list.

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P4dstar
9 hours ago, Chris34 said:

I've only just started so all of my jobs are first cleans  : ( .....  ha ha.  I've decided to set first clean price at 50% more than the regular clean price.  

 

The first job I got was a 3 bed semi, customer used to pay £6 but cleaner had disappeared, I quoted £20 first clean and £15 regular and got it.  I know it's not 50% but I was unsure about the £2.50 so just thought £20.  It's a tricky one I'm still undecided on the £20 or £22, at the end of the day it is only £2, that's not going to make or break the business.

 

The second job was a detached house, easy access and not too many windows.  I wanted to quote £20 regular but didn't know whether to charge £25 or £30 for the first clean.  Then I thought it through and thought well from the customers perception they will look at the first clean price and think it's not much different to the regular price if it's £25, so therefore doesn't look like they get much of a discount for going regular.  £20 and £30 there is a greater difference so it looks a lot better to the customer.  So I went with the £20 and £30 and didn't get any quibble, also got them to sign up for dd.

 

Now I think double price would be a fair price for the first clean but I am going to stick with 50%.  The reason is that's the discount they get from me, it's a discount on the first clean to entice them to get the windows cleaned regular.  It may or may not make a difference but it's something that I'm comfortable with, if I don't get the job then that's fine they were not for me but I will not be blaming my price.  If it was double then I would have that question in my mind.  

 

I'm sure double is probably the way to go, but starting out and learning I think 50% is fair as my work will not be as good as it will be say in a years time when I have more experience.

When you first start out it's hard to believe anyone would get anywhere charging double for the first clean. Some people would say start as you mean to go on etc.

 

The thing to remember is you currently need the practice. If you turned up at my house and quoted me £15 a month I would think fine, if you said £20 for the first clean I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. If you said £30 for the first clean I would go for it but expect top quality results, probably inspect your work etc etc etc (This is in the alternate universe where I am not a window cleaner of course haha)

 

You say about enticing the customer into getting the windows cleaned regularly which sounds like you're making a fundamental mistake. There is no enticing people into regular cleaning, they are having them cleaned regularly or they're having a one off. If they're having a one off then charge them double or even more. Make sure you negotiate a frequency before you clean. I find the best way is to simply ask ''how often do you want them cleaned'' when I do the quote. This normally throws people off, some have an answer others ask for your advice. I offer 4/6/8 week cycles and charge them increasing prices depending on which one...

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Chris34
3 hours ago, P4dstar said:

When you first start out it's hard to believe anyone would get anywhere charging double for the first clean. Some people would say start as you mean to go on etc.

 

The thing to remember is you currently need the practice. If you turned up at my house and quoted me £15 a month I would think fine, if you said £20 for the first clean I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. If you said £30 for the first clean I would go for it but expect top quality results, probably inspect your work etc etc etc (This is in the alternate universe where I am not a window cleaner of course haha)

 

You say about enticing the customer into getting the windows cleaned regularly which sounds like you're making a fundamental mistake. There is no enticing people into regular cleaning, they are having them cleaned regularly or they're having a one off. If they're having a one off then charge them double or even more. Make sure you negotiate a frequency before you clean. I find the best way is to simply ask ''how often do you want them cleaned'' when I do the quote. This normally throws people off, some have an answer others ask for your advice. I offer 4/6/8 week cycles and charge them increasing prices depending on which one...

 

What I mean is enticing them to say yes to the quote.  A 50% first clean looks more attractive than double but still gives a clear difference between first clean price and regular price.  I won't be offering one off's, already decided it's not worth it.  

 

I just tell them how I work, it's every 4 weeks, payment via dd, text day before clean.  If they think it's a bit expensive then my fall back option is every 8 weeks at slightly more but I don't tell them that, I only offer it if they don't seem welcoming to the 4 week price.

 

I like the fact I can say yes or no to jobs and pricing, the power feels great  : )   FRREEEEEEDDDDDDDOOOOOOM    ha ha. 

 

 

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Iron Giant
9 hours ago, Incheck said:

It really depends how much time you’re going to take and what sort of job you’re going to do. If you’re just going to do wfp and degreaser then i dont know, double the rates?

Lately i’m offering a premium type service to windows that haven’t been cleaned in years, where i water fed & de-grease every window, followed by ladder out & trad gear, blade scraping paint specs, spider poo, fly spots off, then micro fibres out & buff up all frames and sills that i can access safely from grey back to white using the pink stuff. Also restore the UPVC doors removing all those dark rubber scuff marks from peoples shoes etc. This can take a lot of time and the charge can go in to the £££’s. not many people are willing to pay for it and many just cant afford it but i’ve done a few lately and i really enjoy doing it.

i dont do builders cleans though so if I come across plaster/cement and loads of horrible stuff all over every window then i’m not interested in those jobs as i just find it horrible and frustrating + they've generally chipped the glass and damaged pvc fittings when they’ve made that sort of mess and i could do without the hassle of “who’s done what” type questions. 


I had one like that the other day the client had spent months having their cottage renovated new roof, render windows and more there were tiny specks of render on some of the windows which only became noticeable during the clean I made him aware straight off and walked him around and told him I don't do builders cleans I don't remove cement and that some damage may become apparent later which they may not have seen during the renovations with the windows being so dirty.

He started taking bits off with his fingernail 😲 and had to stop him and told him he could damage the glass, I told him about cement off by titan labs which my thoughts are that it should deal with the specks with no trouble, but the balls in his court as I ain't paying £22.00 for something I will use once are my thoughts but it's £20.00 monthly job so not sure if I should bite the bullet, as I have cleaned his mother in laws house for years and also his sons.

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P4dstar
35 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

not sure if I should bite the bullet, as I have cleaned his mother in laws house for years and also his sons.

I reckon if you offer to do the work but ask him to pay for the stuff you'll be away you know.

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P4dstar
4 hours ago, Chris34 said:

 

What I mean is enticing them to say yes to the quote.  A 50% first clean looks more attractive than double but still gives a clear difference between first clean price and regular price.  I won't be offering one off's, already decided it's not worth it.  

 

I just tell them how I work, it's every 4 weeks, payment via dd, text day before clean.  If they think it's a bit expensive then my fall back option is every 8 weeks at slightly more but I don't tell them that, I only offer it if they don't seem welcoming to the 4 week price.

 

I like the fact I can say yes or no to jobs and pricing, the power feels great  : )   FRREEEEEEDDDDDDDOOOOOOM    ha ha. 

Good to hear mate, thats the way forward.

 

With regards to one offs I wouldn't be so hasty, certainly not at first. They fill your diary and get you seen cleaning. You'll be amazed at the amount of walk ups you get in summer while you're cleaning. I have hoodies which have contact number and company name on the back but no one has ever walked up to me in Tesco or anywhere like that, while cleaning or sat in the van happens all the time though.

 

Long term I agree one offs are a waste of time. The easiest way to put people off is to quote high and tell them its a 3/4 week wait. I do this particularly when someone contacts me through Facebook or the website asking ''how quickly can you clean my windows'' or ''what's your earliest availability''... Now sometimes i'm wrong but it usually means 'I ain't bothered with cleaning my windows in the last 5 years and now i'm listing it for sale'. Usually i'm right but I will concede there are a couple of exceptions.

 

A lot of lads swear by cleaning every 8 weeks at an extra £5 or so, same amount of customers but more money. I have found from experience it's worth telling them all the frequencies and the extra price so they ain't shocked when you tell them it's more to go to 8 weeks after being on 4 for a few weeks.

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