In this final part of “What cleaning Service will suit my needs” we will be looking at Cleaning Agencies.
What is a cleaning agency?
A cleaning agency is very similar to your typical recruitment agency – the agent finds, interviews and vets the workers and then “sells” the workers time/skills/trade to employers who may need them on a temporary or permanent basis.
This is true of a cleaning agency – With a cleaning agency, like a franchise, an individual can buy the licensed rights to use the brand name of the agency. The agency will heavily leaflet drop a set geographical area, then place ads in jobs centres to finds the cleaners to undertake the work, which they then sell to a homeowner, in chunks of the cleaners time, off the back of their leaflet campaign. Cleaning agents that you may have heard of are Maid2Clean, BellaCasa and Dolly Char and they are an ever increasing trend in the cleaning sector.
The cleaners are not employed by the agencies and are self-employed individuals, responsible for completing an annual self assessment and their own taxes and insurances. The homeowner will have to leave the agreed hourly rate in cash for the cleaner every time they have a clean – the homeowner will also have to pay the agency a fee every week by direct debit or standing order to pay for the services of the agency. The homeowner will be locked into a contract for a minimum of 3 months with a cleaning agency and please note, the agents fees are payable weather the homeowner has a clean or not that week!
The Pros of using a cleaning agency
- The homeowner does not have to place an advertisement, interview and reference a potential cleaner, as after a brief telephone call of requirements the agency will send a cleaner to you
- The homeowner is able to design their own cleaning rota for their home rather than with a cleaning business or cleaning franchise who will have their set standard cleans and deeper cleans
- If you do not like your cleaner or the standards are not good enough, you can replace the cleaner with a telephone call
The Cons of using a cleaning agency
- Even though the agency say they will interview and vet a cleaner, many times they will not physically meet the cleaner and handle all inquiries over a telephone, as more often than not the agents office is not based in the locality of the cleaning work
- You as the homeowner are still responsible for interviewing the cleaner in your home and vetting them again for your piece of mind (written in 3 agency agreements I have had the pleasure of reading)
- You as the homeowner will be responsible for the design and implementation of your cleaning rota, along with the quality control aspects of your clean
- Like with a Sole Trader (which is what these cleaners are with the added cost of paying an agent) how do you know what training your cleaner may have had? How good is the cleaners insurance? Do they even have insurance? What happens if a cleaner falls and hurts themselves in your property? What happens if a cleaner spills bleach on your new rug?
- 2 costs – cash to cleaner, direct debit to agency… very messy and complicated
- The costs work out quite expensive when broken down as their are the two costs for the cleaner and agency as well as the cleaning materials and equipment as cleaning agencies DO NOT supply any
- Cleaning agencies tend to have an even higher employee turnover than both a cleaning business and cleaning franchise as there are no employee schemes or training and the hours of work offered can be spasmodic and often not worth the cleaners time to travel to
- There is no come back for the house owner – Not happy with your clean? Would like to talk to someone about it? Well with a cleaning agency you will be directed to talk to your cleaner directly or the agency will just replace… going on holiday or your cleaner going on holiday? It is up to the house owner to arrange cover for that period… Cleaner ill or broke their leg? It is up to the house owner to arrange the cover – The agent does what for their money?????
As a cleaning business owner, and obviously working within the cleaning industry, cleaning agents are not my favourite flavour of cleaning service available as I, personally, do not feel they give a value added service to either the homeowners or the cleaners involved and the only party that benefits is the agent – they offer no training, no quality control of cleans, no back office support and no structure.
If you, as a homeowner, want to be in control of the rota and the quality, then you could hire your own cleaner direct as that is what an agent offers, with a weekly cost! If you want an uninterrupted service look at franchises or cleaning businesses and if you want to just make a phone call and hire/fire a cleaner then perhaps an agent is for you but please before you make any decisions, read through all the posts in this section to see which one would suit your home, family and pocket best
Please feel free to add your comments or questions
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