If you’ve been working in the maid service industry for at least a year, you know that there’s such a thing as a summer slump. It’s in July and August when your sales are slower —when customers skip appointments because they’re on vacation or when teachers put their cleaning service on hold because they’re at home during that time. Luckily, this is also the busiest time of year for people to move, so you can offset the summer slump with additional business from move-in and move-out cleanings.
Switch gears to focus on move-in and move-out cleanings in the summer. A move-in cleaning is a great opportunity to capture repeat business, but for a move-out clean you need to charge the maximum of your pay scale because most likely you will never see that customer again. If you haven’t already, you should establish your move-out cleaning pricing now. Not every cleaning service does them, and people want it done right the first time. They don’t have the luxury of time to be able to fiddle around with a cheaper service.
For move-in cleanings, I usually give them a price break because I want to win their repeat business. But you have to realize that you’re not likely to get their business right away. There are all kinds of expenses that crop up with moving, and often people don’t initiate their cleaning service until they’ve been in their house for at least 3 to 4 months. Whatever you charge, don’t lose money on first time cleans for move-in or move-outs.
How to attract move-in and move-out cleanings
Build relationships with the moving industry or other local vendors. Find out who is a part of the moving industry in your community; this includes realtors, movers, painters, window washers. Then go visit the owner. Offer to take them to lunch or set up a quick 15 minute meeting. Bring them a gift of some kind, like swag from your company, and give them your brochure. In the meeting, tell them you do a lot of move-out cleans in the summer and often people are looking for a mover/painter/realtor, and since you are always looking for reputable companies to refer, you’d love to be able to refer their company. You haven’t asked for a thing from this business owner—you met, gave them a gift, and said you’d like to send business their way. This is the best way to build relationships with local vendors who are in a position to refer you for cleaning work.
Join private Facebook groups for your community and do a search every day for the words “cleaning,” “cleaning service,” and “moving.” If you join 5 or 6 local groups and search every day, it will take you about 15 minutes, and you can respond when you see an inquiry. You’ll get free exposure to all the people seeing your response in addition to the person who’s question you’re answering.
Run paid ads on Facebook or Google AdWords. If you know what you’re doing or if you’ve hired professional help, you can invest in the move-out/move-in cleaning category. This is a great way to capture some summer work and fill in gaps from customers who are skipping or who have cancelled due to moving.
Pay for leads. Home Advisor is another opportunity to consider using during the summer, where you pay for leads to help capture jobs. If you advertise, use very specific verbiage to be able to target the move-in/move-out cleans. Thumbtack and Takl are other sites to try. If you’re able to jump on the leads ASAP, you’ll get more benefit out of these sites.
Do a Facebook Live broadcast offering moving tips. You can search for moving tips and then repackage them as short video broadcasts, like “Summer moving tips from ABC Cleaning: Everybody finds it difficult to get boxes for moving day, so here’s my tip on where to find high- quality moving boxes for free.” End your live broadcast by saying – “if you know a realtor who would like to share this tip with others, or a friend needs this help, please tag them.”
Market additional services to your current customers. Launch a promotion to your customers around laundry or light cleaning. Maybe they wanted to stop the full cleaning for the summer, but you can suggest they get light cleaning and laundry help to handle the additional load with their kids home from college.
Don’t forget door hangers! Get employees to help you with door hangers in neighborhoods they are cleaning. These are relatively cheap to print, and a great reminder of your business to homes in the nearby area.
Whatever you do, be sure to track your progress and pay close attention to your business’s seasons. In my maid service, we know July and August are our slowest months, so we focus more on winning move-in and move-out cleans to make up the gaps.
This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my Cleaning Business Fundamentals course.
Known as The Maid Coach, Debbie Sardone is America’s top cleaning business consultant. Debbie helps owners of residential cleaning companies build a 7-figure dream business, with a 6-figure income and the freedom in their lives that they deserve.