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The residential maid service business has been around forever, but only in the last few decades has it become accessible and popular across all income levels and demographics. The rapid growth in the industry has been fuelled by the advent of the two income family. With both spouses out working, it leaves little time for all the domestic chores. Completing those numerous tasks definitely conflicts with time off to spend with the family. And consequently, with both spouses working, it becomes more affordable.
There are basically two levels of service offered to the homeowner. The traditional family maid, usually a neighbour or senior, who works independently in the area for friends, acquaintances or referrals (the Independent). Then there is the maid service "franchises" that have sprung up over the last few decades (the Franchise). The Independents usually work on their own, use the client's products and equipment and work on a minimal hourly rate. The Franchise maid service usually has teams of 2-3 cleaners, who bring all the supplies and equipment with them. Their hourly fees are somewhat higher, due to the fact multiple people work the job.
There are pros & cons with both methods. Of course price is the primary plus for the Independent. However there may be some things to consider over price. If the Independent were to charge, say $25/hr., then the Franchise should be equal in terms of price, if 2 maids were sent at double the price. Yet most Franchise services are usually somewhat higher than double. The reasons are numerous. The staff should be bonded and insured. This relinquishes the concerns the homeowner may have over unforeseen incidences such as theft, breakage, spills or god forbid, injury. Any of these issues would easily circumvent the price differential. All good Franchise services would perform criminal checks on all of their employees. Make sure you ask to see them, if you have any doubts. The internet will also apprise you of any companies that have had problems with unscrupulous staff.
Franchise companies send at least 2 staff for a number of reasons. Firstly for security reasons. They can also double check each other's work, and what would be a 4 or 5 hour clean for the Independent would only be a 2 hour clean for the Franchise team. I would suspect that the Franchise team should work harder together for 2 hours than the Independent working 4 straight hours?
Franchise companies should have professional standards set for all their Franchise owners, their staff and the products and services they offer. This combined with an effective training program ensures more consistency. Unfortunately, not all Franchise Systems measure up. Some have a whole laundry list of things they will not do. Make sure they do all the tasks you expect, like, moving furniture, pulling out appliances, inside appliances, baseboards, high-dusting, patio doors, etc., that constitute a deep clean. Good ones will even offer additional services such as, laundry, washing dishes, de-cluttering, shopping, walking or letting the dog out, or other in-home chores.
There is a methodology to professional cleaning. Top to bottom, left to right and work your way out to the exit door. There are better products for different jobs. There are products that should not be used on some surfaces. Anti-bacterial products must be used in kitchens and bathrooms or wherever germs may accumulate. Green products should be used or available for each type of cleaning.
Improper methods actually exacerbate the mess and cross contaminate the other areas of the home. Using a standard mop and bucket simply shuffles the dirt around. By using rags for mopping, a conscientious maid will change those rags to clean ones after every room. Clean rags for sink, after toilet, etc. Like wise, after vacuuming the client's house, the vacuum bag should be discarded, never taken to the next clean! Check that a big bag of dirty rags is going out the door with your cleaner.
Whether you choose to use an Independent or Franchise maid, you need to consider carefully. With a little research and homework you will be able to feel confident and secure about the person or team you are inviting into your abode. It will afford a cleaner home, that is sanitized and organized making your life a little easier with more time for your family and personal pursuits.
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