Running a Cleaning Business

10 Tips to Price Your Cleaning Service Competitively

Charging for cleaning services can be a difficult task for many cleaners in the vacation rental industry because there are many variables to consider. Not only do you have to provide a standard cleaning, but you may also have to regularly deep clean various areas in a property. Check out the 10 tips below to help you land jobs and stay competitive.

By Angela Rush

Last updated: August 14, 2023

How to Price a Cleaning Job in the Vacation Rental Industry

According to Turno data from October through December of 2022, the average vacation rental cleaning cost for a one-bedroom property was $69.40. The costs for two- and three-bedroom properties were $93.01 and $129.24, respectively.

These average prices can give you a baseline for how to charge for house cleaning services in the short-term rental industry. However, keep in mind that Airbnb cleaning costs vary significantly depending on the location, condition, and size of your property. This means you’ll need to know competitors’ prices so you can charge appropriately.

Another way to stay competitive in the vacation rental industry is to set general goals for your cleaning business. Goal setting will help you add value to your cleaning service and help you stay on track for success. Set goals that are realistic. For example, earning a certain amount of revenue each year should be within the range of your budget and skills.

Whether you’re a seasoned cleaner or new, the tips below will help you secure more clients and grow your business.

Foolproof Guide on How to Charge For Your Cleaning Service

Unsure about how much to charge for cleaning business? Let’s review 10 key factors to help you stay competitive and gain more profitable turnovers.

1. Keep Track of Your Time

Before you begin a job, keep track of your start and end times. Logging will help you determine the average time it takes you to clean.

Make sure to take note of the overall square footage of the property and any areas that may take longer to clean. Once you have completed a few jobs, you will be able to accurately calculate your average cleaning time. Determining your average cleaning times will be crucial when determining your service price so that you don’t undercharge for your valuable work.

Knowing the property’s estimated square footage, bedroom, and bathroom count will also prove beneficial before accepting a new job. Knowing this information will help you establish your cleaning business prices accurately.

2. Price Your Cleaning Service Using the Model That Works For You

Have you determined the pricing model that suits your cleaning business best? Let’s take a look at the most popular models for how to price cleaning jobs.

Hourly Rate

Pricing by the hour is a great method for both seasoned and newer cleaners. When you charge per hour, you’ll be able to work based on the average cleaning time that you have already established in our first tip.

Your client’s overall satisfaction must remain top of mind, so be mindful about getting your job done at an efficient pace. The opportunity to turn a one-time project into a loyal customer is a  greater reward than trying to stretch a project longer than needed.

Flat Rate

Charging at a flat rate can be a good choice for more experienced cleaners. As you complete more jobs, you will naturally become more efficient with your time. As you begin to see your work consistently take less time to complete, an hourly rate would no longer be a viable pricing model.

Also, note that many clients tend to prefer paying a flat rate over an hourly rate.

Rate Per Square Footage

This pricing model is factored in by the entire property’s square footage or the specific area requesting to be cleaned. This can prove useful when cleaning multiple properties similar in size. You are able to produce an estimate based on your average cleaning times when cleaning per square foot.

3. Research Average Prices In Your State

Vacation rental cleaning costs will vary from state to state. Researching your area’s average rate is a good way to get a baseline of how to price your company. One way to research is to contact the top cleaning companies in your area, ask for a quote, and compare their estimates to your own.

4. Establish Price According to Your Location

Wherever your business is based, you must consider the average cost of living in your area. It is no surprise that cities with a high cost of living, such as Honolulu or Seattle, should have higher cleaner rates than more rural areas.

You should also factor into your pricing how long it will take to get to the property. A good way to manage this is to schedule properties in the same area to be cleaned on the same day.

5. Know How Much Your Experience is Worth

Viewing your business objectively and determining what your services should cost rather than what you think your service should cost is an important difference. This difference could be the deciding factor on whether a client will choose to hire you.

If your company is new or doesn’t have the necessary credentials to charge a high rate, set a price and adjust your rate later.

As a bonus, on your website or social media page, position client reviews front and center. Client testimonials are a great way to build trust within your customer base and market your cleaning service.

6. Set Up Cleaning Prices Based on Frequency

How frequently you clean a vacation rental property will have an impact on how to price cleaning jobs.

As discussed above, with every turnover you complete you will become more and more efficient with your time. You may even be willing to negotiate a lower price with a repeat client for subsequent visits. 

7. Schedule a Walk-Through

When appropriate, don’t be afraid to ask to schedule a time to walk through the property or ask the client to send photos. You will need to have the property’s estimated size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any additional projects to provide accurate pricing.

8. Keep Overhead Costs In Mind

In addition to factoring in your actual cleaning time, there are additional costs you will want to consider before you set your cleaning rate.

Determine the roundtrip distance you will be traveling. This will tell you whether the distance will prevent you from working more jobs due to the time spent in transit. Additionally, think about the cost of cleaning supplies and any other unique costs that may vary by house cleaning job.

9. Test Price Increases

As you become more experienced, your service becomes more valuable and you may want to start raising your prices. But how can you know that your clients will still want to hire you with the increase in price?

A safe way to test a possible price increase is to raise the prices for clients who you earn the least profit from. By testing your increase to these clients first, you will run less of a risk. You will likely test different prices to see what brings you the most profit while also being affordable. 

As your house cleaning business grows, you will have more opportunities to increase your cleaning job prices as well. With expansion comes new territories and consumer markets for your cleaning business to target. Your pricing model of an hourly rate or per square foot may differ in certain areas. This is a great way to not only scale your cleaning business but an opportunity to increase your revenue. 

10. Join Turno’s Marketplace

Turno provides a platform to help cleaners grow their businesses and find new customers. By joining our free cleaner marketplace, you can connect with new customers in your area while you continue to work with your existing clients. You can set your own prices, either hourly, per square foot, or per-project rates.

Learn more about joining the Turno cleaner marketplace and how you can continue to grow your business.

Master How to Price Cleaning Jobs for Vacation Rentals

Learning how to price your cleaning service competitively is the first step in growing a successful company in the vacation rental industry. The price guide above will help you set your vacation rental house cleaning prices, regardless of what type of cleaning is required for a particular job.

Once you have your prices set, you’ll need to work on filling your calendar with cleaning jobs. For help finding work in your area, join Turno’s free cleaner marketplace.

Angela Rush Avatar
Angela Rush , Angela Rush is a Content Marketing Associate at Turno. Her expert knowledge in content research and writing has allowed her to create articles geared toward the vacation rental industry. Her skill set has helped property managers and owners and Airbnb cleaning professionals scale their businesses.