The need to hire a cleaning service has become a necessity (and no longer considered a luxury) for so many busy homeowners who have more obligations than time. Hiring a cleaning service can be a safe and affordable process, but you need to use caution. Taking the time to understand the differences and by doing some simple research , the hiring process can be a very pleasant experience.

First, will you hire a franchise or a locally owned company? If you are considering hiring an individual person to clean your home, you must consider the risks involved that come with the very attractive price that an individual will most likely offer. A franchise and a locally owned company both have their advantages. National franchises generally require their local franchisees to be licensed, bonded and insured and to meet specific quality controls. Franchisees get national assistance in advertising. Franchisees, therefore, have the ability to grow their client base very quickly. As a result of their fast growth, franchisees sometimes are forced to make hasty hiring decisions. A locally owned and operated cleaning company can be very effective and safe to hire but only if the company demonstrates smart hiring practices and financial responsibility including proper licensing, bonding and insurance. A locally owned company is usually smaller in size compared to the franchisee, and usually the locally owned company will experience slower but very steady growth that is manageable with smart hiring practices. A locally owned company will also benefit from the support of its own local community.

“Licensed, bonded and insured” are absolutely crucial words when you hire a cleaning service. Do not take anyone’s word for it. Verify each one.

In Maryland, a state license is not required if a cleaning service provides residential service. A state license is, however, required if a Maryland based cleaning service provides services to a business.

A bond is a form of insurance that protects you from any dishonest or criminal acts by the people who will come into your home to clean it.

Insurance protects you if the cleaning people cause an accident, such as forgetting to shut off a faucet or losing a key.

Get a copy of the company’s bond and obtain the name of its insurance agent, then call to verify that the cleaning service’s bond and policies are in effect. Note the dollar values and coverage limits. Is the dollar value on the bond or policy high enough to cover your house? Also check to see that the company has its own workers compensation insurance policy. If they do not, and a cleaning representative is injured while working in your home, they could sue you and your homeowner’s insurance policy. The homeowner can be held liable if the company you have hired is not properly insured.

Next, walk through each room of your house and decide exactly what you want the cleaning service to do. Write down which rooms you want cleaned, which items or furniture you want cleaned, whether you want furniture moved or not. Will they use your cleaning supplies or bring their own? Do you want dishes cleaned? Beds made? Laundry done? Blinds dusted? The more specific you and your cleaning service are, the fewer opportunities there are for misunderstandings. Don’t leave anything to chance. But remember also, the more you ask the cleaning service to do, the higher the price is likely to be.

Next, make a list of questions that you want each cleaning service to answer. Two critical questions are: “What kind of background check do you do on your employees?” and “Will a quality control supervisor or team leader come through to inspect?” Now, you are ready to start shopping for the most appropriate cleaning service.

Call a minimum of three cleaning services. If they are professional, they should ask you several questions in an effort to understand your specific needs. This allows the company to provide the most appropriate price quotes. This research will help you to compare the different companies. Don’t forget to request references. Will the company show up on time, and on the day that was agreed upon? Will the company be responsive to your changing needs and will they offer flexibility? Will the company send the same team of people, or will they constantly have new people in and out of your home? What is the company’s employee turnover rate? What is their client retention rate?

Check each company’s business Reliability Report at the Better Business Bureau.

When you decide on a company to hire, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the company’s cleaning process and their policies. The company should also set a time limit for the tasks to be done each day the cleaners come to work. Establishing proper expectations is very important. If the company you are considering does not discuss the details of your home and does not ask questions about your specific needs, then you might want to continue shopping for a cleaning service.

Is there a contract to sign that locks you in, such as one year? Are you asked to make any advance payments? What if you have to cancel or skip a scheduled cleaning visit? A reputable company should have policies in place. Policies are necessary if a company expects to operate in a professional manner. You should expect that a reputable company will have a cancellation policy and a so called “lock out” policy. If you hire a company to service your home, you should expect to be responsible for providing instruction for safe and reliable entry into your home. If a company commits to servicing your home on a given day of the week, during a designated timeframe, then the homeowner should certainly make a commitment to providing reliable entry upon their arrival. If not, how can the company expect to avoid disruptions and delays to other clients if entry or cancellations are not managed properly?

Be smart in your search for a professional cleaning service. Be even smarter in your hiring of a professional cleaning service.

Immaculate Clean Inc. has been in operation since 2004. A locally owned and operated Maryland corporation, Immaculate Clean Inc. is bonded, licensed and insured through Travelers and Hartford Insurance companies. Background screenings are conducted and kept on file for every employee through the expert screening services of Intellicorp. There are no language barriers when hiring Immaculate Clean Inc. Immaculate Clean Inc. boasts client and employee retention rates that exceed industry standards. Immaculate Clean Inc. has experienced much success as a professional cleaning company. Many homeowners and businesses in your community have experienced the professional staff and services provided by Immaculate Clean Inc. since 2004. You should too!

It’s time to consider the freedom that comes when hiring a professional company that can help maintain a clean and healthy home for your entire family.

Immaculate Clean Inc. offers a freedom you deserve, at a price you can afford, and provides a team you can trust in your home. Don’t delay, reach us today for a free quote. Visit Immaculate Clean Inc. on Facebook. Click the “Like” button and print out the coupon to start saving today!