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Monday, September 01, 2014

Question

I have been asked to submit a bid to clean 700 apartments at an apartment complex. The apartments range from 483 sq. ft. to 677 sq. ft. Very thorough cleaning when tenants move out. An average of 40 apartments to clean a month. The current cleaner’s bid is closed and in order for me to get this job I have to beat their bid. I live in Indiana and I have done a lot of researching. I have to submit this bid in 3 days and have no idea what to charge. I need to submit separate bids for cleaning, painting inside of apartments.


Answer

Without an in-depth survey, it is difficult to be specific, as your request states. In the Midwest we usually see cleaning prices from $120-$240 for smaller apartments with the volume you are looking at. The range has to take into consideration your cost of operations and overhead, desired profit, skill level of workers and their pay, and especially the required cleaning specifications.

There are many variables, such as the time to remove and clean light fixtures, moving out the stove and frig and cleaning behind them, cleaning and refinishing bath and kitchen floors, etc. Do you spray and wipe windows on the inside or remove the screens, one window and then clean both sides? Is the property low-income where occupants have a sparse income to keep their apartments clean and tidy?

All of these factors (we have listed eight) become part of the pricing range. Your goal is to estimate the overall conditions of the units when vacated and then plug in a number somewhere on the scale. Once you have a price in mind, normally you itemize it for efficiency, one bedroom and two bedroom units based on square footage categories. When you divide your cleaning price by the total square footage, you arrive at the price per square foot. If there are three basic size units, then you submit 3 standard prices.

Carpet cleaning usually runs 12-15 cents a square foot depending upon soil level and access. Again, customers prefer a set price for efficiency, 1 bed and 2 bed units. Carpet repairs, red-stain removal and pet damage must be charged extra. Smaller apartment cleaning normally doesn’t generate high net revenues. This is because your pricing must compete with minimum wage workers that they could hire in-house.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com