What to Consider when Hiring a House Cleaner

Cleaning Tips

What to Consider when Hiring a House Cleaner in Sonoma County


Anyone who has ever hired someone to work on any aspect within their home knows of the insecurity this brings. You worry about all sorts of things; from the cost of a house cleaning service to the unknown possibilities of a stranger being in your home. Naturally, many people can be a little picky about who they hire as a house cleaner. Don’t panic! We are here to guide you through your options and find out what the best plan is for you!


Choosing the Right House Cleaner is an Important Decision

So never underestimate it. It isn’t the kind of job you can advertise for in the local paper and your friends get annoyed if you start stealing quality staff from them – so how do you actually go about hiring the right housekeeper? A bad one might not do the job well, a worse one might steal from you… So when it comes to choosing take your time, do some research and examine a few different sources. Feel free to hold interviews just remember that vetting potential staff is important. When it comes to a decent house cleaner you don’t want to be taking any chances.


How to hire a House Cleaner

So we mentioned above that you have a few different options when it comes to hiring your house cleaner: going independent, hiring a cleaning company, working with a referral agency. We will examine these below and explain each in greater detail.


Going Independent

Your first choice is to hire an independent cleaner. There are many freelance cleaners out there and many of them are hard working, attentive house cleaners who show great initiative on the job. Unfortunately there are also a few bad ones out there who are not so safe to work with. If you choose from this pool of applicants be sure to place an ad or search online, interview as many people as you feel comfortable (3 minimum, 5 recommended) and always, always check the references they give you. You’d be surprised at what you find, even though the cleaner is the one to provide those references.

A good tip for finding a genuine worker is to choose someone who has a long list of clients. Although this might limit how much time they have to spare for you, but it will also ensure that you hire a hard worker who you can rely on to show up on time and who you can trust with the contents of your home. If an independent cleaner has only two references there is a good chance you shouldn’t hire them.

You can also advertise for a house cleaner among your friends but beware: friendships have been broken this way in the past! Since you may have different expectations than your friends, they may refer you someone who is a good fit for them but an awful fit for you.

Some places to find local independent cleaners would be care.com and Craig’s List. Remember that you should issue a 1099 tax form when paying over $750 in a year to these individuals or hire them on as your employee, since you are not working with a corporation.

Craigslist has a domestic gigs section for the North Bay to find local service providers for Sonoma County, however there is no screening or vetting here. From there you can enter your zip code and see maids in your area. This is a bit limited as far as information goes. The service provider enters information in a text and paragraph format so they are not prompted for specific details and may forget to include important information such as their experience level, service area or even services provided. Furthermore, Craigslist does not have any screening process. Anyone can create an account and post an ad. Proceed with caution.

Care.com has more insight on each cleaner, however keep in mind that the information is provided by the cleaner themselves. Cleaners do have some hoops to jump through when creating their profile. They set their own rates and describe their own experience level. You can also see customer reviews. However, care.com is not a local company and does not offer in person interviews to vet the cleaners. Cleaners simply enter their own information. You can see Santa Rosa, CA care.com here.

Hiring a House Cleaning Company

A house cleaning company employs its cleaning staff and sends them out to your property for you. They have central offices local in your area and keep up with branding via company cars and spiffy uniforms. The make a great effort in being professional and customer service oriented. The good thing about this option is that your cleaner has been vetted and will not disappoint you for want of keeping their job; the bad news is that these cleaners are paid an hourly rate or a commission that is far below what you are paying their bosses. These house cleaners have less hurry to them because, unlike the independent cleaners, they don’t have their own business to run and get paid the same either way. Yet, with the high cost of a grand office space, personalized uniforms and branded company cars you can expect the bill to be substantially more than the actual value of the cleaning service rendered.

Furthermore, in good business practice, a company will have to give multiple disciplinary actions or warnings to a poor performing house cleaning…potentially leaving them servicing your home for a long period of time before termination for bad behavior. But, in good fashion big business, the customer is always right. These companies are more likely to offer refunds or discounts to ensure their customers are happy.

With their stellar training programs, anyone can apply with no experience. On the upside, you can trust that your cleaner will have been professionally trained to do a good job knowing how to use certain chemicals or treat various surface areas of your home. On the downside, once these new cleaners realize the hard work that goes into this type of job they often move on to other similar paying jobs that require less labor. You’ll find many cleaning companies have higher turnover for this reason.

One of the best reasons to go with a cleaning company is that they are often insured. That can certainly make a home owner feel more relaxed. After all, your home is your most valuable asset, even if you’re just renting. But, did you know that you could be double paying? All homeowner and renter insurance in the state of California is required to include worker’s comp coverage for professional service providers in your home who work (it’s included already by law) and you can add a rider to your policy, often for less than $100 a year, to extend the coverage to people who work in your home for longer periods such as nanny’s. The convenience of having the company being insured will cost you a lot more than an additional $100 a year in service fees.

As you can see, this option has both ups and downs. You may find that the company rotates its staff to ensure route efficiency, or when other staff call in sick, and therefore you do not always have the same person coming to your home. Not the best option for any of you who are nervous or do not plan to be home during the cleanings.

Some local cleaning companies in Sonoma County include Molly Maids of Petaluma and Merry Maids of Santa Rosa.


House Cleaning Referral Agencies

This third option borrows the best from both worlds. The cleaners who work for the agency are all independent cleaning professionals, but they use the agency as a way to connect with clients. The cleaners are all vetted and each of them picks and chooses which jobs to take. Both clients and cleaners can drop jobs with a few days notice if unhappy and the referral agency can instantly provide you with another option. And, as a corporation the referral agency issues 1099s tax forms to the cleaners so you don’t have to. In short, everyone is happy and there is less footwork to do all round.


…and why they might be the best choice!


House cleaning referral agencies provide the security of screened cleaners with ease of provision of service. They meet everyone’s needs all at once and ensure that you are never left hanging for a good house cleaner. Using an agency comes with more than a few benefits, so we put a few together for you…


…Cleaners that work for agencies have been vetted – that means a full background check, including any criminal history and right to work in the USA.

…Cleaners that come from an agency must have a minimum experience level before they can join – so you gain a qualified cleaner every time.

…You gain flexibility when you work with a cleaning agency. If you need to cancel or change your cleaner it isn’t a problem, they will find  you a new one without the hassles of going back to the drawing board and begin your search all over again!

…Cleaners from referral agencies often charge less due to less overhead expense – not something you find when you choose to use a cleaning company!

…You can do it online! Cleaning referral agencies allow you to book via the internet (not just get an estimate) and work with cleaners who have already sat through an in person interview process.

…When you hire a cleaner through a cleaning referral agency you will have no long term contract. If you need to cancel services it is as simple as giving a few days notice.

…You can report issues to the agency if you are suspicious and they will look into the matter further, meaning that you have an added layer of security between you and the person you hire to clean your home.

…You have the leverage of other clients in the agency working with and inviting the same cleaner back each visit.


House Cleaning Services in Sonoma County

Dash of Clean Referral Agency can help anyone in Sonoma County get matched with the house cleaner they have been looking for. We work with cleaners with a minimum of two years experience and a full resume of happy clients. If you would like to learn more about our secure and reliable house cleaning services in Sonoma County then pop over to our website and learn more, check out our 4.5 star reviews on yelp or get pricing here!


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