Austin Maid Service and House Cleaning Services

How to Choose a Maid Service

When you are ready to have someone help with the house cleaning chores, there are many factors to consider including:

  • What is the cost/benefit relationship with your time?
  • How comfortable are you with someone in your home?
  • What are the legal requirements if they are an employee?

Assuming you have already decided to hire someone, let’s examine the last factor first by deciding what type of employee or service to use and discuss the pros and cons of each; doing so, helps to answer the first two questions as well.

Ok, so what are the three basic choices?

  • Hiring someone directly.
  • Hiring a well-established brand name – usually franchised.
  • Hiring a small local maid service.

Hiring someone directly

Let’s look at hiring someone directly. First the pros:

  • Can be the least expensive.
  • Might be more flexible in what types of tasks they will/can do.
  • You can have more control over the times they arrive/depart and on what days up to full-time employment.

Ok, now the cons:

  • Have to verify legal status.
  • Have to do your own background checks.
  • Responsible for paying taxes.
  • Need to check with your insurance agent to make sure they are covered in your home in case of an accident

The cons are what brought about the big franchised maid services in the first place. They recognized that a lot of individuals didn’t have the time or expertise to hire employees as maids. It became expensive quickly if you stayed within the legal requirements and had the proper insurance. That leads us to your second option, the franchised maid service.

Hiring a franchised maid service

Let’s look at the positive aspects first since they take care of the problems above. Your local franchised service usually offers:

  • Insurance and bonding to protect you as a homeowner.
  • The service has the responsibility of the employee tax liabilities.
  • The service is usually consistent within the framework of the franchise.
  • Background checks are usually provided.
  • Last minute scheduling can usually be accommodated because of a pool of maids in the working queue.

However, along with these benefits, you lose some of the value including:

  • Flexibility – Franchises may dictate what their employees can and cannot do.
  • Reliability – You may have to constantly retrain your maids to your personal preference since they can’t usually guarantee that the same cleaning crew is sent to your home on each visit.
  • Cost – This is generally the most expensive route. The local franchisees need to recover the franchise tax that they pay to the corporate office. Those fancy websites and advertisements don’t come cheap.

Ok, what about something in between?

Your local non-franchised maid service may be the answer.

They can provide the benefits from the larger service as well as the custom personal services offered by the independent maid. So, on the positive side:

  • Less expensive than their franchised counterparts because the overhead is less.
  • Takes care of legal/financial/insurance requirements so you don’t have to worry.
  • Can set up a regular cleaning schedule with the same maids visiting your home each time.
  • Works without contracts, so they do a thorough job each time to ensure your continuing business.

But, what are the drawbacks:

  • Might not be able to accommodate last minute cleanings due to a small work pool. This requires scheduling in advance.
  • Might need to reschedule due to sickness or injury.
  • Probably won’t have a dedicated office manager to take immediate calls, thus requiring a call back or email return.

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and only you can decide what is right for you.

Working back to our task list, how comfortable are you with someone in your home? No matter which service you decide to go with, due diligence is important. Ask for and check references. If you are at all uncomfortable, wait until you find the right match.

Finding the right match makes the effort all worthwhile. The time you regain in you busy life can be spent with family and friends and doing the things that make you happy and not the drudgery of cleaning yet another dirty sink or toilet bowl.

+ Teresa Miller

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