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Bidding Condo and Apartment Markets

Pricing and Production Rates

There are multiple ways to estimate, bid and price multi-family residential cleaning services, the most common are:

Flat Rate

A set fee or flat rate is charged based on the size (number of bed and bathrooms and or square footage, plus any extra services that are requested or needed). Prices range from $125.00 for a studio or one-bedroom unit, to $300.00 + for a 3, 4 or more-bedroom unit. Costs are dependent on the services provide, painting, carpet cleaning, and maintenance repairs are normally an additional cost. Items can have a flat rate also, stove $45.00, Refer $20.00, floors $15.00 for kitchen, $10.00 per bathroom, $10.00 – $25.00 for a shower stall, windows $3.00 – $10.00 each, outside only, 2.5 times the cost to include inside glass, carpeting $40.00 –$65.00 per room.

Cost Plus or T&M (Time and materials)

The customer agrees to pay the cost of labor, supplies, chemicals, and equipment, plus overhead (9%-15%) and profit (4% – 15% +) or a management fee (based on % of labor (4% – 8%) and or other costs. (with or without a cap)

Cost per sq. ft. for a specific types of service, based on sq. ft. being cleaned. Length X width = sq. ft. Sq. ft. x cost per sq. ft. = cost of service for area being cleaned. Basic cleaning .08 – .15 per sq. ft., Carpet cleaning, .08 -.25 per sq. ft. Hard floor care, strip and recoat .30 cents to .50 cents per sq. ft.

Rate per hour for a specific types of services based on an hourly rate times the number of hours it takes to complete the work. $17.00 – $ 26.00 per hour per person. Minimum charge for up to one hour $45.00 – $65.00 per hr. per person, with vehicle. Double the rate for a second person on the same vehicle and assigned to the same task or work area.

Reality – 99% of the time it’s all about the cost. Residential housing is a price driven market. If your price is low or at least reasonable, you are reliable, and your quality and customer service are good, you will have plenty of work.


There is no magic number or average price that will enable you to win every bid you submit. Pricing is always a major concern and something that you get better at with more practice. The best and most accurate bidding and estimating numbers come from your past experience with similar size and type accounts. One of the benefits of keeping accurate accounting records is the ability to analyze existing account information as to cost and profitability so this information can be used in present and future bids. No book, software or computer program will provide you with more accurate bidding information than your own internal accounting numbers. Factors that must be considered when pricing bids include, but are not limited to wage rate, competition, overhead, profit and skill, chemicals and equipment required and how bad you want the job.

Market Potential and Services Needed

Multi-family residential housing is a good and growing market, especially in cities that are going through a revitalization process or attempting to reinvent themselves as a livable high tech centers. As the price of homes continues to rise, apartments, condos and alternative living arrangements make multi-family residential a stable and profitable market for diversification and growth. This market has many sub-segments of service and specialization: some of the most common are:

  • Turnover of vacant units (clean, paint, repair)
  • Ongoing regular service of common areas (daily or routine)
  • Day porters and cleaners
  • Specialty services (paint, repair, pressure wash)
  • Post-Construction and Remodel clean up
  • Hard floor Care, (tile, stone, concrete, wood, vinyl)
  • Carpet and Fabric cleaning
  • Fire, Water, Odor & Mold clean up and restoration
  • Home health care, Disinfection cleaning and Bio-hazard clean up and waste removal
  • Green/Sustainable Cleaning Services
  • Pet stain and odor removal
  • Carpet Spot and stain removal, minor repairs, re-stretching and reinstallation
  • Carpet sales and installation, tear out and floor prep
  • Window Cleaning and or Pressure Washing
  • Kitchen, clubhouse, rec area, pool, common area cleaning
  • Hotel/house cleaning service (regularly scheduled or on call)
  • Land scaping
  • Security services
  • Catering (events and food prep)

Management Approaches to Cleaning

Some locations use In-house employees, while others use contractors or a combination approach of hiring employees for some tasks and areas and independent contractors for less frequent and more specialized tasks.

Marketing Your Services

Understanding the new dynamic of search engine prescreening, ratings and reviews are important in today market place. This is especially true for next Gen buyers (the younger crowd, Millennials and under) as they tend to spend more time on line and communicating via Social Media.

When it comes to reaching the right potential buyer or markets similar to apartments and condominium complexes, you should consider reaching out to one or more of the following:

  • Maintenance Department/Director
  • Property Owner, Manager or Management Firm
  • Individual multi-family properties private owner and Investors (small, medium, large)
  • Commercial, large facility/complex, multi-building complexes, owned and or managed
  • Real Estate Brokers and Agents
  • Local Apartment and Condo Associations and Management Services
  • Home Health Care Providers and Agencies
  • Construction companies, Plumbers, Carpet Cleaners, Sanitary Supply Distributors
  • Home Advisor, Craig’s List and Other online and Social Media
  • Adult care and assisted living facilities, hospice and nursing homes
  • Retirement centers and complexes
  • Manufactured home parks (sales and occupied)
  • RV parks and sales centers
  • Local elderly assistance groups and agencies
  • Colleges and universities with student housing
  • Motels and hotels, Bed and Breakfast, Air B&B, Cruise ships, Retreats facilities, corporate and religious housing
  • Referral from existing customers


Association of Residential Cleaning Services International

National Apartment Association

Institute of Real Estate Management

National Multi-Family Housing Council


National Affordable Housing Management Association

Market Data Sources:

HUD PD&R Regional Reports

Quarterly Report of New Multifamily Housing Absorption US Dept of Housing/US Dept of Commerce

Freddie Mac, Multifamily Research Perspective, Demand Forcast

US Census Bureau News, US Dept of Housing and Urban Development, New Residential Construction