The home services industry has seen some ups and downs over the past few years. Between the pandemic, supply chain issues, a fluctuating economy, and a labor shortage due to young people choosing office and tech jobs, many industries within home services have seen an ebb and flow of demand.
However, despite the challenges, a 2021 report from Verified Market Research found that the home services industry outlook is outstanding — with an expected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 35.81% through 2026.
Within home services, Statista found that house cleaning services are expected to see a surge in revenue in 2023. And according to Home Cleaning Centers of America, residential house cleaning has a projected annual growth rate of 20%. It’s clear people need house cleaners, which is why this year is a great time to start a house cleaning business.
Source: Verified Market Research
Verified Market Research looked at the factors influencing home service growth. They found that new innovations and ideas have made it easier for people to receive these services. Things like:
- Home services booking platforms
- Mobile commerce (purchasing in-app or on a mobile device)
- Instant book and instant connect features (being able to book services through an online/app scheduler or communicate instantly through an app or mobile device)
In addition, hectic lifestyles and rising incomes are also positively affecting industry growth.
If you’re ready to start or grow a house cleaning business in 2023, this guide will give you insights into hot areas to set up shop, emerging trends, popular house cleaning services, and the tools you need to get up and running.
A Closer Look at the House Cleaning Industry
Adding house cleaning to your list of items to do can feel overwhelming given today’s fast-paced lifestyles.
The US Department of Commerce expects that 80% of two-income households will use an outside house cleaning service in the next few years.
People find several benefits in using a professional house cleaning service, including:
- Saving time
- Less stress
- A cleaner house
- A reduction in allergens
- Increased social interactions (people are more likely to invite friends and family into a clean home)
- Illness prevention
People use house cleaners to deep clean, for ongoing help, and to prep their homes for sale. The key to building and growing a successful house cleaning business is to find the area and services that will keep you in demand.
Most Popular States for House Cleaning Services
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the states with the highest employment of house cleaners were:
- New York
- North Carolina
The highest concentration of house cleaning jobs was in:
- South Dakota
High employment and concentration let you know where your marketing is growing or in high demand. Both of these are positive signs you’re operating in a strong area.
Top Paying States for House Cleaners
The BLS shows that the highest house cleaner wages are in:
- New York
- District of Columbia
When wages are high, that usually means one of two things:
- Either cost of living is higher than average, causing service prices to be higher; or,
- The supply of house cleaners is in short supply or highly valued, and customers are willing to pay more for quality services.
Areas with the Highest Level of Employment and Pay for House Cleaners
Zippia found the cities that pay house cleaners best are:
- San Jose, CA
- New York, NY
- Boston, MA
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
The BLS found the top metropolitan areas with the highest rate of employment for house cleaning are:
- New York, Newark, Jersey City
- Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim
- Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington
- Chicago, Naperville, Elgin
- Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach
Overall, the lists, stats, and ratings found that many areas are strong for house cleaners and house cleaning services, with the exception of the lowest-ranked states like Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
And while the rankings are excellent starting points, your potential is often based on your ability to find an area to fill a need, offer the right services, and provide exceptional customer service.
Finding the Right Area to Start a House Cleaning Business
When looking for an area to build your house cleaning business, a few steps can help.
Step 1: Consider the Local Economy
A quick search for “fast-growing cities” or “fastest-growing counties” to do some initial research. Then you can drill down and get more detailed information with resources like the Census Bureau and the US Economy rankings from US News.
Look at things like growth, employment, and the business environment. Check out the cost of living. Lastly, research what house cleaners are charging to see if it’s an ideal area for you to live as well.
Step 2: Research Potential Competitors
Exploring local competitors gives you a lot of information. You can find common services, pricing, packages people offer, and competitor’s niches. Research at least a few, but aim to look at the top 10 house cleaning services in the area.
Step 3: Look at Local House Cleaning Business Reviews
Another area to research is the reviews of different house cleaning companies. What people say can tell you a lot, from what they like to what they don’t.
As an example, people raved about one five-star house cleaning business in San Jose for being punctual, using products that smelled good (and not overpowering), and offering an exceptional deep-cleaning service.
On the other end, a two-star cleaning service was known for damaging items and a rude appointment scheduler.
Reviews lets you see what customer expectations are, what to avoid, and what makes you a standout house cleaner.
Step 4: Identify Needed Niches
While general residential cleaning will gain you ample business, you also have the opportunity to specialize in more unique cleaning services. Some of the common niches in house cleaning include:
- Offering organizing services with cleaning services
- Hoarder home cleanouts
- Move in/move out cleaning
- Appliance, cabinet, and wall cleaning services
- Senior/elderly home cleaning
- Post-construction cleaning
- Packing and unpacking
- Post-party/event cleanup
Marketing a specialization can make you the expert in your niche, as well as set you apart from the competition.
Popular Residential House Cleaning Services
Source: NY Home Cleaning Services
To do your job to the best of your abilities, it's essential to know what each service entails. Some of the most commonly seen house cleaning services are:
Basic Residential Cleaning
Basic cleaning typically involves routine areas. You’ll note they often feature:
- Tidying up the house
- Taking out trash
- Wiping down surfaces (e.g., mirrors, counters, sinks, toilets)
- Wiping down appliances and fixtures
- Cleaning toilets, showers, and tubs
Deep Residential Cleaning
A deep cleaner takes longer but focuses on areas not generally cleaned. It also works to remove layers of grime and build up and clean hard-to-reach places. Many deep cleaning services list:
- Inside and outside cabinets and drawers
- Inside the refrigerator and freezer
- Inside the oven
- Spot-cleaning walls
- Doors and door frames
Deep cleanings and move-in/move-out cleaning often look very similar. However, with a move-in/move-out, there generally isn’t any furniture.
Full wall cleaning requires the right skills and equipment but can be a great way to avoid repainting.
Decluttering and Organizing
Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, and other powerhouse decluttering resources have shined a light on the issue of “too much stuff.” It’s put decluttering and organizing services in the spotlight and has made them extremely popular.
According to a survey on PR Newswire, 91% of people say they are overwhelmed at least some of the time by the clutter in their house. So much so that 88% want less clutter, nearly half won't invite their friends over to see their home, and a third say they don't even know how to reduce clutter.
Many enterprising house cleaning businesses are gaining the skills and offering to declutter and organize — which helps them expand their business.
Hoarder Home Cleaning
Hoarding is another issue that people have become more aware of. It’s a highly specialized type of cleaning due to the hazards involved. However, if you have the patience, skills, and empathy, there is a demand for hoarder cleaning services.
Between 5 million and 14 million people in the US are diagnosed as hoarders, which makes it a more common problem than people know.
Senior/Elderly Home Cleaning
Senior home cleaning services are often routine and done with aging-in-place in mind. So, along with routine cleaning services, house cleaners will often wash dishes, help with laundry and bedding, organize clothes, and sanitize. The goal of senior/elderly home cleaning is to maximize comfort, safety, and ease.
Most people are pretty exhausted after hosting a party or event at their home. The last thing they want to do is clean up after guests. Post-event cleanup is a great service to offer and promote to your regular clients.
House Cleaning Trends
People want home services that make their lives easier. And house cleaning is an optimal way to do that. Trends for the house cleaning industry are:
Routine House Cleaning
House cleaners are working to build ongoing relationships with clients. By offering exceptional service the first time, they can open the conversation for routine cleaning services.
Exceptional customer service means:
- Listening and communicating
- Keeping clients up-to-date
- Staying respectful, authentic, and clear
- Making it easy to schedule, pay, and contact your service
Offering Eco-friendly and Sustainable Services
According to a Bona/Harris poll, more than half (56%) say they are considering using cleaning products that have environmentally-friendly ingredients.
This helps generate interest in house cleaners who use eco-friendly and sustainable products in their cleaning.
Using Technology and Automation For Customer Convenience
Customers want technology that makes scheduling, paying, and communicating effortless. Smart house cleaning businesses implement platforms and software that lets them:
The more savvy your technology is, the happier your customers will be. Plus, it’s beneficial if you can find platforms that save you time and money and give you business insights in one place.
Start Your House Cleaning Business Today
If starting a business is new for you, look into creating a small business plan. Entities like the Small Business Association (SBA) along with local SBA chapters offer several resources about how to start a business. After your plan is created, you can:
- Find a service area: Ask yourself, what areas are growing and have a strong economy? Is there a need for house cleaning services?
- Find a niche: What service will make you stand out and give you the potential for growth? Is there something you are interested in trying? What are people in the area looking for? A niche is a great way to become a one-of-a-kind sought-after business.
- Learn new skills and techniques: If you don’t have skills yet, offer to practice in the homes of friends and family. You can also work for another company until you feel you’re ready to start your own business. For the business side, take classes or find a mentor.
- Invest in tools: You may need to take out a small business loan to get up and running, but things you’ll need are:
- A vehicle
- Cleaning supplies (e.g., brooms, mops, a vacuum cleaner, rags, buckets, etc.)
- Cleaning products
- A small business platform for booking, communicating, managing reviews, invoicing, and more
- Set your prices: Research what others are charging and what value you offer, and test out prices until you find the right one for each service.
- Market your business: Get the word out there through social media, flyers, cold calls, and through your network of people.
- Provide exceptional customer service: Reputation is more important than ever — especially with the accessibility of reviews. Ensure that you offer outstanding service and are trustworthy and respectful.
The house cleaning industry is strong — which makes it a great time to start a business. It’s also a home service that offers value to people’s lives. House cleaning is a fulfilling career with flexibility. You can walk away from each job knowing you made someone’s home better.