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With regard to the room rate, it depends a lot on what rooms you are going to be doing on each visit. Are they going to give you one or more halls of totally vacant rooms, OR, just have you float all over the hotel doing whatever randomly located rooms weren't occupied the previous night. That takes a lot of additional time. Clearly, the first approach is much more efficient, and with normal size hotel rooms, you can probably do four in an hour. (A suite would count as two rooms.) So say you charge, say, $17.50 per room. You gross $70 per hour; you pay a helper $15 per hour; and you net $55 per hour, less your cost of cleaning concentrate. 117 rooms divided by 4 per hour = approx. 30 hours. 30 hours x $55 (your profit) = $1650 for you for the rooms. While your 1-man crew is doing the rooms, you should be off doing the halls, lobby, and any function rooms the hotel has with a larger machine, such as an Orbitec CX-20 or a Cimex. At a cleaning rate with one of these - around 2500 s.f./hour - at say, 12.5 cents per hour, you will be generating over $300 per hour by yourself. What you have to keep in mind is that the larger the commercial job, the larger will be your competitors for the job. For some companies, where all of the work is being performed by guys just off the boat or plane for close to minimum wage, the "boss" or owner is simply booking the job, then going off to play golf or whatever he does this time of year. He's not going to feel that he is personally working his a** off, so whatever profit he makes on the job is easy money.
Another pricing strategy might be to offer to do the rooms at, for you, a break-even price; then you make your profit on the common areas.
I expect to do 4 rooms per hour with two people working. We would probably move several furniture items in each room.
I ended up quoting $24 per room and 12 cents per sq ft for the common areas and halls. $4155 for the entire hotel of 117 rooms.
Also, remember that this is the Boston area. For my residential rates of $39 per standard bedroom and $69 for living rooms under 300 sq ft (ends up being $250-$300 for the average house), I have been accussed of charging too little. ...I know, hotels and homes are world's apart.
From what you are saying, I have bid too high and will not get the job. It's a good thing I didn't go any higher! I thought I was going low! I usually get 20 cents sq ft for commercial jobs, albeit smaller jobs.
I will be paying my worker 20 to 22 per hour. I don't want to hire the lowest tier workers. My residential clients wouldn't want them in their houses, and so I am used to working that way.
Thanks for the input!