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"I'd used cleaning services before and the maids either didn't show up or their pricing was just really opaque. Plus you had to schedule way in advance, and you still wouldn't know how good they would be or how much it would cost," says Steven Gutentag, the company's founder.
In December 2012, he launched Get Maid, a premium, on-demand maid service--which uses a model similar to driving service Uber--that is designed to take the hassle out of finding and scheduling someone to clean your apartment, and lets you do it all without ever exchanging cash.
Customers can book a maid via the company's website or iPhone and Android Appd, and in most cases, a maid will be at their door in two hours.
"All of our maids have Smartphones on them, and we can tell their locations via a GPS system in their phones," says serial entrepreneur Gutentag.
On the very rare instance that someone's not available within a two-hour window, Gutentag says they can usually get someone there within three hours.
The cost is $45 per hour, which includes tax, tip and eco-friendly cleaning supplies. (The maid brings everything but a broom, vacuum and mop.)
Unlike other services that round up, the hourly rate is prorated, meaning if your maid clocks in at 10 (they use their phone to do that) and clocks out at 11:30, you only pay for an hour and a half, not two hours. Once the work is completed, your credit card is charged and you receive an electronic receipt.
Aside from the convenience factor ("In this city people appreciate it when people work around their schedules, not the other way around," Gutentag says), another benefit to using Get Maid is its high-quality employees.
Maids are vetted in advance -- with interviews, background checks and test cleans.
"We do all the vetting for you," he says.
After your maid has left, you're asked to rate their work from one-to-five stars.
"Our vetting process helps us find high-quality people and our ratings system helps us keep them," says Gutentag.
Wanna know more?
- Getting specific: Clients can provide detailed instructions on exactly they'd like their maid to do (e.g. scrub the inside of the oven, organize the cupboards). That information is stored in the system, so even if you get a different maid next time you book, they can access your preferences.
- Gift options: Get Maid offers a gift option wherein people buy blocks of time for friends/family. Gutentag says it's most popular with parents buying cleaning time for their grown kids, people buying them for significant others (read: messy boyfriends) and even brokers buying for clients as a move-in gift.
- Subscription service: Customers can buy hours on a monthly basis. The hourly rate is on a sliding scale, so the more you buy the less you pay per hour. For example, if you book five hours, you get an 11 percent savings; if you book 10 you get a 17 percent savings. You don't need to commit to any particular timeslot, though, you can just use the credits whenever it's convenient.
- Where it's available: Right now the service is available in Manhattan and across about 15 zip codes in Brooklyn. Gutentag says the number of maids on file is in the "10s," but they're hoping to expand increase their fleet and expand to all of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx in the near future.
- Most-popular time-slots: Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday are, perhaps unsurprisingly, most in demand, particularly for people who don’t have doorman, Gutentag says. On the other hand, he says some people with doormen like them to let the maids in so that it can all be done while they're at work. "Some people don’t want to be there at all when the maid's cleaning, others want to the there the whole time and others want to be there for the beginning and leaving," he says. "That's all fine--we just need to make sure that the maid can be let into the apartment."
- Cost comparisons: Most maid services charge about $35-50 per hour, Gutentag says, but charge by project rather than hourly. As a result, he says, Get Maid ends up costing the same, if not less than other services. Plus, it's almost impossible to get an accurate price quote in advance of a cleaning when it comes to other services, says Gutentag. Transparency in terms of cost is a major advantage to Get Maid, he says.
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