Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of the most common questions we receive. If you don't find your question below, we'll be happy to answer it. Simply contact us through the get started page and we'll have a super friendly and knowledgeable person get in touch with you.
Money & Costs
What is the franchise fee?
MaidPro's franchise fee starts at just $20,000 and includes the price of your base territory. Most other franchisors charge a franchise fee that can run all the way up to $80,000. MaidPro keeps your costs low by dealing directly with you rather than paying heavy commissions to business brokers or sub-franchisors. And don't forget to ask about our veterans discount or special incentives if you're already in the residential cleaning business.
What is MaidPro's royalty fee?
MaidPro's royalty fee starts at only 7 percent (7%) of gross sales and decreases to as low as 4 percent (4%) as your maid franchise grows. Imagine the savings in comparison to the typical flat seven percent (7%) royalty fee! Of course, these lower operating costs translate into greater profit for you. And, we only bill the royalty fee once per month vs. every week.
Is there a national marketing fee?
MaidPro charges a modest one percent (1.5%) national marketing fee that is directed towards local and national programs. Most other franchises charge a full two percent (2%) or more of gross sales for national marketing, which brings your ongoing fees to nearly 10 percent (10%) of your gross sales. At MaidPro, we think you should be the one who decides where and when you spend your marketing dollars.
Are franchisees required to purchase cleaning supplies through you?
No! MaidPro does not mandate our franchisees to purchase cleaning supplies, cleaning tools, uniforms or insurance from us. However, we do have a preferred vendors list so everything is available to you at negotiated rates.
Support & Tools
Tell me a bit about your support.
MaidPro offers you personal attention unmatched in our industry. In fact, it's unmatched in most of the franchise world.
MaidPro has a dedicated staff of business coaches, each working with a limited number of franchisees. Our business coaches work with franchisees in a very personal way. There are no highly structured monthly calls. Business life just doesn't work like that. Sometimes you'll need to make a quick call out of the blue. Other times a text will suffice. There are times when you'll need a few hours to really discuss a situation. And business coaches are just that, coaches. Just as all professional sports players have a coach, business owners should too. Coaches work with you to improve your game. They provide advice and are that second set of eyes to keep your business moving forward.
MaidPro also has a help desk. If you need a quick question answered that's more general in nature, the help desk is a phone call or email away. Our help desk is open extended hours to provide you with answers when you need them.
In addition to the primary business coaches and help desk, MaidPro has a series of specialists. For example, we have a cleaning specialist that is probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet in terms of cleaning chemicals, tools and processes. Our marketing coaches are students of marketing. They have worked at highly regarded advertising agencies.
Whether it's your primary business coach, help desk staff, specialist or one of the founders, MaidPro's support is second to none.
MaidPro also has a 500+ page intranet with detailed documentation on all aspects of the business. There are training videos, recorded workshops and webinars, franchisee forums and more.
There is a reason MaidPro has the highest satisfaction rating in our industry and one of the highest rating of all franchises.
What marketing services do you offer?
MaidPro has the most creative and effective marketing materials in the industry. And, we don't force you to spend a pre-defined amount of money on marketing, nor do we force you to purchase or print your marketing from us or any particular vendor.
MaidPro allows you to manage most of your marketing needs through our exclusive intranet site - it takes just minutes to send a direct mail piece to a demographically targeted list, place pre-printed inserts in your local newspaper or order marketing materials like magnets or car wraps. You can choose from our seasonally updated print materials, or take advantage of our graphic design resources for special projects.
We utilize dedicated, in-house experts to incorporate local search engine optimization (SEO) into our content marketing strategy to drive traffic to franchisees' local webpages so that their cleaning franchise will be visible in consumers' online searches. MaidPro is a leader in digital marketing including pay per click (PPC) management, directory management and other on-page and off-page strategies.
Additionally, our dedicated marketing consultants and analysts can you help you take a deeper dive into your territory and provide you with a marketing analysis to identify a marketing plan best suited for your area and benchmark your results across the franchise community in order to continuously improve your marketing ROI.
In-depth MaidPro software allows franchisees to manage online advertising campaigns and compare results with the rest of the MaidPro community. Other marketing includes videos, radio and TV spots, banner advertisements and sponsorship programs...just to name a few of the things MaidPro supplies for marketing success.
But all that wouldn't really matter without dedicated marketing coaches. At MaidPro, we don't use general business consultants to give you marketing advice. Sure, they can be helpful. But MaidPro has people that only provide marketing advice. That's their job. They don't build ads. They don't work on branding. Their sole role is to work with franchisees on marketing.
How can MaidPro offer support that's superior than larger franchisors?
First, we focus on what's important. Other franchisors spend too much time working on things that don't really matter or selling products when there are perfectly acceptable vendors to do the job. Not only does this take their attention away from what they should be doing, it usually ends up costing you more because they must build in their cost of delivering these ancillary products.
Second, we've built an incredibly efficient and personal support infrastructure. We've broken down support into various groups and specialists to get questions answered quickly and accurately. We have a dedicated help desk to answer those quick questions and business coaches to work with you on your longer-term strategic plan.
And third, we don't waste time managing things that don't need to be managed. For example, we don't put marketing spend requirements on our franchisees so we don't need to spend one minute of our time policing that.
And last but not least, MaidPro is still the size where everyone knows each other. You can't very well support someone if you don't know them.
Tell me about your business software.
MaidPro is so technically advanced, that in many respects, we are a software company. MaidPro's proprietary (that means we are the only ones that have it because we built it ourselves) business management software is truly amazing. The cloud-based system is so simple to use that we can train you to use it in a day. You can access it from any computer. Want to use a Mac? Go ahead. Want to log in from an iPhone, iPad or Droid? Go ahead. With MaidPro's management system, there's no need to back up your software. There's no installing. There's no upgrading. And, there's no more hiring computer geeks to configure your office computer network.
MaidPro's Cloud software has a simple, functional design that helps MaidPro franchisees operate their residential cleaning company in a way they couldn't have before. The cloud-based application handles all customer management including scheduling, billing, employee routing, payroll, invoicing, marketing, reporting and more. Our software and website are nicely integrated. New customer leads show up instantly in your software. Emails requesting feedback are automatically sent to customers and their response data is logged in our cloud software for immediate action and reporting. In fact, you can make changes directly in your Cloud environment that will show up on the maidpro.com website.
Since we built the software, we are not beholden to a software company's release cycle. If we want to push a new feature out tomorrow, nobody stops us. And more importantly, if we want to keep features that we won't be using from clogging our screen real-estate, we don't add it.
Everyone makes the claim of having the best software, but we will prove it. We are so positive that our system is superior that our CEO challenges the CEO of any of the other franchisors to a live, side-by-side comparison. Go ahead, help us see if anyone will take our challenge. We can easily do a comparison with any web sharing application like Gotomeeting. Or, just come for a visit and we can show you in person. You'll love it.
What is your Franchisee training like?
At MaidPro, Franchisee training can start from the moment you sign the franchise agreement. In many cases, by the time someone signs a franchise agreement, they are well on their way to learning the ins and outs of the business.
MaidPro initial Franchisee training is broken down into 3 sections. The first section is all the training you'll do prior to the official "training week". The second section is the week of on-site training that you'll do in the MaidPro headquarters. And the third section is post training and followup during your first few months in business.
Once the agreement is signed, you'll immediately be given a MaidPro email and access to our Intranet and Cloud based software. You'll be assigned a personal training coach, as well as a personal marketing coach. There are usually 6-12 weeks from agreement signing to the training week. During that time you will get your office ready, attend workshops and training webinars. You can read our detailed Intranet and watch training videos. You can use our Cloud sandbox where you can play with the software. Your training coach and marketing coach will be working with you weekly at this point. The goal is to do as much training as we can before you come in for the on-site week.
Then comes the on-site week, which is, on-site here at our Boston headquarters. Training is a full week and usually runs 8a to 5p. While you're here you will meet and train with people from the Cleaning Department, Marketing Department, Software Development Department and Operations/Coaching Department. You'll receive hands on training at our Boston MaidPro cleaning store, you'll work with our National Sales team, and you'll have many meals with the founders and other executives. This is not only your time to learn how to run a MaidPro but also a great time to connect and get to know each other.
After training you'll be ready to open your doors. But training doesn't stop there. Training is really a life long affair. But those first 90 days after a business are critical. We still think of those 90 days as training days. You'll still be assigned to your training coach during that time. There are special workshops and webinars for new offices too.
At MaidPro, we don't train more than two offices at a time. Many Franchisors put 4, 5, 10 or more offices into the same training session. They'll have all the reasons why training in larger groups is beneficial. Some will have you watch videos while at their headquarters. Others you won't even have but a cursory 10 minute meeting with the Founders...and that's if they are even around anymore. We are personal at MaidPro. And we take that very seriously.
Legal & Requirements
How does MaidPro determine one's territory?
At MaidPro we don't have pre-built territories. We talk with each of our franchisees personally and create an exclusive territory that will help meet their business goals. Along with a detailed review of demographic data in your area, we listen to you about the local nuances. We'll work together to come up with the perfect territory. Only after much back and forth do we lock down a territory that fits your objectives.
Is it mandatory to have a fleet of company-owned vehicles?
Most franchisors require you to have an automobile for each team. This just doesn't make good business sense to us. We know just how costly it can be overseeing a fleet of vehicles if it's not right for your territory. Again, here is where MaidPro is more flexible; we only require one company vehicle per office and let you decide if it's in your best interest to purchase more. We make recommendations and let you decide on the rest.
Will I be required to purchase my cleaning supplies through MaidPro?
MaidPro does not require you to make your cleaning supply purchases through us. However, we do use our buying power to negotiate the best possible prices from wholesalers and allow you to purchase directly from them with no middleman. As a business owner, you save money that you can then invest in your house cleaning business to grow more quickly. We have everything you need, but the purchasing decisions are yours.
Why doesn't MaidPro sell uniforms and cleaning supplies?
To be honest, we feel it's a waste of our time and your money. We would never waste our franchisees' money becoming a retailer to them when there are perfectly suitable vendors to do the job. Our goal is to stay focused on improving our systems and support, not building unnecessarly revenue streams.
Can I negotiate aspects of the Franchise Agreement?
The simple answer is "No". While we do update our Franchise Agreement annually, we don't make adjustments on an individual basis. And we have some very good reasons not to do so. You see, many other franchisors will changes terms from one franchisee to another. Many do this in order to "sell" the franchisee. There are many problems with this. First, as a franchisor, we would have to manage different legal terms for every franchisee. Second, every franchisee would be wondering if they got the best deal. Franchisees would be asking each other what their royalty fee percentage is for example. Do you think that adds to franchisees getting along? It doesn't.
At MaidPro, we've put together a very fair agreement that we feel comfortable standing behind. We don't negotiate because it's best for everyone involved, not because we're hardheaded.
Do I have to do in-home estimates?
Hi...just letting you know this is Mark (Founder and CEO) typing this answer.
The reason I figured I'd type this one is because when I started MaidPro in the 90's, I did hundreds of in-home estimates. In fact, Richard and I probably did more than 1000 in-home estimates. We would usually go out and do two or three estimates between 5pm and 7pm. It was fun at first but then I learned that spending all that time running around wasn't a very efficient way to do things. It also didn't improve our ability to sign up clients or to clean homes any better.
You see, about 20% of the time, people weren't even home at the appointment time. We, of course, had to reschedule those. Sometimes, between the time the prospective customer contacted us and their in-home estimate, they would have already signed up with another cleaning company. Probably a company that just signed them up right while they were talking with them. It certainly would have been nice if they called and cancelled the estimate, right. And I can tell you stories about all the people who kindly offered me a beer or cigarette and just wanted to chat. I'll admit to accepting a few here and there.
Today, we sign 99% of our clients up directly on our website or over the phone. It's quick and convenient for us as well as the homeowner. We've perfected it so well that we've actually improved our ability to retain customers longer. And while there are a few exceptions, such as sports stars that we want to meet in person or a few high profile politicians, it's pretty rare that we go out.
You'll hear a few "old school" folks tell you that in-home estimates are the way to go. I've personally done them both. You can sign up customers either way. Look, MaidPro won't force you to sign up your clients while you have them on the phone. But when we show you that data behind it, and you see the time savings, you'll see why it's the best way to go.
So, the short answer is No. You don't have to (and shouldn't) do in-home estimates.
Philosophy, Beliefs, and Other Stuff
What is the main difference between MaidPro and larger franchisors?
Simply put, we're better! MaidPro is still at the size where you can work with the founders as you grow your home cleaning franchise. We have the highest support-to-franchisee ratio in our industry. And, MaidPro has received the Top 50 Franchise Business Review Franchisee Satisfaction Award for the past 11 years. Not a bad run, if you ask me. And don't even think of getting that sort of personal attention from a franchisor with 300 franchisees or more. It's not our goal to have the most franchisees. We want fewer, larger franchisees that we can work with on a personal level.
When I become a franchisee, will I be on my own to start up my business?
MaidPro offers every franchisee a multi-week extensive training program that consists of the right mix of at-home training along with hands-on and classroom training right in the MaidPro headquarters. After completion of this program you will feel confident opening the doors of your home cleaning franchise. But our training and support doesn't stop there - you will be assigned to a dedicated "start-up" coach during this training period and for your first months while your office opens. You will also have a set of specialists at your disposal, including the founders, who will begin working with you even before you sign a franchise agreement.
Why does MaidPro allow its franchisees flexibility in how they run their business?
By design, MaidPro is the most flexible franchisor in the industry. Make no mistake - this freedom is an integral part of our strategy. Not only have we found this to increase owner satisfaction, it helps give us a competitive edge in each of the local markets we serve. But do understand, there are a number of business processes that are locked down, and for good reason. What we don't do is make requirements for the sake of making requirements
How long has MaidPro been in business?
We opened our first office in Boston's historic Beacon Hill in 1991 and began franchising in 1997. Today, MaidPro has just over 160 franchisees in 38 states and Canada.
Where is MaidPro headquarters located?
We are headquartered in Boston, MA. Being located in Boston, we have access to the most highly trained software developers and marketing experts in the country. Many of the country's top universities, including Harvard and MIT, are only blocks away from our office. This location means an extraordinary pool of talent and resources are available to us - all to better assist you.
Come visit us! Based upon our discussion, if we both feel you may be a good match for MaidPro, we will extend an invitation to tour our headquarters. You will meet the MaidPro team, see our facilities, preview our software and marketing materials and get a first hand look into the MaidPro system.
Why did Forbes Magazine rank MaidPro a Best Franchise To Buy?
First of all, we are super excited to have gotten that ranking. To be in the Top 10 Best Franchises to Buy out of 3300 systems is a crazy cool accomplishment.
The Forbes ranking is kinda interesting. Every ranking uses slightly different criteria. Forbes uses a combination of Franchisee growth and Franchisee closures. We think this is a very interesting (and great way) to rank Franchisors. If a company is both growing quickly and doesn't have many closures, that's a good thing. On the other hand, if a Franchisor is growing slowly or shrinking and they also have lots of closures, that's bad. Based on those two criteria, MaidPro ranked in the Top 10. So Cool.
What are some qualities of a successful MaidPro Franchisee?
This is an interesting question. While there is no single quality that determines success, there are a few qualities we've noticed over the years that certainly improve ones odds of being successful.
Here is a partial list...in no particular order.
- Successful Franchisees like people. They enjoy personal interaction and work well with others.
- Successful Franchisees speak clearly and confidently. They inspire trust and confidence.
- Successful Franchisees understand that technology is important. They are willing to invest in systems.
- Successful Franchisees are open to new ideas and spend time learning new concepts.
- Successful Franchisees have a vision for their business and what type of culture they want to create.
- Successful Franchisees are good with numbers and accounting doesn't scare them.
- Successful Franchisees love to be hospitable. Making customers happy is fun for them.
- Successful Franchisees can check the drama at the door. Life happens, but they can keep it out of the office.
- Successful Franchisees feel that they are lucky.
- Successful Franchisees are coachable. They understand even someone as talented as Tom Brady (ok we're in New England) has a coach.