Why We Don’t Do Quotes Over the Phone

One of the questions we often get asked is:
“Why don’t we do any quotes over the phone?”

Why We Don't Do Quotes Over the Phone - CityJanInc
why we don’t do quotes over the phone

We do on-site quotes and not quotes over the phone, and here are the reasons why:

First, each office building or office building complex is different. Successfully performing monthly contractual janitorial work is quite complex in the number of tasks that are to be performed on a regular basis, the vast majority of them every single night at the property.

There are many factors involved in these complex tasks that make a huge difference in how a property is approached and cleaned.

One of the major factors is security

Commercial Cleaning security is a major factor
commercial cleaning security is a major factor

One of the major factors is security. That is not something that immediately springs to mind to people seeking janitorial quotes, but it is something that is of utmost importance and is dealt with constantly while performing commercial janitorial work.

Here’s an example of security concerns that factors in how security would enter into a quote for janitorial work:

1) How many doors must be unlocked and locked again to successfully and securely do the nightly janitorial work?
As you can imagine, the simplest scenario for this would be a building that had one entrance and once inside the building then the rest of the layout requires no further key entries. This is a possible scenario for a factory warehouse owned by a single company.

A much more common scenario is for there to be one key entry into a building, and then numerous separate key entries within the building, either for separate companies’ offices or for various secured areas such as data centers or executive offices. As you might imagine, it requires diligent organization to maintain and apply the secure access and then re-securing of the various areas after the area is cleaned.

This security/key access issue is compounded when there are numerous buildings, each requiring a certain area to be entered in many of which that will each have their own security access code to be entered along with the key access to the building/area.

2) What is the building/complex layout?

Office complexes come in all shapes and sizes and layouts and they must be learned in dealt with effectively on a nightly basis to successfully and effectively perform commercial cleaning work within them. Some office complexes, having multiple buildings, are laid out with one building behind another in easily marked and understood rows and building letters and numbers.
Other office complexes have buildings scattered about, of various sizes within an area, some even that must be accessed through residential streets between the buildings.

As you can imagine the more complex the internal layout, or more scattered the external layout then the more driving/walking time there is between and buildings and this factor must be taken into consideration for a building quote. This is not the kind of thing that can be accurately assessed over the phone.

  1. Factors within each office, within each building

What is the layout of the office? Does it have large open spaces or is it cut up into numerous cubicles each with their own desk and chair?
What percentage of office space is carpet?
What percentage of office space is hard surface floors such as vinyl and tile?
How many floors are there involved?
If they are reached by elevators, how convenient are the elevators to the areas that are to be cleaned?
What is the location of the janitorial closets on each floor?
How convenient are these janitorial closets for the total layout of each floor?

What are the traffic patterns on the carpeted areas?
What are the traffic patterns on the tile floor areas?

What type of work is done in this office? For example, there is a big difference between cleaning a medical complex where pretty much every area is tile floor and as the possibility of various spillage from the work being done throughout the area, plus the extra issue involved of disposing of medical/hazardous waste.

Contrast this with an Executive office suite :


Contrast this with an Executive office suite where there is primarily administrative work done and is most likely to be primarily a carpeted area.
In these areas cleaning crews look for our shreds of paper, paper clips, staples etc. that can clog and jam up vacuums, as opposed to the extensive mopping that has to be done in medical areas.

Once again you can see how these sort of factors can only be accurately assessed on-site.

Another factor to be considered are common areas.

Common areas in any kind of office/complex are almost always higher maintenance areas than standard office area. Typical common areas are foyers and entries, access hallways, elevators, kitchens, and restrooms.

Entries and foyers and elevators are always high-traffic areas and they are dealt with differently according to the level of traffic of these areas, whether they are carpet or tile, and the factors for the traffic entering these areas.

For example, if foot traffic coming in is from a parking lot that gets sand or mud washed onto it from rain, then these common areas will get dirty faster as a rule and will require more maintenance that common areas that are accessed by covered parking lots.

Kitchen areas are more likely to be tile floors, quite often with groupings of tables with chairs around them each of which have to be moved out and swept or mopped or vacuumed underneath on a regular basis, not to mention the periodical buffing and/or stripping and waxing of the tile floor areas.

The areas around the sinks and the refrigerator of these kitchen areas require special attention as those places where food is most likely to be dropped. This includes kitchen counter areas also.

So you can see once again how these areas and factors can only be assessed in an informed fashion through an in-person visit.

On-site quotations are actually to your benefit as the building owner/manager

On-site quotations are actually to your benefit as the building owner/manager.
If you’ve read through all of the above material, you can see there are several factors that have to be taken into consideration for accurately quoting the nightly cleaning of a commercial office space.

If the janitorial service has been around for any good period of time at all, they know that an accurate quote is absolutely essential not only to the building managers but also to the cleaning service itself in order to be able to professionally and consistently fulfill the agreed-upon contract.

If a contract is quoted too low, then it is difficult from the onset to effectively perform the required cleaning services. The list of services to be done in every case is quite extensive, the work itself is quite complex, there are transportation issues involved even within the same complex in some cases, there are security issues that must be dealt with on a nightly basis, specialized supplies and machines that must be utilized and maintained according to the type of floor space and office space that is involved, and the list goes on and on.

Janitorial services are quite aware that this is a serious consideration so if they are pressured to give a quote over the phone then it is most likely that they are going to give a quote with a considerable amount of padding to the quote to try to keep from under-bidding and thus not being able to effectively perform the services.

Or if they try lowballing a quote without an on-site visit, then they might get the contract but run into immediate problems as mentioned above.

So as you can see, we at CityJaninc are actually doing you quite a service by insisting on on-site quotes for your commercial cleaning contract.
We are able to give you an informed quote, one that is not padded due to guessing or lowballed just for a shotgun approach to contract-getting which never works in the long run.

So give us a call and set up an appointment to receive the best quote, best service, and best customer service for your commercial cleaning needs in the greater Atlanta Metro area.