Well, a new online service just expanded to Seattle called Pathjoy that might alleviate the need to do those time-consuming chores. You can think about Pathjoy a bit like Uber, the popular private driving service.
In this case, however, it’s a low-cost maid service to get your refrigerator scrubbed or floors mopped. Messy home and apartment owners in Seattle can go to Pathjoy, schedule a time for a cleaner to arrive, review a profile of the maid and then pay with credit card. Like Uber, customers are also encouraged to provide detailed reviews of their maid after each cleaning.
Founder Aaron Cheung, who came up with the idea for the company with his sister Adora, agreed with the comparisons to Uber in terms of operations. Both companies are trying to streamline an inefficient process, and both rely on a city manager to oversee individual markets. However, Cheung tells GeekWire that house cleaning is different from a private driving service in that “you know that your house is going to get dirty every month.”
The goal of Pathjoy, he said, is to put a trustworthy maid in every home at a reasonable price.
PathJoy charges $20 per hour for its cleaning services, which is more than 50 percent cheaper than established rivals like Merry Maids and Molly Maid. Asked how Pathjoy could undercut those rivals in price, Cheung said that historically maid service has been priced as a luxury service with very healthy profit margins (About $40 to $50 per hour, with maids receiving minimum wage or above).
Cheung added that they are utilizing technology to “streamline some of the inefficiencies” in the maid booking process, thus leading to lower prices for consumers. The service requires a minimum of three hours of cleaning, with users filling out a form with questions about a home’s square footage and number of bathrooms and bedrooms. He said they chose to expand to Seattle and LA – the first markets for the company outside of the San Fran Bay Area – because tech-savvy customers had requested the service.
Aaron Cheung is a MIT and Y Combinator grad, while his sister Adora, previously worked in the cleaning industry and at tech company Slide. As entrepreneurs, Cheung said that they rarely had time to clean their homes, thinking their had to be a better way to arrange and pay for maid service.
“Maid service today is either way too expensive or very unreliable,” Cheung says. He declined to say how many customers have tried the service to date, or how many maids they have partnered with.
The expansion into Seattle comes at an interesting time, since Amazon.com recently started testing its very own services marketplace, including the ability for customers to request technicians to come to homes to install flat-screen TVs.