Vacation Rental 101: Housekeeping
The number one cause of vacation rental guest complaints is cleanliness. When guests pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to stay in your home, they expect it to be immaculate. If it hasn’t been cleaned before their arrival, they’re understandably going to be upset. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to avoid. You just need a quality housekeeping service that understands why cleaning to vacation rental standards is different than what’s required for a typical house cleaning.
WHAT MAKES A VACATION RENTAL CLEANING DIFFERENT
A vacation rental cleaning goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a typical house cleaning. Your housekeeper needs to be ready to provide a higher level of service, and handle tasks like
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT DOING IT YOURSELF
The first decision you need to make about cleaning your vacation rental is whether you’re going to do the work yourself or hire a service to handle it for you. Doing your own cleaning is an easy way to cut down on management costs and increase your income. But it only makes sense if you live locally and can afford to treat your vacation rental as a full-time job
Even if doing it yourself seems like an attractive option, ask yourself an honest question: Can I commit to deep-cleaning the entire property more than once a week?
In high season, you might have “quick turns” where a guest checks out at 10 a.m. and the next guest checks in at 4 p.m. In that window, you’ll need to provide a thorough cleaning. If you can’t guarantee you’ll be ready and willing to do that, you need to hire someone who can.
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HIRING A CLEANING SERVICE
Working with a cleaning service is a great alternative. If you don’t want to handle the cleaning yourself or you don’t live near your rental property, it’s helpful to have a trusted housekeeper who will visit your home on a regular basis to keep things in great shape for guests
VACATION RENTAL CLEANING:THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
When starting your vacation rental business, you’ll likely be thinking about what furniture and decoration you’ll include to make it truly dazzle on your website or any other advertising channel you plan to use. There are other tasks, however, which while maybe not as fun, they’re just as (or even more) important than others: vacation rental cleaning and maintenance.
What should you clean most frequently? Easy: everything that’s on display. Even if you’re not going to have guests in the next few days, you need to assure that whatever people can see from the outside is absolutely spotless. This includes the garden, windows and anything else of this nature. Once inside, you need to go over all the basics such as floors and other surfaces that guests will notice upon entering your property.
MAKE A LIST FOR GUESTS PRE CHECK-OUT
Don’t be afraid to ask guests to perform a few simple vacation rental cleaning tasks before they lock the door and leave your property after their stay. But be careful not to overwhelm them with too many tasks that will make them feel like they are working – or worse – doing your job for you.
CHARGE A DEPOSIT WHICH INCLUDES A CLEANING FEE
It’s always recommended to charge a security deposit to cover any possible damages to your property. So, why not add an additional cleaning fee? This amount will be charged to your guests in case they don’t leave your home in the good, hygienic conditions you lay out in your house rules.
TURN TO THE GREEN SIDE
Why not help the environment at your rental, too? Planet earth will thank you, and you’ll earn brownie points from your guests for worrying about the environment and actively doing something to protect it!
CLEANING APPS FOR VACATION RENTAL BUSINESSES
Despite the increasing number of travelers who are choosing vacation rentals as a more homely alternative to hotels, their expectations don’t differ when it comes to cleanliness.
Some of the most common negative reviews of vacation rentals and other alternative accommodation derive from the guest’s dissatisfaction of cleanliness standards. In other words, as a host, you need to start considering the value of professional cleaning services for your vacation rental because what you might consider sparkling clean in your own house simply won’t cut it with guests.
CLEANING SERVICES FOR VACATION RENTALS
In order to suit different owners’ needs, there is a huge variety of cleaning services that you can request for your vacation rental. These can range from simple, ordinary tasks like making the beds, changing towels and cleaning toilets to more specific and tricky ones like cleaning mirrors and fixtures or removing carpet stains.
TurnoverBnB allows owners to create automated cleaning schedules and enjoy completely hands-free management. In fact, thanks to its integration with major booking platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com and HomeAway, owners can automatically schedule turnovers based on bookings and available time between one guest checking out and the following checking in. Owners can easily manage and communicate with existing cleaners or use the marketplace feature to find professional vacation rental cleaners in their area. The platform also provides automated payments and record tracking of completed jobs
Two key strengths of the Properly app are visual interaction and real-time management. Owners can create visual instructions with a photo-based cleaning checklist to be as clear as possible and ensure the final result matches their expectations
Vacation Rental Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
What does it take to get a 5-star review? It might be a lot easier than you realize!
Did you know that most negative reviews are written by guests dissatisfied with a messy, poorly cleaned vacation rental? Surprised? Hopefully not, a well-cared-for vacation home goes a long way to ensure guest satisfaction, rave reviews, and loyal direct bookers. Doable, right? Absolutely. As long as you understand that maintaining a vacation rental is much more demanding than the upkeep of your own home.
How it’s Done in Park City
Park City-based homeowner, Rina Slade knows what it takes to keep her vacation homes spick and span no matter how tight the turnaround or how untidy the guest. While she herself owns only one vacation rental, she helps manage the vacation homes of a few friends – with the help of her crew, a local couple, Susie and Luis
Maintenance & Cleaning Tahoe Style
We also spoke with Lake Tahoe Accommodations’ Lisa Calderon, who manages over 100 vacation rentals in Tahoe. Lisa’s head of housekeeping, Blanca has a team of 14 house cleaners who do their best to maintain tight check in/check out cleanings. While not everyone has over 100 properties to manage and may not necessarily need 14 house cleaners, Lisa and her crew have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to staying on top of a hectic schedule and still managing to come out of checkout with rave reviews (and everyone’s sanity!).
Keep Backups of Everything
Lisa sets her crew up for success by keeping backups of everything. This includes sheets, glasses, toiletries, silverware and anything else you can think of. This keeps the team prepared for anything that may come their way…broken glasses to stained sheets…you name it.
Consider Value Adds to Sweeten the Deal
Rina suggests sending the guest a pleasant welcome letter that includes restaurant and activity recommendations plus all of your contact information should the guest need to reach you. Lisa swears by welcoming guests with a tote bag and a bottle of complimentary wine. She is known by guests for going above and beyond for those who book her rentals and her rave reviews certainly reflect tha
Vacation Rental Cleaning Guide with Checklist: Everything You Need to Know
Getting bookings to your vacation rental is often the easy part, but if you want to maintain your success or grow it, you will need to do more than publish a listing and leave a key under the mat. Your properties need to shine!
Put your best foot forward right from the start by establishing and following a detailed clean routine, striving to make every open door a “wow” moment. A fine-tuned cleaning routine with attention to detail is a sure-fire path to achieving the standard that will keep the masses praising, and confidently booking, your properties all year long
But there’s a lot more that goes into vacation rental cleaning than an outsider might think. First, you have to find and hire a team of housekeepers and onboard them to ensure they will achieve your standards. The next task is more challenging: replicating that signature quality again and again while managing your entire property operations. On top of it all, you need to have a strategy around charging cleaning fees on channels and how best to collect them
Recruiting Your Cleaning Crew & Local Team
Depending on the size of your inventory, you may need one cleaner or a whole crew. Determine your needs based on the number of homes you manage, your average occupancy rate, and the timeframes of your check-in/check-out policies. When looking to hire, there are a number of online services to help you find the ideal candidate. Some are free to advertise on, while others charge a fee for listing
Establishing standards for cleaning
Good, bad, or otherwise – guests know exactly what to expect when booking with brands on both ends of the spectrum, from Hilton and Hyatt, to Motel 6 and TravelLodge. You are a brand as well, whether you manage one home or 1,000, and that brand should carry a standard, too! What can your guests always expect, without fail, when they book a stay with you?