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.
WHAT MAKES A VACATION RENTAL CLEANING
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
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
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HIRING A CLEANING
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
CLEANING APPS FOR VACATION RENTAL
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.
Short-term renting goes hand in hand with a
high guest turnover – and a requirement for deep cleaning after every
check-out. But, for many owners, a vacation rental business is a side hustle
and not their full-time day job. So, how do you stay on top of all these rental
property cleaning tasks to ensure you always meet guest expectations? You hire
a vacation rental cleaner!
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.
How to Manage Housekeepers and Keep a
Spotless Vacation Rental
Experienced vacation rental owners across
the country can confirm that it doesn’t matter how beautiful, well-located, or
trendy your home appears—if you don’t know how to manage housekeepers and keep
a spotless rental, then travelers will be less likely to book your home
Your home should be as clean as a hotel
Sheryl Milligan, manager of Handmaid
Cleaning in Walla Walla, Washington, says vacation rental guests expect the
highest level of cleanliness. Handmaid Cleaning offers turnover services to
anywhere between 10 and 20 vacation rentals in the Walla Walla area, and sees
that most guests who choose a vacation rental do so for a more “homey” feel—but
still expect a home to be as clean as a hotel.
“At our company, we can’t stress enough the
importance of perfect service every time on vacation rentals,” she said. “If we
fail to provide 5-star service, it reflects poorly on us and on the property
The guests, for example, might leave that
owner a bad review for something they trusted the cleaning company to do. “To
avoid any issues, we always send our most senior technicians to do the
cleaning,” she said. “We have a list of cleaning tasks as well as any specific
set up requests—like leaving a bottle of wine out or leaving certain lights
on—they must check off before leaving, and we send our quality control person
or property manager to double check everything before the guests check in.”
How to find your housekeeper
Like many vacation rental owners, Lee tried
to use the internet to find her housekeeper. “Not being local to the area where
my vacation rental is located, I began my search for a cleaning company with a
Google search,” she said.
Choosing Cleaning Products for Vacation
A housekeeper’s world is a dangerous world!
There are all sorts of nasty microbes that need to be eradicated from the
property as it is cleaned. Having the most effective cleaning products is
imperative to the effectiveness and speed of the cleaning professional. When
choosing cleaning products
NO RINSING REQUIRED
The products should only need to be wiped
off the surface. A product that needs to be rinsed off before the surface is
dried takes extra housekeeper time.
The product should be doing all the “heavy
lifting” so to speak. As the product is sitting on the surface, it should be
breaking down the soap scum, hard water deposits, and oils. There should be
very little elbow grease required from the cleaning professional.
DEADLY TO MICROBES
Not all cleaning products kill all microbes
or kill them quickly. Some products can take up to 10 minutes to kill Staph,
which is unacceptable! When evaluating a product, ask for a list of microbes
the product kills and how long it takes to kill them. The product should kill
the microbes in a short dwell time, if not instantly.
The product must be sustainable. Many
natural cleaners are not effective at killing microbes and breaking down soap
scum and body oils.
TOP TIPS TO CLEAN YOUR VACATION HOUSE
We all know that cleanliness is vital to
the success of any Short Term Rental. But, after a while, you can start to feel
like a cleaning slave, especially if you have a lot of one-nighter bookings.
You wake up, clean, welcome guest, sleep, repeat.
The best way to combat the infinite
cleaning loop is to find ways to speed up the process. Now, we’re not talking
about doing a subpar cleaning job. We don’t want you to get any bad reviews, or
worse, have your super host status revoked. Instead, it’s time to make a plan,
get efficient and follow these tips to shave minutes off of your cleaning time.
You know, so you can go out there and enjoy all that money you’re making on
Create a checklist of what needs to be
cleaned in between each guest booking. In the beginning, you may want to write
this list down until you get more familiar with your specific routine. We don’t
want you stressing because you forgot an important step or waste time thinking
about what needs to be cleaned next. After awhile, you will find that by doing
certain chores in a specific order will shorten your cleaning time. So,
experiment and look for ways that are more effective for getting your specific
rental in tip top shape.
Cycle through your deep cleaning chores.
Some parts of your rental only need to be deep cleaned every once in a while.
For example, you may only need to wipe down your baseboards or ceiling fan
every couple of weeks. The next time you clean, add only one of these chores to
your cleaning list and cycle through the rest doing one of these chores every time
Set a time limit to clean your rental and
then try to slowly decrease that time with every cleaning. When you give
yourself a time limit, and commit to sticking to it, that small added pressure
will keep you focused and moving efficiently. It will also show you what issues
are slowing you down and can be improved. But don’t take this too far. Keep
your expectations realistic. We’d all like to be able to clean our rentals in
under 2 minutes but, for most of us, that is just not possible. If it normally
takes you three hours to clean your rental, next time give yourself 2 hours and
forty-five minutes to get it done.