What’s the quickest way to make a guest complain? A dirty rental. After they’ve dropped a few hundreds dollars if not more on your property, they have high expectations, and dirty showers and crumbs on the kitchen counter aren’t part of those expectations by a long shot.
It’s easy to avoid this frustration though, by employing a trustworthy housekeeper that you can trust to perform to your high cleanliness standards. And we’re not talking about the same typical service you might get at home. Vacation rentals take more than swinging by to vaccuum and empty the trash. Let’s take a look.
WHAT IS VACATION RENTAL HOUSEKEEPING?
A housekeeper for a vacation rental has to go to the limits to produce a spotless house. This means cleaning all the linens, sanitizing all surfaces, looking for and spotting any damage (hopefully there is none!), checking the stocks on toilet paper, towels, cleaning supplies, etc., looking for missing items and testing various units around the house to ensure they’re working properly.
As you can see, they’re not just cleaning, they are an extension of you–checking and identifying any potential problems before the next guest arrives. Your rental should feel like a home, so ensure that it’s cleaned after each stay until it feels like one.
IF YOU’RE A DIYer…
Your first decision on the table is whether you will outsource the service or clean the property yourself, and it goes without question that doing it yourself is the best and fastest way to cut management expenses and boost income. However, you will need to live close to your rental and have enough time to tend to it like a job, since your goal is to book as often as possible, meaning you will need cleanings days weekly if not more often, depending on how long guests stay.
So, if you’re willing and ready to take on the responsibility, be honest and ask if you have the time to commit. Sometimes turnaround can be quick if one guest is leaving at 10am and another arrives at 4pm. If there’s no guarantee you can deliver, then you will have to hire a service.
If you’ve discovered that hiring a professional cleaner is the only route to take, you will need a good housekeeper that can frequent the home on a schedule and clean to the standards of your rental property.
This person should also be aware that you will rely on them to look for damage, missing items and more. The faster you can identify these things, the better. Depending on where your home is, you may not have much of an option for your housekeeping services if the property managers have their own, which means you are susceptible to their service providers.
Always ask for references prior to agreeing to anything and get a good feel for whether or not this is a good matchup for your property and the kind of listing you want to offer.
WHAT DOES VACATION RENTAL CLEANING COST?
Prices will differ based on your location and the size of your property, for example a studio in Nashville could run you $25 versus a five-bedroom in Park City would cost ten times as much.
Listing sites like VRBO will show you cleaning rates in your market. Look at a minimum of ten properties to obtain a good average and always make sure you are assessing properties that are like yours.
Rates will be higher than general house cleaning services as a rule of thumb, but your guests will typically cover this cost. It’s standard to pass this along to the guest, so don’t worry about the expense. They are using the rental and the service ultimately.
For this reason, still shop around for the best rate, as a lower priced cleaning service that still delivers big can be a great incentive for guests to book with you.
WHERE DO YOU LOCATE GOOD CLEANING SERVICEs?
Start with word of mouth, by asking other investors in the area who they use and which services they recommend, as this will help you get started with someone who is experienced. If your circle of vacation rental hosts is small, then try online listings, ad and newspapers. Always look for those housekeepers who are licensed, insured and bonded.
Before you hire, try calling a few clients and getting feedback on their work if you can’t find any reviews online. References are a tremendous help in the search to discover if the service provider will meet your expectations, needs and availability.
WHAT TO ASK BEFORE HIRING
Think about the following questions and take careful note of what kind of answers you’re looking for too.
HAVE YOU CLEANED VACATION RENTALS?
Obviously, you want to hear Yes as it will give you comfort that the housekeeper knows what is expected and is familiar with the work. If they say No, discuss what services you need and see how willing they are to provide them and learn what needs to be done. It doesn’t mean they’re not the right person for you.
WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?
The schedule rate is the base pay for all stays. You will need to know about their fees, like if they charge for quick turnarounds, which is common but you still need to know what that cost is.
If you need help fast or there’s an emergency, see if they’re willing and able to help and what the fees are for these situations too.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON STAFF?
There’s nothing wrong with a one-man or one-woman shop, but it’s helpful is the company has more than one person on staff so you and the rest of their clients are relying solely on one person to get things done.
ARE YOU WILLING TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SERVICES?
The usual vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting is a given, but if you anticipate other services may be needed see what they are willing to do and if it can be an option on every visit, including:
- Sanitizing all the surfaces
- Wash and change linens
- Hang fresh towels
- Empty the fridge and clean
- Store dishes
- Clean between furniture cushions
- Identify damage or missing items
- Stocking the home with essentials (toilet paper, soap, etc.)
- Provide light maintenance (smoke detector batteries, light bulbs, etc)
DO THEY DEEP CLEAN?
You’ll want to do this at least semi-annually to keep your property in pristine condition. It’s like a spring cleaning of sorts and would entail some of the following:
- Wash the curtains
- Flip mattresses
- Touch up paint
Now that you have an amazing housekeeper you can focus on making your home a popular and comforting place for travelers to relax and enjoy their stay. Remember that consistent cleaning will lead to the best results and most satisfied guests, whether you’re doing the deed yourself or hiring a professional service.
Keeping things clean don’t just satisfy everyone, they make a spectacular impression that leads to rave reviews and repeat stays.