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.
With cleanliness at the top of a renters mind, owners should invest in quality housekeeping. Finding a reliable housekeeper can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you manage a rental remotely. Vacation rental owner Tracey Lee manages two Dallas rentals remotely in California and said because of the distance, using a professional cleaning company is integral for her success.
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.
How to choose your housekeeper
After you’ve figured out where to look for a housekeeper, you have to choose the best one for your needs.
How Much Should You Charge for Vacation Rental Cleaning?
Property managers and cleaning services getting started in the short-term rental industry often struggle with setting a price on vacation rental cleaning. It’s not hard to see why – go on VRBO or Airbnb and you’ll see the fees for cleaning a vacation rental vary from as little as $15 per stay to $200 per stay.
Costs vary widely from location to location, too. Professional vacation rental cleaning services can charge as much as $350/clean in some locations, whereas a cleaning service working a mere 50 miles away might have a hard time charging $100. It depends on demand, the quality of clean required by the property’s guests, and the cost of living in a given area.
At First Glance
One of the reasons these numbers are so difficult to determine is that the most commonly cited place to check fees for vacation rental cleaning is on listing sites like VRBO and Airbnb. These numbers consistently show a range too wide to be useful.
With rates ranging from $50-$150, it’s quite the guessing game to determine a reasonable hourly rate from those numbers. In addition to the problem of variance, the fees above are not the fees exchanged between property managers and service providers.
Ask. Then Ask Some More.
The simplest way to determine rates in a major metro area like Los Angeles or Paris is to ask better-established businesses in your field.
New Vrbo Program Promises A Closer, Cleaner Vacation Rental
As the travel industry starts down a long road to recovery, companies are looking for new ways to reassure customers that their products are safe. Vrbo just introduced a new program to help its customers find a clean vacation rental closer to home. It includes cleanliness guidelines and new search filters that will guide customers to the right property.
New cleaning standards. These new guidelines combine information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Cristal International Standards. Homeowners and property managers now have “clear guidelines” for disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitizers for guests.
New property descriptions. Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests. Once property owners have supplied that information, Vrbo will add it to the property descriptions that travelers see on the site and app.
New search filters for flexibility and proximity. Vrbo’s internal polling suggests more than 75% of guests are more likely to choose accommodations with flexible cancellation policies when booking their next vacation home. So the company is adding new search filters that allow customers to find vacation homes that provide a full refund when canceling by a specific date. Vrbo will also highlight listings with the most relaxed cancellation policies, making it easier for people to find vacation homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date. Vrbo is also adding a search function for proximity, so you can plan a driving vacation.
You’ve introduced some significant changes to your product today. What are you hoping to accomplish?
We know that when families decide they’re ready to travel again, they’re going to have new priorities when choosing a place to stay. Vacation homes already have the space and privacy away from crowds we know they’ll want, but there are other things we need to highlight for them, including cleanliness, flexibility, and places to stay close to home.
Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19
Cleaning a vacation rental is no small task, even when we are not faced with a global pandemic. A housekeeper is expected to take a property that is in disarray from departing guests and completely reset it—eradicating the microbes that have been left behind in the property and creating a like-new experience for arriving guests. Vacation rental professionals understand that cleaning a property effectively requires specific training, appropriate supplies, and a systematic process
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) are recommending that existing cleaning programs be augmented to include even more rigorous sanitization and disinfection protocols. These recommendations are below
All vacation rental field staff/housekeepers/technicians or other employees should complete training regarding proper and safe cleaning techniques and property security. Teams need to understand how to safely use chemical products (such as germicides used to clean bathrooms) and dispose of trash, cleaning supplies, and biohazards appropriately. Note: VRHP offers these types of training programs and can assist with questions from members about their programs.
Small viral particles can hang in the air for many hours. The currently available WHO information suggests that respiratory droplets can last up to 3 hours in the air. Respiratory droplets are heavier than smaller aerosol particles, which can linger in the air for a longer time. To date, the scientific research is still unclear as to how long smaller COVID-19 particles may stay suspended in air, and what possible infection rates may stem from aerosols. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the COVID-19 virus can survive up to three days on hard metal surfaces and plastic and up to 24 hours on cardboard. During that window of the time, the virus does begin to weaken. In light of these findings, VRHP/VRMA recommends that waiting for the majority of airborne droplets to settle (at least 3 hours) is the safest course of action. A timeframe of up to 24 hours between the last exit from a property and next entry is reasonable, if the business needs can accommodate longer wait times.
VRHP/VRMA strongly emphasizes the importance of ensuring the appropriate use of all personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, disposable gloves, and, in some cases, splash goggles for any entry into a property, even after the 24-hour waiting period. Splash goggles to cover the eyes and a mask that covers the nose and mouth and creates a good seal against the face should be required for any entry to a property within the 3-hour timeframe for respiratory droplet settling.
VACATION RENTAL TURNOVERS MADE EASY
We’re committed to restoring freedom and peace of mind to the vacation rental host.
Happy Host provides unparalleled service and support for our hosts during every turnover. While caring for your property, we help create the perfect experience for each new guest, allowing any host, new or experienced, to run their business without managing multiple vendors.
Experienced hotel housekeepers automatically scheduled daily as your property books. Connect Airbnb or VRBO.
Free, amenity restocking of your bathroom and kitchen basics, plus choose from our selection of popular deluxe amenity items.
Never buy sheets or towels again. All linens, even stained or missing are automatically replaced and beautifully white every time.
DEEP FLOOR CLEANING
Every floor needs a regular maintenance plan for that extra clean feel. We’ll remind you when it’s time so you avoid the dreaded black foot floors!