When booking a vacation rental, cleanliness is definitely one of the primary concerns on top of each guest’s mind, and if not handled properly, it can turn to the key cause of most negative guest reviews. Therefore, your vacation rental business’s reputation, profitability and success rely heavily upon your housekeeping management. Guests choose to stay in a vacation rental over a hotel to feel “homey”, and at the very least they expect a listing to be as clean as their own homes.
An accommodation provider or serviced apartment manager’s job is to meet and exceed their guests’ expectations and provide them with a stellar guest experience. As the vacation rental industry grows, the guests’ expectations significantly change and the vacation rental cleanliness standards are reset. We have all witnessed how COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has obviously changed the vacation rental landscape and a high expectation of stronger disinfection and sanitation has highlighted the significance of housekeeping management more than any time before.
One of the most challenging parts of every vacation rental managers’ responsibilities is housekeeping management which is much wider than getting the cleaning tasks done on time and keeping your property sparkling clean. Here we have gathered a collection of tasks that fall into the housekeeping management duties.
Guest Acquisition and Retention
One of the main keys to obtain guest satisfaction is housekeeping management. Vacationers with no previous experience of staying at your property usually rely on positive reviews from previous guests when choosing a vacation rental. Therefore, the better the guest experience you provide, the more guest confidence you will gain and not only you will receive new guests but also will keep your guests coming back.
Responding to Guests’ Requests
Handing over a sparkles-clean home to your guests is essential to create a good first impression, yet your vacation rental housekeeping tasks do not end here. Whether you do the hard job yourself or have hired a professional cleaning team, ensure you can respond quickly to all the housekeeping problems or emergencies that might pop up during your guests’ stay in your rental. All housekeeping issues and requests of the guests must be answered with accurate, prompt and polite responses.
Finding the Best Cleaning Service
Your rental’s size, location and amenities as well as the number of homes you manage, your time, your average occupancy rate and the timetables of your check-in/check-out are the deciding factors whether to carry out the housekeeping tasks by yourself, hire a trusted local cleaner or arrange routine vacation rental cleanings with a professional cleaning service.
Vacation rental owners of small properties usually choose to self-manage the cleaning tasks of their rental. Though a tough job to undertake, it can maximise their net profit and simplify quality control. Another option is to hire your housekeepers from the local staff. This way, as you work with the same individual, you can make sure that they can guarantee the same level of cleanliness every time and will be committed to you and their job. However, they might not always be available when you need them, so you have to make sure to have a back-up cleaner to help on their behalf. Just make sure to choose your cleaning staff with great care as working with the wrong person will end in revenue loss and can damage your property’s image.
You can rest assured by outsourcing your housekeeping management entirely or in some parts to a professional cleaning management company. You will have a less net profit in exchange for a good cleaning service who specialise in cleaning vacation rentals and can assign tasks to the cleaning teams, screen housekeeping staff, inspect your property before check-ins and after check-outs and retain your cleaning standards.
One of the utmost duties of a vacation rental manager is to find a cleaning team or service with experience in the industry and familiar with the vacation rental cleaning process by a commitment to housekeeping excellence. Besides, it is on you to prepare a checklist for their housekeepers and provide them with your cleaning instructions and expectations.
A 5-star cleaning service brings more bookings to your home and increases your return. However, it is a critical part of housekeeping management to handle the cleaning fees. Cleaning fees vary depending on your rental’s size, location, labour market, and cleanliness standards. Some vacation rental managers decide to charge their guests with cleaning fees while others try to include the costs in the nightly rate. Whatever strategy that you implement, take into account to set reasonable prices which can guarantee your profitability as well as your persistency in the highly competitive market.
Cleanliness and maintenance are non-separable, no matter how clean and sterile, obviously a rental with a broken air conditioning system is less likely to receive positive reviews. Your rental must be maintained at its very best, so it is a must for every vacation rental manager to run regular, thorough preventative maintenance and avoid damages and costly repair fees and wear and tear of their of the property’s facilities. Besides, setting up-front clear house rules can help to avoid accidents and property damages.
Setting and Retaining Cleaning Standards for Housekeeping management
Your cleanliness standard will determine the level of your property and your brand and can figure out your pricing as well, so you must make sure to replicate the same quality all the time. This is the fact that necessitates creating a checklist for the housekeeping as well as any specific set up requests for the housekeeping and maintenance teams to make sure nothing is missing. Moreover, pre-arrival inspection and double-check are necessary to make sure everything is in excellent shape.
Task Allocation and Time Management
One of the most important parts of vacation rental housekeeping management is to list cleaning tasks and assign them to the housekeeping and maintenance staff occasionally or on an ongoing basis and keeping them updated of any possible changes in the instructions or the schedule.
Effective planning and time allocation is also a considerable task in housekeeping management. Be realistic in time optimization and make sure to dedicate enough time to each task so that your staff can their time to complete their tasks under no pressure and do not kill much time. Leave enough time between your check-outs and check-ins so that your staff can take care of everything to satisfy the pickiest guests. Needless to say, meeting the hygiene standards expected from the guests and taking a few extra measures in housekeeping will go a long way toward acquiring and retaining guests. But effective housekeeping management needs a great amount of time and effort and is a hard hurdle to overcome. However, there is no need to worry about housekeeping for property owners as they can rest assured by hiring a property management service which has the required expertise and time to take over all of their housekeeping responsibilities. Also, vacation rental managers can get a helping hand from smart management and automation tools and automate their housekeeping management to remain competitive, free up their time, reduce the amount of workload and stress and get back to what is of high importance: growing their business.