The single biggest pain in managing a Short-Term property has to be the cleaning. It either takes forever, or costs a lot and reduces your profits. Adam from GuestPrep runs through his tips for cleaning your Vacation Rental property.
Three years ago, my co-founder, David McDermott, and I had both been successful full-time Airbnb hosts for over 6 months, running a total of 6 properties on a short-term basis and the cleaning operations were becoming an absolute nightmare! Existing residential cleaners did not understand the demands of the travel industry and so we decided to create a specific service company, GuestPrep to solve these problems in this new and expanding market!
David had 15 years experience running housekeeping and operations in 5 Star hotels and so his idea was to adapt many of the techniques used in these hotels. Short-Term Rental / Airbnb properties share a lot of similarities with hotels rooms:
- they are turned over frequently
- there is often a short time period between check-in & check-out
- the standard needs to be high, because traveller have high expectations
- mistakes are costly, because often refunds need to be given
However every Short-Term Rental / Airbnb property is unique and therefore the same process will not apply every-time, they are also on average a lot bigger and so it’s easy to spend huge amounts of time on every single turnover!
We realized we could take a lot from Hotel routines but we had to prioritize, understand the key tasks that when completed would leave the property looking fantastic while not taking half a day! Through our first 500 short-term cleans we refined this process and built a modular process we now call HOSPITALITY CLEANING, it’s served us well as we’ve completed over 10,000 turnovers in the last 2 years.
I suggest you use the same process in your own Airbnb to save you time, you can find a detailed description of all the tasks here, but below are the key time saving tips for each room type:
- Always clean this first, this way if you have dirty dishes you can get the dishwasher running and it will be finished by the time you complete everything else.
- Here you can’t leave anything out, a deep clean in each bathroom is needed every time, these are where most of your time should be spent.
- Use vacuum all over the room (including inside the shower/bath) first to remove all hair – this is the most essential task in the entire clean!
- Stage furniture, cushions, ornaments with symmetry where possible. The human eye loves symmetry and so rooms arranged in this way automatically look more orderly and clean.
- Have two sets of bed linens so that you can quickly change the sheets and make the bed without waiting on a washer / dryer cycle.
- Then maybe use a laundrette or do the laundry off-site ready for the next turnover.
- Always leave all floors till last, then start at the top / back of the property and vacuum / mop your way to the front door.
I hope these tips help save you some turnover time, happy hosting.