How To Succeed As An Airbnb Vacation Rental Host
If you’re one of the 650,000 hosts currently letting your property through Airbnb, or any other short-term rental marketplace, you know how important it is to keep your guests happy. Good reviews are critical—there’s a direct correlation between positive reviews and high Airbnb occupancy rates—and poor cleanliness and hygiene is a complaint in a significant number of bad reviews.
Some Airbnb landlords are horrified when, after spending hours between each turnover changing beds and scrubbing floors, guests leave poor reviews because they felt the property wasn’t clean enough. It might seem unfair for so much hard work to go unrewarded, but a study by Morgan Stanley has a likely explanation. In 2016, they found that over half of guests use home-sharing services as an alternative to hotels.
Gone are the days when Airbnb was a couch surfer’s best friend. Today, many Airbnb customers are selecting properties from the site and paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a homely atmosphere maintained to the same standard as large chain hotels and exclusive vacation resorts.
The statistics speak volumes: to have a successful Airbnb short-term rental property, it needs to be cleaned to hospitality standard.
What is “hospitality standard” anyway?
When you’re letting your property out to paying guests, you need to do more than change the linens and vacuum the floor. Nobody wants to stay in a hotel and think about all the people who’ve used the bathroom and slept in the bed before them, and the same holds true when they’re renting a room in your house or apartment.
A room professionally cleaned to hospitality standards isn’t just clean, it’s hygienically clean, like nothing has ever been used before. For short-term rental landlords, it can be a tall order to complete a hospitality clean in the few hours between guest turnovers. Hotel rooms are designed and furnished to clean quickly and efficiently, while your home probably wasn’t. Even so, guests will demand the same standard.
In order to reach that standard, everything has to be cleaned, before and after every single guest. Scrubbing the tub or mopping the floors once a week simply won’t cut it. You might not think twice about hard water marks on the shower door or a bit of dust on a TV screen, but anything less than immaculate only reminds your guests of the people who stayed there before them.
Think about how hotel cleaners work. They don’t just change the sheets, they wipe down every surface, sweep, mop and vacuum the floor, thoroughly clean the bath, shower and toilet, wash the windows, and more. When you’re replicating a hospitality clean in your home, pay particular attention to the tasks that you’d usually only tackle once a week or less frequently, because often those are the areas that matter most to paying guests.
How do I clean my property to hospitality standard?
The good news is, with some planning and preparation, you can get your Airbnb property cleaned to hotel standard without spending hours on the task. Start by creating a checklist of everything that needs to be cleaned before each new guest. This should include each item in the room, from bookshelves to the TV remote.
Once you’ve made a list, think about the best order to go about cleaning. Change the bedding first so you can be cleaning the rest of the space while the sheets are in the laundry. Work from the top-down so you’re not creating more mess in places you just cleaned. Dust the corners of the ceiling and light fittings before shelves and leave the floor until last.
Make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, however difficult they are. For example, you need to clean under and around the bed between all guests, unless you want people to complain about dust bunnies. Remember these are the first places guests will inspect for signs of poor cleanliness.
If your home-sharing space is taking forever to clean, it might be time to rethink your furnishings. Laminate or hardwood floors can be cleaned much faster than carpet, and attract less hair and dust. Your ornaments and knickknacks personalize your space, but they’re also dust magnets and slow you down. Think of how simply standard hotel rooms are furnished. Once you’ve completed a hospitality clean, you can understand why!
Top tips for a truly clean Airbnb property
While there’s no substitute for old-fashioned elbow grease, there are steps you can take to make a turnover clean of your home-sharing space faster and more efficient.
- Buy non-streak dishwasher tablets so your crockery, cutlery and glassware are always gleaming, without any extra effort
- Use disposable toilet brushes so guests aren’t confronted with a rust-stained brush that others have used before them
- Don’t forget to clean under the toilet seat and rim, as well as around the base and hinges
- Use a squeegee on glass shower doors, or dry them with crumpled newspaper to get a streak-free finish
- Make sure switch plates and door handles are clean—greasy fingerprints love them
- Always wipe down phones, clocks, and TV remotes
- When you change bed, spray the made bed with a fine mist of plain tap water and pull the linens straight for hotel-quality corners
- Dust bulbs and replace any that are starting to dim so your room always seems bright and airy
- Save your white sheets by purchasing black or gray washcloths for makeup removal
Call in the professionals
Running any business from home, it makes sense to keep your costs low, and plenty of Airbnb hosts are reluctant to employ outside cleaners to help turnover their property. They don’t take into account their time as a valuable commodity, or consider the return they’re getting on how they spend it. For many hosts, hiring a professional cleaning service is the smart choice, saving them time and helping them efficiently turnover their rentals between guests.
Pro cleaners also frequently have the benefit of hospitality experience, meaning they know the standard your home has to be cleaned to, and how to achieve it.
If you’re struggling to take control of your turnovers or get your life back from the endless cycle of cleaning between guests, you need Pro Housekeepers. Our services are available in major cities all over the U.S., and we understand the cleaning needs of home-share hosts. For efficient, hospitality-standard cleaning on schedule and at an affordable price, Pro Housekeepers is the service you can depend on.
We have customer service agents available seven days a week, so call us now to discuss how Pro Housekeepers can help you take charge of your Airbnb rental property, streamline your guest turnovers, and never have to worry about cleanliness complaints again.