Managing a short-term rental property is lucrative, especially if your property is in a tourist hotspot. You envision your property to become a relaxing haven for travelers to unwind and live comfortably for a few days or weeks. When the current occupants leave your short-term rental, you need to hire cleaning services to prepare it for the next occupants. Cleaning is part of the responsibility of short-term rental property managers and owners to ensure a seamless transition and a comfortable stay for the next client.
However, managing and cleaning a short-term rental is more challenging than it seems. Discover the unique cleaning challenges and how you can overcome them.
Common Cleaning Challenges in Short-Term Rentals & Solutions
Cleaning short-term rentals entails various challenges as you turn the unit from one guest to another. Ensure your clients are satisfied with the recommended solutions to these common challenges.
1. Quick Turnaround Time
Short-term rentals involve a fast turnaround time. Guests stay for a few nights; once they leave, new guests come in to stay at the property. Therefore, short-term rental managers and property owners must ensure a quick turnaround when cleaning the property. Time is a formidable foe for property owners and managers in this case.
Most short-term rental cleaners have two to three hours to clean the space for the next guests. Depending on the state in which the previous guests left your property, the cleaning job could range from simple to extensive. Therefore, every second counts when meeting the quick turnaround time and ensuring the property is pristine for the next guest. Simply put, you must ensure the place is immaculate and the ambiance as impressive as you marketed it to be.
The crucial part of racing against time in cleaning the short-term rental is to maintain the highest cleaning standards. It is a delicate balance and one that you must master if you wish to succeed in this competitive industry.
2. Varying Guest Expectations
Guests have varying cleanliness standards and expectations of how a rental property should be. It is among the most significant challenges property managers face when cleaning the property. You have to set a standard to ensure that all guests, no matter their perception of how tidy the place should be, will be satisfied.
The best way to solve this problem is to follow the cleanliness and sanitation guidelines set by the leading authorities. For example, the CDC publishes housekeeping and sanitation guidelines to ensure your property is clean and well-sanitized. Follow the guidelines set by authorities to keep your space clean and your guests happy.
3. Dealing with Stains and Spills
It is common for guests to spill food or drinks on furniture, carpets, and various surfaces in a short-term rental. Your housekeeping staff must promptly fix these issues to avoid damage to said surfaces. At the same time, it is crucial to ensure that your property is pristine for the next set of occupants.
4. Cleaning Various Furnishings and Décor
A significant challenge when cleaning short-term rentals involves dealing with various furniture and décor items. When you have a leather sofa, a wooden table, and linen curtains, they each require different cleaning products and methods. Consolidating these different materials and ensuring that your cleaning staff don’t cause damage to the furnishing and décor is a crucial challenge of rental property maintenance.
The best solution is to train your staff properly in the various cleaning procedures. Knowledge is crucial to protect your assets and satisfy your guests.
5. Guest Communication
Guest communication is another major hurdle when cleaning short-term rentals. You should communicate effectively with guests about the check-out procedures, making it easier for the housekeeping staff to clean and sanitize the property for the next guests.
Effective communication can avoid potential issues, so you should publish guidelines and check-out protocols for all guests, even before they check-in. For example, you should specify where guests should place the dirty towels and linens upon check-out. Small measures like this can save your cleaning staff precious time in replacing bed linens and towels, allowing them to focus their time and effort on other aspects of cleaning that require their attention.
6. Managing Housekeeping Checklists
No two properties are the same. Therefore, you should create a personalized housekeeping checklist to match your property needs and challenges.
You should have a room-by-room structure and process for cleaning to protect your brand standards and ensure your housekeeping staff won’t miss a detail. A systematic approach eliminates the possibility of overlooking minor details and promotes a streamlined cleaning process.
The housekeeping checklist should also prioritize high-traffic areas like the bathroom and kitchen. These are rooms in a short-term rental property that require the most cleaning. While cleaning the visible areas is essential, your team must pay attention to cleaning areas that are easy to miss, such as the door handles and light switches.
7. Costly Mistakes
Failing to live by your cleanliness standards can be costly. If you fail to clean the property properly, guests may be unhappy about their experience and leave negative reviews. Most guests read reviews when deciding where to book their stay. Reading these negative reviews can discourage other guests from booking your property. Furthermore, some guests will require a refund if they are unsatisfied with their stay or choose not to pursue their booking because the cleaning standards are not up to par.
Hiring a reliable cleaning team is a good investment for short-term rentals. They have the knowledge and expertise to maintain the highest cleaning standards to maintain your business profit.
Final Thoughts on Addressing Cleaning Challenges in Short-Term Rentals
The hospitality industry presents unique challenges, and cleaning is a significant part of those challenges. With the rise of short-term rentals and more guests choosing them over traditional accommodation options, like hotels, you can only expect guests to level up their expectations and become more discerning.
If you want to rise above the competition, you must take note of the cleaning challenges stated above. Use the recommended solutions to develop a cleaning and maintenance routine that would satisfy the most discerning clients and get positive reviews for your short-term rental.