Residential Cleaning verses Short Term Rental Property Cleaning
The success of your changeover cleanings affects the success of your own short term or Airbnb rental business.
Why? Because the first physical experience a guest has is observing how clean and well prepared the Airbnb property is when they walk in. First impressions last the longest and more often than not, a comment on the level of ‘cleanlinessʼ will show up in the review. Reviews then affect your future bookings. Travelers use reviews as a strong deciding factor when booking Airbnb homes. And it goes without saying that when your bookings go down, so does your revenue. Thatʼs why itʼs crucial to make a great first impression by ensuring you have a clean house. A home that is clean enough for you to live in is not necessarily ‘cleanʼ enough for paying guests to stay in (even if you are a clean freak!). There are key differences between what perfect cleanliness means for a residential home and for a Airbnb rental home, as well as what a home that is prepared for guests looks like compared to a home that is prepared for residents.
Itʼs important to keep all these differences in mind when you hire a professional cleaner who may only be familiar with cleaning private residences so you can avoid any missing pieces before you have the chance to see them in your reviews!
1. The entrance to your Airbnb property
The entrance would not usually be part of a residential cleaners job but for an Airbnb cleaner it is an absolute must that the entrance is clean and welcoming to your guests - Why? It is the guest's first impression when they arrive at your Airbnb property.
2. Doing the laundry and changing linen
A residential cleaning doesnʼt require washing or changing the sheets and towels. But an Airbnb rental absolutely does require this service. If the Airbnb cleaner does not wash the linen themselves because the laundry service is outsourced, they have to
strip and replace all linen in the house anyway. Linen includes bedsheets, bath towels, hand towels in the bathrooms, bathroom stepping mats, pool towels, and kitchen dish towels.
3. Washing dishes
Residential cleaners donʼt usually have the time to wash all of your dishes. Picking them up from around the house and placing them in a dishwasher is what you can expect, anything beyond that is hoping for the best. In an Airbnb cleaning, washing, drying, arranging dishes properly is a must. Why? Imagine renting a holiday home and finding dishes in the dishwasher — it would definitely put a bad
taste in your mouth. Cleaning kitchen appliances including kettles and toasters is also a must for Airbnb cleans. Why? Imagine using a toaster that still had crumbs and dirty finger prints all over it - would also definitely put a bad taste in your mouth.
4. Emptying the refrigerator and cleaning inside the microwave and oven
Residential cleans do not require cleaners to open your refrigerator and sort through your food. Airbnb rentals must have thoroughly cleaned and emptied refrigerators. Everything has to be thrown away after every single check-out. The same goes for cleaning inside microwaves and ovens. Remnants of frozen pizzas past and pasta splatters will not fly with paying guests. Many hosts put complimentary gifts like bottled water or champagne in the refrigerator, so replenishing those, if specified is also part of the Airbnb clean.
5. Finding and removing items left behind in personal spaces
You would never ever expect your house cleaner to go inside your bedside drawers for any reason, thatʼs an invasion of personal space! On the other hand, itʼs necessary for the Airbnb cleaner to check inside of draws, under beds, in closets, and the occasional junk draw, bathroom drawers and cabinets to remove items left behind from former guests.
6. Dusting and removing cobwebs
A great cleaner will dust your home regardless of the type of cleaning you hired them for. But itʼs a highly missed task that doesnʼt affect a homeowner as much as it affects a guestʼs experience. Airbnb rentals cannot have dust anywhere. These types of jobs require checking for dust in hard to remember places like: on top of paintings, in corners, on plants, baseboards, ceiling fans, on top of the refrigerator, under the bed etc.
7. Organising the backyard and patio
Your residential cleaner would not think twice to check your outdoor space/backyard and clean it up if it needed it. But an Airbnb rental must have a presentable outdoor space/backyard, it is necessary, wipe tables, arrange the chairs nicely, and clean up any evidence from former guests.
8. Replacing amenities and refilling supplies
Residential cleaners donʼt have to restock any of your home supplies for you, but restocking is essential in an Airbnb rental changeover. Replacing toilet paper in all bathrooms and ensuring there are extra rolls for guests is crucial in a changeover. Soap dispensers in the kitchen and bathrooms plus any shampoo or conditioner bottles should be refilled or replaced. Some hosts leave out breakfast snacks and coffee or tea for their guests, so it would be necessary to refill the supply and arrange it.
Other tasks required in a Airbnb cleaning that donʼt apply to residential cleanings - Checking all drains, pillows, headboards, floors, etc for hair . This often makes or breaks a review. Setting out a guestbook, guidebook, extra keys. Checking for and reporting any damage or broken items from previous guests. Emptying all trash and recycling.
9. Time constraints
Timing may or may not be an issue for a residential cleaning. But for an Airbnb changeover, time is of the essence. Often the cleaning must take place inside a small window of time between guest checkouts and new guest check-ins. Because changeovers
take longer, the cleaner has to keep track of how long the job is so the new guests donʼt arrive in the middle of the cleaning!