The following is a guest post from our integration partners at Breezeway. Breezeway offers a property care and operations software that helps coordinate, communicate, and verify detailed work, and deliver the best service experience to clients. A lot of time and effort goes into maintaining quality, safety and cleanliness across your properties – Breezeway’s tools empower you to automate your operations and deliver an amazing rental experience.
Cleaning, now more than ever, is inextricably linked with a great guest experience. With this reality, professional managers should think of housekeeping services as a money maker for their rental business, rather than just a routine task. Understanding how to make the most of vacation rental cleans can transform your brand and boost your overall profitability. Here are five housekeeping tips to keep in mind for busy season:
Understand the value of your housekeeping services
Throughout the pandemic many managers focused on elevating the quality of their properties and creating operational efficiencies. This included keeping up with guests’ increased attention to detail and cleanliness — something which 73% of managers we surveyed expect to stick around post-pandemic. Standards should continue to rise as more first-time vacation rental customers emerge (used to hotel-like concierge and other premium services). This means it’s all-the-more important to keep up with competition in the market to deliver on a great guest experience and drive repeat guests.
During our ELEVATE property operations summit, Eddie Gray of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties discussed how “one scratch on a teflon pan or one water stain on the silverware could cause guests to think the entire kitchen or house is dirty.” NDRP added “an extra step to deliver on the customer service request to make sure guests felt it was sanitized, clean, and new.” Anecdotes like these demonstrate the industry’s new level of standards, and the implications they have for your operations.
Follow the non-negotiables of vacation rental cleans
- Customize your cleans: Every rental property is unique, so your housekeeping checklists should reflect that. That’s why 60% of managers are customizing their cleaning checklists per property. Checklists should differ not only for each property/clean type, but down to the specific furniture in each room. Not only does this allow managers to provide prescriptive brand guidance to the operations team on how to execute those specific tasks, but it also holds your teams accountable for completing each job.
- Focus on the details: Treat each room in the home like its own individual clean. Use CDC-recommended supplies and techniques, and have housekeepers verify every element/item is attended to. These small but meaningful details can be the difference between an acceptable stay and an exceptional experience.
- Take the time to do it right: High-quality property care is a big part of ‘wowing’ guests at check-in. That’s why over 83% of operators are strengthening their quality assurance programs in 2021.
- Staff your teams with purpose: Deciding how to staff your teams is unique to each business, but there are a few key factors to consider. The pandemic has shortened the average booking window and extended the length of stay. Lean on external staff to cushion the blow of urgent work and complete turns faster. Additionally, you may only have enough work for a large staff 3/4 months of the year. Engage internal staff in “off season” work and layer in external staff to help with increased workload during peak months.
Motivate and communicate with your staff
Your operations crew is the core of your brand — your staff manages the special details that create unforgettable guest experiences. These are also the people that are at your properties most frequently, so they know if something has been moved or was broken. Positively communicating changes in property readiness and condition between the office and your field staff is vital to keep your properties at an elevated standard.
- Continuing education: Make it easy for housekeepers to execute on your brand standards by offering regular training, irrespective of internal vs external staff. Conduct ongoing support at your own properties and use your customized checklists.
- Put data to work: Use data and technology to communicate guest reviews, property checklists, brand standards, and other resources with staff. Use signals from IoT devices and smart notifications to get a jump-start on cleans, and monetize your offerings through early check-in. Share guest ratings, cleanliness scores, and task times to incentivize housekeepers, and show your appreciation to protect against housekeeper burnout.
- Provide positive reinforcement: Your internal staff are often the behind the scenes workers who keep operations running smoothly. While they may not be seen by guests, the key to motivating staff is to make sure they feel seen by you as the manager. Taking the time to make operations fun, and showing them that you appreciate and recognize their work, is an important part of maintaining a high-functioning team.
Optimize your cleaning & property care with purpose-built tools
If you want to turn your vacation rental cleans into a money maker, Breezeway’s software and mobile app are an excellent place to start. From coordinating and communicating to verifying detailed work, you can optimize your teams and deliver the best rental and client experiences.
Request a demo today at breezeway.io/demo-request to learn how you can save thousands in operational costs, eliminate hours of manual work each month, drive additional service revenue, and elevate your brand.