Select A Vacation Rentals Cleaning With Your Upcoming Vacation

Why Travelers Are Turning to Vacation Home Rentals for a Safe Getaway This Summer

Hotels have borne a large share of the burden from COVID-19-related cancellations, but home rental companies like Airbnb and Vrbo are continuing to see bookings, driven by families desperate for a change of scenery after being stuck at home and groups looking to vacation together while remaining in a self-contained bubble.

The stays are getting longer.

Extended stays are becoming increasingly more popular, said Sean Breuner, the CEO of short-term rental company AvantStay, as COVID-19 has made working from home both easier and oftentimes a necessity.

“Usually we average about three to four days per stay and now that has increased dramatically,” he said. “You might see four couples get together to work from home in Scottsdale for a month at a time… people looking for control versus going to a hotel.”

A (Secluded) Home Away From Home Offers Unique Appeal

Hotels across the country and throughout the world have implemented social distancing and cleaning procedures to reassure guests. Marriott International, for example, will utilize technology like electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant. Hyatt will train a “Hygiene Manager” to oversee disinfection protocols, and Hilton will employ a “CleanStay Room Seal” to show the room has not been touched since it was last cleaned.

Staff said Getaway is inherently built for social distancing: you let yourself into the cabin, you don’t see a check-in desk, there is no restaurant. For now, the company is also limiting capacity to around 50 percent to ensure time can pass between guests leaving and staff entering.

 

 

New Vrbo Program Promises A Closer, Cleaner Vacation Rental

As the travel industry starts down a long road to recovery, companies are looking for new ways to reassure customers that their products are safe. Vrbo just introduced a new program to help its customers find a clean vacation rental closer to home. It includes cleanliness guidelines and new search filters that will guide customers to the right property.

New cleaning standards. These new guidelines combine information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Cristal International Standards. Homeowners and property managers now have “clear guidelines” for disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitizers for guests.

New property descriptions. Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests. Once property owners have supplied that information, Vrbo will add it to the property descriptions that travelers see on the site and app.

New search filters for flexibility and proximity. Vrbo’s internal polling suggests more than 75% of guests are more likely to choose accommodations with flexible cancellation policies when booking their next vacation home. So the company is adding new search filters that allow customers to find vacation homes that provide a full refund when canceling by a specific date. Vrbo will also highlight listings with the most relaxed cancellation policies, making it easier for people to find vacation homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date. Vrbo is also adding a search function for proximity, so you can plan a driving vacation.

You’ve introduced some significant changes to your product today. What are you hoping to accomplish?

We know that when families decide they’re ready to travel again, they’re going to have new priorities when choosing a place to stay. Vacation homes already have the space and privacy away from crowds we know they’ll want, but there are other things we need to highlight for them, including cleanliness, flexibility, and places to stay close to home.

 

How to Turnover Your Vacation Rental Property

A fast turnover rate is valuable because more bookings equal more money. As a vacation rental owner, you want to organize your bookings to maximize profit. Organization and fast turnovers prepare your property for the next renter.

What Days Should Guests Checkout?

If you’ve vacationed before, guests are offered check-in and check-out dates. As the vacation rental owner, you have the power to decide what these dates are. This gives you the organization to schedule your turnover services, and prepare the rental.

Some rentals write, “Turnover any.” This means that guests have the power to pick any dates for check-in and check out. If you hire services with flexible schedules, you can also offer this. Keep in mind, that offering consistent dates makes managing your property and turnovers easier.

According to one article, the most popular booking dates are Saturday to Saturday. They found that 85% of renters left on Saturdays, making it the most popular turnover day.

Sunday follows with a 12% check out date. Friday was less popular at 2.2%. The rest of the weekdays tallied 1% as a check-in/check-out date.

 

Mistakes VRBO’s Often Make

Managing a vacation rental by owner property (VRBO) can be challenging.

There is so much involved in creating a profitable vacation rental business that getting it right from the start is tough — manageable but tough. It is more than learning from a few websites and hoping for the best; adopting a strategy for marketing and operating the business professionally from the outset can yield more income and occupancy than any ad-hoc approach.

Putting all your eggs in one basket

In an earlier blog post, one of the suggested mistakes was listing on too many sites. When I wrote that, there were dozens of wannabee listing sites vying to take business away from the fast-growing HomeAway family. Airbnb hadn’t appeared on the scene for whole-home rentals at that time. Since then, we’ve come full circle with HA and Airbnb dominating the market to the degree that many owners seem satisfied with listing with just one. I suggest you spread the risk by broadening a marketing strategy and of course, building a home site as well. There are a multitude of hyper-local listing sites popping up that could deliver quality reservations without the draconian measures the OTAs expect you to comply with.

Relying on listing sites alone

Following from #1, even if you decide to list on several sites, your property still becomes one of many – maybe thousands – competing for attention. The only way to stand out from the throngs is to create a website and use social media to drive traffic to it. It requires time and commitment but the results over time will speak for themselves.

Being unprepared for emergencies

A dripping tap might not rank highly as an emergency to you, but to a guest who has prepared for months for a much-longed-for vacation, it can be enough to tip them over the edge. And if it’s A/C or refrigeration that breaks down or a power outage in winter, lack of quick resolution can have severe repercussions. There are so many potential issues that can arise to disrupt a vacation, that not preparing for every eventuality is a huge mistake. Just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean it won’t next week

 

Tips for Renting a Vacation House

If you’re looking to rent a vacation home but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Finding the perfect holiday getaway isn’t easy, but there are ways to set yourself apart from the herd and guarantee you get the residence you want without breaking your budget.

Start Your Search Early

Avoid some of the stress and excessive costs that can go with trying to secure a vacation home, particularly during peak season and on short notice, by thinking, researching and planning at least six months (but preferably a year) in advance. While this may seem excessive, keep in mind that vacation rentals – at least, the good ones—usually book up fast.

If you’re not sure where to start, your first goal should be to nail down your destination and the approximate timing of your trip. Once you’ve made these decisions, a real estate agent who specializes in your area can be helpful in finding a vacation home rental. Consider contacting popular brokerages that have a large presence or looking for individual agents that are known and respected in the area you are visiting.

Consult Multiple Sources

It’s very important to consult a variety of sources when vacation-house hunting. By shopping around and talking to many different people, you’ll not only learn more about the area you are visiting, but you may also find yourself a better deal. Leave your options open by talking to several real estate agents and consulting multiple websites.

Read the Whole Contract

Unfortunately, people are often so happy that they landed the vacation home they wanted and so eager to start having fun that they overlook the importance of the contract. But, this document should not be ignored. It explains what expenses you are on the hook for. It will outline not only your payment schedule but also your liability in case of damages or if extra cleaning is needed.

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House Cleaning Is More Profitable Than You Thought

How to Find an Affordable Housecleaner

HIRING A REGULAR housecleaner was once considered a luxury for anyone but the ultra-rich. But today, especially with more dual-income or single-parent families stretched for time, outsourcing the scrubbing, dusting and sweeping can be real a sanity-saver

“Consumers are starting to wake up to how much their time is worth,” says Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer for MaidPro, a Boston-based cleaning services company and franchise. The ability to spend an extra few hours each week on work, childcare or relaxation, she says, makes it worthwhile for many families to contract out regular cleaning tasks to the professionals.

Do your research. There are myriad places to start your search for a housecleaner. You can head online to Google, Angie’s List and other home services sites. Investigate the services and rates offered. Don’t forget to read online reviews for housecleaners on several different review websites. Why? “It’s easier on some sites than others to stuff the ballot box,” Homer says.

Ask questions. Make sure that you ask the potential housecleaner or cleaning company insightful questions to determine whether they’re the right fit for you

Note costs. The costs to hire a housecleaner vary widely, experts say, depending on the size of the house, the frequency of the visits, the level of dirtiness and the type of cleaning required. At Molly Maid, for example, the price may range from $100 to $140 for a houseclean once every two weeks, Roberts says, but those costs depend on the customer’s specific needs, services provided and even the region in which they live – the company needs to pay cleaning professionals higher wages in pricier parts of the country.

 

How To Find A Cleaning Lady You Can Trust

Anyone who has ever used a professional house cleaning company knows that it can be complicated finding cleaning professionals you can trust, and it’s even more challenging to hold onto them once you’ve found one. I owned my own cleaning company for 15 years, so from a cleaners point of view, I will tell you how to find a cleaning lady you or house cleaning company you can trust! I will give you all the trade secrets about how to keep your cleaner happy so she will be with you for years!

Who needs a cleaning lady?

Elderly customers who struggle to keep up with daily tasks

Professionals who work full time

People who have chronic pain or depression

People who have just compleated building work

New mums who struggle to find time to clean

People who dislike cleaning

People who are moving into or out of a property.

Landlords and end of tenancy.

Offices, shops and other commercial buildings.

The medical profession

Different types of cleaners.

Professional house cleaners are people who are paid to come and clean your house as often as you require.

They may be a  house cleaning professional run by an individual cleaning lady who cleans solo with no team members or staff, often referred to as a cleaning lady or cleaner.

They may be a house cleaning company who employs various team members who rotate your house clean often referred to as a crew.

They may offer end of tenancy cleans, post-construction cleans, move out cleans,  move in cleans, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleans.

There is a  difference between a cleaning service and a housekeeper so be sure you know which service you require before hiring! Housekeepers often live in and do jobs such as meals, laundry, beds, childcare and many other jobs a professional cleaner does not.

The benefits of having a solo cleaning lady.

It can be difficult to know how to find a cleaning lady but when you find a cleaner you can trust the benefit are huge:

The routine of having the same person cleaning your home is attractive to the elderly, people who have small children, and dogs, as the family get used to seeing a familiar face each week.

Working relationships between house cleaner and client often get stronger the longer, the cleaner works for the client.

Often clients say how they enjoy the convenience of having someone they are familiar with in their home as it allows them to feel relaxed.

Continuity of cleaning increases, the more times a cleaner cleans your property.

Flexibility from both client and  house cleaner increases as the solo cleaner becomes a valued member of the client’s circle

Solo cleaners often come via word of mouth and with personal recommendations.

 

Tips for Hiring a Cleaning Service

Cleaning companies may find themselves following a different method of deep cleaning when going into homes, home offices, and businesses during the COVID-19 panemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued recommendations on how to clean and disinfect multiple surface areas to help prevent the spread of the virus. Several states and provinces may be considering opening businesses or relaxing strict stay-at-home mandates as well. This may mean employers are finding ways to keep a clean environment for their employees if/when they come back to the office.

Research the company. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors to recommend a reputable cleaning business or individual.  It’s a good practice to interview at least three companies to get an estimate before selecting one to hire.  Check out the businesses through bbb.org to read reviews or complaints on them. Beware of businesses with poor reviews and multiple complaints, more importantly see how they address them.

Interview candidates. Interview multiple candidates to determine if you would prefer to hire a large cleaning business or an individual cleaning person. Request to meet with someone from the cleaning business, as well as with the person who will actually clean your home or office. During the interview process, determine if you would be comfortable with them since they will be in your home or office. Ask what type of cleaning products are used, especially if there are family or employees that may be sensitive to harsh chemicals.

Check credentials. Any individual or business that is considered for hire should be registered*, bonded and insured. This will protect your company and family in the event something is broken, stolen, or if someone gets injured on the job.  Whether you hire an individual or a business, request that the employees working in your home have a background check done, or you may want to complete one on them yourself for peace of mind.

Request references. Before making an offer, ask that the business or individual provide a list of references you may contact. When speaking with the references, look for a business or individual that has repeat satisfied customers. Ask the references about the services they use and if the business met expectations.

 

What to Know Before You Hire a Housekeeper

Finally hiring a housekeeper can bring such a sense of relief, but only if you’ve done your homework. It’s important to find someone who is trustworthy, particularly if they will be cleaning your home while you’re at work or running errands, and will take their time to do the job properly. Ask around for referrals and consider the ins and outs of using a sole proprietor or hiring a larger cleaning company before you commit to a housekeeper.

Independent Workers vs. Cleaning Companies

A number of housekeepers work as sole proprietors of their own business, but you might be more comfortable with a larger cleaning company that hires their own employees. There are pros and cons to both: A benefit to hiring a cleaning company is that they are responsible for screening the employees to ensure that a background check comes up clean. On the other hand, if you want the same person cleaning your house every week, you should choose a sole proprietor—turnover tends to be higher with cleaning companies, and they might send someone different each time.

Find a Referral

The best place to start looking for a great housekeeper is to ask your family and friends if they have a company or person that they use and love. One of the great things about using a cleaning service is that they have multiple people who might work out well for your needs. A lot of services will allow you to try out different housekeepers until you find one that is perfect for your needs.

Interview Candidates

Take some time to come up with real questions, and make sure that you’re thorough with the interview. Ask questions about what they enjoy about their work. Why did they choose housekeeping as a line of work? Check references, work history, and criminal history. A lot of services will do these things in advance, but be thorough and check out the results.

Decide on a flat fee or an hourly fee

When considering hiring a housekeeper, one of the things that you might have to decide is if you’re going to pay by the hour or pay a flat fee, though the housekeeper or company might have their own non-negotiable policies.

 

How Hiring a House Cleaner Made Me Happier, Healthier and More Productive

Sometimes you have to admit mom was right. When my husband and I moved into a behemoth old Victorian in need of some love, she shook her head. “You’ll never have any time to enjoy the house,” she warned us. “You’ll spend all your time cleaning.”

Enthralled with the acres of hardwood floors, fireplaces in every room, and gorgeous trim you only find in houses of a certain age (this one dates to 1890), I laughed it off. We had moved from a 900 square foot home that took a team effort of just 20 minutes to get it clean enough for company and I couldn’t envision spending any more time than that. We’d just get a Roomba, we figured.

We tried various approaches; one room a day, x number of minutes per day, refrigerator lists, apps, paper planners with chore lists. But when there was always more to be done it came to seem pointless to even make an effort. So we’d let it slide. Then something would spur us into action; family coming to visit, hosting friends, wasting half an hour looking for something we’d misplaced, and we’d lose an entire weekend to mopping, scrubbing and fervent proclamations that this time we’d get clean and organized and stay that way.

Between those frenzied bouts of cleaning I’d find myself in one of two untenable situations. Working from home I don’t get to leave dirty dishes or the mountain of laundry behind each day. So I had to either look at it all day, which left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed, unable to focus — or just deal with it myself, which ate away large chunks of my work day and left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You see where this is going.

We needed professional help. But I felt guilty at even the thought. What would people think? My own mom cleaned houses when I was a kid and I helped sometimes. We’re not one-percenters by a long stretch; I’m a freelance writer plus Airbnb host with a full-time rental on our home’s third floor, and my husband works in HR and is pretty much an eternal college student. We share a car and are more likely to shop consignment and thrift stores than luxury boutiques. Thoughts of a housecleaner conjured up fancy people with shiny jobs and paychecks to match. Who did we think we were?

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Use Deep Cleaining To Make A Better Home

Deep Cleaning Your House Easily and Efficiently

The biggest mistake people make is cleaning room by room (this is called “zone cleaning”). It’s much too slow! “You can either clean your kitchen in four hours, or clean your entire house top to bottom in four hours. “A lot of people get caught focusing on one area, doing a super job cleaning  the counters—and never get to the stove, let alone the next room. In reality, just wiping things down and moving on is quick and efficient.”

 

HOW TO CLEAN HOUSE FAST!

Start at the Top
No matter what room you’re cleaning, clean from the top down so that dirt and dust from higher surfaces falls on lower surfaces that haven’t yet been cleaned. Dust ceiling fans, then furniture wiping dirt directly on the floor. Clean all of the floors as your last step to remove the dirt and dust.

Bedrooms-6 minutes per bedroom

  • Strip linens and remake beds. When making beds rather than hunch over tucking bottom sheets under the mattress use one hand to lift the cornerwhile tucking the sheet with the other.
  • Clear all clutter, if you’re in a hurry gather clutter in a spare basket or bin for later organization and tuck out of sight in a closet.
  • Wipe down furniture with a dusting spray and microfiber cloth, working top to bottom.

Bathrooms-7 minutes per bathroom

  • I like to clean all of my bathrooms at once-make a quick trip around all the bathrooms in the house to clear counters and spray counters and tubs with cleaner or white vinegar, allow to sit while you clean toilets and wipe down the outer toilet surface.
  • Go back and wipe down counters and rinse tub then clean mirrors.
  • Come back to clean the floors when cleaning the kitchen floor.

Living/Dining Rooms-7 minutes

  • Clear all clutter.
  • Starting in one corner of the room and working around dust all surfaces top to bottom. (If you have blinds and/or ceiling fans, dust those first.)
  • Use an upholstery attachment and vacuum upholstered furniture.
  • Vacuum floors along with all house carpeting as last cleaning step.

Kitchen-12 minutes

  • Load all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and fill sink with hot soapy water. If your stove top has removable burner pieces that need to be cleaned, place in water as well.
  • Clear counters.
  • Dunk sponge in hot water and squeeze out excess, wipe down cabinets, counters and other surfaces again working top to bottom. Rinse sponge in hot water as you clean-you’ll be amazed how much dirt comes off!
  • Wipe down appliances. (When you have more time consider doing this trick for preventing fingerprints on stainless steel!)
  • Finish cleaning any stove pieces and replace.
  • Clean floors last along with all hard flooring surfaces in the house.

Floors-15 minutes whole house

  • When vacuuming carpeted rooms work your way backwardsout of the room moving quickly and without too much overlap to save time. (I use this vacuum and have for 3 years now, it’s the best vacuum I’ve ever had, amazing at getting pet hair out of carpets, I highly recommend it!)
  • Vacuum, don’t sweep hard floors-use an attachment to get corners where dust and pet hair can accumulate. This helps prevent kicking dust into the air that will quickly settle again and aggravating allergies.
  • Steam mops or Hardwood Floor Cleaners (this is my favorite) also make cleaning hard surfaces much faster than traditional mops, so I highly recommend investing in one of those to keep your cleaning quick!

 

Tips :

  1. If guests are going to spend more time in another area of your home, substitute it for the living area, and focus your time there.
  2. Disposable cleaning wipes make a good quick helper, but you can also use an all-purpose spray and a cleaning cloth.
  3. Once you’ve finsished your quick cleaning, and your guests arrive, don’t apologize for the state of your home. Guests come to see the host/hostess, not the house. Unexpected company, especially, will understand if everything isn’t perfect.
  4. Enlist the help of children and/or spouse to make the quick cleanup go even faster. One silly thing my family does is to have “practice” sessions when we aren’t expecting anyone, to see if we can beat our best times.

 

Cleaning Supplies You Will Need

It will make your job simpler if you have quick access to everything you need. It is a good idea to use a storage caddy or a bucket with a handle so you can carry your supplies from room to room.

In your cleaning caddy you should have:

  • Sponge (with a scrubby side)
  • Cotton rags (I like cloth diapers or old terrycloth washcloths. Old t shirts make good rags too. If you use old towels or clothing, cut them up so it’s easy to tell that they have been retired.)
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Furniture polish
  • Rubber gloves
  • Floor cleaner and/or polish

 

The Best Ways to Make Your House Smell Good All the Time

Every home has a unique scent. Some houses — we hate to say it — smell better than others. While it may be tricky to keep day-to-day odors at bay, there are a number of ways that you can deodorize your space. Sure, some jobs like pet messes, musty mattresses, and overflowing trash bins require some elbow grease and patience. But generally speaking, it’s fairly easy to make your house smell good — especially if you follow these tried-and-tested tips from top interior designers.

  • Clean your garbage disposal.
  • Refresh carpets and rugs.
  • Spruce up your trash can.
  • Simmer herbs and fruit on the stove.
  • Scatter candles throughout your house.
  • Bring the outside in.
  • Freshen up your air vents.
  • Deodorize with dryer sheets.
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