Should your guests clean your Airbnb right before checking-out? Well, I have been working with Airbnb, VRBO and other short and long term rental hosts and I gotta tell you, I don’t think so. I recently stayed in an Airbnb in San Antonio with my family, we did get a great deal on location and full size space but the unit itself wasn’t properly cleaned before we arrived. Now, because we are business owners ourselves; and even though some of our own clients may not give us that second moment pause before thinking about leaving a negative review – we didn’t even bring up until now. But, I did think it was a bit unfair for us to have to wash dishes and take out trash even though we were being charged for the cleaning. At that point – might as well have the cleaning and trash and dish washing be done by the same person cleaning after guests. Since we run a cleaning company that works with many Arizona Airbnb hosts I felt it even more unfair. Here are a few things to consider to give added value to your guests.
My name is Diana and I run Honest Maids in Arizona, I help cleaning entrepreneurs with their businesses across
the country as well as work hand in hand with Airbnb super hosts
for the proper management techniques of their units.
Here are my two cents on this matter…
In short, I don’t think guests should clean after themselves but the answer may not be so simple for you. Here are a few things to consider for your situation…
1. You, the host, live out of town
As you may imagine, yes – we do have a lot of Airbnb hosts who are real estate investors from either out of state and even out of the country. For them we often find ourselves doing off-the-menu items such as toiletry replacement, upkeep of units, handyman work, finding and coordinating with landscapers, etc. For our of country specially, Honest Maids is their Airbnb Property Manager. From being their Airbnb Property Manager, Honest Maids as a team has learned a thing or two. One of those things is on cleaning – of course – The reality is that an Airbnb for most using it nothing more than a person to person hotel service and as such most don’t actually want to have to lift a finger just how they wouldn’t at a regular hotel. Often times the differentiator is the privacy and convenience of the space since units can be found almost anywhere within a city. If we are paying the same as a hotel, although they are certain events or stays where it would be expected, most of us would not want to have to run our own laundry or wash dishes for the next guest. If the cleaning is being done by a co-host and they do a poor job, its your wallet that suffers the consequences from a poor review. At the end of the day your level of cleanliness is not going to match all of your hosts so what may be ok for you could very well be the most horrible thing to overlook in the eyes of a guest. So why risk it? Calculate your investment and potential earnings and overhead costs to include a professional Airbnb cleaning service fee and have someone like us take care of the unit after a guest checks out and leave before the next one arrives.
Interested in our Airbnb Cleaning? here’s a little info:
- Monday through Sunday 24/7 service
- Last minute bookings ok (for existing clients mainly, call and check if you’re new with us)
- No cancellation fees
- Flat fees, same price, each time – no matter how long we stay (perfect for those large party pads)
- Laundry service and hotel set up available
- Simple and transparent pricing structure
- As long as you’re our client we guarantee each visit will get done
- Disclosure: Because we do guarantee our visit (reliability to its max!) we do fire clients who like to micro-manage, it affects our efficiencies and from experience does affect our quality and ability to finish units within their time.
- We arrive right after check out
- Our team creates a visual guide for our reference for each unit as need (no extra charge)
- Give us a call or text 602-500-2285
2. You cannot supervise each visit
This one is obvious, if you are relying on guests to clean after themselves – what if you are not available to stop by between each guest and your current guest is horrible at washing dishes? What if they had an incident they just can quiet clean? If you don’t have anyone helping you out every single visit for you and you cannot guarantee that you will be there after every check out (shouldn’t do this anyway, is horribly inconvenient and not at all turnkey!) then you should have a company who’s literally getting paid to be there for you when you can’t be. Sometimes, even if you are near the unit its worth having a company on your calendar for a cleaning visit once in a while alternating with you so that when you can’t make it yourself last minute you already have someone who’s been working with you and all it takes now is just a simple calendar update.
3. Your rental is far from or off the beaten path
I haven’t stayed in one of this type of ‘experience units’ before but I know they exist.
If situation #2 applies plus your Airbnb unit is maybe a Cabin on top of a mountain or on a deserted island or a tee-pee in a dessert or something where you don’t have access to a property manager or house cleaning service then you may be better off structuring your pricing in a way that clients know that part of the experience, fee, and value is for them to clean after themselves.
This could work out if its a regular thing where new guests aren’t surprised by the lack of attention in certain areas. Then at that point you may be just needed to schedule a visit for yourself or a company to go do Deep cleanings once in a while.
4. Your Airbnb pricing is meant to be super flexible
Sometimes an Airbnb or other short term rental may be offered to suit a specific local attraction or type of use. Well, if this is the case you most likely offer a flexible price depending on a variety of things. Make the cleaning a full opt-out alternative as well where the guest does not have to lift a finger after using the unit. It typically doesn’t matter what type of product or service you are selling – buyers and hosts don’t want to be doing the “Value Math” – is it worth it? why are they itemizing their value and cost with me? What if I clean really good? or not even use things? Am I still going to be charged? Consider this picture below, shared by a fellow Airbnb host (Marko) – Clients would much rather have a flat and all inclusive fee that facilitates their booking and works with their budget at 100% transparency – with no possible increases in price or nasty surprises! Like when we schedule a cleaning for our homes, we always try to offer a full flat total price over the phone before even seeing the space! Talk about value and guarantees!
5. Your rental unit’s complexity and style
Whenever I need to find and schedule a reservation for a potential travel, unless is for business – its usually a spark of the moment type of decision… Sort of like “I’d really love to go X, maybe if I can find a cheap enough Airbnb ill book the flight too and just do it!” … well if this is more than 50% of the case for all of the rentals that happen online, or say even 15% – that’s a HUGE chunk of potential hosts you could be losing on if they are browsing on their phone out of pure impulse and do not want or can sit down and do the math or run the plethora of possibilities for each possible fee you are listing, specially the cleaning fee and cleaning requirements. Think about it, you could be better off not charging or simply charging everyone for a reasonable fixed fee per visit.
You could even see a jump in reservations if you promote your usage in a very clear and laid back tone. BUT if your unit is very complex in its electronics, architecture, usage, amenities, etc. then you may need to have a combination of rules and expectations that compliment the cleaning required for the guest with the cleaning fee you will charge at the end of their stay. Whoever wants to stay in a complex, artistic or highly amenitized (is that a word? Lol) unit will probably wont mind having to offer a helping hand in the experience the guests after them will have.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. There is so much to learn from one another specially when it comes to Airbnb because it requires marketing, savvy, real estate know-how, customer service skills, etc. etc. That’s why we have created a Phoenix Arizona Airbnb Support Group.