Airbnb Cleaning – Medium And Long Term Let Cleaning Solutions In Times Of A Crisis
As we all know, the travel and hospitality sectors have been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.
Many of us can’t operate normally at the moment, that’s for sure.
In some locations, owners and managers have had to switch to medium or long term lets.
Maybe you are hosting essential workers, medical personnel or such like.
These mid to long term lets bring their own operational challenges that need specific solutions so we thought that we would start a discussion with some initial thoughts and ideas and ask our readers what they are doing to meet these new demands.
When it comes to cleaning traditional short term rentals our stock in trade is exit cleaning.
Guests leave, we clean, new guests arrive. Rinse and repeat.
That’s obviously not the case right now.
Even if you are located in an area that’s coming out of lockdown, it’s recommended that you leave the property empty for between 24 and 72 hours before new guests arrive.
This presents all sorts of problems for owners and managers especially if your properties are in ‘fly to’ locations that have always worked on a Saturday to Saturday basis.
The same goes for urban operations where the average stay is 2 or 3 nights.
In both of these cases, if you adhere to the 24 to 72 hours break between guests you will be losing 50% of booking availability.
The logistics of implementing these ‘holdover’ days are further complicated by the fact that PMS and channel management systems aren’t set up for such a scenario.
Many admin tasks that were set to autopilot will have to be updated manually.
Those owners and property managers that have opted for 30 day rentals find themselves in different circumstances.
Essential workers, medical professionals or other guests may want intermediate cleaning but that would mean that cleaning personnel would need to enter the property while it was still ‘occupied’ (even if the guest wasn’t home at the time).
This may even be against the rules or guidelines in some countries or cities.
Changes of linen and towels will need some planning too, even if intermediate cleaning isn’t allowed or requested.
It would be possible to do a ‘drop and collect’ but the guest would be stripping the beds and bagging and sealing the laundry. They would also be making the beds.
Either way, this will involve time and costs will need to be passed on to the guest.
Exit cleaning is, in most cases, paid for by the host, as part of the rental cost.
Intermediate cleaning (even if it’s possible) would need to be paid for by the guest, over and above the initial rental price.
This could be tricky if it involves ‘off-platform’ payments.
In some countries, stays of over 14 nights require a ‘deep clean’ as opposed to an exit clean and your cleaning company will almost certainly charge more for that.
These things all need to be taken into consideration.
Long term stays
Long term rentals will obviously have the same issues as medium-term rentals but with the added issues of planned maintenance, monthly deep cleans and inspections.
Dealing with the unexpected
Even if you manage to solve the above issues and manage to rent your property/s in the medium or long term there are other issues to consider.
What happens if the washing machine or dishwasher packs up?
Or the TV or internet goes on the blink?
What if the air conditioning stops working?
How will you arrange for tradesmen to enter the premises? Can you actually get a plumber or electrician to work indoors at present?
Will you be charged a premium rate due to the current circumstances?
These are all things that need to be thought about.
In all cases
Anyone who enters the rental, albeit cleaning staff, owner, manager or other personnel, will need personnel protection equipment (PPE).
They may need training and other products (like disinfectants) in order to carry out their tasks safely.
Where possible, give guests the choice to book as many cleans as they need to feel safe, including a decontamination service before their arrival. This health crisis has affected people in many different ways, help them to go through it.
Communication will be key
Our businesses and our guests’ needs have changed and we need to adapt to these changes.
Guests won’t really want to meet owners and managers in person.
Keyless entry systems and key boxes will become the norm so we’ll need to up our digital marketing and communication skill sets.
Update your website and your property listings. Email past and potential guests regarding your proactive changes, cleaning protocols and anything else that will set their minds at ease regarding their health concerns.
What are you doing or plan to do when you reopen?
We would love to hear your ideas, thoughts and solutions to these issues during these trying times.