Cutting the Fat Out of Your Vacation Rental Cleaning Process

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Cutting the fat out of your vacation rental cleaning process transcript.


Hey there friends, it’s John from Vacation Rentals with John. Thanks for tuning. In today’s episode, I will be discussing cutting the fat out of your Airbnb cleaning process by cutting the fat. Well, it was just on my mind because I am preparing for a competitive bodybuilding competition. Never did something like this before. It’s my first time doing it totally out of your Airbnb realm, but hence the title. So there’s a lot of inefficiencies in cleaning, and most of these things take up a ton of time and waste our money. So even if you have a pro Airbnb cleaner doing the turnover, there’s so many things that they may be doing that are incredibly inefficient or things that you’re doing that are inefficient. So today I want to teach briefly what you should look out for to save time on your turnovers and prevent complaints from happening from your guests.


We don’t want complaints, so let’s go over this unnecessary stuff. What is this fact? What is this unnecessary stuff that we can cut out of the vacation rental? So we have throw pillows, throw blankets, stuff, animals and decorative linens. These things look great in pictures when you’re staging, they look awesome. I have them in my personal home. But when you are asking your cleaner to do it, it becomes a hassle because usually a turnover is check out at 10:00 AM check in at 4:00 PM so there’s only six hours to do. The laundry actually lasts like five hours to do the laundry, and you’re barely getting through everything because you have loads of towels, maybe two loads, two to three loads of linens, sheets, pillowcases, you know, to drill. So this decorative stuff will just stay dirty unless you’re doing a deep clean, it’s going to be dirty, it’s going to have body hair, body odor, body fluid.


It’s disgusting because people do, you know, God knows what on it and we leave it on the bed. We can’t do that. So having this unnecessary stuff actually can create complaints and it’s an efficient to the turnover process. And while it looks good in pictures, it’s best to kind of leave it out. It’s your decision. But that’s just my take. Also, hard to clean coffee makers like the old drip ones, which are standard in all the homes and rentals in Florida. It’s a total complaint hazard because it’s not that easy to clean my cleaning team, they know exactly how to do it, and they use a toothbrush and they really get through the grime and there’s no moldy coffee issue. They know how to clean it. But if you’re not a hundred percent confident in who’s doing your turnover, it’s just a another thing for them to actually miss.


And the worst thing as a guest is thinking the whole kitchen is gonna be clean and sanitized. You open it to make a fresh pot. And what do you see there? Moldy coffee filter, gross. So to prevent that from happening, there’s different types of coffee makers that you can use like a K-cup or you could use the old fashioned one that are easier to clean, easier to spot when or dirty. That won’t be a total complaint hazard. So doesn’t mean get rid of the drip, but it’s something to think about. If you’re not a hundred percent confident that the cleaner’s going to be able to hit it every time, then you definitely want to think about switching it next comforters that cannot be


Washed in a reasonable amount of time. So in Florida, we can get away with thinner comforters like coverlets, little quilts, um, box border blankets. They’re thinner, they weigh less, they’re easier to wash. It’s the same with duvet covers. We, after the pandemic, lots of people switched to duvet covers because they were easier to wash. So that’s good. But comforters that are heavy, like if you think of those big down ones, or in Walmart, they sell those comforter packs, same in target and they’re really heavy or they have feathers in it, they’re not going to be able to be washed every time unless you have an offsite linen service. And with the state of Airbnb as it is, as cleaning fees are trending higher and nightly rates are trending downward, all that extra money you’d spend washing comforters that are that heavy every single time, it will not let your rental be attractively priced.


And that will cause you to have less bookings. So if you can’t wash it in a reasonable timeframe between that 10 to four, you shouldn’t really have it there. So if a comforter is not able to be washed, you need to know that. And a lot of times when you’re hiring a cleaning vendor, they won’t tell you the straight truth about it. And they say, yeah, yeah, you know, we’ll wash everything. We always wash everything. But does everything include that king comforter? Does everything include all of the themed comforters on the kids’ twin beds? Does it really include that? Because if you do the laundry math like we did several podcast episodes ago, it’s not possible to do that in a five to six hour turnover. It’s just not possible. So if they’re not actually doing those comforters, they shouldn’t be on the bed. And you either wanna switch to triple sheeting or a thinner comforter, a summer quilt or a duvet cover that actually can be reliably washed each turnover.


Next board games. I love me some trouble. I love me some, sorry, I like clue monopoly, but those have tons of pieces. Kids lose them and they never put everything back. And to ask your cleaner to check if the Monopoly game has all of the pieces, yeah, they’re just not gonna do that. So having board games, it, it’s going to look nice on the shelf, but when people actually take them out to play and they’re missing all the pieces, it looks really tacky and and unmaintained and it’s just not going to be a good experience for them. So just remove those board games unless you have a really great reason for them to be there, it makes your life a whole lot easier just to remove them. Now if you have a swimming pool in Florida, all of us have swimming pools, pool toys, always get messy.


And if you have so many pool toys, one, they could be a safety hazard, but two, they’re just a pain to clean. And sometimes your pool cleaner doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to clean it. And then your housekeeper doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to clean it and it never gets cleaned and it’s just all over the place and it just takes more time. So pool toys should not be given to the guests. If guests want pool toys, they’re really inexpensive to get at the store. So it’s best to set the expectation that pool toys will not be included, um, because that way the turnover will be that much simpler and more efficient. Now, let’s talk about rugs. People spill their wine, their coffee, their Coca-Cola, their food, everything on rugs. And if you’re not, you know, wanting to spend that money on a carpet cleaner, every turnover, it’s best to not put rugs all over the place because you could have one nice area rug in the common area.


Makes sense, it adds that accent to the room. But in every single room, if you have these rugs, they will not get cleaned all the time. And if you think they’re gonna look new just by vacuuming them, that’s not a realistic expectation and it’s really gonna create a lot of inefficiencies and complaints in the long run. So if you have a tremendous amount of rugs, it may be best to cut down on that. Now we have these non washable bath mats. So there’s bath mats that hotels use that they’re more like a A towel, super easy to wash, easy to put bleach on it, and then that way they don’t fall and slip on the floor. Then you have the ones that you put in your own home, the ones that have little patterns designs and they feel a little fluffier. Those are not good for vacation rental because those take a long time to dry.


Sometimes it takes a whole two cycles in a dryer to fully dry that thing. And with so much to wash, that’s not always going to get reliably washed on a same day turnover. Therefore, it’s gonna create the possibility of a guest saying, you never washed a thing. It has people’s body hair in it and it’s gross. So to just avoid the complaint and the headache altogether best to not have those there. And to use the hotel style ones that are more like towels, but you do need them because you don’t want anyone to slip and fall. Now, two toothbrush holders, toothbrush holders, it’s controversial because you can have a toothbrush holder, but it needs to be easy to clean. If the toothbrush holder is the one with the little circles in it that you could just stick the toothbrush in, so it stands up, how are you gonna clean the inside of that all the time, especially when they’re glass, it can break.


So those can be cleaned, but it’s easier to have one that’s more like a cup that’s easy to open so that all the tooth, the toothpaste and the bacteria can be cleaned out and sanitized reliably. And you could reliably do that every single time. But if you have a toothbrush holder that’s just really hard to get into, it’s going to stay dirty and you don’t want that. So definitely when you’re thinking about toothbrush holders, try to find one that’s going to be easy to clean. Your cleaning team will thank you. Now, toilet seats. There’s some that just slide right out. So if you go to the attachment area where the toilet seat actually attaches, there’s some toilet seats that are not easy to remove. You actually need like a screwdriver, a fill-ups, straight head to take them out, and they get gunk and urine all in the attachment area. Now they sell these new ones. You pull the caps up in the attachment area, they slide right out, and it allows your team to clean and sanitize between that attachment area, take all the urine out and sanitize it and then put it back securely. Those are the ones you want to switch to because those toilet seats can reliably get sanitized and cleaned and cleaned. And the toilet seats that are actually needing a screwdriver, those aren’t getting done every single time if


They’re not coming with a toolbox. So you want to be mindful of that. Next, here’s a couple of things you can do to keep it clean during the stay to make checkout cleaning easier for your turnover team. So provide simple cleaning supplies for your guests. You can use refillable bottles and provide basic Windex and all purpose cleaner in case your guests make a mess. You would be surprised how often people clean up after themselves if you just provide this stuff. Plenty of trash bags, trash won’t accumulate if you provide trash bags and instructions on how to secure trash. When is your trash day, when is your recycling day? And not to leave loose articles in the trash. Lots of different, um, trash pickup companies. If it’s loose and in the bin, they won’t touch it. And what does that do? In a hot summer day?


Creates maggots flies, smells super, super gross. They won’t pick it up, and that could have been avoided with some good instruction. So include plenty of trash bags. This makes your process so much easier now, provide a vacuum cleaner, a mop, and a broom for guest use. I can’t tell you how many times in my career a guest has asked where to find these things all the time. Hey, I need a mop. Where can I find it? Hey, do you have a vacuum cleaner here All the time. So if you provide this for them, if they spill the Cheerios, they could vacuum it up, no problem. So if you don’t provide it, it’s gonna be messier upon checkout and it will just irritate them. So definitely provide at least at a bare minimum vacuum cleaner mop room, plenty of trash bags and simple cleaning supplies, okay?


And leave extra linens in case there’s an accident. Hey, kids pee the bed. You know the drill. I usually leave a king set and a full set and extra pillowcases, but not a set for every bed. Why don’t I leave a set for every bed? If you have a guest who doesn’t care, they’ll take all the linens out and you’ll have to pay and wait for twice the laundry to get done. So I always leave a few extra sets, but not so many that it will increase your laundry bill and time. I learned all of these things through making so many mistakes. Hey, I wasted so much time, but now you don’t have to. Right? I want to close with one of my favorite quotes from Confucius. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure. I feel this applies to this whole turnover cleaning process because if we prepare, there won’t be as many failures.


And doing stuff right on the front end will save us a lot of headache on the backend. Thank you so much for tuning in today, my friends. The next episode will be on how to check your ranking on Airbnb and vrbo, and any other platform I want to make learning short-term rentals easy and accessible for everyone to support me on this mission. It will just take about 20 seconds. If you can leave me a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and subscribe, you’re helping me more than you know, doing this helps promote the show to new listeners and helps me create more of this content for you. And until next time, friends, stay booked, have no vacancies and take care.
Vacation Rentals With John is one of the fastest growing short term rental podcasts. The show has been growing in popularity because of its no BS, to the point lessons on how to grow and operate a vacation rental. Join the facebook group. To listen to any of the past episodes, check out this page.

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