Welcome to the Vacation Home Help Podcast, the only podcast dedicated to helping vacation rental owners self-manage their properties. Your hosts delivers short and sweet episodes with actionable advice, tips, and strategies to level up your hosting skills. Whether you are a complete beginner, or been in the vacation home rental business for a while, you are in the right place to get the tools you need to succeed. Here are your hosts John Candelario Tim Casey.
John Candelario :
So for anyone on social media you’ve probably seen the TikTok about the person, the guests, complaining about the Airbnb that has too many rules. You mentioned you have to do your own dishes, you have to take out your own trash, you have to clean the house when you leave. How many rules is burdensome for a guest, and what should you do in your short term rental to make sure you don’t end up on TikTok with a guest complaining about your place?
So in my opinion there’s a fine line on what you should ask your guests to do and what you should not ask them to do, and it has a lot to do with how expensive your rental rate is. If you’re a budget accommodation don’t think it’s out of line to ask them to take out the trash right, but if you’re charging a premium you shouldn’t really be asking your guests to do much.
So Tim, in your rental experience how do you handle your house rules? Have guests told you it’s too much, are you asking them to do certain chores or how do you run your show?
Yeah, so this is one more learning curve where I’ve made plenty of mistakes and learned from them. And I started similar to where you just outlined John, asking the guests to do way too much. And then I decided well let me put myself in the guest shoes. What would I be willing to do if I was the guest, what would seem reasonable to me? And I’d landed on a number of things that I’ve not gotten any pushback from the guest. So what I ask on checkout day, this is exactly what I say to them in their checkout email, no need to strip the beds, the only thing I’d ask you to do is to place any towels, pool towels, towels in general, just put them in a bathroom somewhere. That’s pretty easy to do.
Number two, I would ask you to put any remaining food, opened or unopened, in a trash bag. Once again, no one’s pushed back on that at all and they realize the importance of not leaving open food in a home.
Finally, I ask them to put the final trash in the bin and any dirty dishes just put them in the dishwasher and set it to run. Pretty straightforward and what I find is if they check into a home that’s really clean and you only give them the basics that they have to do when they check out they will be very respectful and they’ll follow those guidelines, and you’ll be pretty happy, and equally important the cleaning team doesn’t end up with a real mess on their hands. So you’ve got to find that balancing act, but I think I found it, but again, I continue to learn every day John.
John Candelario :
Yeah Tim, you definitely did find that balance because you’re not asking for too much. If I was a guest at your place that sounds completely reasonable. But you do have some guests that if they’re paying a cleaning fee, cleaning, they’re not cheap right? If they see that they’re paying a $300 cleaning fee but you’re asking them to do dishes or you’re asking them to make the beds or whatever, you’re asking them to do this extensive checkout procedure, it looks kind of funny when you have a $300 cleaning fee.
So it would be more normal if you didn’t charge a cleaning fee and in your rental rate you included your cleaning fee there because then you can ask for some of these things to be done right, but if you’re charging a large cleaning fee and you’re pretty expensive in terms of your rental rate you shouldn’t really be asking for guests to do much, but you can ask for the things that Tim asks for because he’s just trying to make it so that his crew doesn’t come into a disaster every time they have to turn over the unit, because some people are in the frame of mind that hey, I paid for it, I’ll do what I want, and then they’ll leave a huge mess and it will cost not only Tim his cleaning fee but even more of a cleaning fee because the mess was beyond, right?
So it’s that fine line but you just want to make sure that your guests have a checkout procedure that leaves the house normal so that your cleaning crew can come in and take care of the turnover so that it prevents them from going above and beyond creating a disaster scenario where it’s a huge mess and you getting charged a higher cleaning fee, which you’ll probably be out of pocket for.
It’s knowing what that fine line is so you know what to ask for in a checkup procedure so you’re not asking for too much and have guests complain about you on social media because believe me there are hosts that ask for too much. I’ve seen some checkup procedures with 30 tasks and it’s crazy because if you’re on vacation you’re not prepared to do a whole task list when you check out. So it’s about finding that balance like you said Tim, and I think you found it and I hope this podcast episode helps our listeners find that balance as well.
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