When we travel, we use AirBnB & found it a wonderful experience and a great way to submerge into the local culture in a way a traditional hotel can’t offer. Over the past few years Vacation Rental Booking sites like AirBnB, HomeAway, FlipKey, Tripping, HomeToGo, VRBO, HouseTrip, VayStays, VacayHero and WimDo have grown in popularity and are fighting for top dog positioning. As a Property owner there are are few things that you need to consider, especially if you are going to be using a 3rd party service like CabinCareWNC.com to help you managing the process.
With that said, each property / location has it’s own difficulties. Allow me to give a little of what I know as it pertains to these services & residing here locally.
We hope that a guest in our homes will take the same type of care we would. Wipe water when it gets on the floor, don’t steal the Buck’s coffee mug or the Ugly Dog Pub Glass (it’s called the Ugly Puppy here in Cashiers), don’t leave trash exposed to attract bears, if something breaks tell us, etc. The reality is, we need to be vigilant & treat this as a business transaction.
Residential Cleaning for Vacation Rental Bookings is only one of the items you will need if you are renting our your property on a Vacation Rental Booking site. The good part is one of the line item charges passed on to the renter covers cleaning per visit. Now, let’s be honest, there are many homeowners that try to “make money” or save money not using this as a pass though expense, but they find (as I did) that the turn over is high, reliability is low, quality is poor and in the long run I was spending more in money and time.
Besides getting a cleaning service that will do on-call work when you have a booking departing and another schedule to arrive, a high importance needs to be places on the quality of the work being provided. A case in point was a recent conversation I had with someone in my local community. He and his wife have been renting out their mountain home through a service locally. He is being charged $150 per booking to cover the cost of cleaning and preparing the home for the next short term renter. He told me that there was a 12 day gap a few months back where the property was not rented. they decided to take the 9 hour drive to use the house themselves during this break and enjoy the local dining. When they arrived the house was not only dusty, but there was pet hair along the molding in the living room and the carpet was filled with dirt, dust and dog hair. It was obvious that the house was not done properly. He checked the external security cameras and saw that the “cleaning crew” sent as a part of the $150 contract was in his home a grand total of 19 minutes.
For any of you doing the calculation – that is $7.89 per minute.
I have clients who asked us to design a itemized checklist list of every item in the house – broken down by room. Each item is then cross-reference on every final review walk though when a short term rental departs. This small financial investment upfront, can save you a significant amount of time, money and effort later when you are looking for items you purchased for the house to make it a beautiful experience. Remember, these items are a cost and if you keep replacing them you are loosing profit. If you are going to do Vacation Rental Bookings, you might seriously consider treating your guests as a business transaction.
The cleaning charge allowed through most of the Vacation Rental Booking sites sadly will not help compensate you for upkeep and property management required. Truth be told – those tasks would be easy “for us to do ourselves” if we were living in a close proximity or renting the property while we were away – but still living at the property. Using an online Vacation Rental Booking service to book guests does take steps to assist you, including offering “best practice” suggestions, but we also need to have people we can trust locally to help with the things that we would have been doing ourselves.
If you need a plumber, a roofer, etc., your typical cleaning person cannot be expected to do that, nor should they. What that “team member” MUST do for you, is provide you with vital information important to your property. We call it the “need to know” conversation. This is vital to you so the issue can be addressed & not get worse.We here at CabinCare WNC developed a checklists and very specific processes for each service we provide. What these checklists do is help our customers address issues and manage risk that someone working out of his or her vehicle cleaning could never provide.
My father was fond of saying, “look at it as a cost and not as an investment, and you will pay less for it now but really pay for it later.”
Again, I am not implying to spend wildly, don’t take cost into consideration, or do more than is reasonably expected to maintain the property for long term income generating viability.
One of the services we provide is called Wait Services. When the need comes up for you to get some large repairs done or something delivered when you are not here (especially if you are using Vacation Rental Bookings), we can help you manage the property and the vendor (or the full project for you locally), or you can manage it from your location.
I or one of my team will go to your property with the key (another service we offer for Free is called Key Holder Services) and connect with the vendor you have selected and help you oversee the project locally to make sure it is done correctly and as you requested.
If your need is something I or my team can do without the need of an outsourced team, like freshen up a bedroom with a coat paint, wash the towels, order new towels (or anything from Amazon), put in a new garage door opener, install a Nest Thermostat, put a new screen on the patio door, etc., we will give you an estimate for what you need done and handle it before your next guest arrives.
As you know, “cleaning services” is the generic title for what you are looking to get done to help you manage your Vacation Rental Bookings, but there is much more that you need to consider. You need someone you can rely on to be there when you need them, especially if something unplanned happens. Depending on your needs, we can do it all, from large to small. If you don’t have the time, we can even assist you with setting up the proper program for the Vacation Rental Booking business to be successful long-term if desired.
Let CabinCare, even when you’re not there!
I hope this overview helps. Happy Vacation Renting!