Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
Every week or so I get an e-mail from Community Manager that tells me how many views and how many replies have been made to the discussion threads I've taken part in.
I find it very interesting that this "Cleaning Fees" forum thread has been viewed 8,294 times and replied to 104 times, while in the same time period the thread for "VRBO's New Policy to Turn on Reviews" has only been viewed 846 times and replied to by 13 people.
IMHO the thread about the turning on of Reviews is much more important to our vacation rental businesses than whether or not cleaning fees are charged, so if people aren't aware that is happening (as I wasn't until I saw that thread), they might want to check it out.
Can VRBO stop us from cancelling our ad and placing a new one if this atrocity occurs? Not a perfect solution of course, but better than having a negative ad.
Phone - (585) 727-1486
Fax - (585) 421-8544
Yes, I specifically asked them about that and it appears they intend
to have a program to match up with past listed properties. Search
under New Review Policy in the forums to see what other people are
thinking of doing, as some of us feel we'll need to find another
website to advertise on.
I personally don't charge a cleaning fee. But mainly due to the other rentals not charging a cleaning supply. If I did, I would lose alot of potential renters. Plus It's better to integrate it into the price then charge it as a seperate cost. Our cleaning staff charges $56 plus tax.
I do ask that guests put one load of laundry in the washing machine and also if possible running the dishwasher. They don't have to do it but it helps speed up the process for our cleaning staff and we are able to get other guests in faster. When we write that we get guests in earlier because of this then they don't really mind.
I charge $65 to each tenant for both of my 2 bedroom/1bath Adirondack cabins that sleep 5. I usually have no complaints from anyone about this extra fee and my reviews all comment on how immaculate my cabins are. Every once in a while I will get someone who tries to get me to wave the fee but I just explain that it is not negotiable...they end up renting anyway.
I've taken a somewhat different tact with the issue of cleaning fees.
I have a 1,700 sq. ft. 3-bedroom house on Cape Cod. My cleaning crew charges me $120.00/cleaning (not including linens, I don't provide them). In the off-season when I get less rent for the house, I pass along the fee (no mark-up). During the height of the Summer months, I do NOT charge the fee, I eat it out of my gross rent.
So far, I've had about 10 off-season rentals ($1,200 captured) and completely booked for the 9-week summer season ($1,080 absorbed as part of doing business).
Well said John!!! Our cleaner is also our agent. In Hawaii if you don't live on the same island as your rental unit then you have to use a property management agency or an agent. Vicki is my eyes and ears to the unit, she keeps the unit stocked with supplies, occasionally interacts with the guests and listens to their issues plus she's also become a very good friend. I rely on her heavily to do her cleaning job but to also tell me what's going on in the unit itself. When she spends 3.5 to 4 hours cleaning our place, hasn't raised her rates in 4 years and is only charging us $75 while everyone else is charging a minimum of $80 to do just the cleaning, there's just no price a person can put on loyalty and trust. When our unit does sell, she will get a little bonus surprise in the mail showing her how much we appreciate everything that she has done for us.
My feeling is this, if you go to a hotel, you do not pay a "cleaning fee". I do not charge a cleaning fee, and feel it is up to the owners to make sure that the property is clean for the renters. They are on vacation and, what do you not want to do on vacation? Clean!!!!!
In my experience, as both a renter and the owner of a cleaning company, I now understand the reasons for a cleaning fee. We do work for an amazing management company that charges a cleaning fee- the cleaning fee covers more than just cleaning- it covers the laundry, prepping the property, trash removal- supplies (tp, paper towels, dish soap, etc). The renters aren't asked to do anything but drop their keys off. If they want to get up from the breakfast table and walk away without cleaning up- so be it. They only get extra charges for damage, so far so good. They hire us to clean, and it's left in pristine condition.
We also do work for a private homeowner that rents out their property- they only have us clean when they can't do it and the homeowner does a poor job cleaning- they try to bust it out and aren't thorough- so on the occasion we clean- its rough.
On the other side- we do occasional work for a mgt company who hires us when they lose staff- which they do often. They don't charge a cleaning fee- they pay their cleaners less than 10 an hour and give them time limits on cleaning and on the few occasions we have done work for them, it's obvious that the property was flown through. You can't properly clean a 3br/3ba home in 1.5 hours and do a good job.
My company is not cheap, but the properties we do get repeat business and the mgt co we do work for saw a rise in business while the rest stayed flat.
It's all in the details.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T