9 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2012 11:21 AM by tyann RSS

    Does your housekeeper always clean on the check out date?

    jan.stevens Active Contributor

      I have been working with my housekeeper for about a year and a half. In our initial verbal contract she agreed to schedule cleanings on the check out date. As time has gone on, especially in our slower season,  she has not cleaned at check out but closer to the date that the next guest checks in. Unfortunately I am 1400 miles away and cannot keep on top of it. but, I have had enough experience with her that when I do have a last minute booking I find myself calling, texting, and emailing her until she confirms that the house was cleaned.  This is NOT acceptable for sure. It makes me miserable.


      My last last minute guest arrived to a very clean house... cleaned by the previous guests. Since I couldn't reach my housekeeper to confirm that it was clean, I called the guest to make sure everything was ok. She said the house was beautiful and clean and then she said, "would it be ok if we throw the towels on the floor in the washer?" I then knew that my housekeeper hadn't been there. My housekeeper called me the next morning with a list of excuses. She went over to the house and changed the sheets and put out fresh towels. I got lucky as the guests never complained and they loved the place in spite of it not being cleaned. I sent them a refund. My cleaner didn't charge me for the cleaning.


      I would have thought that after the previous incident that she would have changed her scheduling but nope. I have confronted her again and insist that I need her cleaning scheduled for check out dates. She says she needs flexibility.  The problem is that her flexibility leads to procrastination. I feel she needs to regain my trust and then she can have flexibility.


      I would like to find a second housekeeper and I am working on it. Our island is small and finding vacation rental cleaners is hard. Not to mention the word gets around quickly.  Any suggestions for a solution?   

        • Re: Does your housekeeper always clean on the check out date?

          wow. You need a new cleaning lady, OR you need someone to go and check up on her.

          My cleaning lady doesn't always clean on the check-out date, as she cleans 10 properties, so sometimes it's just not possible. However, she does offer to go and check the condo after the check-out to make sure the A/C is off, lights off, doors and windows locked and no obvious damage and then gets to it when she can. I live locally, so I have told her to just let me know and I'll take care of the 'checking'.

          I know in slow season she will clean, but then if it sits empty for a week or two or even three, you do want to go in, air it out and do a quick dusting, checking the drains etc.... My cleaning lady charges a nominal fee for those 're-checks'.

            • Re: Does your housekeeper always clean on the check out date?
              Senior Contributor

              Oh yes, the dreaded housekeeper syndrome... I can sure relate. My home's also far from me (on Galveston Island, TX).  I have struggled for years with this matter.


              I DO allow my housekeeper a choice to come in and clean on Sunday, after  guests check out, or on Monday am, IF I have no fast turn around.  She takes the laundry and does it herself, and returns it within 24 hours ( if there are no occupants in residence).  We do provide extra linens so she can remake beds, put out towels, etc.


              I have a property caretaker who also goes in our home to check the inside and outside, and he does this AFTER she has been there- or is supposed to have been. If he sees things not done well he lets me know, and I 'm on the phone with her.  After more than a few "recalls" to my home, she's doing a much better job. BUT is is frustrating to find someone who's bonded and insured.


              Bottom line, she finally understands that when I make money, she makes money ( if she does her job - if she doesn't she has to REdo it, hence she loses $$ and time.)


              I also ask my guests to let me know the condition they find our home in when they arrive. ALL comments - good and bad - get emailed to her.  3 strikes, and she knows she's lost me as a customer.  


              It sucks, but I don't know what else to do either. It's not like I have a ton of options out there.

            • Re: Does your housekeeper always clean on the check out date?
              tyann Contributor

              Yep, it's the housekeeper syndrome that plagues most owners. The housekeeper is amazing in the beginning, then after a year or two, they get too comfortable and start to slack from their previous standards. We had to find a new housekeeper last summer because of this. Our previous cleaner came across with an attitude that she was doing us a favor by cleaning for us, not the attitude of one who works for us.


              With our new housekeeper, I was very upfront about when I would like the property to be cleaned - the departure day or the next day at the latest if she had a time crunch with other properties. I know when she cleans because of our lock system - the Schlage (now Nexia) LiNK. I receive a text and email each time she enters her code into the lock.


              This came in very handy this week, actually. Guests left on Monday, and I noticed by Wednesday afternoon that she still had not cleaned. I messaged her to make sure she had it down. Well, she had not scrolled through the whole schedule I had sent her last month and missed it. She was then there first thing this morning to clean.


              Tyann Marcink

              Photography and Website Design | Marcink Designs

              Nature's Retreat and Canyon Retreat | Vacation Home in Branson

              • Re: Does your housekeeper always clean on the check out date?
                Active Contributor

                No, not always. My house keeper has another job but always by the next day after checkout, unless of course someone is checking in the same day, then it is cleaned as soon as the guest leave. I try to cut my cleaner some slack. I even know of two times that she has asked her boss to chance her day off to clean my house because of same check out and check in guest. I try to treat her as I would want to be treated and it has work out great for 3 years.