Honestly, I wouldn't be happy that someone can come by at 9 a.m and start cleaning. If you have the check out at 11 a.m. No one should come before that time. I'm surprised they need so many hours to clean that unit. I have a check out at 12 p.m. and the check in is at 4 p.m. And they get my 3 bedroom unit done with 3 hours. Depending on how messy it is.
It's about 1500 sq ft. I have guests start the laundry if possible.
I do not set a check out time unless there is another guest due in. If that is the case I tell them 11 a.m. & they are welcome to leave luggage in a storage area for the day for safe keeping. Also as there are 2 homes on this property I tell them if 1 is open & they have a late flight to use the other place as a hospitality suite.
Also if in-coming guests arrive early they can drop off stuff & use the pool until I have the unit ready.
So far they will leave the place quite clean for me & are happy enough to be return guests
I would agree that the cleaning should not begin during time that has been "paid for" by the guests, that would be intrusive.
Where you and I are from different planets, completely, is your wondering why "so much time" would be required to get your place in order." Some guests are obviously more tidy than others, but it is not at all uncommon to find "siituations" where you might have expected to find only, say, an oven, or a bathroom, or what have you.
If we had a few hours, and either of us had the interest, I could easily relate from our personal experience 50 reasons why 5 hours can be a challenging time frame to get the places back in proper shape for the next guests. Sometimes, that it can be done at all is a miracle!
I am glad you are having such a positive rental experience, in that respect, but just wanted anybody else "out there" who were finding the maintenance issues challenging, to know that they were not alone. We do tend to put ourselves under awful stress, sometimes.
We have same day rentals. It has seldom caused us any problems but I believe it is because we have an awesome cleaning team who arrives within 30 minutes AFTER check out. We do ask all guests to strip the beds and throw sheets into washer & dryer before they leave. We also ask them to keep their towels washed as they use them since we live by the beach and have a pool. In the past we have come in and found every single towels - maybe 30 regular and beach towels - left wet all over the place. Halls, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, patio, pool, tables, chairs, etc. It was taking 3 hours @ $75 per hour to wash, dry and fold all of the above. Since then we have visited other vacation homes and resorts where they require the washing done and beds stripped - even beds remade. After that we began implementing the above requirements - which kept their exit cleaning bill down. Since we require our cleaning team to provide an immaculate home for our guests - they can now spend their time scrubbing baseboards, cleaning mirrors & windows, fans & light fixtures, wash down pool furniture and leaving the home clean enough to eat off the floor. By the time the next guests check in at 4pm - they find a perfect home. Only 4 guests have complained or refused to do this since we began almost 3 years ago. Hope this helps other owners with quick turnarounds or losing money not being able to rent the exit days.
I only have a 4-hour turn-around time on Saturdays for our weekly rental property - check-out is at noon, check-in is at 4 p.m. So to avoid problems I have a contract clause that says failure to check-out on time will result in a $250 "late check-out surcharge." Kind of harsh, but lets people know I mean business. And noon is a generous check-out time.
4 or 6 hours is plenty of time to clean a unit during low demand times. But lets be honest here - if they have only 4 cleaners and they get hit with 50 units to clean on one day - all of which are back to back rentals on December 24th, it may not be humanly possible to clean that many units. They need some folks to check out at 7am so they can get their crew to work. We are in ski country and lots of people expect to get in some quick runs, come back, shower, and change and head home - they often push the 10am check out time requirement. I don't think the question is how many hours are enough - it is really a personel management issue for the rental company. No company has the luxury of having "too many people" just to meet our needs in very high demand periods that only happen once or twice a year.
I have a noon check out time with a 4pm check in time. This seems to work for me on Cape Cod in the high turn-over summer months. I let people know they are free to check to see if cleaners have come, but otherwise, 4pm is the check in time. If I have people leaving early or coming late, I try to let my cleaners know so they can relax their schedule a bit. I want my place sparkling clean for my tenants so if I am considerate of my cleaners, I'm hoping they will do a thorough job for me!
My preference is to not use cleaning companies. I prefer working with individuals. If that person does good work for me, the houses are clean and the work can happen in the somewhat spontaneous way that I need it, then I will offer incentives or rewards for this service.
One cleaning lady lives next door to my first home. She does a fabulous job and keeps the place sparkling. She can let me know if more people come than contracted, or if they bring a dog against our policy. She stays in close contact with me regarding supplies and if I can't get something to her in a timely manner, she will shop and supply it herself. I pay her back. She's done such an awesome job, that we decided to give her a management retainer fee of $1000 per year. We give her an extra check every quarter to minimize the full impact to us at once. We work closely together with the schedule, and since we have no specific day check-in/out, she needs to be flexible for us. Check-in is 4pm, check-out is 11am. She calls me if they are still here at 11:10am!
My other two rentals are cleaned by a husband and wife team. If one can't make it, the other does, and they do a fine job. They are not next door, so I don't have my built-in spy system, but they are very good about calling me after each cleaning to let me know how they found the house, and if the security deposit can be returned. They also manage the supplies quite well, and we will likely soon be offering them the management retainer fee that we offer the other. (these locations are 1 hour apart) Again, we keep in close contact, so that I can share the feedback that I get, and let them know how much they are appreciated. This is hard work and maintaining the flexible schedule is challenging as well.
I get a phone call or text from them cleaning crews, so that I can let the next guests know that the houses are ready, and if they are in the vicinity they may arrive early. They really appreciate this personal service!
I checked into a cleaning service when we purchased the second two homes. I didn't like their work, and it was obvious to me that they couldn't possibly be personally invested in my home. The cleaning services pay their employees minimum wage and they work very, very hard. In hiring local individuals, I can pay them more and they offer an allegience/loyalty to me and the property that I wouldn't otherwise have. We are all happy!
Awesome post, Debi!
How did you go about finding these wonderful individuals?
We use two different cleaning companies, and they do a good job (we need 2 cleaning companies, because each has dozens of workers, and their schedules are so packed, if one doesn't have availability, we request with the other ... we even have a third company as back-up, but we rarely use them).
However ... I would love to be able to hire an individual who would be personally invested in the place, as you have done. Any tips?
Also, you made me LOL with your "built-in spy system" (housekeeper living next door). Sounds like you've got a great setup!!
It does work really well!
The first lady is a neighbor. When we bought the house, we had a 'neighborhood party' so that we could introduce ourselves, get a feel for the neighborhood and let the folks who live there permanently as well as those who own second homes get to know us and our intentions. We wanted them to understand that it is important for us to be good neighbors and we were interested in telling them that we were going to start renting the house. We wanted to hear their concerns and comments. It has worked out superbly.
When we bought our second home, which has two rentals on it, it took us about 6 months to get it 'rent-ready' and we began renting it almost right away. We are now in the second year of renting and have had one brief meeting with neighbors (the party-plan wasn't convenient for other neighbors) but we talked with each one, shared our numbers and invited them to call or email any time with questions or concerns.
The first lady was not interested in driving an hour to take care of the second property. So she asked around at her church and found someone who lived in the other town who was interested. That second woman was a peach who later transferred out of state. But before she left, she chose her successor, trained her, and now we are all happy!
My husband and I recently advertising our property on VRBO, and Vacation rentals and we have gotten a total of 6 renters checking in/check out on the same day. (I know!, what was I thinking) we have a check out at 10am and check in after 3pm. Fortunately most of our guest call and let us know when they leave usually around 9am.
I do not have a cleaning company, I talked with neighbors and friends to see if they could recommend someone needing some extra income and I found a lady who lived down the street from me ( I thought perfect), but later resigned because according to her "it was too much work" .
I was introduced to a friend of a friend to assist me with some home maintenance when my husband was away on business and we got talking and I told him what I was experiencing, he said if I ever needed anything let him know.
When the first lady quit, I called him and he said he and his wife would greatly appreciate the work and extra income.
To make the cleaning go a bit faster I have two sets of everything, they take the dirty laundry with them and simply switch out the linens and change the sheets.
I also got a steam mop to help with the floors and bathroom. We have a theater room and they would take their teenagers with them and they would be there while they clean.(they ask if that was ok)
He calls and lets me know if the house was in good condition or not, but so far I have had great renters. Who usually clean up after themselves.
He also repairs anything that needs attention and I am so grateful to have them. They also cleaned the windows which would have cost us an extra $240 had I used a company to clean them as I did the year before, they also repaired the sliding glass door and a loose window.
I let them know, how much I appreciate them and all they do. They would call and ask if they can fix something, I just told them to consider our house theirs, except when it’s rented.
Having individuals rather than a cleaning company has worked out perfect for us. They take pride and genuinely care about our guest as we do and make sure the home is ready for incoming guest.
Reading the other post I am seriously considering giving them a management retainer fee of $1000 per year as Debi. They have and will be saving me way more with all they do.
We have a management company and they employ the cleaners. Their set check out is at 10:00 am and generally check-in is at 4:00 pm. However, since we are on an island with no airport, guests are usually arriving or departing by ferry to the nearby island that does have an airport and arrivals, especially, may be quite a bit later than 4:00. Generally speaking, 5 hours is enough time to clean the house, but in high season when the same cleaners may have more than one house, I'm sure it's close. The fly in the ointment is when a guest is already on the island, perhaps having spent some time in a hotel and wants to get into the house earlier. Our manager will let them drop luggage inside the door but then they have to go somewhere until the house is ready. How about ... the beach! It usually works well.
I agree with you. The management team should be more flexible. I wouldn't want someone to come into our rental when guest are trying to leave. We own a 4000 square foot home and often have up to 20 people staying at the house. We ask our tennants to clean sheets and towels. We also have second set of sheets for each of our rooms. We got this idea from another rental that our family stayed at with 22 people in Cape Cod.
When we have a same day rental we ask people to leave by 10:00 a.m. and then our next renters don't come in until 3:00 p.m. but our house is much larger than your property.
We have a local neighbor who helps me clean the property. Her husband or another neighbor have also helped to fix items broken in the house. We have fantastic neighbors. I really like the idea of the managment retainer. The house is really for our family, however, I didn't want the property to be empty so we decided to rent the property out to individuals.
One thing I've learned from this Community is that every area in the country is different from one another. So my solution certainly wouldn't work for many owners. We're in the Outer Banks of NC, and most of the homes there are vacation rentals with absentee owners, almost exclusively family oriented weekly rentals. Most, by far, are managed by rental agencies, and check-in and check-out are pretty much the same for all. Check out is 10AM, check in is 4PM. The vast majority of vacationers drive rather than fly. Rentals are almost all Sat-Sat or Sun-Sun with same day check in check out. After 4 years of using an agency and paying them $235/wk plus 20% of the rent, we decided to jump off the bandwagon and renting privately. The two most bothersome things after all the money we had to give up, were the inconsistent cleaning by underpaid cleaners with no feedback as to the condition in which they found the cottage and the absolute lack of control as to who rented the cottage. So last August we started with VRBO. One of the greatest complaints we had seen on a forum frequented by OBX renters was that they were not allowed in their houses until 4PM even if the house was ready, and if they wanted guaranteed early check in they paid around $100 to get in by 2PM. Also, the traffic is terrible on Sat and Sun afternoon, called "The Duck Crawl" in our area, often taking over an hour to go the 6 mi from the main drag to our cottage in Duck and an hour to get across the bridge before that. So we made a radical decision. We set check out at 9AM and check in at noon. We found a small cleaning company that was very happy to be able to get their cleaning started early and promised that we would be number one on the time sheet with the same cleaner every time. Every one of our renters this year has been thrilled with that schedule, and many of them are up and out of there before 9AM. They say that the noon check in is almost like getting an extra day. And in the spring and fall when we have a week here and there that's not rented, we go down ourselves for the week, do our own cleaning, and have the house ready by 10AM. We notify our next week's renters that they are welcome to come in at 10. Our cleaning schedule has been a total success heightened by the fact that many of our renters are able to avoid the standard 4PM check in traffic. And like most of you, they don't have to stop at an agency and wait in line to pick up house keys. We have ours in a combination locked key safe at the house.
No matter where you are, it wouldn't hurt to see if your cleaner would be willing to put your house first on her list. A little extra $$ incentive might also be helpful. If that works out, you could then offer earlier check in on your listing on VRBO. I do understand that earlier check out may not be acceptible for those of you who rent weekends rather than full weeks. However, I've seen that a lot of VRBO vacation places are condos with lots of competition from very similar housing. An earlier check in than the others just might give you a bit of an edge.
The earlier check out sounds like a great idea, but families with kids find it very difficult to vacate before kids have had showers or breakfast. With an 11 o clock check, I still find stragglers at 11:10. If I asked for 9 am check out I would have mutiny.
To jojo is changing management companies an option?