4 Tips for Keeping Your Short-Term Rentals Squeaky Clean

4 rules for keeping your airbnb clean

Keep Your Listings in Tip-Top Shape to Earn Yourself Tip-Top Reviews

The word “cleaning” invokes a fair amount of dread in most people. It’s not a fun task for anyone, but especially not for property managers with a portfolio of tens or even hundreds of rentals that they’ve got to keep in tip-top shape at all times!

If you’re a short-term property manager, cleaning isn’t just a drag, it’s a critical component of your business operations that can make or break you. Guests expect accommodations to be spick and span, and trust us, they’ll tell the world about it in their reviews if it isn’t.  

So you’re convinced. You’ve got to keep your rentals neat and tidy. Now, where to start?

We know it’s a tall order, so we’re here to help.


Here are the
top 4 rules for keeping your Airbnbs Clean:

1) It’s All About Appearances

When it comes to properties that people vacation in, it’s not enough for them to BE clean – they’ve got to LOOK clean. That means even if you’ve scrubbed every surface and dusted every crevice, your guests are not going to be impressed unless everything has a place and the entirety of the rental’s interior is orderly and well-planned. No clutter, no randomly placed accessories and no useless “stuff” just taking up space.

keeping your airbnb clean

Someone might live on the premises for part of the year, but your guests are the last people who should know that. The ideal vacation accommodation is one that provides the feeling that it was created exclusively for its present guests, so keep the personal belongings to a minimum and make sure everything there is adding to the experience in one way or another. 


2) But…it’s Also About Cleanliness

There’s a big difference between neat and clean. Even if you’ve complied with rule #1 to the T, if your rentals aren’t thoroughly cleared of dust, dirt and grime, you’re going to have some very displeased guests to answer to.

Target hot filth-attractors, like showers, sinks and stovetops, but don’t forget about those sneaky little spots that may not be the first to catch your eye. Lift up rugs, pull out refrigerator drawers and get to whatever’s piled up beneath the sofa. 

It may seem like a lot of work, but the more often you clean – and, as a property manager you should be cleaning between every stay – the fewer unwelcome surprises you’ll find each time. 


3) A Disinfectant a Day…

The last thing you want is for your guests to spend their vacations under the weather. You want your guests to enjoy their holidays and remember their time in your rental as a positive experience so they’ll leave glowing reviews, refer their friends and come back on return visits. 

keep your guests coming back with a clean property

With so many different people resting their feet in your homes, it’s critical for you to take measures to avoid germ-spreading as much as possible. That’s why you need to place extra emphasis on cleaning commonly touched items, like door handles, stair railings, sink faucets and stove knobs, especially during cold and flu season. Disinfectant wipes should do the trick and reduce the risk of your guests passing germs to one another. 


4) Overloaded? Time to Outsource

It may be tempting to try to save money by handling all cleaning responsibilities on your own, but once you’ve added a bunch of rentals to your portfolio, the workload will definitely overwhelm you. 

Trying to tackle it yourself at this point could result in rushed and incomplete cleanings, which will definitely cost you more in the long run than delegating this major operation to a third party. 

Properly operations management software

The good news is there are some great, affordable guest cleaning services out there for property managers. 

Properly, for one, provides tools for operations management, including turnover and cleaning, designed exclusively for people in the Airbnb and vacation rental business. 

The company provides a vetted marketplace of service providers who already understand the extra attention required for vacation rental cleanings, sends detailed visual checklists so they have clear instructions for each turnover, and lets you monitor their progress and verify essential tasks with photos. Best of all, syncing Properly with your property management system allows for automatic scheduling of cleaners based on your reservations calendar


Play by the Rules

A 2016 study on the importance of cleanliness to hotel and vacation rental guests found that 84% of respondents ranked cleanliness as “very important.” In fact, cleanliness issues are among the most common complaints from Airbnb guests. Basically, you’ve got to pay just as much attention to your cleaning operations as you do to marketing, communication with guests and every other critical aspect of your business. 

In short – follow the rules, and if you can’t, make sure you find someone who can!

Want more ways to improve your business operations and earn 5-star reviews? Check out Guesty’s platform, which offers a comprehensive collection of management tools that save you time and help you grow your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.