You think your vacation rental is clean– and to be fair, it likely isn’t dirty. But times have changed. The world is slowly reopening in many places, and people are more concerned than ever with how clean their accommodations are.
In a place like a hotel, there’s an entire cleaning staff dedicated to the cleanliness of a property. But what about a vacation rental property? Are people ready to trust their health and safety to the cleaning you’re doing after each guest?
Don’t guess. Here is a list of the top 8 things your vacation rental guests wish you knew before they arrive.
1. They’ve Got Cleanliness on Their Mind
More and more people are traveling, and feeling more comfortable using vacation rentals. Google Trends are showing an increase in search keywords for terms like “flights,” and the interest isn’t dropping, it’s increasing.
Other terms that have steadily been on the rise are “cleanliness” and “clean”, with the search volume increasing more than 70% percent.
The majority of people who are traveling are actively researching if their accommodations are taking cleanliness into account. Your guests want to be certain that the vacation rental they’re staying at is taking their health and safety seriously.
The first thing your vacation rental guests wish you knew before they arrive is that they want a clean space that’s safe for them and their loved ones.
2. They Expect You to Disinfect
In the wake of what we’ve been through over the last year and a half, your guests are expecting that you’re not just doing a surface cleaning job. For the safety and health of everyone, it’s important that you’re disinfecting as well.
Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has different definitions and criteria for each word.
Cleaning: Gets rid of impurities on surfaces such as dirt, dust, hair, and other particles.
Disinfecting: Involves special solutions that are specifically made for disinfection, made to kill the germs on surfaces.
The best strategy is to employ both methods– try a one-two punch of cleaning first then disinfecting. So your cleaning removes dirt and other particles, and then the disinfecting chemicals come behind and obliterate germs. (Consider using a disinfectant that’s registered with the EPA.)
Here is a quick checklist of the places and surfaces you should disinfect before guests stay at your vacation rental:
- TV and other remotes
- Touch screens (appliances, tablets, etc)
- Appliance handles
- Chair backs
- Toilets (especially seats and handles)
- Faucet knobs (showers and sinks)
- Computer mice and keyboards
Clean isn’t enough. The CDC suggests that disinfection should occur regularly to help prevent the spread of sickness, and you’re guests are expecting you to take those steps.
Your vacation rental guests wish you knew how important it was to them that your rental wasn’t just cleaned, but fully, deeply disinfected.
3. Bathrooms are Hugely Important
Bathrooms are one of the rooms in your vacation rental that your guests are going to be using with a high frequency. Moreso than some of the other rooms, it’s also got different risk factors involved.
With activities like brushing their teeth, flossing, and putting contact lenses in, many bathroom activities involve direct contact with the mouth and eyes. Your bathroom has to be carefully cleaned and disinfected since the risk factor could be higher due to those activities.
Here are some things people miss when cleaning and disinfecting their bathrooms:
- They don’t clean every surface thoroughly with soapy water
- They miss the most touched places, such as toilet handles, faucet/shower knobs, and light switches
- They don’t use a disinfectant cleaner after the initial soap wash
- They don’t mop and disinfect the floor thoroughly
Your vacation rental guests wish you knew how important the cleanliness of the bathroom was to them before they arrive.
4. They Want Freshly Cleaned Linens
This might seem like a no-brainer, but there are layers to it. Certainly, no self-respecting host would have guests sleep on sheets that were used by a former guest. This is a basic requirement of AirBnB, and if you aren’t providing fresh sheets to your guests, you’re in violation of their terms.
That’s not really what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the fact that you have to change all of the linens out, not just the ones in the master bedroom.
Even if a bed looks like no one slept in it, you should strip and wash the linens. Don’t assume that your guests didn’t use a bed just because they were able to make it perfectly. Every bed in the house should be stripped of its linens, and fresh ones should be added on. This includes fitted sheets, standard sheets, and pillowcases.
Also, regarding towels: Similarly to the sheets, we know you’re washing the towels that the guests are using, but you have to go a step further. If a towel is in a common area, you have to assume they were used and be sure to wash them (hand towels, kitchen towels, etc).
5. They Want an Empty Fridge
You might think you’re being helpful and courteous if you leave that half-full ketchup bottle in the refrigerator for your next guests. The truth is that in times like these, people just don’t trust that sort of thing.
Some folks used to think that it was proper vacation rental host etiquette to have some basic staples available in the fridge and pantry– things like milk, bread, and some basic condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.) But that’s not how most people think anymore.
One gray area is if something is unopened. You’re not guaranteed that people would use it, but they’re far more likely to use a sealed jar of pickles than an opened one.
The bottom line is that people are far less interested in convenience and perceived hospitality than they are in knowing where their food is coming from and feeling like it’s safe.
Your vacation rental guests wish you knew that they don’t want anything in the fridge, and will happily buy their own pickles.
6. They Care About the Smell
Every house has a smell, whether you realize it or not. This is often referred to as “occupant odor”, and it’s the overall scent that sums up everything about the people that live in the house.
What air fresheners they like, what detergent and dish soap they use, what they cook– all of these things mesh together to create the unique smell of a home.
As you’ve probably surmised, this can be a challenge when you have a variety of people staying in the same location over and over.
In addition to the smells from the soaps and other amenities already in your home, your guests are also going to bring with them their own distinct scents to contribute to occupant odor.
If left unchecked, your vacation rental can have a strange, offputting smell that’s a mishmash of a lot of things.
Your vacation rental should have a mostly neutral smell. Use a deodorizing product to make sure the home smells clean, but also don’t overdo it with heavily scented sprays. Try to use a spray like a classic scented Febreeze to freshen up rooms, furniture, and even the carpet between guests.
Still have some lingering smells? Some often-missed spots that could use a good scrub down and deodorizing are the garbage disposal, inside the kitchen and bathroom trash cans, and the air vents. Those are some common culprits that emit mystery odors.
Your vacation rental guests wish you knew how important the smell of the rental is to them before they arrive.
7. They Won’t Check For Toilet Paper
This is simple but crucial. Your guests don’t have any idea how stocked up (or not stocked up) your bathrooms are. And while they’re expected to bring their own soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste, everyone is expecting you to provide the toilet paper.
The worst part about this is that they won’t realize that you’re out of toilet paper until they need it (read between the lines there).
The last thing you want is a message from a guest asking you where the toilet tissue is kept, and for you to reply “we must be out.”
Your vacation rental guests want you to know before they arrive that they will be expecting toilet paper in your bathrooms, please and thank you.
8. Their Reviews Will Mention Cleanliness
AirBnB explicitly asks guests to rate the cleanliness of your home, so this is a tough bullet to dodge if you have any issues.
Worse than that, if there’s a major issue with cleanliness guests often make it the centerpiece of a negative review, which will almost definitely cost you future rentals.
Take extra care with the cleanliness of your rental home. Guests have come to expect a gold standard in cleanliness quality, and that is what they will typically score you on.
Your vacation rental guests want you to know before they arrive that they will very likely be mentioning the cleanliness of your home in their reviews… for better or worse.
Want to Make Your Guests Happier Than Ever?
If any of these things surprised you, you’re not alone. Many vacation rental owners don’t truly realize what their guests wish they thought of before they arrived… and that’s where we come in.
Here at Coral Breeze Cleaning, we intimately know what your vacation rental guests are expecting, and know how to clean and disinfect to the standards they’re wanting.
Give us a call, and let us help. We can take the cleaning of your rental off of your hands so your guests can be happier, and you can rest assured that they’re safe in your vacation home.
Let’s talk today.