how to find a reliable cleaner for Air BNB
I have found two great cleaners in the past seven months- first I found one for the Fairview Cottage Air BNB in Logan, Utah. Now that we’re staying in it and fixing it up for the summer, I found a second cleaner for the Pink Palm Hideaway in Hollywood, Florida.
I ended up using the same technique twice to test it out, and and am thrilled with the results! I thought I’d share my best tips for how to find a reliable cleaner for Air BNB or a short term rental!
Having a reliable cleaner is SUCH an important part of being successful on Air BNB! I take this process serious because I know that a clean house is very important for a vacation rental.
1. use Facebook to find suggestions
Go onto Facebook and search for groups for the city you’re looking in. In the search field, search your city name and see what pops up. In Logan, I joined the group “Logan Classifieds.” In Hollywood, I joined the group “Hollywood Florida Moms.” You might have to become a part of a few groups to find one where people will freely share their referrals.
Next, ask in the group for recommendations for a good cleaner. I create a post that says that I’m looking for a cleaner for my Air BNB and see if anyone has any recommendations.
I’ve usually received at least 15 suggestions when I’ve made a post like this! Take special attention if more than one person recommends the same cleaner.
Because people will tag their favorite cleaner, you’ll probably receive a few direct messages from people who own cleaning services. I love when people take the initiative to message me! It shows they want the position and are a go-getter. It makes my life easier and proves how serious they are. This is who you want!
Now, it’s time to schedule interviews with 2-3 of your favorite cleaners. Specifically, schedule a cleaning interview where you ask them to clean for 20 minutes and do a 10 tour and interview. Recently, in Florida, when I scheduled interviews, people were surprised. But even if it’s not normal, I want to meet someone in person, show them the house, and see how they clean.
Also, I make sure to tell them that I will pay them $20 for the cleaning portion of the interview. That way they don’t feel taken advantage of and I get to see their work ethic as I have them tidy up one room.
For the interview, I start with a house tour to show them the spaces they’ll be cleaning. We walk through the rooms and I point out the linens I want washed and where cleaning supplies will be stores.
Then, I ask them to clean one room in my house. Before they arrive, I take notes of the messes I really want them to clean. Then I show them the room and provide cleaning supplies. I mostly leave them alone, but will check in half way through and am around if they have questions.
Next, check in on how the cleaning is going. For the first cleaner I hired, I was so impressed with how fast and efficient she worked. She got right to work and really hustled to get the space clean quickly.
With my second cleaner I hired, two people on the cleaning team came for the interview. I had them clean my powder room and since it was too small for both of them, I was impressed to see that the second cleaner found things to clean in my garage during the cleaning portion. I told her that wasn’t necessary, but it seemed like not working wasn’t an option for her. To be honest, I loved seeing her great work ethic!
Here are the questions I asked during the interview:
- Do you have any questions about this position?
- Are you comfortable doing laundry as part of the cleaning?
- Do you have experience cleaning or turning over a short term rental?
- What is your rate for cleaning this property? Is it an hourly rate or a set amount?
- Are you willing to send me photos of any damages or missing items caused by guests? This is mostly important if you’re remotely managing your Air BNB
- Are you willing to receive deliveries for replacement supplies for the property? For example toilet paper or soap? This is mostly important if you’re remotely managing your Air BNB
- How many people on your cleaning team do you have?
- Will a turn around time with a check out of 11am and a check in of 3pm be enough time to clean and do the laundry?
- Can you be available for a cleaning within a few days notice? Sometimes guests book last minute- how much notice do you need?
- Do you provide your own cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment? Or is that something I need to provide?
- Just so you know, I have a camera at my front door and back door. There are none in the house, but I did want to let you know about the security measures I have at the entrances.
- Can you accept electronic payment such as Venmo or PayPal?
- Do you have references I can contact or reviews I can read?
Finish the interview by getting to know them a bit. This is the person who will make sure your house is clean enough for guests. It is very important to make sure they know what’s expected of them. Plus you want to feel comfortable having them in your house and keeping it clean.
Make sure to check references they have. Ask if this is someone they’d hire to clean for them again- why or why not? Google their cleaning company and read the reviews. I personally like to make sure that no one reported a no show. For me, that is a deal breaker.
Hire the person you liked best and who you think will clean your home well. Call or text the cleaner you selected to let them know the good news!
After they’re hired, I like to schedule a time for them to come deep clean the house before the first Air BNB guests arrive. I’ve found that most cleaners want to do a deep clean so that with between guests, they can do lighter cleaning. My cleaners both charge more for a deep cleaning- $30 an hour or $150 for the whole house.
how much do you pay your cleaner?
With my cleaners, I pay them how much they request to make. In Logan Utah, my cleaner charges $20 per hour. In Hollywood Florida, my cleaner charges a flat rate of $80. It usually takes her 3 hours to clean, so that’s around $26 per hour.
Now that you have your cleaner, MAKE SURE you’re charging a cleaning fee to cover how much your cleaner will charge you. When you first set-up your Air BNB listing, it doesn’t prompt you to add a cleaning fee. So you manually have to do it. Don’t skip it.
When I first started my Air BNB, it was suggested to me to add $10-$20 to the cleaning on top of the cleaning costs to cover incidentals like toilet paper, paper towels, coffee, soap, and laundry detergent. I do that and it’s nice to have a cushion because the cost of keeping an Air BNB properly stocked can be expensive.
As I’ve explained, having the house perfectly clean for my guests is a huge priority! To better communicate my expectations, I’ve created a check list that I’ve laminated and put with the cleaning supplies. Here’s what’s on my cleaning checklist-
- Strip used linens- sheets, towels, bathmats, dish towels
- Start laundering used linens
- Replace used linens with clean linens
- Put away clean linens in linen closet
Clean the Kitchen
- Clean and put away any dishes left out
- Throw out any left behind food
- Wipe up spills in fridge
- Wipe down kitchen surfaces
- Clean sink, faucet, and other hardware
- Sweep and mop
- Empty trash bins
Clean the Bathrooms
- Clean toilet
- Remove debris from drain holes
- Clean sink and mirror
- Sweep and mop
- Clean the tub and shower
- Empty trash bins
Dust, Tidy, Reset
- Spot dusting throughout the house- wipe down tables, surfaces, and light switches
- Check that guests haven’t left anything behind
- Make sure all light bulbs are working • Make sure faucets aren’t leaking
- Tidy and reset- fluff cushions, arrange decor items, open blinds and curtains, leave welcome book on the coffee table
Sweep, Vacuum, and Mop
- Vacuum all rugs
- Sweep dirt off floors
- Spot clean floors as needed
- Sweep porch
- Replace toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, shampoo, and body wash
- Did you spot any damage? Are supplies low on any consumables? Notify me please so we can make sure the home is ready for the next guests. Thank you!
At my rentals, I like the house to be cutely decorated. I make sure it isn’t cluttered so my guests have places to put their things, but there are accessories and art through the house.
After the house was perfectly set up to be a short term rental, I took pictures of the house clean and decorated and put together a page for each room. I printed and laminated the pages so my cleaner knows where the decor goes in case it’s moved.
Ok, so there are my best tips for finding a reliable cleaner for an Air BNB! Here are a few other things I thought I’d share- I try to be flexible and let them clean when will work best for them (if there isn’t a tight turnaround). When the cleaner goes above and beyond, I make sure to tip them (like the time my cleaner fixed my toilet so it’d flush again!).
I pay my cleaners quickly- within a few hours of them leaving the house clean. Last, I make sure to say thank you and express my gratitude. It’s the least I can do since they work so hard. I’m not perfect, but I do try hard to show them that they’re valued. I’ve found that building a good relationship has been rewarding and gives me peace of mind that the house is getting taken care of. Let me know if the comments if you have any questions on hiring a cleaner!