CleanLet Solutions - News, articles and cooperation

Articles

Commercial Cleaning Services – Landlords and Hosts

2 months ago

written by cleanlet solutions

Introduction

This article contains useful sections ranging from initial advertising through to maintenance and commercial cleaning services

We have included tips on how to make sure the Guest is happy so that they leave you the all-important 5 – star review.
Whether the owner carries out all these functions himself, or as many do decide to contract out is a personal decision, certainly when dealing with more than one property delegation seems the only answer.

Advertise where the client is searching

According to our survey clients searching for short-term rental landlords use Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, VRBO and Trivago as their first port of call, results from these sites seems similar, our personal preference is to advertise on all five which will ensure that you reach a larger number of potential Guests.
Bear in mind that the client is usually looking to save on expensive hotel bills and to enjoy the independence that a home to home short term rental offers, this is often the case when bookings are for multiple Guests, and it is our experience that most bookings are for three-plus persons.
These websites have a great selection of short-term rentals listed, and customers can filter their results by many factors including, location, price, and whether Wi-Fi is available, we find from previous Guest reviews that Wi-Fi is probably the deciding factor.
Our advice would be to ensure that you have a fully functional Wi-Fi system installed this will more than pay itself by the increase in bookings.
Why not try an automated listing service and advertise to reach a larger number of potential Guests services such as Logify.com will achieve this for you.

Commercial Cleaning Services

Checklists should be prepared to ensure that the following appliances are in order:
Shower, Bath, taps, no leaks
Microwave (Remove & clean inside plates.)
Cooker check hobs and knobs
Fridge/Freezer left empty check for ice build up
Television remote controls and batteries
Wi-Fi plus working codes
Heating temp controls, save electricity (research best deal)
Immersion heater turned off on exit (clear instructions left)
Iron and suitable board
Hairdryer (if applicable)
Fire alarms, fire blanket, Smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide check batteries
Electric and water meter readings for long-term stays
Door locks/key codes are working efficiently. (Including any main gate)
Commercial Cleaning Services
A detailed clean must take place at the changeover if you are not carrying out this yourself make sure that your cleaning company has trained cleaners and that they use detailed checklists which are signed off by a supervisor on job completion.
If you wish to see a copy of our checklists let us know
Laundry and Linen service
Fresh quality linen is expected so do not skimp on pillows and duvets
A full set of pillowcases, bed linen, bathroom towels, and kitchen cloths should be made available for each changeover. It is a good idea to place some extra pillows and blankets in the linen cupboard.
Bear in mind that you will require two sets of everything at a minimum to allow for laundry.
Mid-booking linen changes
When Guests are staying for longer periods, linen changes are necessary you may need to arrange to visit the property to remove and replace duvet covers, bed linen, towels kitchen cloths and bathroom supplies.
Clean Let would be delighted to assist you with this; we also provide a laundry service for each changeover if required.

Managing short-term rental bookings

Aim to make all responses to bookings and queries within 24 hours.
When receiving inquiries, booking or questions it is important to send a follow-up email or phone call to the client, a personal telephone call is the best response and often leads to a confirmed booking. The follow-up personal phone call is often the beginning of a good client relationship and is a great way of introducing yourself.
It is a good idea to use a standard framework for all short-term rental bookings create a file of email templates to deal with guest inquiries, booking confirmation, terms, and conditions, time limitations of cancellations and preferred payment methods.
Do keep an updated calendar showing dates availability and dates booked, there is nothing worse than a double booking which will be stressful for all parties.
Keep a file of all emails and completed forms this is done electronically, but make sure that you regularly back up the system to save losing any data. If you do not use a PC that is ok, keep a clear easily retrievable record. (With automatic backup)
Booking Deposits
Decide how you wish to receive payment the preferred way is often PayPal this inspires confidence in the Guest and offers protection to both parties. A security deposit should be included, however, try to keep this realistic, we recommend 50-75€, the idea is to cover small breakages, and from experience, a larger deposit can be off-putting.
In the case of longer bookings, a larger booking deposit is necessary to cover cancellations.
Landlords often like to receive the bulk of payment in cash in that case you may decide to take a larger booking deposit by PayPal (to cover a cancellation) and the client pay the balance in cash on arrival.
PayPal can be expensive whereas a bank transfer is usually free within UK, Ireland.
If the client pays by direct transfer or cheque, do ensure funds clear before handover?
Our company always carry out a simple inventory of the property during changeovers on arrival and departure.
If there is a problem and you need to retain the security deposit that is unfortunate and should be avoided, contact the departed Guest and explain that the deposit is required to rectify specific issues.
Speaking to the Guest takes any animosity out of the situation and lessens the possibility of a poor review; happy Guests should be the focus.
A no smoking policy inside the property needs including in the terms as burns to the carpet or furniture will be expensive; most other problems are solved by our commercial cleaning service upon departure.

Vetting Guests

Most booking websites do give you the opportunity to vet potential Guests to some extent, but it is a fact that you will not always have couples who eat out, watch TV and go to bed.
Stag and hen party bookings are usually identifiable by 4 or more persons checking in, and in fairness, they rarely cause any damage or disruption so I would tend not to worry too much about that especially in a popular City location.

Door keys and codes

When renting holiday apartments, smart locks are the only way to go.
During the busy season, you will rarely be able to post keys, so the tendency now is to use programmable electronic locks these work well and are cost-effective and reprogrammed upon departure.
If you do decide to hand over keys always keep written records and spare sets, keys would feature as part of the security deposit and should be left, usually via the letterbox, on departure.
Keybuddy.ie are useful when it comes to arranging key collections and in the absence of coding is the next best thing

How to find us

Airbnb and most popular platforms will show a map giving directions to the property, however, email the client personally with a Google map, including links to major transport hubs, stations, airports, bus terminals and any recommendations for taxis/car hire, including phone numbers.

Guest information folder

Visit your local Tourist Office and pick up a good selection of “What’s On” in your area, local attractions, walks, places of interest, markets, best pubs, restaurants, theatre, and cinemas.
Tourist offices welcome short-term rental landlords as they are bringing visitors to their City.
A set of instructions must be available for main switches, fuse boxes, cookers, televisions and fridges it may be second nature to you but for many people using Sky TV when you are used to Virgin can be problematic, Wi-Fi code and instructions are also essential.
Include a list of emergency telephone numbers, Police, Fire, Hospitals, Doctor, Dentist, Vet.
Include your contact details at the top of the list, make it clear that you are the main point of call for any maintenance issues which may arise as the last thing you want is a Guest phoning some unknown Plumber or Electrician should the situation arise.

Health and safety

It is a good idea for Landlords to keep a relevant copy of Standards and Regulations for reference and to show due diligence.
Housing (Standards For Rented Houses) regulations 2017
Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that properties meet the Regulatory Requirements.

Maintenance

Maintenance can be the greatest drain on profit if not provided for and assessed on a regular basis.
Maintenance issues are inevitable, and the best way of dealing with issues is to develop a maintenance plan.
Issues may come to your attention from various sources, Janitorial services, Property Management Company, commercial cleaning services, Guests or by your inspection. Make notes and dates of all issues.
Rate the issue by severity.
Priority: deal with immediately
Moderate: resolve with within a week
Small: part of an ongoing list
Contact tradesmen.ie and locate Electrical, Plumbing, Tiling and Structural professional services, speak with up to 4 persons from each discipline and arrange a meeting to determine hourly rates and call out availability.
Use your sense of judgment or recommendation to determine which two from each trade is best suited for you.
Ideally, you should find two good all-rounders with plenty of experience.
Arrange for the tradesman, who should be within your immediate area to be available should the need arise at short notice.
Make sure that you have a backup service to allow for time schedules
Do not let the Guest call out maintenance services; this is why the phone number of the host or his representative should appear at the top of the list of contact numbers in the guest folder.

Guest complaints

All short-term rental Hosts will receive complaints from time to time it is part of the job, the important thing is to make complaints a rare occurrence.
When a Guest complains, the issue must be dealt with as soon as possible. Hopefully, if a guest has an issue that they are unhappy about, they will contact you during their stay, and a personal visit from yourself or your Representative will quickly sort it out.
If the owner is unaware of the problem, it may only come to his attention when an adverse review is written.
If this happens (as it does) always phone the Guest apologise for the issue (right or wrong) and possibly offer a discount on a return visit, ask the Guest to revise the review, from experience I can say that 9 times out 10 the Guest is happy to do so and the review turns into one of the best.
Incidentally, it seems most complaints are about Wi-Fi, remote controls, irons, key locks, hairdryers, and double check!!
Correct issues at the first opportunity, if applicable.
If we can assist, Landlords of short-term rental apartments with any of the above, please contact us we will be delighted to give you our free no obligation quote for our commercial cleaning services.

Five-star reviews and customer feedback

Five-star reviews are imperative for short-term rental landlords, and the way to achieve these is determined from the start:
How the advert is listed and how the inquiry and booking confirmations are dealt with.
Ease of key exchange, code instruction.
Cleanliness and freshness both inside and surrounding areas.
Linen and laundry, changes of towels and bedding as required, depending on the length of the stay.
Good working order, of general household and electrical equipment.
Fast response to resolve any maintenance issues which may arise.
Where it is possible any personal interaction by phone or in person will usually determine the comments that guests leave at the end of their visit.
An opportunity to call a Guest is a couple of days before arrival to confirm arrival times and date, so there is no misunderstanding which may cause problems later.
It is helpful at some stage to find out the reason for the Guest visit if they are attending an annual event such as Rugby, Concerts and Horse Shows or Punchestown racing, this leaves a perfect opportunity to remarket, by contacting the Guest later in the calendar when the event is recurring.

We hope that you enjoyed our article and found it constructive.
We would be delighted to assist you with any of the above.
www.cleanlet.solutions

www.knightfrank.co.uk – Short Lets

www.thepropertylandlord.co.uk – Rules on Letting Out Your Home for a Short Period

www.holidaylettings.co.uk – Owner advice

www.thepropertylandlord.co.uk – Landlord With Holiday Letting

www.airbnb.co.uk – How to Host

www.foxtons.co.uk – A step-by-step guide to letting your property

www.ownersdirect.co.uk – A Complete Guide to Marketing Holiday Homes Online

www.gov.uk – Do you have paying guests?

www.gov.uk – Private Landlords Survey 2010

www.investopedia.com – The Pros And Cons Of Using Airbnb

Commercial Cleaning Services – Top Tips for Landlords and Hosts

2 months ago

Written by the cleanlet team

Commercial Cleaning services for short-term rentals are usually required when the Landlord or Host is not available or has more than one property and needs to call in outside professional help.

In high season an apartment in a popular city location may have five or six changeovers per week, for each changeover, guest services and a detailed clean are required.

Typical problems that Landlords face are Key handover, fresh laundry and linen supplies, maintenance issues which are not identified and can lead to poor guest reviews.

Where guests are staying for longer periods an interim changeover of bed linen, towels and kitchen cloths is required.

A deep clean will be required periodically to reach those build ups of dirt in hard to reach areas around the apartment it should include areas such as cookers, carpet, and furniture fabrics, fridge defrosts and outside windows. Changeover cleans should help to keep on top of important areas in the apartment.

It is important on entering the apartment to make sure there is adequate ventilation. Open the windows to air the property.

Your Commercial Cleaning Service would typically address the following areas starting with:

Bedrooms

Clean standing and fixed mirrors

Insides of windows

Make sure that curtains clean and are operating correctly on their rails

Wipe ledges and surfaces (flexible dusting wand is useful for these activities)

Wardrobes, storage areas, dressers, and drawers

Dust or polish, bedside tables, ensure reading lamps are working, dust lampshades and fittings

Empty bins and replace linings

Check TV, remote controls, lighting and hairdryer

Strip pillowcases, duvets and bed sheets

Vacuum top surface of the mattress and the sides this will remove dust mites and other unwanted guests that dwell on the surfaces.

Spray mattresses with Lysol this will kill any bacteria, is safe to use and eliminates odours. This may sound time consuming but it is not, it is a quick spray which is effective, leaving a pleasant aroma as well as ensuring guest health and safety.

Replace bedding in a traditional fashion possible using a distinctive tuck in, then roll hand towels neatly and place on top of the bed.

A good commercial cleaning service will not ignore mattress hygiene, as this an area of concern, guest are far more aware of the potential hazards.

A recent survey which we carried out showed that bed bugs are the top issue that hotel visitors are concerned with.

Hosts should consider mentioning mattress hygiene in their apartment advertising, a paragraph saying that bed sanitization is a priority would be a very good selling point.

Kitchen:

Empty fridge and cupboards of waste food and drink, it is ok to leave a fresh ice bag if there is already one in the freezer.

Clear waste and put into a disposal bag ready for safe removal.

Use correct bags with segregated contents in line with local environmental standards.

Clean counters, drawers, tables chairs and kitchen cupboards, remove all unwanted items.

Wash up, dry and put away, pots, pans, cups, glasses, crockery, and cutlery into the applicable area.

Clean and disinfect sink and taps, leaving a good shiny surface.

Rinse and clean dishwasher including the food trap.

Check for function, and clean out microwave and fridge.

Microwave tip

If the microwave is very messy, use any microwave type bowl, fill with mixed lemon juice and water, run for 3 minutes on high add an extra 3 minutes to settle, then wipe with a clean cloth. Leave surface clean and shining

Switch on the oven and check that it is working correctly, clean hobs and surfaces of the cooker.

Clean handles, surfaces, and glass on all utilities.

Empty bins and replace linings.

Wipe down tables and rearrange seating.

Sweep and mop the floor.

Bathroom:

Empty bins and replace linings.

Clean, disinfect basin and taps, then shine.

Clean, disinfect toilet and fittings (Domestos, Harpic wipe and shine)

Flush toilet as part of the cleaning process also to ensure good working order.

Clean, disinfect bath/shower and shine plus fittings (check shower function)

Wash shower curtains and feet liners (clean underneath) then dry surface do not leave a water residue.

Shower curtains, doors and ledges are hair traps, double check and remove.

Clean, disinfect bath mats on both sides and wipe away any water residue underneath.

Replace toilet paper, and include a couple of spare rolls on view.

Mop and shine floors and ledges.

Clean and dry surfaces and container placements (shower gels, soap, and shampoos)

Remove towels and cloths for laundry in the bags provided, replace with fresh towels and cloths.

An interesting observation I thought I should make, if you stay in a hotel and lie down in the bath you can see so many parts of the bathroom which need attention, these are all areas that the host probably rarely sees but which most guests do see. I am not suggesting that the cleaning service staff lie down in the bath but it is something the host may consider!!!

Living area:

Dust and polish furniture, chairs, and tables

Dust shelves, pictures, books, tables and generally walk around room applying furniture polish and duster where required.

Check and clean appliances including light switches.

Check TV is working, clean screen and surfaces.

Check guest information pack includes Wi-Fi details and password.

Vacuum couch and soft chair crevices and rearrange cushions (apply fabric freshener)

Sweep floor and vacuum carpets.

Empty any drawers of unwanted items rearrange magazines, flowers.

Check lights, emergency boxes, fire, carbon monoxide detectors, make sure that the batteries are charged.

Patio

If there is a patio or balcony which is open to guests, check sliding doors and windows are operating correctly.

Wash down and clean outdoor furniture, wipe down seating area and tables

Sweep balcony and wipe ledges.

Clear cobwebs and anything else which may be off-putting.

Stairways and Halls:

Check door codes (also, if applicable main gates locks and codes)

Check keys are correct and fit for purpose.

Make sure that there is a spare set of keys.

Empty the letterbox and wipe.

Put away any mail for return to the landlord. Dispose of junk mail.

Dust or polish as applicable any other porch areas.

Vacuum carpets, sweep and mop laminate flooring.

Dust banisters and staircase.

Dust picture frames or exterior ornaments.

Clean entry door fittings include letterboxes or brass fittings.

Check lighting and safety fittings, make sure that batteries charged.

Commercial Cleaning services should address all these points during a changeover clean, periodically the host should carry out a more in-depth clean which would include mattress turnover, carpets, oven, curtains and outside windows.

We do hope that this article has been of interest to you and if wish to contact us please do.

Team@cleanlet.solutions

cleanlet.solutions

Dynamic Pricing – Short Term Rental – Top Tips for Landlords and Hosts

2 months ago

What is Dynamic pricing (Yield Management)

Commercial cleaning services recommend Dynamic Pricing as part of their marketing strategy

Short term rental hosts and landlords should use Dynamic Pricing, setting variable rates for apartments. This is the best way of maximising returns.

Advertising variable rates at peak times require strict refund policies, due to the increase in demand.

The essence of Dynamic pricing can be summed up in two words “Supply and Demand”

Most companies vary prices on a seasonal basis, why not make your pricing, event-driven?

Planning for Dynamic pricing

Know your costs

You will need to have a baseline to work from. This involves working out your monthly costs and the return on investment that you require for letting out your property.

Landlords with more than one busy property often contract out commercial cleaning services, these are costs you must consider along with financial repayments, overheads, taxes, utilities, and maintenance.

Work out a minimum / maximum acceptable spread of rates that suit your budget

Listing key events

If your property is fully booked this may seem fine, but you are missing out on profits, by not allowing prices to peak nearer to key dates.

The best deals are taken quickly, leaving the opportunity for best-priced listings nearer to the arrival dates.

Maintain a computerised calendar (Beyond pricing) as you hover over dates it will show all the important events in your area over the next 12 months.

Search for major events, a few examples include the following:

Rugby internationals, GAA matches, Sporting events

Concerts, Film festivals, Writer’s festivals, Maritime festivals

Flower shows

Cultural exhibitions

Yearly events, St Patrick’s day, Easter, Christmas, New Year, UK bank holidays

Horse racing, major meetings held at Punchestown, The Curragh, Naas, Fairyhouse, Leopardstown.

Dublin Horse Show RDS

Write down popular events and sort by importance awarding points 1-10

A number of popular rental sites like Airbnb, Booking.com have introduced smart pricing which is another term for Dynamic pricing.

A word of caution check the suggested prices as algorithms can produce odd results on occasion. You can always override suggestions.

Guest Categories

Guests are usually grouped into the following categories:

Long-term planning: Guests booking early for school and family holidays, they usually want the best selection and often stay for longer periods

Midterm planning: Guests who are attending weddings or events in your area, these are usually persons who are indifferent to specifics of the accommodation.

Stag and Hen parties come into this category, these bring in good regular income and rarely are there any problems, contrary to popular opinion.

Short term planning: Guests who want a last minute break, and who will shop around for a cheap deal, they will check hotel prices and then move onto the popular rental sites, this type of Guest realises that their options are limited and often end up paying more due to lack of availability.

If you happen to be fully booked well before the arrival dates this can show a problem with the pricing, you should allow for a limited amount of accommodation to be available up to a week before arrival dates as you may be missing out on premium last minute rates.

Develop a pricing plan and benefit from increased turnover.

Deciding on the best advertising platform

Social media is a good way of letting the public know that you have a rental apartment, it offers the chance to advertise and promote your business to a wide audience.

Using social media in conjunction with Airbnb, Booking.com and Trivago is a sound marketing technique.

We recommend using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your listings, link your social media sites, including lots of photographs and guest experiences.

By researching your audience and positioning your business in front of potential Guests you will find social media an invaluable part of the advertising process

Airbnb (we recommend this as the primary website)

The company started operations in 2008 and has grown to become one of the most popular websites for the short-term rental industry.

Airbnb is probably the most searched website in its sphere.

Airbnb works well for cosmopolitan cities that attract lots of tourists and are bases for major companies and universities. Rentals benefit from the combined attraction to business and tourism

Setting up for your advertising your property requires time and attention to detail, Landlords and Hosts are required to add a profile and picture then follow an easy verification process’

Good photographs are a must, photographs need to be accurate as a poor review is to be avoided

The verification also includes phone numbers, ID, email address

Reviews are a major part of the Guest selection, it is important to retain a good review record as these are for prominent on all listings, however, this does work both ways as the Host can also leave a Guest review. Often a good way to attract reviews is to leave a guest review when the guest departs, send a brief note thanking the Guest for staying and hoping that they had an enjoyable time. Ask for a review and repeat the request two weeks later

Once your account is set up it is easy to start your first listing

The Host is able to set a security deposit

A service fee of 6%-12%

It is advised to include a fee for the commercial cleaning service

Airbnb charges a 3% cost per listing

Dynamic pricing can be accessed through the manage booking section of the website

In summary, it is important to start with a baseline, Know your costs, Finacial, Taxes, Overheads, Commercial Cleaning services and administration.

Dynamic pricing can be applied all year round and is essential to maximise profit

If you would like CleanLet to help you with your Janitorial services please get in touch for a no-obligation quote, you will be surprised how economical we can be, leaving busy hosts time to promote their properties, and reap the rewards of the all-important, happy guest five-star reviews.

www.cleanlet.solutions

team@cleanlet.solutions

Daft.ie Landlord solutions

www.knightfrank.co.uk – Short Lets

www.thepropertylandlord.co.uk – Rules on Letting Out Your Home for a Short Period

www.holidaylettings.co.uk – Owner advice

www.thepropertylandlord.co.uk – Landlord With Holiday Letting

www.airbnb.co.uk – How to Host

www.foxtons.co.uk – A step-by-step guide to letting your property

www.ownersdirect.co.uk – A Complete Guide to Marketing Holiday Homes Online

www.gov.uk – Do you have paying guests?

www.gov.uk – Private Landlords Survey 2010

www.investopedia.com – The Pros And Cons Of Using Airbnb

HSE.IE national cleaning standards