7 Ways to Prepare your holiday home for short term rentals

I want this guide to be an opportunity for you to build a process that will ensure your properties are ready for each and every guest and in the best possible condition.

When reviewing your process today, don’t build something that is just to grab guests worried about COVID-19, the processes you build today should future proof your agency and ensure you prioritise high standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Now is the opportunity to win more and more of the hotel client base, however hotels have amazing standards of hygiene and procedures.

So if you want to win this type of guest to your short stay agency, you have to ask yourself: do your standards of hygiene, cleanliness and the amenities you provide hit the spot? Be honest with yourself here……

Tip no.1 – Cleanliness

Implement a cleaning and changeover policy procedure, if you have different cleaners, different management companies this can be extremely difficult to standardise.  So depending on where your agency sits you will have to plan carefully.

If you are a property management company, you can now define your set standards and provide a property checklist that will give each housekeeper a strict procedure to follow.

This procedure should cover the following:

  • Cleaning equipment
  • Cleaning safety clothing
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Cleaning microfiber cloths (Green, Yellow, Red)
  • Prepare the home for cleaning
  • Make the beds
  • Clean room by room
  • Stage the room
  • Complete checklist & upload photos
  • Property is now ready for arrival

So if you are a booking agency and you rely on multiple contractors and even owners providing their own cleaning, you are going to have to work even harder.  As you will need to sit down with them and agree a plan that meets your criteria and is feasible for them.

However the property checklist and upload staging photos should be non-negotiable, this is your guarantee that each and every guest is going to receive the same high levels of hygiene and cleanliness on arrival.

Download our google form ‘Prepare your holiday home for your guest

Tip no.2 – What amenities do you leave for your guests?

This is a game changer moving forward, it has highlighted how bad our hygiene processes currently are by how quickly COVID-19 spread around the world.

So moving forward we need to provide a simple set of amenities for guests on arrival.

Bathroom

  • New Toilet Rolls – Minimum 3 Per Toilet
  • Hotel style – Shampoo, Conditioner, Showergel bottles
  • Toothbrush Holder – Ensure this is spotlessly clean
  • Hand wash per bathroom – New bottles only

Kitchen

  • New sauces & condiments
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Brown Sauce
  • Hand Wash  — new bottle only
  • Dishwasher tablets (if applicable)
  • Washing up liquid
  • Anti-bacterial spray
  • Microfibre cloths – (new)
  • Dishcloths ( new)
  • Kitchen Cloths x 5
  • Kitchen roll x 2
  • Anti-bac wipes x 2
  • Anti-bac floor wipes
  • Box of tissues – obviously new 🙂
  • Black bags
  • Bin bags (fit bin in property)

Lounge

  • Box of tissues
  • Anti-bac wipes

Bedrooms

  • Box of tissues per room

Other

  • Spare light bulbs (2 of each required light bulbs) housekeepers simply keep this stocked
  • Spare batteries – Housekeepers to keep this stocked for each needed battery

Entrance

  • Hand gel sanitizer

Tip no 3 – Remind your guests of good hygiene practises

When they enter the property make it clear what is expected of them, to protect themselves and other people.

When people enter the property is there a place for them to hang their coat immediately?

Where can the guests leave their shoes?   Do you have a sign asking them and reminding them to remove shoes and coats at the door.

Where is your hand sanitizer, they can utilise this immediately before entering the property completely.

In the kitchen, remind them you can never wash your hands too many times.  Always wash before preparing food or drink.  This will limit the spread of bacteria on door handles, knobs and switches!

Tip no. 4 – Optimise your changeover process

Ensuring that the property is clean and hygienic for each and every guest is a critical part of a successful property manager.  When dealing with many different housekeepers and in some cases different cleaning companies, how the hell do you create consistent standards.

Currently hotels win hands down in this area, with huge teams and specific training courses and procedures.

However if the short term rental industry follows their lead and brings in standardisation there is no reason why private homes cannot be much cleaner and hygienic than the best 5 star hotel.

Creating a process and strategy doesn’t have to cost you money, we have put together a great guide that is a cleaning checklist that should be completed for each and every clean you can download your free copy here.

Tip no. 5 – Knowing when, how and what to do next

Your internal processes are so important when running a short term rental, without processes you lack consistency and one day you will do one thing and the next another, this will lead to housekeepers not knowing about a booking or an early arrival and you will have the disappointed guest arriving with the property not ready.

You need to map out your customer journey, I like to divide the process into the following individual journeys

  • Web Journey -> Generate a Lead or Instant Booking
  • Pre stay -> The time before arrival, this could be 1 day or over a year, a lot of communication can happen here during this journey
  • Build excitement
  • Build rapport
  • Generate referrals
  • Increase the booking value
  • Notify all interested parties (communication with your team and partners is critical for a consistent quality service)
  • During their stay ->. How was their arrival, how is the property, what are they missing
  • The more responsive you are here, the more they will TRUST and respect you creating a bond for life
  • Why should they rebook? How can you reward their loyalty?
  • Post stay -> Feedback and referrals are the name of the game here, how can you continue your communication

With so many guest and partner touch points needed, without the correct process in place you will never maintain a consistent service without the right technology.  iPro will provide you with that platform allowing you to automate everything from the moment the guest arrives on the website to the moment they leave the property.  This is key for maintaining consistently high levels of quality and high levels of service.

Tip no 6 – Home technology – A touch less world

Home tech for holiday lets

This is one for now and the future, there is technology available to us that will ensure we can run a touch less home but for now it is more likely that we reduce the amount of things to touch.

This can be voice controlled lights, music and tv.  We can implement smart technology like Alexa and Google Voice.  Operto provides home automation including keyless entry and temperature and noise control.

These things are not only cost saving but will ensure the guest is touching less things within your home and therefore there is less bacteria building up in those high touch traffic areas.

When you stage and furnish your home for private rentals, we are now going to need to consider high touch points and how we can reduce the contact so that bacteria cannot easily spread between guests.

Tip no. 7 – Tell the world of your high standards

Tell the world why your agency is different, tell them what you do and how you do it.  Even once they have booked, build into your guest experience everything you have done to make sure they have a fantastic and safe holiday in your holiday homes.

Promote your processes and standards via your website

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Written By

Andrew Jones

© iPro Software, Unit 4, Rowan House, Sheldon Business Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 0SQ