Struggling to manage your Airbnb in the wake of Covid-19? Travel has all but come to a complete stop, and the vacation rental industry is taking a massive hit. As you navigate these uncertain times, communicating with guests is essential. There’s a high chance that guests will ask about your cleaning practices before staying with you, which is why it’s a good idea to have yours nailed down.
As a host, your thorough and thoughtful response to Covid-19 will lead to positive guest reviews and increased traffic. Here are some ideas to help you keep your Airbnb rental property as clean as possible.
How to keep your Airbnb sanitary through Covid-19
Whether you clean your own rental between uses or enlist the help of professionals, following this checklist of cleaning practices will help ensure a safe and sanitary space for your next guests.
1. Protect yourself
If you are planning to clean your Airbnb rental yourself after guests have stayed, take precautions. Face coverings, rubber gloves, and aprons are essential when it comes to keeping yourself safe. If you plan on hiring outside help, strongly encourage your paid cleaning professional to wear more coverings than usual. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands as frequently as possible.
2. Open the windows before starting
According to the CDC, opening doors and windows to ventilate your rental property aids in the process of disinfecting. Before you or a cleaning professional starts cleaning, increase the air circulation in your Airbnb to help properly sanitize the space. You could even consider asking your guests to do this prior to check out. Not sure you’ll remember to tell them in time? Schedule an automatic text that will be sent directly to them before the check out.
3. Clean first, disinfect second
After using soap or detergent to remove dirt and dust, spray every surface with a disinfectant spray. Getting the cleaning done first will allow you to be more thorough when it comes to disinfecting. This way you’ll be able to ensure every surface is cleaned, minimizing the risk of dangerous germs in your Airbnb.
4. Wash linens in hot water
Use the highest heat possible when washing any linens available for use in your Airbnb. From kitchen towels and cloth napkins to sheets and blankets, the fabrics to which previous and future guests have access can carry germs. Aside from exceptionally fragile linens, it’s a good idea to wash at the highest heat possible to kill lingering germs.
5. Restock cleaning supplies
Though some cleaning supplies can typically be used more than once, try to update cleaning products as much as possible. You might want to check to see if any cleaning professionals you’re working with are cleaning other houses or apartments the same day. If they are, consider requesting that they change out or completely disinfect their supplies before entering your Airbnb. Sponges, rags, mops, brooms, and even disinfectant bottles themselves can carry germs, so take extra precautions when it comes to restocking cleaning supplies.
6. Offer guests hygienic products
Guests can do some of the protective work for you during their stay in your Airbnb or short term vacation rental. While your rental probably already has some essentials, like toilet paper and hand soap, provide additional materials like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and even complimentary masks if possible. Extra touches like those can help you garner excellent cleanliness reviews — something that is going to become even more important in the wake of COVID-19.
7. Avoid leaving food items in the Airbnb
In addition to the above cleaning practices, make sure all food items are out of the refrigerator before allowing guests inside the Airbnb. While some hosts usually find it hospitable to leave common necessities like olive oil, butter, eggs, and milk for guests, it’s better to avoid any germ spreading through food items during this time. If you want to leave breakfast items or food essentials, try to leave items that come in single-serve packages such as individual packets of sugar or oatmeal.
Communicating cleanliness to prospective guests
As always, the details you put into your Airbnb listing make all the difference when it comes to filling up your calendar with bookings. When it comes to safety, guests will notice and appreciate the effort you put into keeping your Airbnb sanitary. Be upfront about your enhanced cleaning measures so guests will be comfortable knowing that cleanliness matters to you.
Here are some ways to communicate with your guests when it comes to Covid-19.
1. Greeting sign requesting removal of shoes
Placing a sign at the entrance of your Airbnb investment property requesting the removal of shoes can be a good way to show guests you’re serious about cleanliness from the get-go. Make sure your wording is positive, polite, and welcoming. After you do this, take a picture of the sign in context of your entryway and add this to your listing. Being proactive like this can instill trust in your Airbnb guests, and can potentially create fewer questions as they can visually see that cleanliness is something you’re taking seriously.
2. Make a list of cleaning precautions you’ve taken
Even if a guest hasn’t asked, you can show initiative by leaving a physical note in your Airbnb profile or listing about your enhanced cleaning measures. In this note, make sure you welcome the guest and explain how seriously you’ve taken the pandemic. List out all of the measures you have taken, especially if you’re committing to leaving a 24-hour vacancy between bookings.
3. Update your Airbnb listing online
If you’re having trouble landing new bookings, consider updating the description of your rental property on the Airbnb website. Include Covid-19 sanitary precautions as part of the listing to potentially attract new guests who are uncertain if staying in an Airbnb is sanitary given the pandemic. A short sentence or two underscoring your cleaning practices and that the rental has been thoroughly disinfected will ease the minds of your page visitors. Also, if you’re providing extra cleaning supplies or masks, take a picture of these and add them to your listing. The same goes for individualized food packages or any other measures meant to make your short term vacation rental cleaner and safer.
This article has been contributed by Matt Baglia.