Now that summer is here, people are looking for their “perfect escape” vacation and your rental property may be the ideal place. After a smooth arrival and check-in, guests will no doubt expect the same when they leave.
The end of a vacation is difficult for everyone – no one needs a vacation as much as he or she who has just returned from one. The good news for property owners (and vacation renters, for that matter) is that there are several ways to make the turnover process as painless as possible.
Read our tips below to learn how to make your post-guest rental process more efficient.
Organize a Checklist
If you’ve owned a rental property for quite some time, the check-in and check-out process is a familiar experience. Each process is probably a little different, though, depending on the time, place, weather, and number of renters. How can one single, streamlined process fit all scenarios?
Perhaps it can’t, which makes preparation all the more important. What can be controlled, however, is how the process is approached and planned. When the time comes for guests to leave, be sure to think of the types of questions and concerns they may be contemplating.
A comprehensive checklist is a great tool for listing specific information and requests for your guests. It’s a fairly easy task and will save a lot of time in the long run. Place this in a binder or folder that is clearly marked and in an obvious spot, such as the kitchen table or counter.
Include things like:
- Replace any furniture that may have been moved.
- Leave used towels and sheets in the bathtub (or other preferred location).
- Remove trash from any garbage cans. (Be sure to specify where they should leave it!)
- Leave the kitchen clean. Wipe countertops and wash any dirty dishes.
- Remove any opened food from the fridge or cupboards.
- Turn all lights and unnecessary appliances off.
- Set the thermostat to X°.
- Ensure exterior windows and doors are closed and locked.
Providing this list for guests at the start of their stay will guarantee a swift, smooth exit and in turn, will move the process along to the next step without any major delays.
Most rental owners chose to hire professional cleaners after guests leave and before the next round comes through. In this case, it’s also beneficial to write up a quick checklist. Most cleaners will perform the same routine with each visit, but if there’s a certain issue that needs to be taken care of, be sure to mention it explicitly.
For those who choose to clean their own properties, check out this helpful list of things to remember from HomeAway.
Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine for the post-guest process is the most effective way to keep things organized. By making sure guests and those involved in preparing for your next renters are aware of the processes at hand, the easier it will be to keep things efficient.
After every round of guests comes through, be sure to assess your property to make sure all the essentials are re-stocked and available:
- Clean towels and linens
- Extra blankets
- An ironing board and iron
- Dishes, silverware, and pots and pans sufficient for the maximum number of guests you host
- A microwave
- A coffee maker, teapot, and toaster
- Basic seasonings and food items like sugar, salt, and cooking spray
- Cleaning supplies including hand soap, dishwashing liquid, carpet cleaner, all-purpose cleaners, and disinfectant
- Basic toiletries like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues
- A first-aid kit
- A fire extinguisher
- Functioning smoke detectors
- All remotes necessary to operate the television and other devices
- Trash can liners
- Pillow protectors and mattress pads
- Extra light bulbs
Along with equipping your rental home, be sure to assess any hazards around the property. Fix anything that may cause an injury or that may provoke other issues.
Just as with marketing your rental property, the post-guest process can also be managed online or with a software. Using an integrated software program makes things both easy and customizable, and with a mobile version, can be available at your fingertips immediately. Each software program is different, so depending on the needs for your property, be sure to research before purchasing or subscribing.
Streamline, a vacation rental software, takes you from start to finish. This application can even be integrated into a website and allows for online booking. At the end of their stay, guests can enter comments about their experience in the Feedback system, which are then directly emailed to you, the property owner.
Also consider digitizing checklists for cleaning and preparing; if this is a viable option for you, it may save you from re-writing lists or searching for lost papers. Set reminders, add calendar dates, and keep track of your tasks with your favorite apps.
Utilizing technology to increase the ease and availability of both your tasks and your guests’ tasks helps everyone stay on target.
A smooth check-out experience can be a great way to garner five-star reviews. Ask guests to leave a review for you – either online or in your guest book – for other renters to see. Also ask them to leave any ideas they may have for improving the overall guest experience.
Just as it is with most things in life, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. By establishing a normal routine, keeping yourself and your guests organized, and harnessing technology for efficiency, the post-guest process can be a breeze.
This article is courtesy of MaidThis! Cleaning. MaidThis! is a Los Angeles-based cleaning service specializing in vacation rental cleaning. They currently serve the greater LA and San Francisco areas.