Are hotels cleaner than vacation rental properties?

A 2017 global study consisting of 4,000 vacation rental properties concluded that the second biggest inconvenience that manager’s deal with is having a consistent cleaning service on-demand that is reliable, high quality, local and trustworthy. Unlike hotels, which have a team of people who routinely clean each room, vacation rental managers are left to figure out a solution themselves.

Part of the appeal of vacation rentals is the uniqueness. A hotel runs into an issue where room 1420 is a pig sty from a disrespectful guest that left it dirtier than usual, no big deal the guest can stay in 1421 and not know the difference as its exactly the same. Every vacation rental property is unique and has a unique value proposition. But even with that unique value, a property owner must inherit not only the burden of cleaning up after its guests, but the cost of doing so too.

I think in most areas of the country, you’d be hard pressed to find someone reliable for a lower-than-usual salary. Employees expect a minimum wage; 8-hour workdays and not split shifts, and not to mention benefits as well as a contractual agreement which guarantees them that their job will be there for them tomorrow and so forth. Even in places where labor is seen as cheap, cleaning services can cost over $100 for an average sized home (1500–2000 sq ft).

Vacation Rental Properties are not a hotel, and there are several differences between the two industries. If people want to be catered to, then they should stay in a hotel. But if people want the benefits of a self-catering vacation rental, then they should use services like Airbnb and be respectful of the home they are using. There is no cleaning or maid service, and guests are expected to do their own laundry, prepare their own meals (if they prefer using the kitchen provided instead of going out) and, are overall encouraged to treat the property as their “home away from home”. Part of that is the expectation that guests will leave the property in a “reasonable state of cleanliness”. Services like Hostfully, which serve as an electronic guidebook for guests, have the ability to provide a checklist of check-out “to-do’s” before guests leave. Having said that, of course, managers should still provide a “deep clean” after each guest’s departure.

Most rental owners chose to hire professional cleaners. For them, it’s beneficial to have a checklist of needs so they can be efficient with their routines. Inevitably most cleaners perform the same cleaning ritual throughout the house once they get in the groove of things. The key is planning ahead and dotting your “I’s” as well as crossing your “t’s” and you’ll be in good shape.