How to find and train your Airbnb cleaners

The most important hire you will ever make in your AirBnB business is your cleaners. Having a reliable cleaner that you can depend on can literally make or break your business.

Many hosts that are new start out by doing the cleanings themselves but quickly realize that it is a lot of work! Besides being time-consuming, the cleaning must be exact. One stray hair can totally ruin your review ratings or turn an otherwise good guest stay into a nightmare. You really need to be OCD in your cleanliness in order to get it right, and continue to do it right, time after time. Not to mention, in addition to cleaning all the sheets and towels must be laundered, and the keys must be returned to the lock box. Overall, its a lot of work, and a bit more than a traditional cleaning.

So, how do you find a good cleaner for your Airbnb listing?

Step 1: is to scour Yelp reviews, check on Craigslist, and another site I recommend called Thumbtack. Find cleaners with good reviews and give them a call. Some cleaners won’t do the kind of cleaning you need (including laundry, see above), so the first step is to create a shortlist of cleaners who are willing to do Airbnb or in general vacation rental cleaning cleaning, along with their prices. You may have to explain exactly what you need, since this may be new to some cleaners in your area.

Step 2: Once you have a shortlist of (hopefully) at least three cleaners who fit the bill, now it’s time for their “cleaning audition”. It is ok to do this once you have real live guests, as long as you are managing this process closely. Have them come over and do a complete unit turn after a guest completes a stay at your unit. See how well they do, not just with the cleaning, but also with communication. Were they easy to talk to? Who did you speak with? Do you have a direct line to the cleaner or manager themselves, or did you have to go through a corporate 800 number or something like that? The best part about this is your guests should be paying for this! By charging a cleaning fee, you get to audition all these cleaners on your guest’s dime.

Step 3: Audition all three cleaners. OR more if you need to. Score them based on all the factors that are price, cleanliness after cleaning, and communication. All of these are important, but I have found communication to be the most important. You will rely on your cleaners a lot, and if you can’t get in touch with them, or they don’t return your calls or emails within a few hours, then move on. Once you are hosting, you need them available to rectify any problem that comes up, and something will always come up. 

What do you mean by “training my cleaners”?

Once you find a cleaner you like, it is now time to start training them. You are probably going to have to do a some work here, to show them the little things about your apartment that have to be reset and cleaned properly. You also want them to reset the combination to your lock box, so it is different each time, and also check your home inventory list each time to make sure nothing is missing (you created an inventory, right?). These may be new things for your cleaners, depending if you live in a common area with vacation rentals or not. However, once you show them how to do it, it shouldn’t be an issue moving forward.

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