Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, vacation rental cleaning

35 Replies

I have hard time finding a good vacation rental cleaning company in North Jersey.

I called people on craigslist but the prices are quite high. In my area hosts are charging 25-50 dollars for cleaning. I didn't find nobody to clean for that money?

DEAR Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway hosts who are you using to clean your rentals??

Thank you 

@Michael Noto

 These are the prices I see around me charged by other hosts? 

Probably 25-50 dollars will not clean your house, but if you have a small studio or one bedroom that you rent out it might work. Specially if it needs light cleaning and changing sheets after each guest. 

30-45 minute work twice a week!!! That is 400-500 dollars monthly

I am trying to figure out what systems hosts that have 3-4 rooms listed use?

Thanks

One blogger that rents one of her properties as an AirBNB unit cleans the unit herself between clients. Initially she hired several different people to clean, but they all turned out to be unreliable.

I think if you have one or two properties and are close to them, like she is, this would probably be the best option; otherwise, I think in most areas of the country (especially here in Seattle), you'd be hard pressed to find someone reliable for a low amount of money. You'd probably need to have a minimum amount that would be paid; a minimum amount of hours, as well as having a contract to guarantee they'd get the work on a regular basis. 

Even in AZ where I lived for a long time (and saw the least expensive costs to clean a home) it was over $100 per time they came, and that was for an avg sized home of say, 1500-2000 sq ft and they typically would come 2x's a month.  I knew quite a few who paid well over $200 per time they came to clean, and their homes were around 2800-3200 sq ft.

Incidentally, from experience, you should also have backups, because oftentimes some cleaning people can be unreliable, and in a situation where you may have tight turnaround between clients, you'll want to ensure the property has been cleaned.

+1 for this thread. I'm researching what kinds of costs I can expect here as well.  Thanks @Chanté Owens for your input!

@Jeff Deville Yep, there is a lot to think about. I'm currently assisting a client who is wanting to lease their place here in Seattle for the 2015 US Open event. It's not near the golf course where it's being held, but their property is in a desirable locale to stay for someone attending the Open; especially if they have never been to Seattle before, as it's in the middle of everything.

@jaago I have a vacation rental in Clearwater Beach Florida. The cost to turnover from my maid service is 140.00 per visit. That is for a 3 bed 2 bath 1800 square feet. The cost is simply passed on to the guest. 

Incidently I also own and operate a maid company in Massachusetts and we charge $35.00 per man hour with a 3 man hour minimum. I would think professional maid service pricing in NJ would be similar.  As  with anything in life you get what you pay for . :)

Originally posted by @Jaago Viitkin :

I called people on craigslist but the prices are quite high. In my area hosts are charging 25-50 dollars for cleaning. I didn't find nobody to clean for that money?

Are you looking to have someone clean it once a week?  I.e. between guests on Saturday?  Saturday was the standard turnover day where I grew up in VT.  We made a decent wage as teenagers chasing down errant Kayaks and Canoes :)

I would assume you build the cleaning fee into your price and the "cleaning fee" section of AirBNB just makes you feel slightly less guilty about passing the whole thing onto the renter.   

We paid $100-$150 to have our 3/2 ranch in New Hampshire cleaned between guests; it was about 2200sf between the main floor and the finished basement. In addition to vacuuming, dusting, general cleaning, the cleaning service changed all of the sheets and laundered them as well, plus towels and a regular cleaning of the blankets. It usually took about 4 hours for 1-2 people to clean the place.

As for what we charged the guests, I believe we advertised a $75 cleaning fee, which often didn't cover our whole cost but was comparable to what other owners were charging. So I wouldn't be surprised if the charge you see on the listings doesn't reflect what the owners are truly paying. Eventually, we just included the cleaning fee in the rental fee and didn't break it out separately.

Agree with others, this is not a place to count pennies. In addition to a clean house being crucial, our housekeeper was probably the most important member of our team, as we were managing the property from a distance and she served as our eyes on the ground and gave us a status update after each cleaning.

I advertised "No mandatory cleaning fee" when I rented my family cabin.  

My mom ran big hotels before she retired and she warned me that if you charge a cleaning fee people will expect it to be spotless.  We added that people needed to clean the unit before they left so it was the same condition as when they arrived.  People loved it and most did a great job.  My cabin is on a dirt road so it attracts easier going people with more reasonable expectations.  I even said that it was a rustic cabin...not the Hyatt.  

Most feedback included something about how "it was so much nicer than they expected".

My way would not work well for beach or high end areas but it was great for my area.  

I used my handymans wife when I was renting my families vacation cabin.  

It usually took her about 5 hours to get the place ready for guests and she charged $12.00/hour + cleaning products.  This was included in the price I charged...but as a small increase in the nightly stay rate...not as a line item "cleaning fee".  

In my market on Cape Cod the $150(or higher) cleaning fee is the norm for a 3 to 4 bdroom house. I agree with Karin Di Mauro , spotless is my bread and butter. My occupancy is about 100 to 110 days , so the 9 weeks of summer with a short turnover are crucial. In the spring and fall I usually go in and scrub the place top to bottom, give it a little more attention then is possible on high season turnover days.

 I have paid housekeepers 100 to 125 and utilized the extra $25 toward rug cleaning and the miscellaneous dry cleaning of chair covers and such that will inevitably come up.

we charge a cleaning fee in NH equal to what our cost is but if you live near your rental the clean yourself idea may be the way to go.   When we rent on Cape Cod we clean ourselves and the owners just go in between guests and get anything that's missed.

The going rate here in Gatlinburg is $65 for a 1 bedroom place. We charge the vacationers and they expect that here. 

@Jaago Viitkin In NYC, I paid $50 for my cleaning ladies to clean 600-sq ft apartments. Some were recommended from a friend who used them for his business. I found the others at my workplace, they cleaned the bathrooms there and were happy to take on extra work. Others I found through other nearby hosts.

Maybe instead of calling ads, try finding cleaning people who already have jobs and are looking for side work.

Another option is to reach out to other nearby hosts and share their cleaning staff. I did that as well.

I pay $125 per cleaning for 3000 sq ft house ... linens included.  But I have a double washer dryer to beat the time down.

Charge $150 to the tenant per stay ... no matter the length of stay. 

Originally posted by @Chris L. :

@Jaago Viitkin In NYC, I paid $50 for my cleaning ladies to clean 600-sq ft apartments. Some were recommended from a friend who used them for his business. I found the others at my workplace, they cleaned the bathrooms there and were happy to take on extra work. Others I found through other nearby hosts.

Maybe instead of calling ads, try finding cleaning people who already have jobs and are looking for side work.

Another option is to reach out to other nearby hosts and share their cleaning staff. I did that as well.

 Hi

Would you kindly provide contact information to those cleaning ladies? How many?

Looking for someone to help clean my 750 SF apartment in NYC. Thank you! 

We rent a 3br sfh on Vrbo... It costs me between $180 - $240 to clean ... It is high end and we keep it spotless... We charge a $125 cleaning fee or $150 for rentals less than 4 nights because that's what other homes in this market do... I figure some of the cost is built into nightly rental and customers prefer that..

We live 4 hours from our vacation rentals, we could not do what we do without our dedicated housekeepers. My biggest fear is losing them and not being able to replace them...truly. We are in a remote town, so options are limited. So we pay well ($20 per hour where the going rate is $15), we pay a flat rate for each rental (example: $80 for expected 4 hours in a 3 bedroom, even if just one bedroom was used and it took just 2.5 hours to clean, she gets paid for four) and that of course is paid by the guest. We do provide steady, year round work as we do get a lot of rentals, which is key to keeping housekeepers happy, and we offer extra work to them, their husbands, etc when it is available - such as planting, plowing, mowing, spring yard clean up, errands, we buy eggs for our guests from one of our housekeepers, that kind of thing. 

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I have two houses in the Clearwater Florida area that I rent through AirBnb and VRBO- I charge $125 cleaning fee per stay, however long or short, for the small (750sqft) 2/1 and $175 for the 2200 sqft two story 3/3. These rates are a little high for my area but not by much. The ladies (who I hire directly) do the laundry, floors, dust, fridge and microwave etc, and spend from 3-5 hours, usually, unless there was a dog there. See below..... I keep $25 off the top of each which I then use to pay $20/hour to the same cleaning ladies to do extra cleanings, rake leaves, and use it to pay for rug cleaning, etc. In the smaller house I had not been charging an additional pet fee, since i was already charging a relatively high price for the place on the strength of it being dog friendly. But after a few guests with dogs that seemed to shed like snow, I am thinking about adding a pet fee. It literally takes twice as long to clean the house.

Waverly Rennie, Scotland Street Properties | http://www.vrbo.com/703747

Hey, this thread is a little on the old site but figured I'd add my .02. I'm currently using a company called STAYAWAY Cleaning & guest services. I'm in Long Island, New York. Pretty sure they cater to everywhere on the island though, fire Island, the Hamptons, even long Beach. Worth a quick google search or call as they have maintained my 5 star cleanliness rating for awhile now 

You might try contacting a few of the nearby local hotels and tell their housekeeping departments you are looking for a part time maid for your personal residence. Ask them if they wouldn't mind you sending them a job flyer to post in their break room.

I wouldn't tell them you run a vacation rental and I wouldn't indicate it on the flyer. Just explain it to the applicant when and if they call.

Vacation rental management can be intimidating and management intensive. You are no longer in a commodities based business, but rather, now in a service based business that demands high level attention to detail and customer satisfaction. You have to check people in, respond to requests, complaints, arranging cleaning crews, handyman, lawn / pool maintenance, walk-throughs, responsible for accounting etc. It is not for the faint of heart. If you are willing to manage it yourself entirely, you will learn about the business. Hiring professional management though will make it truly hands off and passive, while still retaining the positive upside of increased rental income.