VRBO checkout instructions

12 Replies

Curious to know what everyone else uses for checkout instructions.

Getting ready to make some minor updates to my rental agreement that renters electronically sign/agree to when the rent on HA/VRBO.

I can't find a way to do this on Airbnb except to add it to rules section. HA/VRBO allows me to upload my house rules as an attachment.

More specifically in regards to sheets on beds they have slept in and dirty towels.

Do you have them strip the beds that have been slept in and leave sheets by washing machine?

As I have many check in and check outs on same day I'd like to make things as efficient for housekeeper as possible.

I have a checkout time of 11AM and check in of 4PM. This gives time to wash sheets make beds and clean a 3 bedroom 2 bath house.

I have spare sheets but I prefer this just be all done on site. I also have a new super capacity washer and dryer to help minimize loads of laundry.

Most days the cleaner cleans house on same day as people check out so I'm ready for those last minute reservations when I still have a few open days. But there might be a time when she comes the next day so I don't want them to start a load of laundry.

I guess I could request this on a case by case basis, but would rather standardize and automate as much as possible so that things run smoothly with minimal input from me.

What are your best practices regarding checkout instructions?

I have them load and start the dishwasher, take out the trash, turn off the heat/air, and lock all the doors/windows.

Like you, my check-out is 11am, and check-in is 4pm.  I do allow same-day check-ins and frequently have them.

I do not ask them to strip the beds - this is at my housekeeper's request, so they can better identify any stains or damage to the linens (easier when it's on the bed than in a pile on the floor).  At one (larger) house laundry is done on-site, the other two (smaller houses) it's done off-site which is far more efficient.

I don't want to rely on the guests doing much of the work - first, I don't feel that's a very good guest experience, and second, guests frequently won't do things as instructed or the way I'd like them to be done.  As a quality-control element, it's better to have my housekeeper handle it.  (it only takes a minute to strip a bed, anyway)

@Julie McCoy Good point about being able to see stains or damage on the sheets wile they are still on the bed and your right it only takes a few minutes to strip the beds.

She made a comment that it was nice when the dirty laundry was already by the washing machine. But I don't see this as a huge advantage.

One issue we have run into is people try and be nice and make the place nice by remaking the bed before they leave. Then you can't tell if a bedroom wasn't used.

Air BnB has a much better process for check out and directions. It’s in the guidebook and it can be messaged to them at any point before they leave. VRBO’s attachment option is very antiquated and in my opinion unprofessional. VRBO is no longer an innovator and looks to copy Air BnB. 

I'm sure it IS nice when it's already in the wash! :)  But I think there are more cons than pros to requiring that.  

In my experience with guests remaking the bed, they're never making it as neatly as my housekeeper (probably not tucking sheets in under the mattress, arranging pillows the same way, etc) so while at a glance it might look the same, closer examination will probably reveal if it's been used.  And I say when in doubt, wash it!

@Julie McCoy said: I don't want to rely on the guests doing much of the work - first, I don't feel that's a very good guest experience, and second, guests frequently won't do things as instructed or the way I'd like them to be done.

I agree. If they're paying a cleaning fee, I don't think they should have to do much. I ask that they leave the slept-in beds unmade, turn down the heat if they turned it up, and make sure the doors are locked. I say that doing dishes is appreciated but not required (in 100+ bookings, I can recall only 2 that did not do the dishes). PS: I don't have a dishwasher.

I tell them to plug in the security camera, leave the keys on the table, and leave the front door unlocked (because they will forget something and be locked out of the house).  That's it.  Most people take out the trash without asking.  When the camera is plugged in, I can see it on my phone and then tend to the house with my cleaning lady.  My houses are no further than 7 minutes from my house and 4 minutes from where I work.  Work is 6 minutes from my house.  

Not much to add here except I also like the sheets left on the bed to eyeball issues. We have a new large capacity washer that is also one of those water-efficient washers and there is a large learning curve with how to use it. My cleaner doesn't like it because, though it holds a lot, it increases the time and risk of re-washing itself (as a result of the sensors) when the sheets ball up instead of spinning to the sides. She takes them elsewhere to wash so I bought extra's to save time. We have two kings and 2 queens. I do not encourage guests to use them ( I never mention it) it but I'm sure some do. Never had a complaint from them. 

Originally posted by @Eric A. :

Air BnB has a much better process for check out and directions. It’s in the guidebook and it can be messaged to them at any point before they leave. VRBO’s attachment option is very antiquated and in my opinion unprofessional. VRBO is no longer an innovator and looks to copy Air BnB. 

 Unfortunately Airbnb brings me next to no business but I keep the account alive as I get a few booking a year through it. As far as the interface I prefer Homeaways leaps and bounds over Airbnb. Things on Airbnb are just not located logically. If you use it all the time then you just memorize how to get to stuff. Also Homeaway has been doing major improvements to add things like Analytical tools for free that Airbnb just does not have and Airdna charges for. Homeaway keeps my calendar full Airbnb does not, it is as simple as that for me.

@John Underwood Check-out 10am/Check-in 4:00pm. I manage multiple so it gives my team enough time to fix/repair anything during the same day check-in.

If I was only managing one property I would probably still keep it at those hours.

I ask my guests to put the place back how they found it as some like to rearrange furniture for their own convenience. Throw away items they consider trash and put dishes etc in the dishwasher. I have a polite check-out email that reminds them of a few key things to do before they leave.

We supply a certain amount of towels/bed sheets per reservation so my housekeeper knows what to wash and what's missing. Always good to keep extra onsite locked away so she can make the bed with fresh linens while the dirty ones are being washed. If the cleaner starts washing by 10:30am she should be able to do everything onsite without having to take linens home.

Check-in 3:00pm/ Check-out 11AM . I self manage a handful so it gives my maids enough time to clean the entire premises during the same day check-in bookings ( however do not be surprised if you get multiple requests from your next guest to check in earlier).

I like to make it as easy and painless as possible for my guests, so my only instructions are to lock up on the way out,  PLEASE do not forget the pool key, and have a safe flight/ travels back home. 

All my units have keypad door entrance, so it makes it very easy for them to get in and out at their own convenience.  I do not like the idea of giving checkout instructions (such as removing sheets, stocking washer/dryer,etc). Guests are already paying a rate that includes the cleaning fee, and should be treated with 5 star service the entire stay. 

I treat each and every one of my units as its own mini resort. The idea is to get the best possible review, as every review brings several more bookings ( I use multiple platforms, but have had great success on VRBO as well).

Then my maids have a system down, they change the sheets ( always keep several spare sets at the unit). Start the dishwasher, restock the unit, mop the floors, clean all countertops, bathrooms,  throw away leftover condiments in fridge, vacuum, leave my customized thank you package for the next guest and leave). Usually can be out within 2 hours.

I hope this helps!

Thanks

I would second the idea of not requiring too much of guests, especially if they pay a cleaning fee. We just ask all the doors/windows to be locked (we have a keypad entry so they can get back in if they forgot something).

Since guests get reviewed on cleanliness, most people do things like dishes, even sweeping. I find that if you put cleaning materials easily accessible in the unit, guests will even vacuum. This saves us a ton of tim because as of right now we are cleaning all our properties ourselves. We do outsource laundry, so a company will come and pick everything up, wash and fold it once or twice a week for $1.75 a pound. This helps us tremendously as we have over 20 beds, and when we did the math it is actually cheaper than doing it ourselves.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am a little surprised but glad to know I am inline with what everyone else is doing.

My housekeeper has always managed to get the house cleaned on check in and check out days (which I am getting alot of for the peak season) but she is right up against the the 4PM check in time.

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