Hire a Crack Head to Clean your Home
By William May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Housekeeping, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0
"Hiring cheaper housekeepers is no problem", said the property owner. That way they can make more money.
"I mean how hard can it be to clean my little 3-bedroom 2,000 square foot house?"
Do you mean clean it any day of the week including weekends? Be on-call for special cleaning? Always show up on time and never complain? Be willing to do extra cleaning, and without notice, when some guests leave a terrible mess?
Do you mean a cleaner who has lots of family and friends to back her up when she gets busy with other things and decides she can't work on a day you have a back-to-back? Or when a child is ill or a car breaks down?
Some owners want to believe there are many people just begging to clean their homes. Unfortunately, there are not. Worse yet, most of them don’t pass a background check. They don't have references. They don’t want to take training. They detest checklists.
These cleaners don’t stick around when things get too busy and they never clean at high hospitality standards. They do not clean sufficiently and they are not there when you need them the most.
Let us all be honest, not all job applicants will be dedicated to our industry. There is no glamour unless they work for a desirable company that treats them well.
Many applicants just want a quick buck to pay for their drug habit. This is more common than you might imagine. The homeowner may never know until the druggie goes missing along with assets from their home.
If you are paying your cleaner in cash, do beware that it's illegal and your money may be just feeding a habit.
Professional management firms must protect their reputation with guests as well as owners. They want to pay their staff a good working wage. They want to be fair, kind, and responsible employers. They need workers who are reliable, loyal and competent. They do background checks and they have extra staff for backup.
Of course, these things are just good business, but they are also the only way to provide hospitality grade cleaning - the kind that discerning travelers expect at every lodging establishment from four-star hotels to cottages in the woods.
"Oh, but if you can’t clean the house cheaply, it will drive away guests," said that owner.
It's actually the opposite that's true. Guests are not stupid, they understand that no one can clean homes for a measly amount. One guest enunciates what some owners refuse to acknowledge;
"Your home was amazingly clean. But last year I rented a beautiful new home from another manager and the place was disgustingly dirty. I should have known better - no one can clean a whole house as cheap as they charged."
Yes, and every owner should understand the basic formula for requiring professional and thorough cleaning. With the advent of the internet, guests now have a global platform to report unclean homes. One bad review can lose thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars in lost bookings.
Why risk that? The math is simple. Hiring great housekeepers, paying them well, rewarding them with praise and thanks is good for business. It's even greater for maximizing income while minimizing problems.
Still not a believer? Here is the challenge - after the next few departures, do your own cleaning.
Arrive to clean exactly on time and then wait while the guests loiters and leaves late, knowing that the incoming guests while inevitability show up early, and expect the house to be sparkling clean even before their scheduled arrival time.
Of course, you must chit chat and make nice with every guest, or they'll make nasty comments to your boss, even though they were not supposed to be inside yet.
To clean well, get your hands down deep into and behind the toilet, scrub your knuckles off in the shower, get on your hands and knees to scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors. Wash stacks of dishes, pots, and pans with gobs of dried on food.
Wash loads of towels and linens. Be sure to treat any of those unmentionable stains. Make every bed perfectly and plump every pillow. You'll just love trying to put on comforters on bunk beds. It is not impossible, but you won't enjoy it.
While you are at it, clean up the dog poop in the yard, or shovel the walkway of snow in the winter. Scrub that meat-encrusted barbecue until the brush breaks. Sweep the leaves from the porch.
Don't forget to check every light bulb, vacuum every square inch of every floor, and catch every cobweb or your boss will scold you like a child.
Do all this in the shortest number of hours because some owners out there want you to work cheap while treating you like an indentured servant.
After you do your own cleaning, the light will come on. You will want to pay cleaners more, you'll treat them better and you'll make more money because happy housekeepers make happy hospitality grade clean homes!
Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0583 – 03/01/17
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