Cleaning Guidelines for Vacation Rentals during COVID-19
As a vacation rental host or property manager, the cleaning guidelines you should follow, and how you communicate with your guests that your vacation rentals are clean and safe will be more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is cleanliness more important during COVID-19?
Cleaning has always been an essential part of running a vacation rental business. It is even more important because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Phocuswire, guest expectations towards cleanliness and sanitation have changed significantly due to coronavirus. Cleanliness and safety become top of mind over other considerations like price.
Cleanliness is also one of utmost priorities, especially when guests are deciding whether they should book a hotel room or a vacation home, and which vacation rental they should book if they go for the latter.
Therefore, it is important for property managers or hosts to follow guidelines to clean and disinfect their vacation rentals properly and communicate it with the guests. In this blog post, we have included the new cleaning guidelines from Airbnb, Vrbo as well as Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) for your easy reference.
What is the difference between cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation?
Different guidelines have used different terms when describing the updated hygiene practices, so it’s important to first clarify exactly what is meant by them. Cleaning can remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. You can use soap and water to clean surfaces and remove germs. But this does not kill germs 100%.
A Complete Cleaning Checklist Template for your Vacation Rental
Cleanliness is one of the biggest pain points of short-term letting for both guests and hosts alike. For guests, a dirty home can ruin a vacation before it even begins. But for hosts, it can tarnish their whole business’ reputation.
To make sure you don’t forget a thing, vacation rental owners and property managers should always tackle big cleaning tasks with a clear game plan in mind. Whether you do the hard work yourself or have a team of professionals to help, it’s important to structure each task and how you will carry them out.
Keeping your vacation rental clean to the highest standards goes hand in hand with pleasing your guests and ensuring a great all-round experience. We’ve prepared this guide with a handy vacation rental cleaning checklist which you can use for your next deep clean.
Supplies you may need
The cleanliness of your rental home is one of the most common concerns of your guests. But before you get too overwhelmed, take a look at the list of tools and products you’ll always want to have on hand.
A quality vacuum for carpets.
A microfiber mop with both wet and dry pads for hardwood floors.
All-purpose cleaner for the kitchen and even floors.
Disinfectant for toilets, bathtubs, and other germ-prone areas.
Plenty of microfiber cloths.
A few scrub pads for extra stubborn grime.
A pumice stone.
A toilet brush.
Wood polish to add the finishing touch.
Think about your own rental house: are there any specific cleaning tools you need?
Your Cleaning Secret?
It is advisable to plan every detail of your cleaning duties and always keep your checklist in hands. But if you want to succeed with your vacation rental business, we also recommend asking the experts; those who already have a proven business in the rental and housekeeping market.
Guidelines for owners and property managers for enhanced cleaning and disinfection of vacation rentals
As the world reopens for travel, people will be more concerned than ever about the cleanliness of their vacation rentals. In an effort to help you anticipate and deliver the experience travelers need to feel safe while staying at your properties, we’ve compiled this list of comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
These guidelines were created in consultation with Expedia Group partner Cristal International Standards, part of Intertek Group, and with the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA). They’re based on publicly available information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has created a need to take additional cleaning and disinfection measures to help prevent its spread and help ensure the safety of travelers and partners.
Partners are encouraged to:
Use accurate, reputable sources of information including the WHO, the CDC, and local authorities
Make sure to follow local regulations, where applicable
Have a proactive plan to manage and minimize the risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and similar events, such as a prevention of spread of infection plan
Implement an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the property between stays
If using an external or professional cleaning company, communicate expectations and plans for cleaning and disinfection standards, and get periodic confirmation that they are being followed by the company contracted
Communicate to travelers on measures implemented, both pre-stay and during stay, via listing content and property information booklet
Support for guests —
Support good hand hygiene for guests and anyone involved with the property by providing sufficient hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap products at property entry points and key areas, and also encouraging handwashing regularly with water and soap for at least 20 seconds
Implement social distancing policies during check-in and check-out, and during any interactions with guests, staff, local community. When possible, encourage minimizing these interactions
Recommend removing shoes when entering the property and leaving them at the entrance (if possible, outside)
Inform guests on how they can contribute in prevention, and actions to take if they identify symptoms (refer to WHO, CDC or local government resources)
Consider providing cleaning and disinfecting products for guests to use, along with instructions; antibacterial handwash and additional personal hygiene products are also nice to have on hand for guests
If guests clean the property themselves, be sure to assess the results and the overall cleanliness of the property and to implement an additional cleaning if necessary; regardless, implement disinfection as described below
How to Properly Disinfect a Short-Term Rental
With the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the spread of COVID-19, property managers everywhere are thinking about how to reassure their guests and take proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
The short-term rental industry is uniquely positioned to provide assurance to guests at this time. Once a property has been correctly disinfected, the only people occupying the property are the guests themselves.
Which means that if you have guests who are concerned about traveling, you can help them feel comfortable keeping their reservations by letting them know your properties are correctly disinfected. While you certainly already have cleaning standards in place, disinfection requires an additional level of attention to detail and conscientiousness about how germs are spread
How Does Disinfection Prevent the Spread of Illness?
For many illnesses, including the coronavirus, people can spread infection before they themselves show symptoms. Transmission is possible through tiny respiratory particles that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
If the infected person coughs directly onto a surface, that is an obvious infection site. Less obviously, if an infected person rubs their mouth and then touches a surface, that site is also infected. It’s surprisingly easy to transfer respiratory particles from person to person.
Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist
Did you know that a vacation rental cleaning checklist can help you keep your property up to par and earn you more 5-star reviews? Apparently, the vacation rental industry has been booming in recent years and standards are becoming higher and higher.
With such a huge abundance of choice, customers have become pickier when choosing a perfect vacation rental property. Even though your property is stunning, has a great location, and jaw-dropping décor, it won’t be appealing to guests if you fail to keep it clean.
To meet expectations of discerning travelers you will need to put cleanliness as one of the top priorities. However, keeping the to-do list in your head is neither easy nor necessary. To make things a bit easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive cleaning checklist for vacation rental owners. Read on and find out what steps you should follow to prepare your property for the next guests.
How Does a Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist Help?
Vacation homes go through dozens of travelers every month, so keeping up with hygiene is a must. Short-term rental owners should do a thorough clean every time a guest leaves their property. However, cleaning can be very complicated and tiresome. Moreover, it requires good organization and patience.
Having a comprehensive vacation rental cleaning checklist is the key to making your rental spotless. Not only will it make the whole process much faster, but it can also act as a set of instructions in case you decide to hire a cleaning service. You’ll be able to set your expectations and highlight which areas of your property require the most attention. All in all, a well-rounded checklist for vacation rental cleaning acts as a proven algorithm that works every time!