Posts Tagged ‘caring for your vacation rental home’
Washers and dryers at vacation rental homes sure take a beating! It’s not uncommon for the use of these two appliances in a vacation rental home to be 2-3 times that of a washer and dryer in a regular residential dwelling, especially if guests have access to the laundry room. The increased usage of the vacation homes washer and dryer should be met with more frequent maintenance and cleaning to keep them performing their best – and avoid pricey repairs and replacements.
With the cost of a professional appliance repair person ranging from $45-$100 an hour and parts marked up at least 100%, it’s in your best interest as a vacation rental homeowner to regularly clean and maintains these appliances – and even be able to do a little troubleshooting on your own!
Check Your Connections
When performing maintenance on your washer and dryer, be sure to check all the connections for water and power. Cords, hoses, connections should all be in good repair – no kinks, frays, tears, or holes. If you do notice anything amiss here – and you’re not confident in your repair knowledge or skills in this area – it may be best to call in a pro, just due to safety concerns.
Abusive practices, such as overloading the washer and not cleaning out the dryer lint trap after each use, will cause problems sooner or later. Especially if your vacation rental home guests have access, be sure to post instructions for proper use!
Hard Water Blues
The need for a stepped-up maintenance and cleaning schedule for your washer and dryer is even more important if your vacation rental property has “hard” water – that is, water with high mineral content. While it’s safe to drink, the dissolved calcium and magnesium in hard water can leave behind a film in your washer, and this film can attract and hold dirt from the laundry. Ewww.
Washing Your Washer
Cleaning your washer is really pretty easy, and doesn’t require any fancy supplies. In fact, baking soda and vinegar are the only two things you’ll need besides a spray bottle and a cleaning cloth! We found a great set of instructions for both front loading and top loading washers that walks you through the cleaning process, step-by-step. Check it out here!
Your Dryer Needs to Vent!
Seriously. A clogged dryer vent causes inefficiency and undue stress on your dryer leading to higher utility costs and machine breakdown – but a clogged vent could also cause a fire! In a typical residence, dryer vents should be cleaned annually, but since the dryer in a vacation rental home is generally used more frequently (think of all those towels!) you may want to check your dryer vent 2-3 times a year.
In the Phoenix area, you can find a professional to clean your dryer vent starting around $69. If you’re into the DIY lifestyle, we found this very informative video that not only shows you how you can tell if your dryer vent needs cleaning, but leads you through the actual process!
Even with regular maintenance and cleaning, there’s always a chance that one day, they just won’t work. Rather than rushing to call in the repair person, there are some basic troubleshooting tasks you should do first, if possible, such as checking the power to the laundry area. You certainly don’t want to pay an appliance repair person to tell you your electrical outlet is bad, or you’ve thrown a breaker. Checking all connections to the appliance itself should be at the top of your list.
If your problem does truly seem to be the appliance itself, your owners manual should include a troubleshooting guide – and many manuals can now be found online for your convenience. Even if your appliance is under warranty, the warranty company will want to walk you through these steps before a repair is scheduled.
Don’t forget the outer surfaces of your washer and dryer – these appliances should look as fantastic as the rest of your vacation rental home. Wipe them down regularly (Moxie Girl recommends Truce All-Purpose!) for a clean shine and fresh scent!
Moxie Girl is Here to Help!
Moxie Girl brings years of experience to caring for your vacation rental home and we are here to help. Whether you’re looking for professional between-guest turns, or just need some helpful tips, Moxie Girl has what you need. Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION, and check out our blogs, past, and future!
As being a homeowner, and having carpet floors, you will at some point say “ should I just get hardwood floors. As beautiful as hardwood floors are, they don’t come cheap. Hardwood floors are often the most expensive to install, but they will have a long-lasting power and will be the best for your investment in the long run. However, having real hardwood floors can be a lot to maintain. The following is a guide for everything you need to know about maintaining your hardwood floors.
It can be super easy to forget about your floors, due to loads of laundry you have piled up, or your busy work schedule. Managing your hardwood floors should only take about 20-30 minutes per day depending on how much you have throughout your home. Wood floors are more sensitive than you think. To properly manage your wood floors, they need to be swept, mopped, and dusted on a regular basis. This is required to help maintain their shine. When mopping, be careful not to use any harsh chemicals or too much water. Chemicals and too much water will end up causing damage to your floors. Vacuuming is also a good way to manage your floors but you have to vacuum with caution. When vacuuming, don’t use your old vacuum cleaner, set your vacuum on to the bare floor setting to minimize your chances of ruining your floors.
Your next step is to clean your floors monthly with wood cleaner. A wood cleaner is meant to keep your floors healthy and shiny. Using certain wood cleaners will help maintain their strength and help them look absolutely stunning year-round. When cleaning your floors with wood cleaning, make sure you are wiping the same way that the wood grains run. This will increase the results by making sure you are getting all the dirt and oil out of the cracks and crevices in the flooring. The wood cleaner also helps prevent discoloration. You can also check for discoloration by lifting up rugs that you have laid out on your floors. You will be able to see a color difference, if you notice a color difference, then your floors have probably been damaged by the sun. To protect your floors from the UV rays of the sun, you can pull your drapes or blinds during the peak sunlight hours.
No matter how much you take care of your hardwood floors, you will always need to get some professional help sometime down the line. The reason you may need some help with your floors is due to your floors needing deep cleaning, a sanding, and even some refinishing treatments. Deep cleaning is used to attack dirt, oil, or grime that builds up over time. Sanding and refinishing treatments finish the job to make your floors look good as new. Some good habits to get into include when moving furniture, make sure you lift everything so you aren’t scratching your hardwood floors.
The best way to make sure that you are getting the most out of your hardwood floors is to take good care of them every day. Use the wood floor cleaner guide above to help you create and stick to a good schedule to ensure that your wood floors are getting the right maintenance they need.
As a vacation rental cleaner, you never know what you are going to walk into once the guests have checked out. Your first impression of the guest can go one of two ways. The first way you are going to walk into the house and the guests have completed the checkout list that the owner has provided. If this is the way that you walk in, your clean is going to go great and you normally won’t have problems. The second way is that you are going to walk in, the rental is going to be completely used, and nothing is done on the checkout list. If you walk into a super used rental, your clean is going to be tougher, and you are usually going to be there longer than intended.
Having Checkout Suggestions
When guests check out of a vacation rental, Moxie Girl leaves a complimentary checklist for the guest to follow to make our clean and arrival so much easier. Some of our suggestions include stripping the beds or starting towels in the washer, starting the dishwasher, and taking out the trash. Just by doing one of these simple tasks can make a Moxie Girl’s cleaning go so much smoother. When we walk into a vacation rental, and the guests have left the place without doing any of the checklists, then the cleaner stresses once they get there debating on how the cleaning is going to take them.
Not using Checkout Suggestions
When guests check out of a vacation rental and don’t use any of the checklist suggestions, it can make our job so much more stressful. I’ll give an example, here at Moxie Girl, when cleaning a vacation rental we sometimes encounter a same day turn, which means the cleanings need to take place in between a guest checking out that day and new guests arriving the same day. When cleaning a home that is same day flip you’re on a time crunch. So, when guests leave a bunch of towels, and bedding used then we are responsible to clean all of the laundries, but with guests starting a load of laundry it makes our cleaning go a little smoother and can cut an hour or so off the cleaning time. Another suggestion for guests is picking up and taking all their trash out, by doing this it doesn’t take up our cleaning time, and we have more time to focus on the resetting of the home and getting the vacation rental ready for their next guest. So next time you stay at a vacation rental, keep your cleaners in mind and partake in the check out suggestions.
Looking for a cleaning company to service your vacation rental needs? Contact us today for a FREE Consultation!!
Most of us have heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” – and it certainly holds true in the case of your vacation rental home! Imagine booking a vacation rental because it looked so cute (and cared-for!) in the photos you saw online, but arriving to find a broken gate, an overgrown lawn, and a dusty doorstep?
First impressions set the tone for your guest’s entire visit. Because your guests have viewed your vacation rental home at it’s best – thanks to the professionally-staged photos you posted – they’ve already set those images as a “standard” for your property, and therefore, the quality of their stay.. Bursting that image bubble before the guest is even inside your vacation rental is just asking for trouble.
Creating a Welcoming First Impression
As the owner of a vacation rental home, it’s up to you to create a first impression that will immediately assure your guests they’ve made a great choice in selecting YOUR vacation rental as their home-away-from-home.
Many factors can affect a guest’s first impression of your vacation rental home. Put yourself in your guest’s place…Pull up your vacation rental home as though you are seeing it for the first time. If YOU were paying to stay here, what would YOU think?
Faded or chipped exterior paint and/or busted stucco immediately takes your vacation rental homes to curb appeal down a notch – and possibly several, depending on what surrounding properties look like. If it’s been a few years since your vacation rental has enjoyed a new coat of paint, it may be time to consider an update.
Beyond the paint, do a thorough inspection of your vacation rental home windows, exterior doors, and light fixtures! “Broken” not only looks terrible but can also pose potential safety and security issues for you and your guests. Repairing these types of items should be number one on your to-do list!
Plants and Landscaping
No matter what the style of your vacation rental homes landscaping – indigenous desert or green and grassy – all plant life on your property should be healthy and well-maintained. The appearance of a brown lawn and dead plants can easily become the focal point of an otherwise beautiful vacation rental.
Overgrown landscaping – especially certain trees – can lead to safety issues for guests, as well as the potential for property damage during one of our famous Phoenix monsoon storms. Hiring a professional landscaper to routinely care for your vacation rental home will keep your property looking its best!
Everything In Its Place
While completely necessary of course, trash and recycling bins do you no favors in the area of great first impressions. If the bins at your vacation rental must be rolled out to the street for pick-up, be aware of the service schedule! Not only would you not want to be stuck with your trash “until next time” you’ll want to get those bins back to where they belong as soon as possible after service has occurred. Bins left on the street – even overnight – can definitely make your property look as though no one’s home.
Take a walk around the front of your vacation rental home and look for any non-decorative items that your guests wouldn’t – or at least shouldn’t – need during their stay. Tools and other implements should be put away, out of the guest’s view – for aesthetic and safety reasons! Even an unfurled garden hose on or near a walkway offers a potential hazard.
Please Come In!
Now that your guests are finally at the door, don’t let them down! The entry to your vacation rental home should be every bit as welcoming as everything they’ve just walked past. Make sure the entryway door (and handle or knob) is clean and free of cobwebs. Spiders work quickly, so check often! An attractive doormat as well as a pot of two colorful flowers at the entry to your vacation rental can really make a guest feel at home.
All vacation rental home guests appreciate secure – yet convenient – access to the property. Make sure your guests are provided with proper keys and/or entry codes they’ll need. Struggling just to get in the door – especially if it’s 100 degrees outside – will not please your guests. In fact, that issue alone may negate the rest of that first impression you’ve worked so hard to create!
As a famous motel chain once said, “we’ll leave the light on for you.” Leaving a light on for your vacation rental guests makes sense, too! A well-lit property is just naturally more secure, and guests arriving after dark should be able to safely and easily enter the home.
As the owner of a vacation rental home, the last thing you want is complaints from the neighbors. Keeping your property looking its best at all times will let your neighbors know that you not only value your investment but that you value theirs, too!
Moxie Girl is Here to Help!
Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist! Whether you’re a vacation rental homeowner or a potential guest, we can help! Check out our other blogs for tips on operating a successful vacation rental home – or choosing one for a stay!
As the owner/operator of a successful vacation rental home, you try hard to provide an experience that will prompt your guests to leave glowing reviews – but even putting forth your best efforts doesn’t protect you against the ever-growing list of scams affecting AirBnB hosts.
A quick online search reveals numerous tales of woe from AirBnB hosts describing nefarious guests’ attempts to garner anywhere between 25% to 100% OFF their reservation total. Some hosts claim that due to AirBnB’s guest refund policies and procedures, guests are doing everything from turning wi-fi routers off and claiming the internet “isn’t working,” to staging and photographing undesirable cleaning “misses” in order to whittle down their lodging expenses.
One way vacation rental homeowners are protecting themselves against the “discount” scammers is to snap pics of all areas of the “guest-ready” rental before their guests arrive. Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants have been providing this service to our clients for several months now – and as it turns out, that’s a really great idea!
Moxie Girl has always provided photo documentation to our clients of any theft or damage to their property should we find it. Timely evidence is crucial for vacation rental hosts hoping to charge a guest for misuse of their vacation rental home or items that have gone missing during a guest’s stay!
Providing photos of their guest-ready vacation rental gives our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a clean, inviting space – in addition to being pretty solid evidence against false claims by guests that the rental “wasn’t clean.” Even a screenshot of the wi-fi showing as “connected” on a smartphone proves it WAS working when we left the property.
Moxie Girl recently even used a guest-ready photo to prove that a guest (or rather the guest’s child) was responsible for breaking a large mirror in one of our clients’ vacation rentals. The guests had claimed they found mirror broken upon arrival, but our time-stamped photo of that room from earlier in the day showed an undamaged mirror! Long story, short, the kid fessed up and the guests took financial responsibility for the replacement cost.
There are plenty of other (and far more costly!) scams being perpetrated against vacation rental homeowners as well. Many of those may be avoided by knowing what to watch out for. Most rental listing platforms such as AirBnB and VRBO offer secure payment processing and warm that guests requesting to pay by any type of check or wire transfer should be a red flag.
Vacation rental homeowners are also urged to never accept more than is due for any booking, putting them in the position of being persuaded to issue a refund outside the rental platform’s refund policy and structure – and ultimately lead to identity theft as well as financial loss.
Clearly you’ve got enough to worry about as a vacation rental homeowner – why not let Moxie Girl take away the stress of between-guest cleanings? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area – and we are just as interested in helping your property get great reviews as you are. CLICK HERE for a FREE consultation!
Interested in being a Moxie Girl? We are always on the lookout for motivated individuals to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself – an HR representative will reach out to you shortly!
Caring for over 100 vacation rental homes Valley-wide is a big job! Moxie Girl is continually striving to be the best in the industry, and our efforts start with understanding our client’s needs – and THAT starts with communication!
We know communication can be a struggle for some clients…many people just assume that their needs “go without saying” while others may be just plain uncomfortable stating their needs. Some clients may not even be sure WHAT they want. We wish we were mind-readers, but in lieu of being psychics, we work hard to be great communicators!
Ideally, our vacation rental clients will just express their “end game” right at the beginning of our relationship, but as we’ve learned over time, this doesn’t always happen. It’s Moxie Girl’s job to know exactly what our clients expect, and more often than not, that requires us to ask some questions.
Our Moxie Girls know that spending a few minutes asking the right questions (and follow-up questions if needed) can save hours of confusion – and ultimately frustration. Moxie Girl truly desires to get the job done efficiently and most importantly, to the vacation rental homeowners satisfaction (and beyond)! But we DO need to know what it takes to make that happen.
With Moxie Girl’s extensive experience in caring for vacation rental homes all over the Phoenix Metro area, we can help vacation rental homeowners new to the game as well as long-time vacation rental property operators – and it all starts with our communication skills!
It is Moxie Girl’s mission to give our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a property that’s looking – and smelling – its freshest and best! CLICK HERE to find out if Moxie Girl is a good fit for your vacation rental!
Are you a GSD (Get Stuff Done) type? Moxie Girl is always looking for those who share our work ethic and GSD personality to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! Moxie Girls (and boys) enjoy flexible scheduling, learn new skills and have plenty of opportunity for professional and personal growth. CLICK HERE to tell us about yourself – we look forward to hearing from you!