Moxie Girl is always thrilled that you love our services and recommend us to your family, friends, and associates!
We received a call recently from a friend telling us she had recommended Moxie to a friend of hers who was converting his Paradise Valley home to a vacation rental and may need our help stocking the home for guests. As it turned out, he REALLY needed help!
We got a call at 11 am from the property owner and found out that the “cart” was actually well ahead of the “horses.” The owner had already booked the home for the holiday weekend and there were five guys on their way – TODAY!
Moxie to the Rescue!
Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, rose to the challenge and went to the home immediately for a walk-through. Although the homeowner had pillaged a few scant items from his other properties, the house still needed, oh…just about EVERYTHING!
Making her long list of “must-haves” based on her vast experience in the vacation rental industry, Amanda told the owner she’d be back in a few hours with everything he’d need. Have you ever really thought about the things you might need to use in the course of even a weekend? Here’s a partial list of what was purchased that day:
Basic Necessities – Hand soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, CORKSCREW (Gasp! Imagine settling in and not being able to open the wine!)
Done and Done!
Like a pink tornado, Amanda was off, scooping up all the items on her list and was back to the home, unpacked and made the vacation rental guest-ready by 4 pm! Just in time for the guys to start enjoying the holiday weekend!
While we don’t encourage waiting until the very last minute to stock your vacation rental home, you can be confident that with our extensive vacation rental know-how, Moxie Girl is always the best choice, no matter when you call! Click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
If you own and operate a vacation rental home, Moxie Girl knows you already have plenty to think about – and that can lead to important details falling through the cracks. Heaven forbid something unfortunate happens on your property during a guest’s stay, but accidents do happen. Moxie Girl has a few tips – don’t we always? – to help protect yourself and your vacation rental home.
Proper Insurance is Essential!
Make an appointment with your insurance agent to discuss what the appropriate coverage is for your vacation rental property. Be sure to accurately disclose all details of your property and provide historical data if it is available regarding guest activity – such as the number of days rented per month, the average number of guests per stay, etc. – as all of this may affect coverage and rates.
Have an Air-tight Rental Agreement
All details regarding the terms of rental of your vacation home – check-in and check-out times, deposit requirements, late stay and extended-stay procedures, fees for damages and so forth – should all be stated clearly and concisely in your rental agreement.
Unless you are willing and prepared to deal with the aftermath, you should also make it clear that parties or events during guest stay(s), beyond reasonable and size-appropriate get-togethers with in- town friends or family, are prohibited, as well as any illegal activity.
By ensuring your guests understand what’s expected of them and what to expect of you, should there be an incident, you greatly increase the probability of your guests being more respectful of the rules and of your vacation rental home in general. If they aren’t, or just happen to have an accident, at least you’ll have some legal recourse or protection against liability.
What’s Your Sign?
We know you don’t want to overload guests with written instructions once they arrive – they are there on vacation after all, not for a reading assignment. But as we discussed in our fireside chat with Chad from Aquaman Pools, we strongly recommend posting a “pool rules” sign as close to the pool as possible. You can read our chat with Chad here
“No Diving, No Unattended Children or Pets, No Running on Pool Deck and NO GLASS in Pool Area” should always be included on your pool rules sign. Our blog, “Five Sizzling Tips for Vacation Rental Homes with Pools” has some suggestions for encouraging your guests to adhere to the No glass rule in particular! Posting pool rules may not only get you a break in premiums but may even be required by your insurance company or local statutes regarding vacation rental homes. At minimum, you will have peace of mind knowing you did your part to promote a safe experience for your guests.
While not required of course, posting simple, easy-to-follow instructions near any appliances that aren’t particularly user-friendly may be helpful to both you and your guests. A guest who can figure out how to start your fancy dishwasher, probably will – saving you time and effort in preparing for your next guests.
Many vacation rental homeowners keep a professional-looking binder prominently displayed in the home, which contains house rules, emergency numbers, Wi-Fi passwords and other pertinent info, and direct their guests in advance to check the binder for anything they may need to know. The binder is also a great place to keep any keys required for pool gates or laundry rooms. See our Moxie blog “That’s a Nice Touch!” for more ways to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Technology: Good and Good for You!
From keyless entry systems to lockable thermostats, technology is at the ready to help protect your vacation rental home investment. Old-fashioned lockboxes can be tricky and if the code isn’t scrambled after opening or closing, the keys inside are vulnerable and may be used to gain an authorized entry by anyone. You also give your guests one less thing to keep track of by installing a keyless entry system on your property.
Many keyless systems can have multiple entry codes (for example one for your guests, and one for your cleaning crew or other service crews) and can be accessed, monitored and controlled from your smartphone.
Many of us work around “issues” in our personal residences for a variety of reasons. We know to step over that loose tile at the top of the stairs, or maybe we’ve just been too busy to take a hammer to that carpet tack that has made its way to the surface of the bedroom threshold. However, those little issues should not go unattended when it comes to your vacation rental home!
Conduct a thorough walk-through of your property on a regular basis and take care of any issues that may have come up. Those walk-throughs are also a great time to do monthly maintenance like changing AC or water filters in the home. By keeping your vacation rental home meticulously maintained, you lower the chances of any incidents or injuries on your property – and increase the probability of a great guest review!
Need help with your vacation rental home? From expert set-up to professional cleaning, Moxie Girl leads the way in quality, reliable care for your vacation rental property. Contact us for a free consultation and see what Moxie Girl can do for you!
Review Killers – Vacation Rental Home Cleaning “Misses”
When guests book your vacation rental home, they’ve seen photos of it online looking it’s very best, so you’ve already given them a great (virtual) first impression. And now that their expectations have been set, it’s up to you to make sure your guests aren’t disappointed during their stay! As fantastic and fresh as it may look at first glance, a guest discovering a cleaning “miss” – or worse, multiple “misses” – during their visit can really diminish their overall perception of your vacation rental home.
We all hope that a great experience will translate to a great guest review, but we know a negative experience, even if it’s due to one or more seemingly minor issues such as cleaning “misses” will nearly ALWAYS translate to a less than positive guest review. Moxie Girl, your vacation rental specialist, is here to alert you to some common cleaning misses to avoid – all of which can be huge turn-offs to guests.
It’s Okay to be “Hairanoid” – Especially in the Bathroom
You know, like paranoid…about HAIR. Nothing will ruin the appearance of an otherwise spotless bathroom than a hair – even one – missed during cleaning. If Moxie Girl happens upon an extra-hairy bathroom, we often use our vacuum attachment tool to get the bulk of it out of the way before we even start cleaning! Vacuuming any DRY sink, tub or shower, in addition to the floors, will make quick work of hair disposal and keep it out of your cleaning cloths, so you won’t be spreading it around. (Caution – Never vacuum a wet surface!)
Check those bathroom drains! Hairy drains are completely unappealing and if left unchecked, will leave you with slow-running or completely clogged drains.
Fabric surfaces throughout your vacation rental home – seat cushions, throw pillows, duvet covers – can all collect hair, dust and other debris. Moxie Girl recommends rolling all these surfaces with an adhesive lint roller, which can be purchased at your nearest dollar store.
And finally, double check bathrooms after you complete the rest of the home. Hair can float around for a while, landing in the most inconvenient spots. Double check that no “strays” made it back on to your clean surfaces.
The Kitchen – So Many Places to Hide!
The kitchen, with all its appliances, drawers and cupboards is a potential landmine of cleaning misses! For example, if you’ve followed the guidelines in Moxie Girl’s How to Set Up a Vacation Rental Home Kitchen, you furnished your kitchen with some type of coffee maker and a toaster or toaster oven. Guests will definitely expect those things to be clean and ready-to-use. This means clean, inside AND out! No soggy, spent coffee filter and grounds or used K-cups left in the Keurig, and certainly no toast crumbs littering the counter the second the toaster is touched.
Bigger appliances should be thoroughly checked out during the cleaning process, too. The majority of your vacation rental home guests may never use the oven or even the microwave, but still, take a peek! Moxie Girl has found food left in ovens (and microwaves) – even gooey evidence of an indoor marshmallow roast – more than once after guests have departed. And if we hadn’t checked, it could have been the next guest finding that mess – yikes!
Dishwashers and refrigerators should be empty, clean and fresh-smelling. Double check that all dishes, utensils and cookware are sparkling clean and dry – and neatly put away in clean drawers and cupboards! Don’t forget to check the inside of the trash bin to make sure there aren’t any messes lurking in there, either.
Handle(s) with Care!
Ensure your guests’ hands will come in contact with “nothing but clean” by thoroughly wiping down any and all handles in your vacation rental home – door knobs, drawer pulls, appliance handles and faucets. Sticky and/or greasy messes find it easy to hide here – especially on the back sides – only to be discovered the next time the knob is turned or the handle is pulled.
Moxie Girl recommends using your own clean, bare hands after cleaning your vacation rental home, to make sure all of these items throughout the home are clean and smooth. Don’t forget door knobs and handles on exterior doors – that front door handle is likely the very first thing your guests will touch upon their arrival!
Behind the Curtains – Insect Graveyards and Cobweb Farms
Pull open the curtains, blinds and shutters on all windows within reach. Not only will this give you some natural additional light while cleaning the room, but you’ll also be aware of anything hiding on window sills. This area seems to attract dead bugs and cobwebs more than most places in the home! Your vacuum attachment tool is useful for hands-free pick-up of any unpleasantness you may find here.
Shut the Front Door!
Actually, open and shut ALL the doors of your vacation rental home during cleaning. Dust and debris tend to gather in the corners behind the doors, so you’ll want to get in there with your vacuum attachment tool as well. Ignore it, and chances are the dust bunnies will scamper out of hiding the minute your guests get comfortable.
Monsters Under the Bed
With so much to do in preparation of your next vacation rental home guests, it’s all too easy to forget to check for “monsters” – trash, forgotten socks, dust bunnies and, well…just trust us when we tell you that you MUST check -under the beds! And in the drawers and closets – after every guest departure. Whatever you may find, you don’t want your next guests making that discovery!
Guests in a hurry to check out on time will often overlook personal items when they are packing, and sometimes jewelry and clothing items can get lost in bedding, or dropped on the floor and go unnoticed until cleaning. Your guests will appreciate being contacted immediately if you find something they mistakenly left behind!
Yes, we know that’s a lot to remember – but we also know that exceptional maintenance and cleaning of your vacation rental home is essential for success! If you’d rather not DIY, Moxie Girl can handle all those details for you. Visit www.moxie-girl.com and click on the big pink “FREE CONSULTATION” button. You are 2 minutes away from a stress-free vacation rental home!