Posts Tagged ‘vacation home’
As a vacation rental home owner, you know there are a lot of things that need attention in order to make your vacation rental business a success. One of most important things on your list is being certain your vacation rental home is made guest-ready between bookings. Many vacation rental home owners depend on an outside service to attend to those “turns” on their behalf, and guests definitely pay attention to cleanliness – as well as presentation ( or “staging” as we like to call it.)
Now, if you’re working with an established team of vacation rental specialists (such as Moxie Girl) chances are you are completely satisfied with your service and feel you’re getting the most bang for your buck. But what if the team or individual you’ve hired to take care of this crucial task just isn’t performing to your standards?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of continuing to use a service we’re not completely satisfied with, for many reasons. We tend to be discomforted by “being the boss” – or we haven’t gotten around to finding a replacement. Lots of people don’t even like the thought of confrontation, much less having to fire someone. So we “live with it” – and grow resentful.
Moxie Girl is here to tell you that you shouldn’t “settle” when it comes to the care of your vacation rental home. Business is business and your rental home IS your business, so that makes you the boss, whether you like it or not. Rather than let your resentment build, here’s a cut-and-dried method to rectifying the situation in a professional manner.
Step 1 – Communicate
We assume you did, at the beginning of your relationship with your vacation rental cleaner, agree on the services that the cleaner would provide and how things should look and feel in your vacation rental when they’ve done their job. Perhaps your needs changed somewhere along the way and the info didn’t reach the cleaner? Or maybe your vacation rental cleaner is just “missing” some things that are turning up via bad reviews on your AirBnB or other vacation rental platform.
You must clearly communicate your requirements and be sure to highlight those things that are particular “sticking points” to you. If you’re one of the many people who would prefer to avoid a face-to-face confrontation, email works! (And you’ll have documentation for future reference – either in letting your current vacation rental home cleaner go and/or in hiring a new one – BONUS!)
With all of your needs clearly communicated, asks your vacation rental home cleaner the big question: Going forward, will you meet these requirements? If the answer is “yes” – great! But do make it clear that these things are “musts” and that you’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and if the agreement isn’t kept, you’ll be forced to hire a different vacation rental home cleaner.
Now, it IS possible that your vacation rental cleaner can’t or won’t agree they can come through for you, so you really should have a back-up plan ready. We won’t lie, Moxie Girl has turned away a few clients with VERY detailed and specifically-detailed needs. (Hey, we’re a team currently responsible for well over 150 vacation rental homes Valley-wide AND we offer same-day turns. We just can’t GUARANTEE that the throw pillows on your sofa are going to be exactly 1.5” apart, with the smaller points of the triangle print facing north, dude.)
So, if your vacation rental cleaner says “no,” they’ve basically just fired themselves and now you don’t have to. You do, however, need to get your back-up plan into action. If you have a vacation rental in the Phoenix metro area, Moxie Girl would love to talk to you! Just click for a FREE CONSULTATION.)
Step 2 – Set an Agreement (They Said Yes)
So the answer was “yes, we will do that.” Great! Now you’ve both got a renewed understanding as to how things will be done at your vacation rental home and everything should be smooth sailing from here on out.
As part of this agreement, you might require that pics of the vacation rental home be sent to you, showing that everything has been completed according to your requirements. This is not uncommon, especially in cases where the vacation rental home owner resides out of state.
If going forward you find that vacation rental cleaner isn’t keeping their end of the agreement, all you need is present them with the documentation and again, they’ve just fired themselves. Next!
Well THAT Was Easy!
Easier, anyway. We repeat: It’s crucial to have a Plan B when it comes to firing your vacation rental cleaner – you definitely don’t want to interrupt your booking calendar simply because there’s no one to turn it for you in between guests. Chances are that if you were unhappy, you probably did at least a little bit of searching for alternatives.
When interviewing a new vacation rental cleaner, you can pull out that list of requirements from Step 1 and let it be Step 1 in your interviewing process as well. It may also be helpful to think back to when you hired that last vacation rental cleaner – the one that just fired themselves. In retrospect, was there anything you feel you should’ve asked (or handled differently) during that process? Here’s your chance to improve your communication and make sure your NEW vacation rental cleaning company is on the same page.
Moxie Girl leads the way in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area. Not only have we made vacation rental home care our priority, we guarantee our work and we guarantee same-day turns for our valued clients! CLICK here to see how we can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your vacation rental home.
P.S. We are always looking for the next Moxie Girl (or boy!) to join our team. If making money while staying active and fit on a flexible schedule sounds good to you, we’d love to meet you – CLICK HERE to apply!
Phoenix is known for its year-round warm temperatures, but even if it’s 85 degrees on a “winter” day, chances are the pool water is at least 30 degrees less – Brrrr! If your vacation rental home pool isn’t heated, you may be losing fall and winter bookings to properties with warmer waters. Amanda Thomas of Moxie Girl recently had the opportunity to chat with Chad Nikkel, owner of Aquaman Pools, about the costs and benefits associated with installing a pool heater at your vacation rental home. Read on to see if a pool heater makes sense for your vacation rental!
Amanda Thomas: Hi there, I’m Amanda Thomas with Moxie Girl, your vacation rental specialists. We are here again with Chad Nikkel, the owner of Aquaman Pools, and today we are talking pool heaters. As guests come to the Valley and stay in vacation rentals, pool heat is a very popular option for them to add on. Since Chad has expertise in this we thought we’d ask him a few questions about what he sees with the vacation rentals he works with. So thanks for joining us.
Chad Nikkel: You bet, pleased to be here, Amanda. So we’re talking about pool heaters, right? As a vacation rental owner, having your pool heated probably means that people are going to choose your property over the next one. People come to the Valley and they want to enjoy the pool, whether it’s January or whether it’s May.
Even in the later spring, people enjoy swimming in warm water, not in… Minnesota water, let’s call it. So, a pool heater is a great way to make more money on your property. A lot of vacation rental owners charge extra per night if you want to use the pool heater. And that can be an amount of money that is highly profitable, ultimately. We can install the pool heater and put an automation system on it so you can manage it remotely. You can turn it on or off, you can set the temperature remotely, you wouldn’t have to be anywhere near that house to do that. And that could be controlled very easily through a website or an app on your phone. It’s a great idea.
AT: With some of the managers and owners that we work with, we’ve heard anything from $40 or $50 a night, and you were saying some of your clients charge upwards of $75 a night. They may charge a weekly minimum, so even if somebody’s there for three days, they still charge a week of pool heat because it does take that extra energy to get the pool heat up. It can be really profitable especially in those winter months when people come to Arizona and it’s 80° outside, they think the pool is going to be great to get into – until they discover it is 50° in the water! Can you talk a little bit about what is the upfront investment of getting a pool heater installed?
CN: So, a couple things… If you don’t have a pool heater already and if the house does not have natural gas, then a gas pool heater might be a more costly option because then you have to plumb in the gas line and things like that. Quite often the best solution is to install what we call a heat pump. It’s an electric pool heater – it works very similarly to an air-conditioner, only in reverse. It’s very cost-effective to run. In actual operation, it may only be a few hundred dollars a month to run it, if it is run correctly. The installation is going to be maybe $5,000-$7000, whereas a gas heater might be in the $3,000-$4000 range. The disadvantage to a gas heater is that it’s costlier to run, over time. The advantage to a gas heater is that it is more instant heat. If it’s March and you want the pool to be 85° tomorrow, you turn on the gas and it’s 85° tomorrow. With the heat pump, it will take a few days to get up to that temperature but it’s more cost-effective in the long run. I would say 80 to 90% of all the vacation rentals we take care of have heat pumps rather than gas heaters.
AT: All right, make sense. So, if you don’t have a heater in your pool and you are thinking about doing it, run the numbers. You want to look at the initial up-front cost of $5,000-$7,000 for an electric heater, or for gas, you’re saying $3,000 to $5,000. And then how quickly can you make that back? It may be a really good investment and you can get it paid for, and it’s profit on top of that as you go forward!
CN: Good stuff!
AT: Awesome! If you have any questions, please reach out to Aquaman Pools. They are locally owned, this is Chad the owner. Absolutely fantastic company. Highly recommend them for residential, vacation rental, all your pool needs!
CN: Sounds great, thanks!
For all your pool service needs, contact Aquaman Pools at 480-243 POOL (480-243-7665) or email email@example.com!
With our vast experience, Moxie Girl can help with all your vacation rental home needs – and we’ve found some of the best local products and services in The Valley. Watch for more Moxie Girl fireside chats coming soon!
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!