Posts Tagged ‘vacation rental properties’

Cleaning Your Vacation Rental Home – What’s It Actually Costing You?

October 9th, 2018 | By Claudia Moreno

As the Valley’s vacation rental home experts, Moxie Girl is well aware of the difference a professional cleaning can make in terms of, among other things, guest satisfaction. Guests may cut you some slack on a few things, but cleanliness isn’t one of them. As we recently explored in our Moxie Blog, “Review Killers,” a good guest experience may turn into a good – or even great – review, but a bad guest experience almost always translates to a bad review. 

As a vacation rental homeowner, you basically have three options when it comes to cleaning your property: DYI, hire an independent cleaning person or contract with a professional cleaning company. Of course, there are pros and cons to each.  It’s up to you as the property owner to decide what each of those individual pros and cons actually weigh in relation to your particular situation. Read on as Moxie Girl delivers important points you should take into consideration when making your selection.

“I’ll Do It Myself, Thanks”

Do you own one, or maybe a small handful of vacation rental properties? Do you consider the operation of your vacation rental properties to be your full-time job? Do you love to clean and do laundry? If you shouted a resounding “YES!” in answer to all three of these questions, then perhaps the do-it-yourself option really IS for you! After all, the #1 “pro” for DIY cleaning is more money in your pocket. Plus, you’ll have total control – you know the job will be done YOUR way since YOU will be doing the job!

Turning your own properties does have multiple downsides though. What happens should you have an illness or injury that would keep you from cleaning? What if an emergency required you to be out-of-town that day? And what if you had a “same day” turn scheduled – with only a few short hours between departing guests and new arrivals? A DIY vacation rental homeowner better have a “Plan B” that won’t leave guests hanging. Even a “Plan C” shouldn’t be considered overkill if you’re doing this on your own!

One more question…Would you yourself be interested in taking a vacation of your very own, ever again? Assuming your answer is “yes!” how will you make that happen without affecting your vacation rental home operation? It sure would be a shame to have all that extra money you saved by DIY cleaning – even after purchasing your own supplies – there in your pocket and no time to relax and spend it. Just sayin’.

“I Know a Guy” – Adventures in Independent Contracting

Since commencing operation of your vacation rental home(s) – even if it was just last week – you’ve probably received all sorts of solicitation for rental home services, including independent cleaners.  There certainly are a lot of them in the Valley, and their prices may seem very attractive, especially when compared to the price of a professional cleaning company. You may have yourself almost convinced that using an independent is the way to go.  Think of all the extra time you’ll have for other things when you don’t have to spend your day at a property or two, getting ready for your next check-ins.

More free time is certainly at the top of the “pro” list here. And since you’ll still be “the boss” you’ll still be in control of how and when the job gets done – or at least you’d like to think so. Independent cleaners often work for a variety of clients. So what’s to keep your cleaner from being busy elsewhere on a day you need them? Or worse yet – what if they bail on you last minute?  Just as with the DIY option, Moxie Girl advises you keep a “Plan B” at the ready if you’re choosing an independent cleaner.

But, your “indy” is still less expensive than a hiring a professional cleaning company, right? Probably – and there are reasons why that could be…First, a large percentage of freelancers carry no liability insurance and are not covered by a worker’s compensation policy. This means that if he or she has an accident or incurs an injury while on your job, you (and YOUR insurance) are likely to be held responsible. Yikes! Before hiring any independent contractors, it’s definitely a good idea to ask about – and verify – their coverage, if any. If they are legitimately covered, great! Ask for a copy of current insurance certificates for your files.

In addition to insurance matters, there are also tax implications should you choose to go the independent route and end up paying any one individual over the (current) IRS threshold of $2,100 during the year. Moxie Girl won’t bore you with the details, because…taxes. Snore. But trust us, you won’t want the IRS to have to explain it to you either.

If you’re the seasoned, business-savvy operator of a multiple vacation rental homes and already have your own tax and insurance ducks in a row, an individual cleaner may still be a good option for you – as long as you are willing to keep your Plan B (and possibly a Plan C) at the ready.


Going Pro

We’ll start out with what must be the most common “con” we hear: “Professional cleaning is so expensive.” But is it, really? Let’s take a look at what you get when you put Moxie Girl in charge of turning your vacation rental…

  1. No training or supply burdens! Because we are a professional cleaning company, our team members are professionally trained. Moxie Girl comes equipped with our own tools and supplies – and the knowledge and experience to make your vacation rental home look, feel and SMELL its guest-ready best! We use eco-friendly products and we’re happy to customize our services to best fit your needs.
  2. No tax or insurance worries! Moxie Girl is a registered employer in good standing with the state of Arizona. In addition to being in compliance with all tax and insurance requirements, we are also quite choosy when growing our team.  All Moxies are subject to a thorough background check!
  3. Total peace of mind! Imagine simply linking your vacation rental home platform calendar to the Moxie Girl schedule and never worrying about turning your property again. You can also count on Moxie Girl to immediately alert you to any damages or other unpleasantness we may find on the job, allowing for the quickest remedy possible. We even monitor your guest and property supplies – from dish soap to toilet paper – to make sure you never run out!

Wow! These, of course, are just the top 3 “pros” of choosing a professional cleaning company for your vacation rental home.  How much are they worth to you? And what about your guests – what benefit do they receive from a professionally cleaned rental? Well, we’re confident that a Moxie Girl cleaning will make your guests feel as though special care was taken to provide them with a sparkling clean and beautifully staged place to spend their time. And who doesn’t love special care?

Cleaning Fees – To Charge, or Not to Charge

You care enough to choose a professional cleaning company to service your vacation rental home – so don’t be afraid to highlight this selling point in your listing. If you’re one of the many vacation rental homeowners charging a cleaning fee in addition to rental rates, mentioning that your property is professionally cleaned between each booking may make that cleaning fee a little easier to swallow for a prospective guest.

Some vacation rental homeowners don’t charge a separate cleaning fee, choosing instead to “bake it in” the rental rate. This can make your rates seem higher than comparable properties in your area, but highlighting the fact that your property is professionally cleaned – especially in the absence of charging a separate cleaning fee – will definitely be seen as a classy upgrade!

Moxie Girl really IS the Valley’s vacation rental home specialist! Contact us for a FREE consultation and find out just how quickly and easily we can resolve your vacation rental home worries. From set-up to between-guest cleanings, Moxie Girl does it all!

(Vacation rental) Home for the Holidays

August 27th, 2018 | By Claudia Moreno


It’s still summer, temperatures are still blazing and cooler weather seems like a distant mirage. But chins up, vacation rental homeowners! Perfect weather is much closer than it seems – and it’s bringing the holidays with it! Potential guests are currently scouring vacation rental websites in search of the perfect holiday vacation stay. Phoenix area vacation rental homes have been steadily increasing in popularity for holiday visits, and now is the time to start thinking about what you can do to increase your guest satisfaction during that busy holiday season. As always, Moxie Girl is here to help with some excellent tips for prepping your vacation rental home for the holidays!


The Changing of the Colors

Aside from our weather becoming the envy of pretty much everyone, we don’t really see much change in natural decor here in the desert from season to season, unless the wildflowers and cactus blooms are showing. Phoenix area colors are pretty much the same year round, so why not consider making a few simple and inexpensive changes in and around your vacation rental home for the fall and winter holiday season?  Moxie Girl recommends bringing fall colors into your vacation rental home with a change of decorative pillows, throw rugs and kitchen towels. These items are very visible within the home, but they are also non-breakable and generally easy-to-clean. Keep in mind that it’s best to stay away from patterns or images related to specific holidays or religious beliefs, but there are more than enough choices in geometric or floral patterns in beautiful fall colors!

Light it Up!


Candles are another easy way to bring fall colors – and a warm holiday glow – into your vacation rental home. Of course, Moxie Girl recommends battery operated LED lights, rather than real candles. The faux flames come in as many sizes and shapes as the real thing so they can be safely utilized in a variety of ways.  Put the small tea-light versions in inexpensive stained glass candle cups, or add taper versions to a dining table centerpiece! Your guests are sure to enjoy the awesome holiday feel, so be sure to stock some replacements in your vacation rental home’s supply cabinet!


Speaking of glowing, white or single solid color mini bulb light strands are popular all year round, as they add a fabulously inviting ambiance to outdoor areas. If your vacation rental home doesn’t already have outdoor mood lighting, mini lights are a solid choice as an inexpensive and permanent addition to your vacation rental home! Be sure to purchase lights UL rated for outdoor use – and put them on a timer to maximize efficiency. And most importantly, make sure any and all cords are neatly and safely out of the way of guests.

The More, the Merrier!


If you set up your vacation rental home kitchen as recommended by Moxie Girl in “How to Set Up a Vacation Rental Home Kitchen”, you’ve got the basics and not much more. Smart. But, since holidays often mean food and drinks with family and friends, your guests may appreciate a few extras in the cupboards. Consider doubling up on flatware, serving dishes and utensils, baking sheets, and by all means, wine glasses and beer mugs!

Show Off Your Property


A periodic update to your vacation rental home’s listing never hurts – especially if you’ve updated its look by implementing any seasonal color or lighting changes, new photos are a great idea! And if your vacation rental home boasts features that may be particularly appealing during the holidays, be sure to highlight them in your property listing. A heated pool, hot tub or fireplace should be in the spotlight during the fall and winter season. (Watch for Moxie Girl’s upcoming fireside chat with Chad Nikkel of Aquaman Pools to get your water features ready for fall!)


Also, mention in your listing if your vacation rental home is in close proximity to any special events or displays in the Valley. The APS Electric Light Parade in central Phoenix, Glendale Glitters, Tempe Festival of the Arts, Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo and the Luminaria Festival at the Desert Botanical Gardens are all popular traditions in the Valley. Any major or unique shopping venues nearby your vacation rental home property may also be of interest to a potential guest looking to make some holiday purchases once they arrive. Glendale vacation rental homeowners – don’t forget about the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day!


Burn, Baby, Burn!


There’s obviously no better time than the holidays to cozy up in front of a toasty fire! As the owner of a vacation rental home with a fireplace, you’ll want to be certain that your fireplace is properly cleaned, maintained and ready for your guests to use. Posting some simple instructions regarding the operation of your gas fireplace is always a good idea.


For wood-burning fireplaces, Moxie Girl reminds you to make sure yours has a screen for fire safety and a set of fireplace tools nearby. Don’t ignore that chimney either – an annual cleaning is recommended. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if you’ll be providing any firewood or manufactured logs – just let your guests know what to expect.


Due to air quality issues, “No Burn Days” are a thing here in Arizona and it’s your responsibility as the homeowner to alert your guests – or face fines if violations occur.  Check out for current burn restrictions – the site even offers a sign up for automatic status alerts!

Out with the Old


The holiday season can create more trash than any other time of year and disposal service schedules often differ during this time. Pay special attention to the pick-up schedules at your vacation rental home property. Missing trash and recycle pick-up dates will only add to holiday stress, so make sure those bins are out on time!


Increase the supply of trash liners available for your guests to use during their stay, too. Because recycling rules in your area may vary from what guests are used to at home, it’s a good idea to label your recycle bins with the specifics to avoid confusion and any issues with your service provider!

We hope you find these tips helpful in preparing your vacation rental home for a happy and successful holiday season. Moxie Girl offers a variety of expert vacation rental home services, year round. Give us a call and find out how we can help you enjoy a more stress-free holiday season as a vacation rental property owner!