Private vs. Contract Cleaners
By: Mike Mueller
The main reason for this blog is to comment about an issue that Steve Craig, who is the Director of VRHP (Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals) brought up recently regarding private cleaners. It makes quite a bit of sense, and as more and more guests are using tools like Flip Key for guest reviews, your business is getting more scrutiny every week. What is the first thing that a guest does when they enter the door to your unit or property? They walk from room to room, and look at the features of the place where they are staying, and how clean it is. How do you control that? If you have your own cleaners, you have a level of control, but if the property owner manages the cleaning for their property, how can you guarantee the unit is cleaned to your standards? You can have inspectors come in, but will the home owner pay for the inspector, and if the inspector finds something wrong, will the owner call back their cleaner, or will you have to use your cleaners, will the owner pay for that, and will the work get done in time for the guest to check in?
What about liability? Are the private cleaners insured? What cleaning products and methods are they using? If the guest is renting through you, and something happens due to the negligence of the private cleaner, who is not property insured, guess where the deepest pockets are from a liability standpoint? Their attorney’s will most certainly come after the vacation rental company.
One company in South Carolina had so many private cleaners, their business was becoming very inefficient, and they were having problems with check in schedules. So their attorney created a form that every property owner had to sign. It was an agreement of responsibility of the home owner, and it not only protected the vacation rental company, it also put a strong burden on the home owner for their cleaners, including insurance, liability, property chemicals to use, and mentioned cleaning standards. This protects the homeowner, the vacation rental company, as well as making sure the standards of cleanliness that you require are not lost with private cleaners. According to this company, they did not lose any properties, and although some property owners were not happy, they ended up with only a handful of houses continuing with private cleaners.
Are you protecting yourself against potential liability from private cleaners and are you in control of the standards required of your housekeeping staff? Is the housekeeping department an asset to your organization? Are the reviews from guests positive? If your properties are clean, and your guests are happy, they will come back over and over again, and will recommend you to their friends. Barefoot has a copy of this document. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please let us know, and we will be happy to send it to you.