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Housekeeping

Housekeeping is one of the most important aspects of our business and a foundation for our standards of operation. We expect the best from our housekeepers and thus train them to be the best, ensuring they go above and beyond to not only make sure that the integrity is maintained and the property is sparkling clean for each guest and owners alike but also to notify us of anything that needs fixing or could be improved.

Since 2015 we’ve had a steady 5-star rating overall for cleanliness.

 

The ROI of Effective Housekeeping:

Imagine you’re staying in a gleaming luxury property in a picturesque location. The amenities are amazing, the host is exceptional and every aspect of the property is designed to impress. Then arrive at your property to find the bed poorly made and the leftover food sauce in the microwave. You’re probably going to remember this housekeeping failure long after you’ve forgotten all the positives about the property.

Housekeeping is something most guests will really only notice when it’s off, and when this happens, it can have a huge impact on the guest experience. As such, this routine operational activity can actually have a direct impact on a property’s bottom line. At the same time, however, housekeeping also presents an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. To understand the true extent of this impact, consider the potential of truly effective housekeeping.

Meet a Major Guest Expectation

Guests expect a lot from a 5-star property and the price associated, but having a clean place tops the list. One survey found that room cleanliness is an important factor for 97% of guests. That same survey also found that 90% of guests will avoid a property that is described as dirty in an online review. Considering that one bad review can lose a property about 30 guests, just one dirty room can lead to a lot of lost revenue. Consistent, top-quality housekeeping is what every guest expects, no matter how nice the property is otherwise.

Create Extra Value for Guests

Some guests are extremely picky about cleanliness. If they know a host deep cleans every room every check-in and check-out, they are a lot more likely to pick that property specifically. However, quality housekeeping can be an asset in other ways too. Adding supplemental services like dry cleaning, shoe shining or ironing can relieve common headaches for travelers. Similarly, having housekeepers leave chocolates on the pillow, sparkling wine on the dinner table or fresh flowers in a vase makes ordinary rooms properties more attractive. Small changes or additions to standard housekeeping lead to a better reputation and, ultimately, more reservations.

Cultivate Guest Loyalty

Guests are motivated to return to a property for many reasons, including location, price, and novelty. What drives long-term loyalty, however, is a consistent experience that meets the guest’s most basic needs. Realistically, that means having clean sheets, fresh towels and working air conditioning each and every stay. Obviously, guests are unlikely to return to a property with dirty rooms, but don’t underestimate their willingness to revisit a property where they know the rooms are clean and comfortable and the service is first rate.

Control Costs More Efficiently

Housekeeping is one of the few property costs that can be accurately forecast and carefully controlled. The goal is not to minimize spending but rather to make the most effective use of the existing housekeeping resources and budget. A centralized housekeeping portal allows hosts to track exactly where, when, why and how housekeeping resources are being used. That leads to better cost control along with improved oversight and management over housekeeping generally. At times it may be necessary to spend more on one-time maintenance or day-to-day housekeeping, but with the right tools it’s possible to limit those expenditures while verifying that they deliver a positive ROI.

 

It’s easy to assume your housekeeping department is firing on all cylinders, but it’s impossible to know until you check. Since just one dirty room has the potential to cause a lot of damage, property managers must make a regular audit of housekeeping quality a priority. It may not be the most flashy initiative for a property manager to undertake, but meeting basic guest expectations is in many ways more important than providing opulent amenities or novelty experiences.

We say all this, but that’s not for you to worry about! It’s all part of the package our owners receive.

 

We’re living in a time where the spread of illness is a serious potential threat and we have not faltered in our cleaning standards. We’ve taken the steps provided below by the CDC and gone above and beyond to ensure our properties are as sterile as they can be.

 

COVID-19 Cleaning Guidelines (from the CDC):

General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households
  • Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
    • For electronics follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

How to clean and disinfect:

Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for (concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Soft (Porous) Surfaces
  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
Electronics
  • For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
Linens, clothing, and other items that go in the laundry
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.
Hand hygiene and other preventive measures
  • Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)