Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3
1,583 Views

All hosts need to read this. There are too many incidents with hosts ticking off their cleaners resulting in them quitting on you last minute when you need them most. 

1) If you wish to meet them in person, great! That instills a working relationship.  But tell them if you’re showing up. Don’t just walk in unannounced. Arrange a time and day, preferably on the first day of cleaning. Show up ON TIME. They have a lot to do so don’t be late. AND don’t stay all day. They have a busy schedule. Stop interrupting them. 

2)  Don’t spy on your cleaner. That’s rude. Don’t send people to check on them. That is also rude. 

3) Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT show up and hang out all day. That puts a lot of distrust in the cleaners mind and they don’t want to keep working with someone who doesn’t trust them. They don’t want you lurking around the property all day while they are working. That is creepy and uncomfortable. Especially for women who get stuck in a locked house with a stranger. Come in, say hello, spend 15 minutes with them, then LEAVE! 

4) Don’t pretend you’re smarter than they are or that they are poor so they should do whatever you want. No. In many cases, they do this job because they make a whole lot more than they did at a regular 9-5. Some even have college degrees and are business people themselves. Do not assume they are compliant drones that work for peanuts. 

5) Quit acting like they have never cleaned a house before. They know what they are doing. They don’t need you constantly breathing down their necks. 

6) If they message you with questions or concerns, answer them fully. Half answers do not get the job done and will make them mad because they have to ask again. 

7) Remember, they are NOT your employee. If they say no. Then it is a firm NO. 

 

😎 Do not add extra work that isn’t a part of your checklist. That isn’t fair. You’re not paying them for extra. Think if they asked you to go wash their car for free while you clean. Would you want to do that? Probably not. So don’t ask them to do deep cleaning work without the pay. 

9) Do not accept their bid for service if you’re just going to ask them to do it for less money. That is rude. They will quit on you last minute.
Remember, your reviews are based off their work. So treat them respectfully and pay them well or else you can get bad reviews. 

10) Most cleaning jobs take 3-4 hours. Don’t expect a 4 bedroom house to be clean in 2 hrs because that’s all you want to pay for. It takes more than 2 hours to do that much laundry. And no. They don’t want to take your laundry home and do it for free to save you a few bucks. 

11) If you want the job done well and have a dependable cleaner staffed, don’t bother them. Most are Independent contractors that do this often and have the ability to work well on their own. Requests after pictures if you’re worried. Your customers will tell you if there’s a problem. 

12) When customers report a problem such as dog hair. If you allow pets, the cleaner is NOT going to remove every last hair in the place. It’ll never happen. So if the guest reports a few dog hairs on the sheet, as long as it isn’t obviously unwashed, then sorry. A place that allows pets will have fluff. It isn’t the cleaners fault that the previous guest shaved their labradoodle on the bed. Take it out on them, not the cleaner. They work with the tools you provide in a very small window of time. 

13) If you have a home that isn’t being re-rented that same day as cleaning, do not ask the cleaner to stay late to clean more. You booked them from (example) 11-3. That is all you get. 11-3. Not 11-6. If you want 11-6, then you pay them for the extra 3 hours. Some have multiple properties in one day and multiple customers. You’re most likely not their 1, 2, 3, 4, or more customer. Some cleaners have 10, 15, 20 hosts they work for. Get it? 

14) Hiring major companies to do the job is fine. They have more staff for hosts with lots of properties but remember, your fee goes to the owner of the company. The cleaner gets a small part of that. Small cleaning companies or individuals tend to tackle the job better because they are being paid well and are not under the strain of a corporation. They become your more reliable cleaners. Not to bash on large companies but like any corporation, the little guys who get paid badly, tend to do less and quit faster. 

If you found this helpful, awesome. If not, I am sorry for any misunderstanding. Note that I have 2 degrees and have worked in corporate management for 7 years being the boss. I have worked in oil and gas, logistics, and retail. I have experience in more fields than many and have worked with a lot of people to know how this works. I am now the owner of a small cleaning company that has successfully retained 18 hosts within 6 months. My cleaners get paid to do an excellent job and go above and beyond within reason.  I have had  all the situations above take place on the job and there’s so much more good and bad I have seen. Think about it if you’re still in the fence about believing any of this actually happens or if you do it yourself. 

Don’t abuse your position, hosts. The cleaners love working for you and they want to keep working for you when you’re kind, respectful, and provide necessary constructive feedback. Being a control freak will only lead to you cleaning your own property last second in a Sunday morning because you decided to be rude. Don’t be rude. 

Thank you! 

R

14 Replies

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

in
Canada
Level 10

@Rebecca1690  Aweome!  Very good info.  I am a host, cohost and cleaner. I am treated very well as a cohost/cleaner but there are a few points you mentioned that have struck a cord (occasional slip ups by hosts).
As late as last week, in a low moment, I had a text written out to a host “Feel free to manage your units yourself.”  This would have been a true hardship on the host, living hundreds of miles away and I’m not the kind of person who would leave someone in a lurch, so I didn’t send it but I felt that way at the moment.  But remember, unless you have an iron clad contract, we can be gone in a blink.   I have also been treated by a guest as lowly peon once. Clearly someone who thought I was “the help” and could not imagine how successful I was in my retired career and now in STR management. Don’t underestimate your cleaners!! 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3

Most of my hosts are WONDERFUL! But I’ve had a few that insist! on being there when the cleaners are there and they watch them work and critique every single move they make for the 3 hrs they’re there. It’s made cleaners quit, cry, or just generally feel uneasy. When I get a new host, I do the first few cleanings especially if the host wants to meet that way no one else has to feel discriminated or uneasy. 
I have had a host lie to me so they can spy by saying they’ll only be there a few min then not leave and just watch me work. 
I usually introduce myself as the company owner and that I also do cleanings so I can help my team and learn about each house if in the event there is any questions by the host. 
the worst part is when 
I have been asked, “why doesn’t someone your age not have a career?” And the worst one I have got is from a person whose in corporate management, “Did you not go to college?” 
I’m like, look dude, I was once in your position too. There’s a reason I quit and am doing this. 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 1

How does a person become a co-host ?

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Online Community Manager in
Galashiels, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Thank you so much for this guide, @Rebecca1690, it's absolutely fantastic!

What a wonderful contribution to our Community Center.  Hope to hear more advice and insight from you in future!


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Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

in
Puryear, TN
Level 6

@Rebecca1690 

 

Words of wisdom!!!!!!  I do wish to add a couple of things--first I fully realize as a host I absolutely could not do this successfully without a reliable and fantastic cleaner!  I try to show my appreciation to them often!  If the cabin is left particularly dirty or guests are slow to leave I monetarily compensate my cleaners.  I also give Christmas bonuses and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS convey my thanks to them! 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3

That is so nice to hear! I love that. 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

Having cleaned my own Airbnb, I shake my head at how invisible the cleaning staff obviously are to people. Like, how can you leave 'that' for another human being to clean up? And I don't mean accidents and oops. I mean, who leaves used tissues lying around for someone to pick up and put in the trash, during a pandemic??  Cleaners deserve all respect and should be paid well for what they must endure.

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3

I second that! Tissues and when they toss the food toward the trash but it hits the wall. They just leave it there. Yogurt was the worst so far. 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 2

Благодарю вас за этот пост. Я долгое время занималась уборкой квартир и организаций пространства. Благодарность и улыбка клиента очень важна. И то, что мы делаем тоже важно. Мы необходимы друг другу. Уважение и благодарность🌞❤️🙏

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

in
East Fremantle, Australia
Level 6

 

@Rebecca1690 

all your points are good and really it comes down to respect. 
I only have one listing which is quite high end for our area and there is a lot of detail in the cleaning and prep. I only have one cleaner who is fantastic.  When we get a particularly great review, especially if it mentions cleanliness, I share it with her. It makes her day and she knows that guests do notice her efforts.

 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3

I love that! 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 1

I agree that we have to treat our cleaning people with respect just like we do all people in the world. As a host, my cleaning person is an integral, almost the most important, part of my business. As such I treat her with respect and the dignity she deserves. We have had issues, but we can always resolve them.

Having said that, it often comes up that "there is so much laundry."  I have a four bedroom, pool property so there is a lot of laundry. Does anyone have any suggestions to help that process? 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

Level 3

That’s great! 

As far as laundry goes, if it is just sheets and towels (which are a lot alone) then having a washer that is the bigger size (without the stick in the middle) and a high capacity dryer helps. The biggest issue I have seen is not the wash. It is always the dryer. Especially with towels. If your dryer isn’t maintained regularly, it will never dry the towels in time. Obviously, talk to your cleaner and see what they need. Offer to pay extra for them to take it home or to a laundry service (if they can) they just don’t want to wash for free! 
make sure there is extra bedding, and enough towels in case they have to wash them elsewhere. 

Re: Guide: How to hire and keep a good cleaner

in
Ruinen, Netherlands
Level 10

Hear hear @Rebecca1690 ..... one more tip. If you get a review where the cleanliness of the place is praised, send the review to your housekeeper. And thank her for the super job. 🙂

Groetjes Katja
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