Important Information if you are setting up a house as a vacation rental for the first time:
Sheets & Towels:
As a vacation rental cleaner we found that the best color for sheets in all rooms is White. Stains and marks can be bleached out easier than in colored sheets. For towels it is best to get either all White for bleaching purposes OR Brown towels, due to dirt and makeup on towels that leave stains. The same is true for Kitchen towels either dark towels or white bleach-able towels are best.
You may decide you want to supply your tenants with toilet paper, soaps for the shower, hand soap, dish and dishwasher soap, paper towels, shampoo and conditioner. Or you may want to only provide some of these items. Either way the best way to go is to have a supply closet with a lock and key on it so that you may store them without tenants raiding the closet and taking more than they need. For others we make sure there is one roll of toilet paper on the holder in each bathroom, with one spare roll under the cabinet, the rest is locked up. Same with Shampoos, conditioners, hand soap etc.
Front Door Entry:
There are good front door locking systems that can be installed for vacation rental properties. They allow you to change the code to open the door for each tenants arrival and times out at the time they are departing so re-entry is not an option. You can also include permanent codes in the system as well, one for the owner, one for the cleaner, and one for a handyman or maintenance company. Here is a link to a locking system that is currently used at one of our vacation rental homes: www.resortlock.com
Along with the locking system you should always have another failsafe installed. If for some reason the lock should fail, a lock box outside the home is always a good back up with a key to the front door in side.
Supplies you need to consider for your tenants:
- Garbage Bags (small & Kitchen bags)
- Dish Soap
- Dishwasher Soap
- Hand Soap
- Bath Soap (liquid is the best, each bar of soap used gets thrown away during the cleaning for sanitation)
- Hand Lotion
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Laundry Soap
- Kitchen Sponges
Equipment you may want to consider for tenants use:
- Hair dryer
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Coffee Maker
- Alarm Clocks
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Mop & Bucket
- Broom & Dust Pan
- Toilet Brush
You never know when a spill or glass breakage can happen. I am sure you would like to encourage that the tenant clean up after themselves. Also important to have a plunger available and in sight for the tenants incase they have a clog in the toilet.
Consider a Locked Closet within the rental for supplies.
We encounter many different situations. Some guests may use more than their fair share of supplies if left available for the taking. We also find at times of cleaning that the last tenants used every single towel and sheet in the house, or they have thrown them in a pile with dirty towels and linens. When this happens we have to clean all of it. This can be time consuming, and cost you extra money. We suggest in your locked closet keep extra towels and linens that are not for use by the tenants.
Our practice of setting out towels is to put two sets in the master bath and two sets in the spare bathroom, or other bathrooms in the rental. All other towels we leave in the closet. But always having enough towels for each possible guest and maybe an extra or two. The rest gets locked up in supply closet if available.
Do You Need A Property Management Company?
Most of our vacation rental owners don’t use a property management companies, instead they have us clean and communicate needs and issues, so they can call their handyman or maintenance guy to fix any issues if needed. Landscapers or yard maintenance are hired for mowing, weed control, and trimming bushes and trees. If a pool and/or spa is part of the property then a pool maintenance company is required for maintaining the pool and/or spa. Property management companies charge monthly fees for doing a whole lot of nothing most of the time. We only charge you the time we spend servicing your vacation rental, nothing more!
Drop by’s or meeting a contractor at the house to let them in to do their job, stay if needed and do any clean up after they make a mess, and then lock up is another service we offer.
Off Season Services:
During Summer and slow rental times, we offer a drop in once every couple weeks or once a month to check on things at the rental. We flush toilets, run water in the sinks, check thermostat/ac and more to make sure all is ok. Ask us about our services we offer during slow times when guests aren’t booking to come to Arizona.
Advertising – Getting your vacation rental bookings:
Websites such as VRBO or Airbnb.com are good places to advertise your rental to get bookings. We also pass on to our other clients your VRBO #, website information or contact info if you want to network with the other vacation rental owners in the area. They pass on referrals to others when they can’t accommodate a tenants needs. Rather than letting the potential renter fend for themselves they appreciate when the homeowner can refer another place to stay in the area.
What we supply as cleaners:
We supply only our cleaning solutions and equipment for cleaning. All toilet paper, soaps, garbage bags, laundry soaps etc. are supplied by owner. Costco is great for purchasing and stocking up a closet of supplies that can be used in the rental home. In cases that there are not enough supplies for a particular item, owner will be notified and has the option of having us purchase what is needed or to go without until they can return and restock. For supply purchases, reimbursement is required and extra charges may incur for shopping & restocking time.
We set up on our calendar all arrival and departures as we receive them from the owner. If garbage cans and/or recyclables cans are full and required to be put out and in, we can make a special trip for this. Cleaning is usually scheduled the day of or within a day or two of the tenants departure. For large gaps between renters we do offer a quick drop in for dusting prior to the tenants arrival. We’ll enter and dust all surfaces to ensure that everything looks clean and fresh upon their arrival as well as all lights are in working order. All drop ins do incur charges.
Gifts for Guests:
If you like to have a bottle of wine set out for incoming guests, or their name written on a Welcome chalkboard we can make it happen. We do all this for some rental owners as is. It is easier to have the cleaners put out a bottle of wine that is stored in the locked closet, perhaps with a prewritten thank you card. You can purchase a case a wine a head of time and place it in the locked closet. We will set a bottle out for each incoming guest with two wine glasses in the kitchen, table or counter. Some of our owners like fresh flowers set out, but we suggest NOT doing this due to some people having allergies to certain flowers and fragrances.
When you hire Top Green for your vacation rental home you get a detailed cleaning, including all linens and towels laundered and beds remade. Towels set out for each guest, supplies restocked. Inventory and damage control, communication as to what shape the property is in so that you know whether you can refund the tenants their security deposit or not. The small stuff is taken care of such as light bulbs replaced when burned out, garbage & recyclables out, thermostat set at desired temperature. Patio cleaned, front porch swept, all open food is put in the trash. Garbage out, fridge cleaned, dishes clean and away and more! We act as your property management company but only charge for the time you use us.
Money Saving Idea:
To save money on special trips back and fourth to your rental for things like Garbage and Recycling cans in and out to the street, you may opt to have a neighborhood teen put them in and out and offer them money to do this on a weekly basis. Or you can put that in your rental agreement with your tenants that if they are staying there on the day that the recycling or garbage can has to go out to the street, that they put it out and bring it in if they are there the next day. This costs you nothing and most people will be happy to do so.
For help setting up your vacation rental, from choosing furniture to bedding and bath accessories call Valerie 480-390-7901. Valerie can shop with you, for you and has many cost cutting ideas.
Any questions or concerns? Call Rupa today at 908-240-4608