Vacation rental housekeeping: How to manage virtual quality assurance

Discover the automated processes and solutions revolutionizing how property managers keep their properties to the highest standard—and constantly in demand.
Tech & Security
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May 10, 2024
min read
Vacation rental housekeeping: How to manage virtual quality assurance

Picture this: you're overseeing a thriving portfolio of properties, each one meticulously cleaned and maintained to perfection. Your ratings are high, and your properties are constantly booked out. 

Sounds like a dream, right? Well, with the right processes and solutions in place, it's entirely achievable.

Every property manager should know that quality assurance is non-negotiable. Properties with consistently high cleanliness ratings are booked more frequently and command higher nightly rates. In fact, guests cite cleanliness as the #1 most important factor in their short-term rental property—and 90% will leave a negative review if their property isn’t clean

But living up to that standard isn’t always easy, especially with multiple properties and turnovers. That’s where virtual quality assurance and automated processes come in.

In this blog, we’ll explore the automated processes revolutionizing how property managers keep their properties to the highest standard. From solutions that drive efficiency to preventative solutions that minimize the need for manual inspections, we'll share the tools and insights you need to maintain a 5-star rating and maximize your occupancy rates. Let’s jump right in.

How automated processes for vacation rental cleaning can change your business

Automation is making life easier for people in every industry. It’s become key for allowing those previously bogged down by mundane processes to finally have the time to focus on the areas of their business that matter most. In the short-term rental industry. vacation rental tools have become the go-to for automating routines like housekeeping, and these solutions are now transforming how properties are cleaned and maintained.

The benefits of automating vacation rental housekeeping

Firstly, scalability, repeatability, and reliability are essential for ensuring consistent housekeeping quality. Automated systems provide a standardized approach that can be easily scaled up as your business grows. This means no more guesswork or inconsistency in cleaning standards.

Secondly, automation frees up management to focus on what truly matters: growing the business. With tasks like scheduling and inventory tracking taken care of, managers can devote more time to upselling, marketing strategies, and enhancing the overall guest experience. This shift in focus can have a direct impact on revenue and customer satisfaction.

And finally, automation leads to greater efficiency and cost savings. By managing housekeeping remotely, you can reduce overhead costs associated with on-site staff. This opens up the possibility of optimizing your management team, operating with fewer staff while maintaining high standards.

💡Looking for more ways to automate your processes and save time and cost? Minut’s monitoring solution for properties alerts owners and property managers in real-time to parties, cigarette smoke, and unusually high occupancy rates. Find out more.

4 ways you can automate housekeeping and better manage quality assurance

Embracing new processes isn’t always easy. However, when the benefits of automation so heavily outweigh the learning curve, exploring how to make quality assurance easier should be one of your top priorities.

To get you started, we’ve come up with four key ways you can streamline your housekeeping and QA with automation solutions. 

1. Mobile app task timing and live status tracking

97% of Americans own a smartphone, so a quick and easy way to start incorporating automation into your housekeeping and QA processes, is with a user-friendly mobile app. Mobile apps help cleaners efficiently log start and end times for each turnover or mid-stay clean. 

This data becomes invaluable for optimizing operations; it allows you to analyze performance metrics and identify areas for improvement. By discerning which cleaners work most efficiently and how their speed impacts the quality of work, you can fine-tune your scheduling and resource allocation.

On top of this, the ability to track live statuses of cleaning tasks is particularly crucial on days with both check-outs and check-ins. With a streamlined system in place, no time is wasted, ensuring a smooth transition between guests and maintaining high standards of cleanliness and readiness for incoming arrivals.

2. Digital cleaning checklists

Digital cleaning checklists offer unparalleled value in ensuring consistency and thoroughness in cleaning standards. These checklists can be customized to cater to different types of guests, accommodating varying preferences and requirements. For instance, if you’re a property manager and a homeowner books a stay at their own property, you may want a specialized checklist tailored to their specific preferences and expectations.

What should be included in your cleaning checklist?

  1. Room-by-room tasks:
    • Clearly outline tasks to be completed in each area of the property, including bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces, and kitchens.
    • Specify cleaning tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sanitizing surfaces.
    • Include any specific requirements for high-touch areas or commonly overlooked spaces.
  1. Special instructions:
    • Incorporate any special instructions or requests from guests or homeowners, such as specific cleaning products to use or areas to focus on.
    • Provide guidance on handling delicate items or furnishings to prevent damage during cleaning.
  1. Inventory checks:
    • Include a section for inventory checks to ensure that essential supplies such as toiletries, linens, and kitchen amenities are fully stocked.
    • Specify any items that need replenishing or replacing and provide instructions for restocking procedures.
  1. Quality control measures:
    • Implement checkpoints throughout the checklist to assess the quality of cleaning and adherence to standards.
    • Include prompts for cleaners to inspect their work and make any necessary touch-ups or corrections before completing the checklist.
  1. Visual references:
    • Integrate representative photos or visual references for each cleaning task to provide clear guidance and ensure consistency.
    • Include images of properly made beds, arranged furniture, and neatly organized spaces to serve as visual benchmarks for cleaners.
  1. Guest-specific requirements:
    • Customize the checklist to accommodate the preferences and expectations of different types of guests, including families, business travelers, or long-term renters.
    • Tailor cleaning tasks and instructions to align with the specific needs and demographics of your target audience.
  1. Time estimates:
    • Provide estimated completion times for each task or section of the checklist to help cleaners manage their time effectively.
    • Set realistic expectations for the duration of cleaning tasks to ensure thoroughness without sacrificing efficiency.

By incorporating these elements into your digital cleaning checklist, you can create a comprehensive tool that not only guides cleaners through the cleaning process but also ensures consistency, efficiency, and high-quality standards across all properties.

3. Remote inspections with photo uploads

Remote inspections with photo uploads are integral to maintaining quality assurance standards across all properties. By enabling cleaners to upload photos of their completed work, management teams can remotely inspect each property and provide real-time feedback. This ensures that cleaning standards are consistently met and maintained, enhancing guest satisfaction and reputation.

Inspection uploads allows for meticulous oversight and prompt intervention if any issues arise—and it also protects cleaners integrity, in case their cleaning is questioned. With remote inspections, you can swiftly address any discrepancies and maintain the pristine condition of your properties.

4. Automated access and security

Integrating smart locks with your property management system revolutionizes access control and enhances security. By remotely managing unit access and creating unique codes for housekeeping staff, you eliminate the hassle of managing physical keys across multiple properties. 

This streamlined access process not only simplifies operations but also significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. Here are some of the leading smart locks and automate access solutions:

  1. Nuki Smart Lock: Nuki Smart Lock provides keyless entry solutions for vacation rental properties, allowing guests to access the property via smartphone, keypad, or remote access codes. Nuki integrates with property monitoring platform, Minut, alongside property management systems, enabling property managers to remotely manage access permissions and monitor entry activity.
  1. August smart locks: August offers smart locks that can be integrated with property management systems, allowing for remote access control and management of guest codes. Their DoorSense™ technology notifies property managers when doors are securely closed and locked.
  1. Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt: Schlage's Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt offers keyless entry and remote access capabilities. It can be paired with compatible home automation systems for seamless integration with property management processes.
  1. Yale Assure Lock SL: Yale's Assure Lock SL features a sleek design and offers keyless entry options via PIN codes or smartphone access. It can be managed remotely using the Yale Access app, allowing property managers to grant access to guests and housekeeping staff from anywhere.
  1. Lockstate RemoteLock: Lockstate's RemoteLock provides cloud-based access control solutions for vacation rentals. It offers features such as scheduled access codes, automatic lock updates, and activity logs for monitoring entry and exit activity.
  1. Igloohome smart locks: Igloohome offers smart locks that are specifically designed for short-term rental properties. Their locks can be operated via PIN codes, Bluetooth, or remote access codes, providing flexibility and convenience for guests, housekeepers, and property managers.

Minimize the role of housekeeping and QA with a preventative solution like Minut

While implementing automated processes for vacation rental cleaning and security is undoubtedly beneficial, there's an additional layer of preventative measures that can further streamline operations. By reporting on parties, loud noises, and detecting cigarette smoke in real-time, Minut's smart sensors complement automated access and security systems by providing instant alerts for potential issues. This proactive monitoring reduces the need for extensive post-party clean-up, protects your vacant STR property, and enhances security without relying solely on manual inspections.

Integrating Minut into your vacation rental management strategy offers a comprehensive solution for minimizing the role of housekeeping and QA. By leveraging Minut's preventative capabilities, property managers can proactively address potential issues and easily maintain cleanliness standards ultimately driving greater efficiency and saving costs.

Automating your vacation rental housekeeping process is the best way to stay efficient and scalable

Embracing automated processes for vacation rental cleaning puts your business in a better position to grow sustainably. With standardized operations, increased focus on strategic areas, and cost savings, vacation rental tools that prioritize automation and efficiency are changing how property managers stay ahead in a competitive market. 

For those looking to minimize damage costs and their reliance on housekeeping and quality assurance, Minut is the trusted property monitor of homeowners and property managers around the world. We’d love to discuss how we can help you.