7 Ways to Automate Your Airbnb Cleaning
Do you find yourself wasting time on scheduling Airbnb cleanings, sending back and forth messages to your cleaners, and trying to keep track of cleaning supplies?
There are several steps to automating your Airbnb business, and putting your cleaning on autopilot is arguably the most important one.
If you want to be truly efficient, you need to hire the right team and invest in the right tools to automate all your cleaning processes.
In this blog post, we cover 7 ways to automate your Airbnb cleaning so you never have to worry about this operational aspect of property management again.
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1. Hire a professional Airbnb cleaner
Hiring an individual cleaner is a good option if you manage one or two rentals and want to be cost-effective. However, relying on one person has its risks. Most property managers need the help of a professional cleaning team to make sure their rentals are spotless and ready for new guests before every check-in.
Working with a professional Airbnb cleaning company makes it easier to provide the high standard of cleanliness that guests have come to expect from vacation rentals. An individual cleaner can’t compete with a hotel’s cleaning crew, but professional Airbnb cleaning services can come very close.
And, if you’re worried about spending too much on cleaning, you can always increase your Airbnb cleaning fee. It should cover all your cleaning costs and some more.
2. Share your calendar with your cleaner
Once you have a professional cleaning team, you can start thinking about how you’re going to schedule cleanings.
Sending a message to your cleaners every time your place needs to be cleaned is extremely time-consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes or forget about it altogether.
If you only do one thing to automate your Airbnb cleaning, it should be sharing your calendar with your cleaners, so they know when you need their services.
Now, there are two main ways to do this.
Adding your cleaner as a co-host on Airbnb
The first option is adding your cleaner as a co-host on your Airbnb account. This way, they’ll have access to your Airbnb calendar and they’ll be able to see your bookings and how much time they have to clean between them.
This is fairly easy to do: just go to ‘Listings’ on Airbnb, select the listings you want to edit, and click ‘Co-hosts’ to add your cleaner. If you have multiple listings, repeat these steps for each of them.
Keep in mind that while co-hosts can’t access your payout or tax information, they can do a variety of things like message guests, manage reservations, and update your calendar and pricing.
Sharing your Google calendar with your cleaner
The second option is to sync your Airbnb calendar with your Google calendar and share it with your cleaner. Now, this is a bit trickier to set up than adding your cleaner as a co-host, but it’s a better option if you don’t want to give them access to your listing. Here’s how to do it.
- Go to ‘Host’ on Airbnb and click ‘Calendar’.
- Select ‘Availability settings’
- Under ‘Sync calendars’, click ‘Export calendar’.
- Copy the link that’s generated.
- Go to your Google Calendar.
- Click the + sign next to ‘Other Calendars’ on the left-hand side.
- Select ‘From URL’ and paste your link in the box.
- Under ‘My Calendars’ on the left-hand side, click the three dots next to the calendar you just added.
- Select ‘Settings and sharing’.
- Under ‘Share with specific people’, click ‘Add people’ and type in your cleaner’s email address.
Now, your Airbnb cleaning calendar will be shared with your cleaner.
If you’d like your cleaner to receive an email or notification before each booking, go to “Event notifications in ‘Settings’ and select when you’d like the notifications to be sent (for example, 1 day before a reservation).
Linking your HomeAway and Airbnb calendars
This is all nice and well, but what if you advertise your listings on multiple channels, not just Airbnb?
Don’t worry, you just need to take an extra step before you export your Airbnb calendar. First, you need to import your other calendars - from HomeAway/VRBO or other OTAs - into Airbnb.
- Go to ‘Host’ on Airbnb and click ‘Calendar’.
- Select ‘Availability settings’
- Under ‘Sync calendars’, click ‘Import calendar’.
- Copy your other calendar’s URL into the ‘Calendar address (URL)’ box
- Name your calendar and click ‘Import’.
This way, when you sync your Airbnb calendar with your Google calendar, it will include your Homeaway/VRBO/etc listings too.
3. Schedule deep cleanings every 6 months
So far, we’ve only talked about routine cleanings between bookings. Now, it’s time to touch on something equally as important: periodic deep cleans.
From time to time, every Airbnb rental needs a thorough, complete clean that covers areas a regular clean doesn’t get to. Think removing limescale from tiles and faucets, cleaning behind the fridge and the washing machine, washing the windows, and removing built-up dirt from the nooks and crannies of your Airbnb property.
It’s necessary to do a deep clean at least once every 6 months. Don’t skimp on deep cleans because your guests will notice. Dirty details can bring down your review scores.
Ask your cleaning company if they can do deep cleans and agree on the price ahead of time so you can factor it into your costs. Schedule your deep cleans and add them to your Google calendar so your cleaners get notified when it’s time to go into battle against the grime.
4. Bulk purchase supplies
If you’re serious about automating your Airbnb business, you need to start purchasing supplies in bulk.
Efficient Airbnb hosts have a system so they don’t have to worry about running out of supplies. They buy bulk items online, at wholesale prices, and set up recurring orders to have them shipped automatically.
On Amazon, for example, you can easily manage your delivery schedule and frequency, so your rental property is never left without essentials like cleaning products, toilet paper, or guest toiletries.
If you’re a more hands-on rental manager, you can also schedule a monthly trip to Costco or Walmart and get all your essentials there, while also saving some money.
5. Keep a list of inventory
This ties in with our previous point of making sure that you’re always well-stocked up. Ask your cleaning team to keeps tabs on all your supplies, not just cleaning products.
They should notify you when something’s running out so you can replenish it in time to avoid dissatisfied guests and negative reviews.
You won’t need to keep inventory forever: after a while, you’ll get a hang of how long everything lasts. But when you’re starting out, it’s good to get a feel of how often things need replenishing.
6. Automate cleaning dates for housekeepers
Syncing your Airbnb and Google calendars and sharing it with your cleaners is fine. But if you want a sophisticated solution that’s more reliable, you should consider investing in Airbnb messaging automation software.
These tools can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your cleaners will always be notified when your place needs cleaning. You can schedule your cleanings in a completely hands-off way, save a ton of time and never have to worry about your Airbnb guests turning up before your rental is sparkling clean.
Host Tools let you set up message rules to send automated messages to your cleaners. You can choose when to send the message (‘Delay’), what event will trigger its sending (‘Event’), and which bookings this message rule should apply to (‘Reservation Length’).
So, for example, you can send an automatic message to your cleaners every time you get a new booking, and another one to remind them on the morning of the cleaning day.
You can add tags to your message rule, which will pull unique information from the booking (for example, check-in and check-out times). See the example below.
In addition to the messaging automation tool, Host Tools also has a Turnover Calendar where you can keep track of scheduled cleanings and see if there are same-day check-ins.
7. Automate reminders for cleaners - even if dates change
Unfortunately, bookings aren’t always as straightforward as we’d like them to be. Plans change, bookings get canceled, and cleaning schedules often get upended.
If you don’t keep your cleaners up-to-date, you could end up with half-cleaned apartments or cleaning teams arriving before your guests leave.
That’s why it’s important to choose a messaging automation tool that lets you automate reminders for cleaners when there’s a date change.
With Host Tools, you can easily set up a messaging rule that applies to cancellations and changes in reservations. This way, your cleaners will get notified right away when there’s a schedule change and they’ll always have the most up-to-date information about each booking.
If you’d like to learn how to set up these messaging rules and see Host Tools in action, sign up for a free trial!