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Short Term

Guests see what you don’t!

July 1, 2019 – 4 minute read – by Don Binkley

So, you have decided to jump into the sharing economy and take advantage of the benefits of Airbnb and the growing demand for short-term rentals. You may just want to harness the idle capacity of your home while you are travelling or perhaps you have an investment property, or executive rental and want to maximise your yield.  It doesn’t really matter, the bottom line is when it comes to hosting or property management in this emerging space – the devil is in the detail.

Sometimes what seems like the most obvious or simplest things can trip you up in a big way.  This is because you are not expecting it.  Well with short-term rental (Airbnb hosting), the most obvious thing is undoubtedly the quality of the cleaning and housekeeping.  Nail it and it is all everything should run smoothly, however, if you miss just a few key elements then it can create a ton of drama, energy and costs – which nobody wants!

Having managed over 5000 bookings across hundreds of different properties, we have learned how important cleaning is (admittedly sometimes the hard way!).  You need to approach cleaning for a guest in an entirely new way; start by thinking about it as a super deep spring clean.  Understand that you may be too close to your property and won’t notice things that guests do see when they walk in. 

Here are a few things that you need to pay particular attention to:

  • Kitchen:  I have watched countless guests arrive at a property for the first time. They are in discovery mode and ready to explore. The first thing they do is check the fridge (make sure it is 1) Empty! and 2) Clean!). Then they go to the cutlery drawer. After that the extractor fan and oven. If any of these are not up to scratch then this is the trigger for them to start searching for other flaws (this is something you don’t want!). Oh, and don’t forget to clean under the sink and make sure the garbage/recycling bins are sparkling.
  • Living Spaces: Inside and underneath the couch are certainly hot spots for missed cleaning. No one wants to drop something under the sofa and then find a multitude of sins under there ( lego, old popcorn etc.). Make sure these hidden surfaces are as clean as the on-show ones. Also, it doesn’t take much but ask your cleaner to run around the house and do all the skirting boards (especially on the stairs and balustrades).
  • Fans: You may not notice in your everyday living but they get dusty.  It is not a big deal but when a guest wakes up in the morning, inevitably they are looking up a the ceiling and a grimy and dirty fan creates an unfavourable vibe.
  • Bedrooms: Dirty or stained pillows will cause guests to freak out, so either take this chance to buy new ones or at the very least get good pillowcase covers that you can wash.  People also get funny about bedding, linen and mattresses. We use a commercial launderer and all our linen is white (it comes from a company that supplies 5-star hotels). If you are not using a property manager who supplies linen, we suggest that it is best to keep it neutral (no floral sheets!).
  • Bathrooms:  Make sure you get rid of all of your personal belongings in cupboards, shelves, drawers etc. (especially medication!) and clean those drawers.  Be vigilant with your cleaner to make sure that there is not a single hair to be found, the glass is streak-free and the taps are sparkling.
  • Outside:  It doesn’t matter where your guests are coming from, they’re coming to Australia and they almost always want to BBQ so be sure that this is all cleaned up and the gas tank is full.  If it is not…you will get a phone call.  Also, the guest’s arrival is pretty key so blow/sweep off all the leaves etc.  If the property is untidy on the outside when they arrive, they will go looking for issues inside after they put the key in the door.

It may seem like common sense and for the most part, cleaners do a pretty good job, however, you have to audit their work to make sure it is guest ready. If it is not done right the first time, it will cost you more money and headaches in the long run. We take cleaning really seriously.  You could argue that it is one of the most important elements of hosting and short-term stay property management. 

Keep in mind that most people are pretty reasonable and if they do complain it is more often than because more than one thing that has been missed. If you want to make sure that your cleaning/housekeeping team has done a proper job you may find the following checklist helpful.

Want to learn more about listing your property and our management services ( which include cleaning)? Get in touch today.

At Property Providers our core purpose is “Helping People Live Better”.  As Sydney’s most flexible residential rental agency, we are totally focused on Property Management and renting “Your Property, Your Way”. We have designed 6 different rental services covering all facets of Long-Term Leasing as well as Short-Term Stays. Unlike franchise real estate agencies, we see the value in pragmatism and flexibility. Whether you want to rent your property furnished or unfurnished, for 6 months or 5 years, we will manage your property, your way. Our bespoke marketing strategies deliver discerning international tenants that understand quality and are prepared to pay for it.  If you would like to learn more please visit our Property Providers website  or call us on +612 9969 7599


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Don Binkley

Don is a Canadian native who has been living in Sydney since 2000. His career started in advertising/media working with a host of multinational brands. Evolving from marketing, he held a senior leadership position for a number of years at American Express. In 2010, he founded Property Providers, Sydney’s most flexible residential rental agency. He now leads a passionate team which has become recognised as experts in managing and marketing Sydney’s finest property to the most discerning clientele. Don is driven by the guiding principal that all long-term partnerships have a foundation of mutual respect, mutual commitment, mutual investment and mutual risk. Don is a proud father of 3 boys and is passionate about Skiing, Mountain Biking and Kayaking.

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