The dishwasher full of dirty dishes. The air conditioning left off on a 98-degree day. The previous guest’s soggy sweatshirt hung up in a closet to dry.
If you don’t use checklists for your vacation rental, your guests are likely to encounter these kinds of problems when they first arrive at your property.
Even when your cleaning service typically does an exceptional job, it’s easy to forget a tiny task here and there, particularly when the problem isn’t immediately evident to someone taking a last look around the room to ensure it’s clean.
Checklists help you avoid human error and the bad reviews that inevitably follow an unwelcome surprise in your vacation rental. We’ve made you some FREE checklists you can download and alter to fit your property’s requirements.
Why a Checklist?
Studies have shown that checklists are invaluable tools for overcoming human error. Even the most conscientious worker can forget to perform a task if they are distracted, stressed, or under-slept – and while such errors are understandable, you don’t want them affecting your guests!
People in high-stakes careers, where errors can be life-threatening, use checklists for exactly this reason. Surgeons who use checklists, for example, see 38% reductions in post-surgery complications, and every pilot uses a pre-flight checklist before takeoff to ensure no mistakes are made.
Which is to say that if you’re worried your cleaning service will take a checklist as an indication that you don’t have faith in them, you should know that the most highly skilled professionals use checklists every day – and they overwhelmingly declare checklists help them avoid errors.
Checklists can even help you with guest complaints! Your cleaning service can send you the finished checklist or hold on to the checklist for their records. If you have a guest complaint about cleanliness, you’ll have proof that your cleaning service went through each task.
Vacation rental guests are accustomed to paying a cleaning fee for a professional cleaning service, but that fee means your guests are heavily invested in arriving to the spotless home they paid for.
Guarantee each cleaning is thorough – even in the spots you can’t see easily! – by providing your housecleaning service with a detailed checklist.
Start with our sample checklist and modify to fit your property’s needs. You can download the cleaning checklist here.
Before every guest checks in, someone at your vacation rental should perform a brief pre-stay walkthrough of your property. This could be you, a neighbor, or a service provider – the important part is that the walkthrough be performed the day of your guest’s arrival.
A pre-stay walkthrough checklist ensures that nothing has happened to the property between the guest’s check-in time and the last cleaning. For example, if the plumbing backed up the previous night or the gas light has burned out in the stove, that’s not a surprise you want waiting for your guests.
Start with this simple checklist and modify it to fit your property’s needs. You can download the pre-stay checklist here.
Perform a post-stay walkthrough to ensure your property has not been damaged during the guest’s stay. It can be very difficult to get reimbursement from the guest or your insurance provider if you don’t notice the damage until well after your guests leave.
A post-stay checklist includes many of the same items as your pre-stay checklist, such as checking the appliances and electronics all work properly. Since you have a pre-stay checklist that says the stove was working when the guests checked in, for example, you’ll know that the broken stove was caused during the guest’s stay and not a pre-existing problem.
Your post-stay checklist will also give you plenty of time to resolve the issue before your next guest’s arrival.
Start with this simple checklist and modify it to fit your property’s needs. You can download the post-stay checklist here.
Catch Issues Before Your Guests Do!
Every vacation rental is going to have a problem now and then, but these checklists will ensure you see the issue long before your guest does – and that’s important!
Guests who encounter an issue on arrival will be primed to look for other problems with the rental. Maybe they wouldn’t have minded that the grill didn’t have tongs provided – but since they already found one issue, they’ll count the missing tongs as another strike against your rental.
If everything works perfectly and the cleaning is as expected, however, guests are more likely to overlook any aspect of the house that isn’t precisely to their liking.
When you have back-to-back reservations, use all three checklists to ensure your turnover process is seamless and minimize the potential that an issue will be overlooked in the quick turn.
Create your own checklist by downloading our FREE templates below! This download includes all three checklists: pre-stay, post-stay, and cleaning.
Evolve works with local service partners to ensure your property always meets our 4 Core Property Standards: safe, clean, guest-ready, and as advertised. Learn more about what Evolve does to make vacation rental easier for owners here.
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