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By Peter Schuster • March 20, 2019

5 common Airbnb cleaning issues  that hurt your property performance

Airbnb guests demand a high level of cleanliness when it comes to the properties they book. As  guest expectation becomes higher, one dirty stain on the wall can severely damage your hard-earned reviews at any point. In this article, we cover 5 common Airbnb cleaning issues that threaten your earnings.

51% of guests list cleanliness as their top priority for Airbnb properties

Imagine you just booked a beautiful property in a perfect location. After the check-in, you leave your luggage in the living room and walk around the property to take the initial look. It takes you mere seconds to realise that the kitchen is dirty, the floor has stains, and there are pieces of hair  on the floor... Frustrating, isn't it?

Now you can understand what an Airbnb guest feels when this happens. 

Airbnb cleanliness is the number one priority for most guests, as shown by our data analysis of 1300 guest reviews for the properties we manage (see the infographic we built based on this research). A clean property is a top priority for 51% of the guests, followed by great communication (34%) and interior design (15%).

It doesn't matter how meticulous you or your cleaning team are, there will always be certain places in your property that usually don't get the attention they require. These areas build up grime over time and become a ticking time-bomb waiting to be discovered by one of your guests sooner or later. 

As an experienced Airbnb management company, we have accumulated a great deal of insights into what are the most crucial areas of focus for Airbnb cleaning. Take a look at the 5 most common Airbnb cleaning issues:

1. Appliances

Most guests do not bake or cook sophisticated meals during their stay, which makes it much more likely to miss that dirty oven or grill when they do. Always make sure to see whether appliances like the microwave, oven, toaster or grill had been stained in any way after a rare bake-off or a grill session. The fridge is a sensitive area too, and you should do best not to lower your standards to save time when cleaning it.


2. Outdoor areas

Outside locations like gardens, patios, balconies, roof terraces, courtyards, outdoor kitchens and dining areas, bbq facilities or bicycle storage, are exciting property features that delight business and holiday travellers alike. They are extra susceptible to grime and dirt due to their constant exposure to the weather conditions. There is nothing worse than booking a property with a pool or an outdoor dining area, only to find out that they are too dirty to be enjoyed. Meet your guest’s expectations by ensuring that these areas are maintained with extra care.


3. Pests

Bugs indoors are not an uncommon thing in Australia and most guests understand that they are to some degree unavoidable. It is your responsibility as a host, however, to limit the exposure of your guests to Australian wildlife in your property. Focus on all the areas within your control. Regularly check all the nooks and crannies that are likely to be inhabited by insects, and most importantly, if the customer encounters anything seriously unpleasant, be ready to call pest control. We recommend booking a recurring pest inspection every 6 months or so to prevent any surprises.


4. Amenities

If items such as soap, shampoo, toilet paper, or other toiletries are not replaced, this will for sure cause annoyance to your guests. Many of them have just arrived in a foreign country and may not even speak English very well, which can make them feel extra uncomfortable to start dealing with the situation. Create a checklist for yourself or your cleaning team to make sure that everything is replaced and put in the right place.

5. Hair

Whether they are found in linen, shower, sink or on any surface, hair can be devastating to your Airbnb reviews. There is a difference between cleaning your home and an Airbnb property, where every instance of unfamiliar hair will be mistaken for a sign of negligence on the part of the host.

Extra tip: Bin removal

Get the bin removal sorted! With guests coming in and out all the time, it's important to make sure the bin is removed frequently enough for all guests to have a comfortable departure from your property.

Pro tip: ask for a photo report after every cleaning session!

Whether you are cleaning the property yourself or working with an outsourced housekeeping staff, it's a good idea to have a checklist that includes all the areas to be focused on during the clean.  

Cleaning checklist

Here at MadeComfy, our 50+ housekeeping staff works with a digital housekeeping app. After every property clean, our staff sends on average 40 property photos to be reviewed by the Quality control manager and Housekeeping Manager, in our headquarters.

All photos are reviewed to make sure every cleaning jobs meet our quality requirements.

Having a checklist, either it be a digital one like ours or a handwritten one, helps you to have an overview of the state of your property, minimise room for error and get a peace of mind! In addition, make sure to schedule a recurring deep cleaning session every few weeks, where you switch your focus specifically on the problematic and time-consuming areas we mentioned above.

There are many things to keep in mind for Airbnb cleaning, and it only takes one misstep to risk  long-term damage to your listings. Partnering with a professional property management company experienced in Airbnb cleaning can help you to achieve excellent results time and time again. Read more on our end-to-end rental management service here.

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