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How to Manage Housekeepers with a Busy Booking Calendar

How-to-Manage-Housekeepers-with-a-Busy-Booking-Calendar-Zeevou

Nothing is more enjoyable for a vacation rental manager than a jam-packed booking calendar and an extremely high occupancy rate. However, everyone knows that managing housekeepers with a busy booking calendar is no easy job.

Be it with local housekeepers or by contracting it out to cleaning services, scheduling vacation rental cleanings entails a lot of sending back-and-forth messages to your cleaners. Besides, with so many back-to-back bookings, keeping your staff updated with the constantly changing schedule can be arduous.

Peak seasons are tiresome and stressful days for your staff, especially your on-site service providers. They already receive excessive work and pressure, with awkward situations and new tasks constantly popping up here and there. And yes, unexpected disorders in your housekeepers’ plans can easily drive them crazy.

On the other hand, your guests expect a spotless home or room when they arrive. Cleanliness is one of the leading causes of most of their negative reviews during the busy season. As a result, your housekeeping needs to be immaculate. Otherwise, a busy season can become a nightmare. A few weeks of a fully-booked calendar may not justify the severe harm done to your reputation! After all, reviews are both a short-term and long-term investment for your hospitality business.

So, how do vacation rental managers handle their housekeeping tasks while having a busy booking calendar? Let’s review the most common solutions and weigh their effectiveness.

Manage-Housekeepers-Zeevou

1. Sharing Your Calendar with Your Cleaners

Trying to keep your cleaners informed of each check-out and any changes in the bookings is a constant headache for an extremely occupied vacation rental manager. Besides that, it would be easy to make mistakes, cause confusion, or forget the whole thing. Therefore, sharing your booking calendar with your cleaning staff sounds like a smart idea.

There are two ways to share your calendar with your housekeepers:

A. Making Your Housekeepers Co-hosts on Your Airbnb Account

Adding your cleaners as co-hosts on Airbnb allows them to access the booking calendar from their own Airbnb account. They can also view all the essential details they need for their job. As cleaners get notified of cancellations and booking changes, communications with them will be minimised, thus optimised.

However, your staff members will access a lot more than just the calendar and what they need for their cleaning tasks. They can see your earnings, guest data, other cleaners’ workload and additional private information. They can also communicate with guests and write reviews.

B. Sharing Your Calendar with Your Cleaners through iCal

Your Airbnb calendar can be synchronised with your other calendars through “iCal”  links. You can send the ‘iCal’ links to your cleaning staff, and they can add them to an external calendar.

Google Calendar is the most commonly used calendar. It is easy to share on different platforms and features many helpful functionalities like sending reminders and invitations.

Calendar importing with Airbnb is a little bit more work. But, it allows you to share your booking calendar with your cleaning team and set email reminders. This may seem like an easy solution to manage your housekeepers while having a busy booking calendar. Since the cleaning staff are only allowed to access the shared calendar, they can’t access other information available to co-hosts

Nevertheless, in the first place, your cleaners must know how to work with Google Calendar. In addition, you can only share the date and time your property is occupied. You can’t tell your cleaners when you would like the listing to get cleaned. Moreover, you can’t assign specific tasks to cleaners. 

What about using multiple cleaning services? Your housekeepers don’t have access to the information they need like the number of guests or the bed preparation details.

If you receive bookings from multiple channels, you must share each platform’s booking calendar separately with your cleaning staff. Multiple cleaners, multiple properties, and multiple calendars to keep track of! A real headache for you and your cleaners.

Sharing-Your-Calendar-with-Your-Cleaners-Zeevou

2. Using a Property Management System Featuring Cleaning Management

The two methods outlined above can’t completely take the hassle out of managing housekeepers with a busy booking calendar. So, a more professional solution is, indeed, required. Luckily, technology and automation offer a perfect solution for this need.

A Property Management System (PMS) equipped with a cleaning management feature is all a vacation rental manager needs. It helps them put their cleaning management on autopilot and rest assured, knowing that their properties are always kept sparkling clean.

How Can a PMS with a Cleaning Management Feature Help You?

A PMS can automate many aspects of your vacation rental management, including the whole cleaning management process. As a result, it minimises the need for day-to-day, hands-on management, streamlines your team communication, and saves you tons of time.

Calendar 

Your PMS pulls your calendar from Airbnb, Vrbo, and your direct booking website and synchronises them into one calendar. Your housekeepers must be able to log into the system and see the calendar with the details related to their job.

PMSes like Zeevou offer property managers a comprehensive Multi-Unit Calendar for efficiently managing tasks and a busy booking calendar across multiple properties.

This user-friendly calendar allows you to scroll infinitely to see all the past, current, and upcoming bookings. You can create bookings, block dates, and apply advanced modifications directly from the Booking Calendar. Bookings can be dragged and dropped between units, modified, extended, or split. Besides, different colours and labels enable you to quickly understand a booking’s state, the booking source channel, and the cleaning status in real time. This way, you can quickly notice dirty or maintenance-required units.

Cleaning Management

The cleaning management feature can automatically generate check-out and mid-stay housekeeping tasks. It assigns tasks to housekeepers based on the priority set for each staff member and their availability throughout the week. Additionally, you can manually change the cleaners assigned to a task.

Housekeeping App

Many PMSes provide a housekeeping mobile app that allows you to efficiently assign cleaning tasks and notifies your housekeepers about their allocations. This app offers a range of features to enhance productivity. Housekeepers can view their tasks based on priority and access a comprehensive list of upcoming tasks for the days ahead or even the entire month. Moreover, the app provides detailed information, such as bed arrangements, access codes, and any relevant notes from the host for each task.

Housekeepers will also receive automated reminders and alerts for upcoming tasks and deadlines. At the same time, they will get notified of any cancellations and changes in the schedule. Therefore, there’s no need for any back-and-forth messages between you and your staff.

The cleaning management app can also capture the housekeepers’ start time, location, and the time they are done with a task. You might also want to ask them to take photos of the cleaned property on the app for your quality control. Also, the hosts can share their cleaning checklists through this app, and the cleaners can upload photos of property damage.

PMS-Cleaning-Management-Feature-Zeevou

Conclusion

Every vacation rental booking is a list of responsibilities for a vacation rental manager. Now imagine a host managing multiple properties and multiple teams in multiple locations. 

Furthermore, bookings constantly change and get cancelled, as do the schedules. It is almost impossible for hosts to survive without getting help from automation tools like property management software.

These tools provide vacation rental managers peace of mind by flawlessly scheduling tasks and ensuring timely notifications for staff.

Further Reading

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