If you own a cleaning business, you may be familiar with the ever-increasing market of vacation rentals. Vacation rentals, such as houses or apartments, or rooms listed on short-term rental service platforms — like Airbnb or VRBO — can provide a steady stream of money for your cleaning business. Are you interested in adding vacation rental cleaning services to your business portfolio? Read on to learn more about how to earn money by becoming a short-term rental cleaner. Plus, find tips on setting yourself apart from your competitors.
Why Short-Term Rental Cleaning Could Be a Jackpot Job
Alternative lodging isn’t “alternative” anymore — it’s fully mainstream. While the industry saw a setback from the COVID-19 pandemic (like much of the hospitality industry), the statistics remain strong. According to a July 2022 report on the short-term rental industry in the United States, a total of 1,059,541 available units were listed on various platforms — an increase from 2020. In fact, in May 2022, 88,000 new short-term rentals were added to the market, leading to an all-time high in total listings.
Don’t let your location dissuade you from looking into this opportunity; listings aren’t just in tourist hot spots near the beach or mountains. Cities like Indianapolis, Tulsa, and Greensboro have made the list of cities with the most short-term rental apartments. On top of that, over a third of the listings in the United States are for entire houses or apartments, which means more space that requires turnover cleaning between guests. For interested cleaners, these facts reinforce that short-term rental cleaning can be a steady and lucrative gig.
How Much Do Short-Term Rental Cleaners Make on Average?
Many hosts charge their renters a one-time cleaning fee that is added to the price of their listing. This covers the cost of cleaning the vacation rental once the guest leaves, and is paid for by the guests. Short-term rental hosts decide how much they can charge for the cleaning fee; therefore, how much you make will ultimately depend on what the host is willing to pay and if they accept your cleaning rates. It can also vary depending on the local market in your area. As you can imagine, exact cleaning fee figures are not the same across even the same metro area, let alone the country.
So how much can you make from cleaning short-term rentals? Some estimate that cleaning professionals can earn around $40 per hour for a standard cleaning. Ultimately, the amount you can earn depends on the number of properties you can clean in an hour and the average cleaning rate in your area. The good news is that for motivated cleaners, this can mean you can rake in the money.
How Consistent Are Short-Term Rental Cleaning Jobs?
It’s estimated that the average Airbnb rental is booked 21 nights each month. In addition, Logify found that a little over 70% of all short-term rental bookings are short stays (with guests only staying 1-3 days); 25% of bookings are for mid-length stays (4-7 days). With light cleanings needed after every turnover and deep cleans required at least every three months, it’s safe to say that short-term rental cleaning jobs remain consistent. And, because there are over 1 million vacation rentals on the market, there is no shortage of jobs for maids, housekeepers, and house cleaners looking to work within this industry.
What Cleaners Can Expect
As with any other cleaning job, your goal is to leave the rental “sparkling clean.” Guests expect to check into a spotless, hair-free, odor-free, dust-free, and clutter-free rental. Because the average stay at vacation rental properties is less than a week, you can probably expect cleanings to be similar to light housekeeping. However, some rentals may need deep cleanings here and there, which would take more time. As with any cleaning gig, negotiating your rate with the owner when more intensive cleanings are needed is a critical part of the job.
A Few Ways to Find Short-Term Rental Cleaning Jobs in Your Area
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find local short-term cleaning service jobs. You can find listings looking for short-term rental cleaners on job websites, and websites and platforms connect cleaners directly with hosts, such as Angie’s List, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and more. Scroll through social media classified listings looking for cleaners. You could even try contacting hosts directly to offer your cleaning services.
When considering cleaning for a host, we recommend doing a little background check on the host. Look through their online profiles for reviews. Ask yourself, do they seem easy to work with, and what are their expectations? As an additional step, you can have a brief interview before you agree to provide the service.
4 Ways to Set Yourself Apart
1. Protect your Business with Cleaning Insurance
You might think you can save money without cleaning insurance if you’re in the beginning stages of your cleaning business. However, if you are uninsured, you are financially on the hook for anything that goes wrong during the cleaning process. For example, if you or your cleaning crew break anything, you’re responsible for covering the cost of fixing or replacing the item. In addition, having insurance means that more people will trust you, and you’ll get more cleaning jobs. When you have cleaning insurance, you and your client will have peace of mind.
2. Come Prepared with Knowledge About the Service’s Expectations and Local Law
In addition to knowing the local laws & guidelines, familiarize yourself with the short-term rental platform’s website and requirements. Browse through their cleaning guides, policies, and requirements. Also, be sure to allocate time upfront to meet with the owner. Get a better understanding of their expectations and needs. Remember to keep communication open between you and the host to ensure you are following their directions.
3. Remember the Power of Positive Review
The success of vacation rentals hinges on customer reviews, so the owner will be highly tuned into what their customers are saying. If reviews praise the cleanliness of the rental, it will only make your service more valuable to them. Be sure to make time for the small, extra touches that guests will appreciate, such as neatly folded towels, tidy coffee stations, and freshly-scented towels and sheets. While you may have been hired by the owner, cleaning with the guests in mind will help you keep it.
4. Price Competitively
Running a successful cleaning business means that you’ll need to keep an eye on competitive pricing for your services. Take a look at what other local competitors are charging, which will help give you an idea of how much local hosts are willing to pay. This can give you a competitive edge over any competition. Decide if you want to get paid by the hour or the job, then create your pricing structure based on these decisions.
5. Clean Efficiently
Cleaning quickly and efficiently means that you’ll make more money in the end. While the average cleaning time for short-term rentals is four hours, some rentals require a much quicker turnaround. Learning how to clean effectively and efficiently will only help your business in the long run.
Add Insurance Canopy as a Benefit to Your Short-Term Rental Cleaning Service
Starting a short-term rental cleaning service can be intimidating, but adding cleaning business insurance doesn’t have to be. At Insurance Canopy, we make adding cleaning insurance a breeze–you can buy your policy online in 10 minutes or less. Protect your business and your clients with our professional, trustworthy, and affordable insurance policies. If you already have cleaning insurance, make sure you’re paying a fair rate. Get a free quote now!