This article was created based on information from a live talk given by Vanessa Higgins at the 2019 Maid Summit.
This event was hosted and organized by ZenMaid. Check out replays of full talks from Vanessa and over 40 other cleaning industry experts at MaidSummit.com
Vanessa Higgins is the founder and owner of Clean Tu Casa LLC, a company that offers residential cleaning, organization and personal errand services.
For 20 years, Vanessa has grown her knowledge of marketing strategies by developing them for well-known companies like Delta Airlines and Home Depot. She now uses that experience in combination with her keen eye for a clean space to provide a reliable and efficient home cleaning business to Atlanta, GA.
Why should I market my cleaning service to Airbnb hosts?
For starters, Airbnb is a billion-dollar company with oodles of homes worldwide being rented out by homeowners or property management companies.
These homes are typically rented for a short time.
“The average nights stayed for an Airbnb or short term rental is three nights and 88% of those reservations are between two and four people.” – Vanessa Higgins
That is a lot of homes that need to be cleaned multiple times a month which, of course, translates into recurring business for a Maid Service.
I bet you’re wondering why more aspiring cleaning services aren’t doing this…
Well, cleaners either love it or they hate it. The good thing is that there is a niche for it.
Some cleaners prefer the fast-paced thrill of quick turnovers while others rather a more steady, even pace.
There are folks that don’t like the short-notice while others prefer the last-minute schedule.
For those who want to gain recurring clients and great experience then it may be a good area of the cleaning industry to look into. You can gain either a weekly client or a turnover client.
A weekly clean at $120 per visit is about $480 monthly, $6240 annually, while a turnover clean is $150 a pop and usually occurs six times a month, equaling $900 monthly, (that’s $10.8k yearly).
Another awesome thing about Airbnb is that you have an opportunity for deep cleans more regularly due to the extra mess that happens with many different people coming in and out of a home.
Just a little extra wear and tear, which can amount to a lot of business for your Maid Service!
Market your Cleaning Service to Airbnb hosts
So, you’ve decided that you love the occasional challenging clean and it is kinda fun to see what nonsense these renters leave behind.
Now it’s time to market your Maid Service directly to Airbnb hosts. Be sure to try as many ways of marketing that pique your interest and gear them to the Airbnb host.
You can also try:
- Word of mouth, use your networking skills to reach out to possible hosts or property management companies that you might have a mutual connection to.
- Business cards/your cleaning company’s website can be a great way to market to and target Airbnb hosts. Find out how search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can help you generate leads for FREE.
- Forums can be great places to locate short-term rental hosts, but be sure to read the guidelines of the space before promoting.
- Google Search, is another option for finding what property management groups host homes in your area.
- Google Ads will allow you to target your market by zip code for a fee, but its pay per click so you will be getting traffic for your money.
- Housecleaning360.com is run by Angela Brown, The Cleaning Guru, it helps cleaners with networking, and Angela definitely knows a thing or two about marketing.
Develop an air-tight ‘Turnover Clean’ recipe
Step 1: Be organized
Organize your marketing strategy to target rental home properties through Airbnb.
Decide how many homes you want to clean and what all you are willing to offer along with the cleaning.
For example, you could do turnovers alone, you could do a turnover plus laundry or a turnover plus cleaning supplies, it’s up to you! No matter what you choose, be clear what it is you want so that you can focus your efforts toward receiving it.
Step 2: Communicate
Once you start cleaning rental properties for clients, be sure to keep up with your schedule.
If you keep it in-sync with the Airbnb hosts, it will be easier for you all to know what to expect from each other and this builds rapport.
Communicate well with your Airbnb (or other property) hosts and set these expectations with your team as well.
There can be all kinds of interesting, challenging issues when cleaning short-term rental homes, so have a protocol for when the unexpected arises, such as a home that has been left in a worse than normal state.
Knowing what to expect will help the client to be more understanding of the process and more comfortable with your Maid Service.
Step 3: Pricing
Develop your pricing with your team in mind.
Research your local market and price accordingly, if you have a high-quality home cleaning business, then charge for the high quality work your team performs.
Be wary of taking on just any home though, they can get quite big. Figure out what size you would like to serve and stick to that range, charging accordingly of course.
Establish your billing terms, many single homeowners may want to use Venmo, PayPal or Cash App. You also have the option to see if they want to keep a credit card on file for easy payments.
Additionally, when figuring out cost, don’t forget to measure the usage of your shampoos, laundry detergent, and any other product you leave for the guests so that you can figure out your costs.
Assemble your Maid Service’s Airbnb team!
Now that you know how to get started, it is time to think about your team for these sorts of projects.
Your cleaners for these Airbnb-type cleans should be ready to walk into a trashed home at any job.
It may smell of smoke or have various things knocked over or possibly soiled, so you want to be sure your cleaners are aware of these possibilities and know what to do when they occur.
This job isn’t for everyone, but lots of people like the challenge of turning a mess into a masterpiece, and this could be a way to market the idea to your Maid Service’s cleaners.
There is a whole hullabaloo of nonsense that can occur at a rented property, so charge appropriately for the work of your cleaners because it can be tough.
Always report everything that happened to save your Maid Service time and grief, the client needs the info so that they can hold the visitor accountable. Have your cleaners take photos and videos to record at initial walk in, these can be sent to you via Slack.
If there are any issues the cleaner should communicate them to the administration at your Maid Service.
This can be a full-time job and you may want to have an Airbnb liaison for this position. Either way, you or your manager should communicate with the Airbnb cleaning client directly.
Create a cleaning checklist for your cleaners at the Airbnb just to be sure it’s all done well and the same way every time. You can include specific work orders and wrap everything up nicely in a readily available Maid Kit.
In this Maid Kit, Include a lint roller for hairs that may have strayed. This can be one of the worst things a renter can see when they walk through a property.
Check the bed sheets and pillows for sure, but check the towels too!
Use Oxiclean, any spot cleaner, as well as carpet deodorizer to make the room smell fresh and be sanitized, you can include these in your cleaning fee as well.
You should include all of these habits in your training program for staff. Update it periodically with the latest techniques and protocols as you need to.
Extra marketing tips for your Maid Service
We mentioned, communication is an important skill but we didn’t dive into how important it can be to the overall growth of your Maid Service.
When you help the host prepare for new guests you also help to boost their ratings and therefore, your home cleaning business.
You can use this as a Maid Service marketing technique and display yourself as a ‘super host’-making cleaning company!
“If the client is happy, we’re happy!” – Vanessa Higgins
Another way to improve your communication with your hosts is to utilize Slack or WhatsApp to keep an open discussion of what is going on with the home. Slack gives you the ability to have multiple, separate channels for dialogue with hosts, cleaners and group chats within your Maid Service business.
Most homes aren’t trashed when cleaners walk in, but it does happen, so it’s good to be prepared. This is when this open dialogue will come in very handy.
From troubleshooting issues or reporting what needs to be restocked, to getting supplies to properties and overseeing quality control, your relationship will be stronger and healthier with quality communication.
Also, if there is a problem that maybe you don’t handle as a cleaning business, refer to people you may know like electricians, plumbers, landscapers, or trash haulers.
This helper attitude can help you market your Maid Service as the kind of business that solves problems for people, and they’ll love you for it.
This article was written using the advice given by Vanessa Higgins live at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.
At this incredible online convention, Vanessa and over 40 other cleaning industry experts gave live presentations.
Full replays of each of the speaker’s talks can be found at MaidSummit.com
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