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The popularity of Airbnb has exploded in recent years, with travelers eager to experience more authentic and affordable accommodations compared to traditional hotels.
This rapid growth has created a massive need for professional cleaners who can properly service these Airbnb rental properties between guest stays.
Launching an Airbnb cleaning business is an excellent entrepreneurial opportunity if you have a passion for cleaning, customer service, and attention to detail.
Having managed short-term rental properties on Airbnb and VRBO for over a decade, I understand first-hand the intricacies of running a profitable cleaning business in this industry.
As a premier host with tons of five-star reviews from satisfied guests, I have extensive experience hiring cleaning companies to maintain properties to the highest standards.
My deep insight into the unique challenges and opportunities within the Airbnb niche allows me to provide comprehensive guidance so you can launch a thriving cleaning business too.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can leverage my knowledge to build a reputable, in-demand cleaning service for Airbnb properties in your area.
Choosing a Business Name and Logo
One of the first steps is choosing a catchy, memorable name and logo for your Airbnb cleaning business.
Pick a name that conveys your professionalism, attention to detail, and cleaning expertise. The logo should be clean, modern, and represent your brand well. This will stick in clients’ minds and help you stand out from competitors.
- Brainstorm a list of potential names that are short, memorable, and communicate professional cleaning services.
- Make sure the domain is available before deciding on the name.
- Examples: DC Cleaning Co., Capital Cleaning Services, Washington Cleaning Solutions
- Design a simple, clean logo that will look good on your website, business cards, car magnets, uniforms, etc.
- Choose colors that represent cleanliness like blue, green or white.
- Create a version of the logo with and without the full company name.
Forming the Airbnb Cleaning Business
One of the first steps to take when figuring out how to start an Airbnb cleaning business is choosing and formally registering your Airbnb cleaning business to make it legal. Here are some key considerations:
Business Structure – Most cleaning businesses operate as limited liability companies (LLCs). This provides personal liability protection and pass-through taxation. You will need to register articles of organization.
State Registration – Register your chosen business name with the state by filing a “doing business as” (DBA) form. This allows you to operate under a name different than your personal name.
Licenses – Research if your state or municipality requires any special licenses or permits to run a cleaning business. Common ones include general business licenses, sales tax permits, and service contractor licenses.
Bank Account – Open a dedicated business checking account in your LLC’s name to keep finances separate from personal. Use only for business income/expenses.
Having the proper business formation and registrations helps lend legitimacy as you launch your cleaning company. Consult local government agencies and qualified professionals to ensure you check all boxes.
Mastering Airbnb’s Cleaning Standards
While Airbnb does not issue formal certifications, it’s crucial to master their cleaning standards as a service provider on the platform. Here are some tips:
- Thoroughly read Airbnb’s hosting literature including their cleaning handbook, welcome guides, and home safety information. Follow all guidelines and suggestions.
- Carefully study the cleaning criteria Airbnb uses for their 5-star cleanliness rating. Guests will expect basics like dust-free surfaces, crisp linens, spotless bathrooms, and clutter-free common spaces.
- Look at Airbnb’s amenity and supply checklists to know what should be stocked in each rental based on number of guests. Keep ample backups on hand.
- Talk to experienced Superhost cleaners to learn inside tricks of the trade. Find out the most common complaints and how to avoid them.
- Check Airbnb community forums to see what cleaning challenges hosts discuss. Know the safety, damage, and review policies inside-out.
- Follow Airbnb on social media to stay on top of updates or modifications to their standards so you can adjust accordingly.
While an official certification isn’t offered, doing your homework to master Airbnb’s guidelines is a must. Homeowners are entrusting you to maintain their properties to the platform’s benchmarks. Become an expert so you can consistently meet and exceed expectations.
Research the Local Market
Do some research upfront to understand your local Airbnb cleaning market. Search online directories and ads to see what other cleaners in the area charge per service.
Take note of their certifications, reviews and offerings. This will help you competitively price and position your own services. Consider niches that are underserved so you can fill a gap.
- Search “Airbnb cleaning” plus your city to find local competitors. Analyze their:
- Pricing for one time vs recurring service
- Package offers like deep cleaning, laundry, pet cleaning
- Customer reviews and satisfaction
- Join local Airbnb host groups and see what current rates and pain points hosts mention.
- Look for potential niches not being filled in your area like eco-friendly cleaning or short notice/emergency cleaning.
Defining Services and Fees
To keep your pricing straightforward for customers, charge a flat per-bedroom rate for Airbnb cleanings rather than hourly. Here’s some ideas on how to do that:
- Charge around $100 per bedroom
So pricing would be:
- 1 bedroom unit: $100
- 2 bedroom unit: $200
- 3 bedroom unit: $300
You can add on additional flat fees per service for add-ons like:
- Laundry: $25 per load
- Fridge stocking: $30
- Pet cleaning: $50
- Deep cleaning: Additional $150
Keeping your baseline pricing simple per bedroom and your add-on services at flat rates makes it easy for customers to estimate costs. Just be sure your per-bedroom fee still covers your expenses at a profit.
Creating a Website
Invest in building a professional website to market your Airbnb cleaning services, rates, territory, certifications, and reputation.
Make it easy for potential customers to learn about your business and contact you.
Focus on showcasing your attention to detail and cleaning excellence through compelling content and visuals.
- Use a template from platforms like Squarespace or Wix for an affordable site.
- Showcase photos of meticulously cleaned sample Airbnbs to build trust.
- Share certifications, training process, years in business, and bio of owner.
- Make contacting you as easy as possible with online bookings or request quotes.
- Optimize site for local SEO by incorporating relevant keywords throughout.
Finding Airbnb Cleaning Clients
Once certified, focus on finding local Airbnb hosts in need of reliable, quality cleaners. A few tips for identifying potential clients:
- Join Airbnb host Facebook groups and forums and introduce yourself/your services. Many hosts seek referrals within these online communities.
- Search Airbnb listings in your target area and reach out to hosts directly. Highlight your certifications and experience. Offer them a special rate for their first cleaning.
- Partner with property management companies that handle Airbnbs. They will hand off cleaning jobs to subcontractors like yourself.
- Attend local rental industry meetups to connect with Airbnb hosts and managers face-to-face. Have business cards ready to hand out.
When reaching out to potential clients, be sure to communicate your competitive advantage through certifications, specialized equipment/supplies, and meticulous cleaning process.
As your client base grows, consider hiring additional cleaners to meet demand. Here are some tips for finding reliable help:
- Post detailed job listings on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and local classifieds. Require 1-2 years of professional cleaning experience.
- Ask clients and other Airbnb hosts to refer their best cleaners for potential job openings.
- Reach out to reputable maid service franchises that may have cleaners looking for extra work.
Thoroughly screen applicants by phone and in-person interviews. Conduct background checks to verify identities and any criminal records.
Only hire cleaners who meet high standards for professionalism, cleaning expertise, and trustworthiness.
Cleaning businesses take on various liabilities that make having proper insurance coverage essential. Be sure to discuss insurance options thoroughly with a qualified agent. Here are some key questions to ask:
- What general liability policy limits do you recommend considering the size of my business? This covers property damage and bodily injury.
- If I hire employees, what workers’ compensation policy do you recommend? This is required in most states.
- What other insurance types should I consider as the business grows? Possibilities include commercial auto, professional liability, etc.
- Will any industry-specific accreditations or certifications lower my premiums? Discuss all credentials with your agent.
- How can I keep costs down while still getting adequate protection? Inquire about bundling policies.
- What risk factors may increase my premiums? Be upfront about any issues so you get an accurate quote.
Training and Checklists
By having in-depth conversations with insurance agents, you can gain insight on policies that make sense for your cleaning business as it scales up. Just be sure to get licensed agents’ advice on specific coverage decisions.
Once you hire additional cleaners, invest time upfront in proper training to uphold your quality standards. Provide each cleaner with comprehensive checklists outlining exactly what tasks need to be completed for each type of rental property.
Go through your best practices for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Demonstrate your preferred techniques for using equipment, handling linens, and leaving properties spotless. Emphasize important protocols like wearing shoe covers, working top to bottom, and avoiding cross-contamination.
Include training on safe practices like using chemicals properly, lifting heavy items, reporting hazards, and wearing slip-resistant shoes. Outline your expectations for professionalism and communication when interacting with rental guests.
Thoroughly train any cleaners you hire to ensure they uphold your standards. Provide each cleaner with comprehensive checklists outlining exactly what tasks need to be completed for each type of rental property.
For example, here is a detailed checklist for cleaning a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Airbnb house:
- Wipe down all counters and appliances
- Clean inside microwave and oven
- Organize dishes, utensils, pots/pans
- Take out trash and recycling
- Sweep and mop floors
- Sanitize handles, knobs, switches
- Dust all surfaces and lamps
- Vacuum furniture and rugs
- Sanitize remotes, game controls
- Straighten books, magazines, decor
- Strip all linens and remake beds with fresh sheets
- Sanitize mattresses and pillows
- Clean and disinfect all sinks, tubs, toilets
- Wipe down mirrors, counters, showers
- Restock toiletries and towels
- Pick up any clutter, lost items
- Take out all trash bags to bins
- Wipe down walls, doors, railings
- Vacuum stairs, halls, corners
- Clean inside washer/dryer
- Sweep patio, porch, deck areas
- Walk through to spot anything missed
- Check all windows, doors are locked
- Note any damage or issues for host
- Take photos of finished clean
Go over these checklists verbally and in writing and physically demonstrate proper techniques for tasks like changing sheets, scrubbing bathrooms, operating vacuums, etc. Emphasize important protocols like working top to bottom and avoiding cross-contamination between bathrooms and kitchens.
Observe cleaners during their first few jobs and provide coaching to improve any lacking areas. Ensure consistency across your entire team for a seamless guest experience.
Choosing cleaning business software that seamlessly integrates with the Airbnb calendar is highly recommended for efficiency. Software options like Breezeway, ResortCleaning, and Avail integrate directly with Airbnb to auto-populate cleaning schedules as bookings are made. Key features of Airbnb-compatible cleaning software include:
- Two-way calendar syncing that automatically pulls booking dates into your calendar. This eliminates double-booking errors.
- Confirmation tools to instantly accept or decline cleaning requests from Airbnb calendars.
- Guest details provided with each booking so cleaners have key access codes and instructions.
- Invoicing systems that automatically bill Airbnb hosts based on stays without manual entry.
- Route optimization to schedule cleanings in the most efficient order based on location. Saves time and mileage expenses.
- Task checklists pre-loaded with Airbnb’s cleaning requirements for each type of property. Ensures nothing gets missed.
- Post-cleaning surveys sent out to guests to collect feedback on the service. Critical for improvement.
- Rating systems to monitor cleaner performance over time. Quickly resolve any issues.
- Real-time communication with hosts and cleaners to confirm bookings, provide updates, and field requests.
- Mileage tracking for paying cleaners driving reimbursements.
- QuickBooks integration to smoothly handle payroll, accounting, and taxes.
Investing in software built specifically to sync with Airbnb provides maximum efficiency. Everything from booking management to feedback surveys is automated. This leaves you time to focus on hands-on training and oversight for cleaners instead of admin work.
Providing Excellent Service
Go above and beyond basic cleaning services to really wow homeowners. Carefully follow any special instructions from the host for that property. Introduce yourself via a hand-written note. Leave a small gift like artisanal soaps or snacks. Replace used supplies like toilet paper rolls and coffee pods.
Communicate promptly with hosts before and after cleanings. Seek feedback on how you can improve after each job. Monitoring online reviews will also help you address any weak spots. Provide the same meticulous service every time, for every client.
Growing Your Airbnb Cleaning Business
Once your operations are running smoothly, continue expanding your client base. Consider pitching your services to traditional vacation rental companies, B&Bs, hotels, and inns in the area. Join local professional associations to gain referrals. Attend real estate conferences to connect with rental property managers and owners.
Develop repeat business by offering monthly or seasonal discount packages to Airbnb hosts. Reward referrals from happy clients with bonus cleanings or gifts. Stay on top of the latest cleaning techniques and technologies to keep your service competitive.
The flexibility and income potential of an Airbnb cleaning business is immense for aspiring entrepreneurs. By specializing in this niche, obtaining certifications, hiring the right team, and leveraging tools to enhance efficiency, you can build a thriving and reputable cleaning business. Take that first step and start reaching out to Airbnb hosts in your area today.
Once your Airbnb cleaning business is established, you can expand your offerings by providing additional services outside of standard cleanings:
Concierge Services – Offer personalized concierge assistance for guests when needed. Things like stocking fridge prior to arrival, answering questions, making local recommendations, scheduling transportation or activities, etc. This VIP service helps hosts provide exceptional stays.
Welcome Baskets – Assemble gift baskets with local snacks, souvenirs, and essentials. Arrange these in rental properties to delight guests. Offer themed options depending on the location or occasion.
Emergency Cleaning – Be available on-call for any emergency cleanings needed during guest stays due to accidents, weather damage, or other issues.
Inspections – Conduct periodic inspections looking for preventative maintenance needs, safety hazards, etc. Provide detailed reports to hosts with photos outlining any recommended repairs or improvements needed.
Pet Cleaning – Offer specialized deep cleaning tailored to properties that allow pets. Includes things like lint rolling, pet odor elimination, and sanitizing.
By providing these optional add-ons in addition to standard cleaning, you become a more value-added partner to Airbnb hosts. This leads to higher retention rates and more income per client. Just be careful not to stretch your team too thin.
Is Airbnb cleaning profitable?
Yes, an Airbnb cleaning business can be quite lucrative due to the low start-up costs and recurring revenue potential. Upfront investments like cleaning supplies, equipment, and branding are minimal compared to other businesses.
How do I charge Airbnb for cleaning?
You can request to have your cleaning fee automatically deducted from the host’s payouts rather than collecting payment separately. List yourself as a “co-host” on their units to enable this.
Does the Airbnb cleaning fee include dishes?
The standard cleaning fee includes doing guest dishes. However, clarify with each host in case they want dishes left, especially in shared Airbnb where guest use is varied.
How long does it take to clean an Airbnb?
On average, plan on 1.5-2 hours for a 1 bedroom, 2.5-3 hours for a 2 bedroom, and 4 hours for a 3 bedroom. Add more time for larger homes. A thorough checklist ensures you don’t miss anything.
Recap: How to Start an Airbnb Cleaning Business
Launching an Airbnb cleaning service allows you to capitalize on the massive growth of short-term rental properties while doing rewarding work. Follow this guide to get certified, build your clientele, create efficient systems, hire a reliable team, and provide five-star cleaning experiences. Attention to detail and stellar customer service are key to growing a reputable brand known for impeccable cleanings. With some upfront planning and effort, you can turn your passion for cleaning into a prospering Airbnb cleaning business.
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