This month’s topic is how South End Hospitality handles Airbnb property set-up, maintenance, and cleaning services. Both of our Hand Us the Keys and Reservations and More services will ensure that your Airbnb properties are professionally managed, to optimize the guest experience and your profits.
Spring time in Boston is the start of the peak travel season, and we have been very busy all month welcoming families celebrating the many college graduations in the Boston area. South End Hospitality also offer temporary host services during your busiest times or your vacation. This month we helped four Airbnb hosts welcome parents for the Harvard graduation by handling guest communications, cleaning, and putting together welcome packets. We also just added a new property in the Boston suburb of Jamaica Plain, which ties in perfectly to this month’s blog about property set up, maintenance, and cleaning.
Property Set Up: First impressions are very important and a lot goes into the setup of your property to welcome guests on Airbnb. We have a detailed check list of everything you need to make your property guest ready. If your space is already furnished, we will have our in-house stager walk through your property and make suggestions if they see things missing from the list we recommend. The stager may move furniture around, or suggest lighting or decorating changes to make the space feel more inviting. We will use items you already have to decorate with, things like: decorative bowls, vases, wine decanters, and plants.
If your space is empty we have two strategies. First we can recommend a designer who rents furniture which will give your rental space a great design feel. The cost to rent furniture for a one bedroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room can range from $300-$500 per month. These are often high end, matching pieces that are brand new and expertly placed around the house. We can also source furniture for you and set it up. Depending on your budget, we can buy everything new and stage it for you, or for the more budget cautious, we can go to estate sales, yard sales, and use Craigslist to furnish a one bedroom for around $2,000, plus an hourly cost for sourcing.
Insider Tip: Craigslist can be great for a bargain! This week we found a beautiful oak bed frame (with no scratches)for $75 and we connected with another lady who gave us her amazing round dining table and 8 chairs, FOR FREE, because she was excited we would be welcoming guests from all over the world to dine on her family’s dinner table!
Insider Tip: Martha Stewart says that a home should always have three sets of linens per bed, one on the bed, one in the wash, and one in the closet. We keep to this philosophy and suggest three sets of sheets per bed. We obviously change the linens every time a group checks out, but sometimes we have a quick turn around and don’t have time to do a load of laundry, so backups are great to have.
Maintenance: When we first get a new listing, we like to make detailed check lists of problem areas inside the unit and report them to the owners. We will go room by room checking for things like: making sure all the outlets and light switches work, making sure all the windows open, close, and lock, and we determine what sort of cosmetic changes we could make. We work with a great group of handymen and contractors who come and give us quotes. We’ve helped owners connect with great handymen to replace broken windows, sand and stain hardwood floors, and glaze bathtubs.
Insider Tip: Getting hardwood floors sanded and stained is not inexpensive, but it is so worth the cost. Check out these before and after pictures and you’ll see what I mean.
Cleaning Services We work with some great cleaning staffs. Our cleaning company partners are dedicated to Airbnb cleaning, so they can come and do a comprehensive cleaning of our units with only a couple of hours’ notice. The cleaners do everything from changing the linens, washing the laundry, putting out gifts for guests, and letting us know when we are low on supplies. Our cleaning service includes a walk through of our properties to ensure they are guest ready including replacing batteries in smoke alarms and tightening loose door handles; they really check everything!
One of our first steps after getting a new listing is a deep cleaning. Even if your space looks perfect to you, we want to start with a clean slate. We will clean everything from the window sills, under bed frames, inside the oven and refrigerator and entryways. We have a list of monthly and seasonal deep clean projects that we will have the staff do. Also our managers will do at least one cleaning project every week when checking on properties to make sure everything is in tip top shape.
Insider tip: If a toilet paper roll is any less than half full, replace it with a fresh one. Another nice touch, fold the toilet paper roll to make a triangle. It not only looks pretty, but gives the guests the feeling we don’t look past the small stuff.
As you can see, a lot goes into getting a space ready for guests. Next month, we’ll be discussing the gifts and other touches we leave for guests, as well as some more before and after pictures of our newest listing. If you would like a consultation about your Airbnb rental and you’re ready to “Hand Us The Keys” or if you have any questions or comments, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-436-2205.