Consistently Clean Homes Provide a Better Guest Experience

TurnKey Technology Spotlight: Consistently Clean Homes Provide a Better Guest Experience

Poor Housekeeping Leads to Unhappy Guests and Less Bookings.

The Background
Cleanliness is the number one metric that has to be nailed for every vacation rental stay for every single guest. Close to 70% of guests rank cleanliness as their number one lodging priority, according to CLR. When you have high occupancy rates, like TurnKey does in over 1,300 homes, a flawless clean can be especially difficult to achieve because you have to have a consistent housekeeping vendor who will arrive when scheduled and execute thorough back-to-back cleanings.

Negative reviews about the cleanliness of a property can have a major impact on booking and revenue rates through driving a property down in the sort order. Sort order can affect the number of bookings, because a low ranking means that the property is not getting in front of the most potential guests. On distribution sites like Airbnb, hosts are ranked according to four criteria: cleanliness, commitment, communication, and property amenities. HomeAway takes into account guest reviews as part of their “best match” search engine, which determines sort order.

This edition of the TurnKey Technology Spotlight explores how TurnKey used industry best practices and technology to optimize the cleaning process and deliver excellent housekeeping every time.

The Challenge
We needed to build a large network of house cleaners that were reliable and excellent at cleaning, use technology to schedule thousands of cleaning jobs, and be better at this than anyone else so when guests arrived at their rental, the house was clean and ready to be enjoyed. But we overcame these challenges by implementing a process to deliver consistency. We now have highly professional, fairly paid housekeeping staff to service our properties nationwide.

The Solution
When engaging vendors to work with, we look for vendors who come highly recommended. Once hired, we leverage tech like our scheduling and automated systems to schedule each cleaning. We’ve built technology to schedule over 50,000 housecleaning jobs automatically. We monitor each cleaning vendor’s arrival to ensure the home will be cleaned on time. A lack of amenities can seriously decrease a guest’s perceived value of a home and lead to complaints, so our housekeeping staff also sets out our hotel-style amenities–basic toiletries, toilet paper, towels, etc.–that our field ops team delivers.

In addition, we ask each guest to rate the clean via email so we can correct any issue and ensure satisfaction. We use metrics and analytics to weed out bad cleaners and reschedule great cleaners. We developed an efficient inspection schedule to quickly identify subpar cleanings without inspecting every single job in person. Our housekeepers know their average rating for their cleaning jobs and if this rating dips below 4 stars, TurnKey looks into retraining them or choosing another housekeeper.

We have a proprietary way to verify each and every cleaning. We take photos of what each home should look like when cleaned properly. Then each housekeeping vendor takes photos after they clean, and we independently review the photos to see if they match.

Here’s an example of when we nailed a cleaning:


Here’s an example of when our housekeeping wasn’t perfect:


We are able to immediately take action to remedy the mistake and make sure the home is ready to be enjoyed.

Through employing this system, we’ve greatly improved over time. We didn’t arrive at this solution overnight. However, we did develop a reputation for fixing any issues promptly and professionally and learning from our mistakes. Because of these processes, we have a scalable solution to provide a consistently high-end cleaning service across all homes.

The Benefits to Owners and Guests

  • The property is clean at all times for both owners and guests.
  • We can find out if a guest is unsatisfied and solve the issue immediately.
  • Consistent, high-level housekeeping makes more guests happy, which leads to more bookings and revenue.

The Results
Our solution works! We have a 98% approval rating of our housekeeping jobs across all properties. 97,000 cleanings were scheduled and achieved since 2012. Having a clear process helps ensure thorough, high-end cleanings and happy guests – all at no additional cost to our owners!

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