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17 Nov 2023
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Property Management

Good vacation property management companies in Steamboat Springs understand the significant difference it makes to have a clean and well-maintained rental property. Numbers never lie: cleanliness is a major factor in building up your reputation as a stellar host.

At Retreatia, we partner with outstanding cleaning and maintenance companies, and we can confidently say that we excel in keeping things clean and tidy. You can see the results in the great reviews our guests leave, mentioning just that.

Curious about our approach to cleaning? In this blog, you'll find 10 Tips for keeping your Steamboat Springs Vacation Rental clean and well-maintained.

"Gloves, mop, and bucket, ready? Let's begin the works!" 


1. Understand that cleaning a vacation rental is different from cleaning your own home or even a hotel.

Cleaning and maintaining a vacation rental are radically different from doing the same for a private household. Just think about it: a successful rental has a high turnover of guests, which as a result demands a lot more cleanig.

Also, your window of opportunity to perform the cleaning is quite short, only between one guest checking in and another checking out. Sometimes, if your turnover is high enough, this means only a few hours.

Think it's the same as a hotel? It's closer, but still not the same.

Conventional hotels don't have spaces such as kitchens, dining rooms, and outdoor areas. Most don't come with the unique amenities that good short-term rentals boast, demanding clear procedures for cleaning and maintenance.



 2. Distinguish routing cleaning from deep cleaning.


At Retreatia, we aim to ensure all our properties are sparkling clean for every check-in. However, this doesn't mean performing a deep clean after each guest's departure, as that would be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive.

Instead, we reserve "deep cleans" for a few times a year and focus on "routine cleaning" every time a guest checks out. But what's the difference, anyway?


Routine Cleaning.

Routine cleaning is practical and efficient, typically taking an hour or less for a skilled cleaning professional. It focuses on high-touch areas and the most visible aspects of your vacation rental, ensuring they look clean, just like in your property pictures. Tasks include dusting, vacuuming, mopping, replacing bed linens and towels, sanitizing countertops, sinks, and appliances, cleaning and disinfecting toilets, showers, bathtubs, mirrors, and any other necessary areas.

During routine cleaning, it's crucial to be attentive to strands of hair, which can end up anywhere. Providing cleaning staff with sticky rollers can be an effective solution.

Extra tip: Ask your cleaning crew to notice any missing or damaged items and double-check the supplies of amenities during routine cleans. If anything is missing, they should report it to you.


Deep Cleaning.

As mentioned, we reserve deep cleans for once or twice a year—this is the time for heavy lifting.

Tasks during a deep clean are more extensive and include cleaning under heavy appliances and furniture, dusting all blinds and fans, checking walls and ceilings for cobwebs, and treating wood, among other tasks.

 By differentiating routine cleaning from deep cleaning, we ensure our properties maintain a high standard of cleanliness while efficiently managing time and costs.



Living Room at Timber Run

As much as we want everything to be as spotless as possible, conducting a deep clean every time a guest checks out would be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive. Instead, opt for a high-quality routine clean. Pictured: Timber Run.



3. Rely on the experts.

If you only have a couple of properties, it might be tempting to handle all the cleaning yourself and cut down on cleaning fees. However, we strongly recommend giving it a second thought.

Cleaning is far from a simple task; it's a highly intricate process that demands experience and skill. That's why we advise you to leave the challenging work to the experts.

At Retreatia, we place full confidence in professional cleaning services with dedicated crews possessing a trained eye and the expertise to ensure your rental is impeccably clean.

While they make cleaning appear almost magical, we still ensure our in-house inspectors regularly review their work, just to be certain.

Our goal is to maintain a rating of at least 4.9 stars across all vacation rentals we manage at all times.


4. Value your cleaning staff.

As long-time Steamboat Springs property managers, we recognize and deeply appreciate the invaluable contribution of our cleaning staff. Today, they stand as a key pillar in our success, and it is crucial for us that they understand their significance, feel valued, and are appreciated as much as any other team member in our firm.

An effective approach is to consistently acknowledge their hard work and dedication. Regularly praising their efforts during team meetings or through written communication reinforces their importance. Another impactful way to convey appreciation is by providing incentives and rewards for their exceptional performance. This could take the form of bonuses, gift cards, or other tangible benefits.

Pro tip: if demand permits, consider implementing the practice of blocking check-ins during major holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. This thoughtful gesture allows more time for your cleaning staff to spend with their families on these special dates, a small but meaningful way to show appreciation that they will surely value.


5. Integrate feedback into your cleaning routine. 


Another effective way to underscore the value of your cleaning crew is to establish open communication. Convey to them that their opinions and ideas are highly valued, and be open to receiving any feedback they may have.

Drawing from our experience, providing detailed feedback to your team not only yields better results but also enhances their motivation and fosters a desire for self-improvement.

Crucially, both parties should actively take part in this exchange, emphasizing the importance of listening to your staff—they are the experts, after all.

Pro tip: at Retreatia, we prioritize holding regular meetings with members of the cleaning crew to discuss various topics and essential points. These sessions are eagerly anticipated as they consistently surprise us with the quality of information they bring, sometimes even unveiling ingenious cleaning hacks. 


6. (Subtly) Utilize guests to streamline cleaning.

Building on the topic of cleaning hacks, here's a clever one: if you make cleaning supplies readily available for guests, they are more likely to use them, resulting in less work for your cleaning staff.

By strategically placing items such as sponges, detergent pods, and extra garbage bins in visible areas, guests may intuitively understand the subtle message that they should clean up after themselves before leaving the property.

Alternatively, you can explicitly outline cleaning rules for guests to follow before checking out, such as removing any food waste from the fridge and washing all the dishes. Many guests will adhere to these rules, willingly or not, providing an additional helping hand to your cleaning crew.

Pro tip: another excellent strategy is to request guests to notify you immediately upon checkout, allowing you to promptly inform your cleaners that the rental is ready for them to work their magic. Most cleaners appreciate the ability to optimize their work schedule, reinforcing their sense of value once again.



7. Craft cleaning lists and guidelines.


Here's another cleaning hack that works like a charm: Provide your cleaning staff with task lists and guidelines that clearly outline your expectations.

Checklists and guidelines can be incredibly beneficial if you have specific requirements for the way tasks should be done. You can even specify a particular order for the cleaning tasks and outline the most important steps to follow.

Consider creating separate checklists, such as one for small things that often go overlooked, like wiping inside fridges and microwaves or removing strands of hair from shower drains. Another checklist can be dedicated to more complex tasks. For these, including photographs or other visual instructions can be helpful, reducing the likelihood of errors. Nowadays, with online guides, you can even include links to videos, which is especially useful since cleaners, like everyone else, often have their phones on hand.

Pro tip: consider collaborating with a senior cleaning crew member to craft these guides and checklists. You'll learn a lot in the process, and you'll gain valuable insights into the best cleaning practices.


8. Buy Supplies in bulk.


As you are well aware, maintaining vacation rentals demands more than a regular household and even more than a hotel when it comes to cleaning. This implies a constant need for cleaning supplies on a regular basis.

At Retreatia, we adopt the practice of purchasing these essential items in bulk at discounted prices. This approach not only saves us time but also proves to be cost-effective in the long run.

The cost saving comes from the significant discounts offered on bulk purchases, while the timesaving aspect comes into play as some retailers save our purchasing information, allowing us to reorder the same products with a simple click.

Moreover, having a well-stocked inventory of cleaning products enables us to respond promptly to any cleaning needs as they arise. In this industry, quick issue resolution contributes to positive reviews from guests.


9. Practice preventive maintenance.

Maintaining your Steamboat Springs vacation rental in excellent condition isn't just about cleaning; maintenance plays a crucial role as well. We, for one, advocate for the path of preventive maintenance over reactive maintenance.

What does this mean?

Choosing preventive maintenance involves adopting a proactive approach through regular inspections and repairs to address potential issues before they escalate into major, costly problems.

Preventive maintenance not only enhances the guest experience but also contributes to the longevity of your property. It saves you from unexpected costs and, when done correctly, ensures compliance with regulations. Consider, for example, fire safety inspections; preventive maintenance is also fundamentally about safety.



Trappeurs Lodge

Practicing preventive maintenance is a great strategy to take care of potential issues before they happen and, more importantly, before they become costly problems. Pictured: Trappeurs Lodge.


10. Embrace technology.


Believe it or not, not everything is hands-on in cleaning. Numerous tech solutions exist to assist with tasks such as double-checking if assignments are completed and ensuring overall process efficiency.

Task management tools, for instance, enable you to schedule reminders for maintenance and upkeep activities in each property. You can choose fixed intervals or set alarms based on the number of guest stays. These tools also simplify schedule management, task definition, and communication with the cleaning staff.

Pro tip: Integrate your cleaning management system directly with your calendar and establish a user-friendly mechanism for communicating with the cleaning staff. Remember that they always have their phones on hand.

Steamboat Springs property managers handle cleaning and maintenance for your vacation rental. 

Sound like too much to handle on a daily basis?

Let's be honest, it is!

But there's help available, and this time we're not talking about sophisticated tech tools.

We're talking about ourselves! At Retreatia, we've been taking care of cleaning and maintenance for many years, and we have all the necessary systems in place to keep everything spotless at all times.

Our property inspectors ensure that our rentals are pristine and provide quality feedback to our cleaning staff.

That's the secret to our success and to the continuous positive reviews for our immaculate properties.