It often feels like changeover days have to be carried out with military precision, or they end up chaotic and stressful. Especially in the high season when you literally have one guest out and the next guest in. You’re up against the clock to do a diligent clean, check for damage, restock the fridge and toiletries, clean the swimming pool and round up discarded items from the last guests.
It might seem like a mountain to climb when you start, but preparation helps and a changeover checklist will ensure that you don’t miss any of the final touches that will make your holiday let the perfect home-from-home for your next guests.
Don’t cut corners with your changeovers. You never know when you will get a really picky guest who will leave a bad review (or even check out!) because they found dust on a picture frame or crumbs lurking under the toaster.
If you are using a property agent or cleaning company to do your changeovers make sure they know the exact time they have to be in and out. You might want to use a scheduling app (like Doodle) to keep them on track and be clear about the time window they have to complete their tasks. You can even add notes or your changeover checklist to the appointment.
There are also a growing number of changeover management tools available such as Properly.
If your changeover team consists of more than one person, then each person should be allocated tasks before they arrive to ensure there is no delay making decisions on who does what.
One person should handle the maintenance, check for damage, fix anything that needs it and tackle the deeper clean tasks like the barbeque, oven and replenishing of products. That leaves your other team member to get on with the main tasks at hand – beds, bathrooms, floors, etc. If you only have one of everything, then dividing tasks up by rooms won’t work, as you’ll both need mops, brooms, etc. Try grouping similar tasks together to save time.
If you have chores, such as gardening or window cleaning, these will add quite a bit of time to your busy schedule. In this case, it’s a good idea to get an extra pair of hands. These chores only need to be completed once a month or so. Try and schedule these when guests aren’t around. If this isn’t possible then ask your guests if they mind the gardener coming by whilst they are out. It’s fairly acceptable for a gardener to be on hand during their stay.
Although it might not seem worth it at the time, investing in appliances like steam cleaners for your home and pressure cleaners for the terrace, really can save you a lot of time during changeover cleans and leave your home looking cleaner and fresher than just using mops and cleaning fluids. Plus at the end of the season, you can use them to clean curtains, carpets and upholstery.
If you only have a 3-4 hour changeover window (or less) it’s essential you tackle the biggest and most important tasks as first priority.
The first thing most owners do is read any new reviews in the guestbook, then it’s time to get started.
Do a visual check of the property for any damage, stains, missing items or if the home was left excessively dirty. Take photos as evidence, you may need it at a later date if you are deducting from a security deposit.
It’s important to ensure that your property not only looks perfect but is also safe for guests. Check furniture is suitable to use and look for trip hazards. In addition to Portable Alliance Testing (PAT), visually check your electrical appliances are safe to use. Look out for cuts in wires and any other signs of damage. Replace faulty items immediately.
It is also vital that you test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. Check the fire extinguisher and fire blanket can be located easily.
Do the same for your holiday let guests. Make sure the arrival and departure times are clear in the booking contract, or you could be in for a nasty surprise when you come to do a quick turnaround clean and find them still packing, or eating breakfast!
Asking your guests to do certain things before they depart could save you a lot of time in the long run.
A stringent changeover plan not only reduces wear and tear, it also impresses your guests and prevents complaints that your rental is dirty. A deep clean will be required at least 3 times a year, plus you will have to prepare your property for spring and winter with this maintenance checklist. Use this opportunity to replace any items that show damage or signs of wear and tear.
If you are shutting down your holiday home over winter, here is a checklist of what you will need to do to keep your holiday home in tip top condition.
It’s inevitable that you will discover stubborn stains that will need dealing with during the limited time you have to prepare your holiday rental for incoming guests. When you do, refer to these top tips to remove stains quickly.