How to Start an Airbnb Cleaning Service

How to Start an Airbnb Cleaning Service
Image by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Market disrupting services such as Airbnb often create many business opportunities for people who are keen enough to take advantage of the innovations.

While at its core, Airbnb is focused on creating additional revenue streams for people who have vacation rental homes to let, the platform has done much more than just attract homeowners.

It has attracted a host of service providers who cater to these homeowners as well. One such opportunity that it’s provided is the home cleaning service for Airbnb.

Cleaners for Airbnb

Let’s face it; there is a very good chance that a homeowner will not always be doing the cleaning themselves every time a guest leaves or requests a booking. Many hosts on Airbnb have more than one property listed, and some of these properties are on faraway lands. That doesn’t negate the fact that these properties still need to be sparkling clean when a guest checks in. So, what is such a homeowner to do? Hire a reputable Airbnb home cleaning company.

Why Hosts Hire Airbnb Home Cleaning Services

There are several very simple yet important reasons why a host would consider hiring a cleaning service for Airbnb:

  • Professional cleaners do a better job
  • Professional cleaners go above and beyond to make sure the home is ready for the next guest
  • Professional cleaner adheres to the schedule and can be relied upon
  • Professional cleaners go to the house whenever needed as opposed to the owner, who might be thousands of miles away when a guest requests an emergency booking

Out of all these reasons, it’s the fact that professional cleaners are reliable that makes a huge difference. Having an immaculately clean house can help a host’s ratings and might even propel them to the Superhost status, which means more revenue. So, in a way, professional cleaners help the host make more money.

How to Start a Professional Airbnb Cleaning Service

If you are not keen on being a host yourself, maybe you could start your own professional Airbnb cleaning service. Here are some tips on how you can go about doing that:

1. Do Your Research

This is the very first step you take when you want to start or accomplish anything. Doing your research, in this case, is basically spying on the competition. You need to know what other Airbnb cleaning services are offering out there and what kind of industry standards are expected of you. There are several ways you can accomplish this:

  • Find out which one of your friends uses an Airbnb cleaning service and ask them to give you the details on the service and how they operate (the contracts, terms and conditions, and any other details you might need, such as payment structures).
  • Contact professional cleaning services in the area yourself and ask for a quote for “your Airbnb listings.”
  • Find out if there is anyone in your circle who runs a home cleaning service that deals with Airbnb clients and ask them for tips on how to start your own (just be sure that you guys aren’t in the same region; otherwise, they might not appreciate the competition).

Once you get the details you need to see if the business could be viable in your location, you can move on to the next step.

2. Find Out What It Takes to Start a Cleaning Service in Your State

Find Out What It Takes to Start a Cleaning Service in Your State
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Different states have different requirements for starting and running a business. You know, things like licensing, insurance, industry standards to be observed, governing bodies with which you must be compliant, etc.

You need to find all these things out and then make a budget. Almost every type of business needs some capital to start. A cleaning business definitely needs money to start. Here are some estimated costs that you will have to undertake:

  • Licenses and permits: This varies from state to state. On average, registering as a sole proprietor will cost you $30 – $60, while registering as a limited liability company will cost you about $100 – $500.
  • Insurance: This also varies from state to state, but you may need anything between $500 – $3,000 depending on how many employees you have and what kind of coverage you want.
  • Cleaning products and equipment: This will depend on what you want to use, but the best advice is to use only the most professional products. These will cost you anything from $300 onwards. You can upgrade as business picks up.
  • Labor: Adhere to minimum wage laws
  • Advertising: This will cost as much as you can reasonably give it

Technically speaking, you can start your own cleaning business with less than $1,000, but it’s always best to have much more than that on hand just in case you need it.

3. Set Up Your Business and Start Marketing It

Once you have decided on the business structure, name, pricing and have a number of employees (cleaners) on standby, you can start advertising your services to the Airbnbs in the area.

The best way to go about this is to start by approaching the people within your circle who are Airbnb hosts. If these people are willing to give you a chance, you can use their good word of mouth to get other clients.

You could also simply make a list of all the Airbnb’s within a 10-mile radius of you (somewhere you can get to with short notice) and approach them with your business proposal. There is a very good chance that if they don’t already have a cleaning service on their books, then they will be willing to give you a chance.

At the very least, they will be willing to keep you on a list somewhere so they can call when they need you. We have more on marketing to Airbnb hosts below.

4. Find Out How Taxes Work for Your Kind of Business

You HAVE to find out how taxes work in your business. The kind of tax laws that apply to you will depend on the business structure you choose. An LLC adheres to different business tax structures than a sole proprietorship.

5. Lock Down Repeat Business

This only works once you have built up a reputation in the industry. If your people do a good job and a number of hosts start referring you to other hosts in the area, it’s your cue to start locking down repeat business.

You can do this by coming up with a retainer structure for your business. Whoever wants you to be their Airbnb cleaning service will have to pay you to be on standby or on call whenever they need you.

Once you are up and running, you can simply rinse, repeat and expand your Airbnb cleaning service.

How to Market to Airbnb Hosts

If you want to market your cleaning services to Airbnb hosts, you will choose to market to a billion-dollar company with multiple listings worldwide. Many of these are short term rentals. The average nights stayed at an Airbnb is three nights and that is typically for a reservation of two to four people. This can turn into a recurring business opportunity.

Word of Mouth

It never hurts to use your networking skills to reach out to hosts and property management companies as we have already mentioned above. Word of mouth and referrals are one of the best ways to market your services.

Business Cards and Website

Does your cleaning business have a website? A website is a great way to market and target Airbnb hosts. You can also use different search engine optimization (SEO) tips to generate even more leads for free.

Google Ads

Using Google Ads is just one way you can target your market by zip code for free. However, it is pay per click, so you will need money to get traffic.

Develop a Working Process

Now you should come up with a step by step plan of how you want your services to go. Once you have these steps down, you can establish better pricing terms.

Step One: Get Organized

Your marketing strategy should be organized so you can target the right rental home properties through Airbnb. Decide on how many properties you want to clean and what services you are going to offer. A turnover or Airbnb turnaround cleaning can be offered, or you can offer a turnover with additional perks like a laundry service. No matter what services you choose to provide, you need to be very clear so you can focus your efforts.

Step Two: Maintain Communication

Communication and staying up to date with your schedule are also important when starting Airbnb cleaning services. You have to synchronize with Airbnb hosts and know what is expected beforehand. There should also be a protocol in place with Airbnb hosts in the case of an unexpected situation that may arise with a short term rental.

Step Three: Developing the Right Pricing Strategy

If you have a cleaning service and a team, then your pricing strategy should reflect that. Research the local market and charge for the quality of work you and your cleaning team provide. You also have to determine pricing based on the supplies you use including shampoos, laundry detergents, and other products and equipment.

Airbnb Cleaning Service FAQ

Whether you are starting your own cleaning business or you are a vacation rental owner interested in hiring a professional cleaning service, you probably still have a few questions.

Does Airbnb offer cleaning services?

Vacation rental owners are the ones responsible for making sure their short term rental is cleaned between each guest. Not only is cleaning important for sanitary reasons but it also lends to the overall guest experience. A badly cleaned rental can lead to negative reviews and fewer bookings.

What are some details about an Airbnb cleaning?

The best way to handle Airbnb cleaning requirements is by hiring a cleaning service. A professional cleaning company typically offers two different services: deep cleaning services and turnover cleanings. Hiring a cleaning company to clean the short term rental can ultimately free up the vacation rental owner and save time.

Is there a service fee that applies to the Airbnb cleaning fee?

Airbnb charges service fees based on the total payment made by the guest and the host payout. Cleaning fees are a part of this.

What does an Airbnb turnaround service include?

An Airbnb cleaning turnaround service typically include vacuuming and mopping the floors, dusting, cleaning mirrors and glass surfaces, wiping down light switches and door handles, sanitizing the bathroom, taking out the trash, cleaning counters and the interior of kitchen appliances, making beds, and doing the dishes. However, the cleaning services can be adapted to meet the unique needs of each property.