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I had quite a shock last week when I went into the apartment when my cleaning lady had left after our last guests. They had left the place reasonably tidy and clean, so I didn’t help the cleaner as I sometimes do. I noticed immediately that the ceiling fan was REALLY dirty, so I idly looked around and found a LOT of things that really weren’t up to standard. I’d already told her about a few things, like washing the tooth mugs and glasses not just wiping them, washing out rubbish bins etc I think the problem lay in the fact that cleaning a guest room is not like cleaning a personal home - I will put up with a few smears and a bit of dust left in my house whereas, as you all know, we can’t do that in an Airbnb listing!
It actually took me more than an hour to go round after she had been, checking and recleaning, so I’ve got to do something! I want to give her a chance as I think she’s basically ok, and I could have he same problems if I let her go and hired someone else.
What do you people who use a cleaner do? Do you physically show him/her what to do and how to do it? Do you give them a checklist? Do you physically inspect afterwards? Or do you just trust them to know what to do?
Just to add that I have a complicated relationship with staff since I’m the daughter of a domestic servant from the days when people had cooks and maids (yes, just like Downton!) and who saw her treated apallingly, but when i was a Diplomatic wife I had “servants” which I was never comfortable with, so I tend to bend over backwards to be nice to anyone who works for me now and am sure they take advantage of this!
I think everyone has to be trained. So called “common sense,” doesn’t exist. I’d show her around and explain things like the ceiling fan, the tops of door frames, tops of picture frames don’t have to be wiped every day but maybe twice a month. Light bulbs in open fixtures have to be washed periodically. I was at my brother in laws yesterday and peeked in the shower and was surprised to see the hard water deposits on all of what used to be chrome. I thought it was “common sense” that those have to be dried off to avoid that. If after explaining and also telling her you’ll be checking on it you can let her go if it doesn’t improve.
Treating someone with dignity should result in loyalty, not being taken advantage of. If she doesn’t realize it, perhaps someone else will.
Yeah, I’d create a list of things you want done: Every time, Every week, and Every month. You can then recommend that she rotate the occasional things so that it doesn’t become a burden too often, and then mention that you do check the unit regularly before guests arrive since you’re the one that receives the ratings. Give her praise on what she does well, and provide it as constructive feedback now that the relationship is established and you noticed that a few things are not being done as frequently as you’d like based on your standards for your listing.
Sometimes a white lie doesn’t hurt. I would politely explain to her that a recent picky guest pointed out a few things that could have been cleaner. Tell her they only mentioned it in private feedback - but explain the importance of how you are rated on cleaning. Then provide a checklist. You can even have one of those that are lamenated and she has to initial (with a wipe off marker) next to each item (every time) to confirm she completed it.
Another thing you can do (if it’s not too costly) is tell her for every review you receive that mentions the place being clean, or for every 5 star rating you get on cleanliness…then she will receive a small amount. Keep track of it, and then give it to her as a bonus every month.
I cleaned with my cleaner the first time and then gave her a check-list and I also join her periodically, like every 4-5 months to clean with her. She always notices what I’m cleaning and says, yes, I’ll check for that every once in a while too. I’ve received 5 stars for cleanliness for the past 30 guests. I tell her about the reviews and that everyone always gives the apt a top score for cleanliness which she seems to appreciate. She is paid $30/hr.
As always, thanks everyone for some great ideas here! When Isabel came this afternoon I did actually say to her that I knew we had to do a quick turnaround last time, and it was probably my fault since I had got the days confused, so I understood why she might have missed a few things!
So she cleaned like a demon this time, probably using a whole bottle of bleach (you cannot prise Spanish cleaners away from their beloved bleach!) We agreed that we would make a checklist of tasks (I said that I would find it helpful if she wasn’t able to be here one day!) for her to check off. Luckily I found one that I had done when we had Workaway girls here to help us, so now I just have to translate it into Spanish.
Isabel had no idea about the ratings of course and thought it a most strange idea, but she did see that this made it really important for us.And I love @cabinhost’s idea of a small bonus for her when cleanliness is mentioned in a review. Cleaners don’t get paid much here so every little helps (@chicagohost - wow $30 - not in their wildest dreams!)
$40/hr here at a minimum, but often closer to $50. No one will work by the hour, so you agree to a set amount, and then they work as fast as possible to maximize their earnings. Always means you have to be in touch to remind them about the bottom of the cupboards, or the hanging lights, or something that they missed in their rush.
I think it comes down to where you live. In the Philippines my In-laws had a “personal helper” who came for 4-6 hours a day and they paid $12/day and found out they were overpaying for the area. Bigger metropolitan areas are going to charge more. When I did house cleaning I charged $40 for 2 hours.
Well, then don’t move to the Northeast if that is too much for you! It actually isn’t too much. Cleaning people have a right to afford a place to live too and around here, that is what immigrant cleaning people cost. Well, the ones who are insured, use HEPA filters and eco-friendly materials, and who are bonded so I can trust them with a key to my house.
You dont say:). My father lives Northeast actually, and i just visited him and we had this exact convesation with his wife wh said, all cleaners charge 20$ per hour.
You might want to shop around…
Its just cleaning, though its not an easy job, i did it myself for years, and why do you think only immigrants do this kind of jobs? plenty of American citizens clean houses for living also. What do you mean by “immigrant cleaning people cost”? You mean that there is a different quote when non immigrant cleans??
But in noway this job needs to be paid 40$ an hour. My maintenance guy is charging 22$ per hour, again his quote, i did not negotiate and i think he has more skills than a cleaning person. And who said SOuth Florida is cheaper than North East?? I think its quite the opposite.
Where I am there is absolutely a different price for cleaners who will give you their SSN and those that won’t, but it’s not always because they’re immigrants with an uncertain immigration status. Even in a popular vacation spot in Northern California, finding a housekeeper willing to comply with IRS requirements for income reporting was an absolute nightmare. It was very easy to find someone to clean for $20/ hour, but they all want to be paid in cash and wouldn’t agree to let me file a 1099. If you’ve found such a person congrats! I wish we could all be so lucky!