Any suggestions on how to be tactful in my wording to get guests to check out at 10:00 am sharp. I have 2.5 hours to clean the suite and I have 1/2 hour to get to town for 1:00 pm to meet with my clients. If clients check out at 10:30, i will be late for my job! I have reminded guests to read the rules and state that check in is at 3:00 pm and checkout is at 10:00 due to my tight cleaning window. There are not alot of guests that are tardy but the ones that are make it difficult for me. I find it stressful rushing around like a crazy person to get the suite spic and span for the next guest if my cleaning time has been cut short buy a late check out.
My suggestion would be to block a day between guests, that way you’re not under so much pressure.
At my first Air I’d sometimes do same day turnarounds which was a lot of work for that rental.
Started here last spring with covid and for my safety and safety of guests I wasn’t going in to clean the day the guest left.
10 a.m. seems a very early checkout, I can see why people are late. My checkout is 12 noon and it’s rare anyone is late, most are out hours early.
I send them a message the day before checkout “Thank you for choosing our home to spend quality time with friends and family. Checkout is at 10:00 and the cleaning team will be arriving shortly after checkout at 10:05 to prepare the home for our incoming guests.”
We’re actually the cleaners so if we arrive and see that their car is still in the driveway, I send them a text “cleaners have arrived and are waiting outside.”
I usually block two days in between bookings but sometimes those two days will get booked and then it’s panic time. It stresses us to only have 4 hours to clean an entire house (inside and out). I now monitor the calendar to make sure those days are blocked.
I too was doing quick turn-arounds before the Pandemic. Now I block day before and day after. I like to run a HEPA machine, fans and open windows to air out before I spend a lot of time in the STR to clean. I also start the laundry. It’s make life less stressful but I still get about once a month a guest that does not understand that 10 am means 10 AM.
I have a sign with a clock showing 10 am on the kitchen table with the check out time.
I send a reminder the night before.
I have a camera that lets me know when doesn’t leave. At 10:05 I send a text (a real text) not rom the airbnb app and tell them that they are past check out and that the cleaners are about to arrive. That usually sets a fire under them and they are out by 10:15.
Another option (that I haven’t done yet) is to state in your rules that there is a fee if you do not check out on time due to having to reschedule the cleaners. Don’t know if you would actually get Airbnb to support this fee.
Not clear how late you work, but could you make check in later to create a window later in the day? If not, I’d go with some of the excellent suggestions already noted. Guests do seem to respect when hosts are dealing with “cleaners” schedules rather than knowing that hosts are cleaning.
The problem is that words won’t make a person do something they don’t want to do.
Money talks louder than words. You could make it a STEEP penalty (maybe as much as an entire night’s stay if they leave after 10:05) and you’ll be there to see since you’ll be outside the door waiting. The tradeoff might be a bad review, though.
@PitonView is right. You can’t control the guests so it’s best to focus on what you can do. Make check in at 4pm? I used to have 11 am check out but changed to 10 am. Not so much so I can turn around the suite as I’m usually taking the day in between now, but to help make sure the guests are out by 11. I’m not a big fan of the penalty though because I don’t have faith that Airbnb will back you up and it’s just added work.
Maybe send a message at 9:45 that’s cheery and kind but reminding them you’ll be there sharply at 10 to begin cleaning.
The day in between bookings make everything so much easier. If your schedule allows you to sometimes remove it and open the day for booking you can do that.
You are setting yourself up for a mess with such a tight unyielding schedule for yourself - a guest who overstays is only one problem you may have. What if there is a cleaning problem when you arrive, such as a massive kitchen mess or something you had not heard from the guest about, like a failed toilet or a leak under the sink? Beside the cleaning, there needs to be time for repairs etc.
I just edited my listing to say the cleaner is here at 10:00 sharp and that late check outs will incur a $50 per 1/2 hour past 10:00. Our airbnb usually is only booked per night as we are just off the highway and people are mostly passing through. Blocking off a day between guests would mean quite a bit of lost revenue for us. When I work full days at clinics i block that day. I work from about 1-430ish. I am an RN and do foot care for the elderly so they dont take too kindly to late appointments.
We do live on the premises, but yes these thing could happen.
Are all your turnover tasks optimized so that you can clean quickly?
If I were to accept back-to-back bookings, I think I’d find myself a housekeeping cart with all my cleaning supplies, a change of linens, and a complete set of all the things I check, clean and refill (shampoo, hand soap, coffee, salt and pepper, — all the things!!) so that I could just zip through and replace everything. Then the laundry and restocking of the cart could be all done before checkout time the next day.
I don’t actually do this, as I have longer stays with blocked days instead. But I sure notice that I spend quite a bit of time on things that could be done more quickly if I were really serious about it.
One thing @Thunderlake might add if they don’t have it already is a robot vacuum. I set mine to go and I work around it. It does a good enough job that I only have to mop. A robot vac works well in my listing but a busy listing with lots of furniture or other things on the floor, electric cords, and rugs wouldn’t probably work.
Also you still have to clean under and around things it can’t reach regularly. I love that it keeps the dust bunnies out from under the bed. But for the twice a year late check out it might save a few precious minutes.
Why don’t you get a cleaner in for the turnarounds you can’t do @Thunderlake
I like @Lynick4442 's suggestions.
I send a message the day before reminding them of check-out procedures.
I also say that we and the cleaners ‘will enter’ the unit at 10 am or shortly thereafter [and I mean it].
I ask them to send me a message when they’ve left or if they plan to leave early.
So I suggest entering the unit (after ringing the bell) AT 10 am and beginning the cleaning (start with the bathroom). That will certainly put a fire under them.
In the future you might wish to consider adding penalties in your house rules.
LOL - I think out of ever 5 bookings, 1 might tell me they have left. (I have cameras). I tried the message about sending me a message if they are leaving early but they never do.
Another thing I’ve considered but not done is turning off the power to the AC and turning off the wireless router. Again, a cheerly message that said “At 10 am the HVAC and internet turn off and our cleaning staff will enter the rental. We have a tight turnover window and can’t accomodate late check outs. Thanks again for choosing to stay with us. Have a safe trip” might help.
Also if you do go in and deal with a problem that delays turnover, you’ll simply have to message the next guest and say “As you know check is at 4 and check out is 10 am but unfortunately this morning’s guest didn’t respect that.” The room won’t be ready until 5 pm. What time were you needing to check in?" Many times the road warriors aren’t checking in until later and will tell you “no problem we won’t be there until 8 pm.” If they are inconvenienced you can give them a gift card or discount paid for by the penalty you are charging the late guests.
This is another reason why I much prefer the home-sharing mode to absent host.
As someone mentioned earlier, a message or a sign might not get guests up and moving, but a knock on their bedroom door does. I’ve done that a few times when guests have overslept.
I’ve even knocked on a bathroom door when I hear a guest snoring in the tub!
In addition, I remind them, face-to-face, on their last full day, that checkout is at 10 a.m.
What a great idea!
If the guest complains you can explain that it is automated at 10 am, which it was. Just not the way people have come to think of automation.
Kind of an old school approach.
@Thunderlake You could change checkout time to 9:45, so they are hopefully out by 10.
As you describe your guest demographic, it seems your bookings are mostly one-nighter road trippers. As such, it seems like you could have a much later check-in time, like 6pm. Seems like most people who are stopping for the night on a road trip wouldn’t be likely to need to check in earlier than that, but perhaps that isn’t your experience.
So if your work schedule allows it, you could get most of the cleaning done after check-out, and finish up later, like at 5pm.
Another solution is to hire someone to clean alongside you, so it takes half as long. Or as Helsi suggested, just hire a cleaner to do all of it, or to come for an hour after you have to leave, if necessary. Finding a neighbor, perhaps an active senior or someone who works from home, who could handle a flexible “as needed” schedule could work.
When I had three rooms going on two different floors I made up these carts for each floor. I also stopped putting linens in a cupboard. I put in a full room change of towels and linens in a huge laundry basket so there is always one clean for each room and I can just grab it. These steps are also useful if someone has to fill in for you in a hurry - you don’t have to explain where everything is.