Managing house cleaners

For those who use outside house cleaners / cleaning services, do you have any management tips? I find this to be the most difficult part of the job for me at this point. I’d like to know how you structure payment for the cleaners, how you organize your calendar/scheduling of cleanings, how you make sure that the cleanings get done each day, and how you ensure quality each time. Just looking for advice from those hosts more experienced that me in this sort of management :slight_smile:

I will start with what I have been doing -

I have 3 properties that are all within a block of each other and a block of my house. I have hired two cleaners that I found on Craigslist. They are a couple so do backup for each other if one is sick/has an emergency. I have an outdoor video camera at one of my properties so I can monitor to make sure they have arrived and done the cleaning before the guests arrive. My long term plan is to get a camera at all 3 properties. I also ask that they text me when they are done to let me know that it is done.

I use google calendar and make events each day for which of the 3 properties need cleaned (and include any details like late check out time or how many guests will be arriving) and share that with the cleaners.

I pay $50 per cleaning for my (small) 3 bedroom 1 bath, $40 per cleaning for my 2 bedroom 1 bath, and $25 for my studio, which is reflected in my Airbnb cleaning fee. I do the laundry for the studio since there is no washer/dryer, but they do the laundry at the other 2 places. I expect that depending on the length of the guest’s stay and the time between cleanings this price will average out as some days the cleanings take more or less time than others, and on the short days I expect that they will rotate doing some of the bigger items like cleaning under the beds, dusting baseboards, dusting ceiling fans, etc. But I find I often have to go and check on the properties about once a week and remind them of which big items need attending to.

You would get nothing here for those prices! How many people and how much time does that 3 bedroom take? Do your rentals include a kitchen?

Yes they include a kitchen. It usually takes them between one and three hours for the 3 bedroom. I get a lot of one night stays with people just passing through town on a drive across the country (who might barely even use the kitchen), and I frequently have people only use one of the three bedrooms (just 2 guests rather than the 6 it can fully accommodate) so often there isn’t a ton to do. But with a longer stay and a full house it probably takes about 3-4 hours for a deep cleaning. But again, that is balanced out with a lot of short stays. I guess it might make more sense to price the cleaning on the number of guests and length of stay but that seems more complicated than just averaging.

This helps:

  1. the cleaner must be tech savvy enough to respond to texts.

  2. I share my google master calendar with my cleaner, so she can see the big picture ahead and does not rely on me to communicate every single change and detail.

  3. I pay her with Venmo. Not dealing with cash and checks has been a HUGE (or should I say YUGE) game-changer. She has occasionally asked me to explain to other hosts how to use a Google Calendar and Venmo.


So, two people. $50. 4 hours. Isn’t that less than minimum wage?

It’s depends where is the listing

isn’t NM = New Mexico?

It is one person cleaning and it takes 4 hours so that is $12.50 per hour, however it averages ~2 hours for a cleaning so that is $20-$25 per hour. Like I said it just depends on length of the stay and number of guests. Some days they are making $50 per hour, some days they are making $12.50. My studio is the same, it takes about 1-1.5 hours to clean so they are making around $20-$25 per cleaning unless there was a long stay or it needs some deep cleaning and sometimes it might take a bit longer.

And minimum wage in New Mexico is $8.80. So it is definitely good quality pay by NM standards.

Does such a solution sound good to you:

1- You can send daily or weekly cleaning lists with check-in/check-out time via SMS, WhatsApp or Email.

2- Cleaners get an online task list which will be updated with last minute updates. (Cancel, late check-out etc.)

3- You will get notified when the cleaning task is completed. (Cleaners need to click a link in text message. Yes, they need to be kind of tech-savy but very simple)

4- You can view completed cleanings in a given time-period to follow-up payments etc.

Then, you might be interested to take a look at Your Porter App, which is developed for the same problem while managing 11 listings with 750+ reviews by me and a fellow classmate.

This is how it looks like from cleaner’s side:

Not only that but the cleaner must have an iPhone (or a phone that is able to take photographs). They must be instructed examine to the rental thoroughly when they arrive and before they start to clean, take photographs of any damage or excessive cleaning requirements. They should then text these to you at once.


Hey @barefootNM, we were experiencing the same problems, so we ended up writing some code for ourselves to manage and automatically schedule cleaners. We decided to release it free for anyone to use - you might want to check it out,