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Episode 013 - Who is Even More Important Than Your Guests?

cleaning companies Nov 09, 2018

Pick up the pdf of "What to Ask Your Cleaning Company" and "What's in Our Supply Closet." 

Here are the books Michelle referenced in today's podcast.  Note, these are Affiliate Links.

[00:00]Over the last two centuries, nearly 90 percent of the world's millionaires and created their wealth through real estate. Here to tell you how you can ride this wave with less risk and less capital while Creating greater income is your host best selling author and Speaker Michelle Russell.

[00:21] Hi, this is Michelle of the master of money mindset and this is the short-term rental revenue podcast. In this episode, we are going to be speaking about something that is extremely important. Now, last episode we talked about having the pictures and getting your pictures taken because that's going to get you the booking that's going to get you your, your guests, but right after that, yes, ratings help too, so those go together, but right after that is going to be cleaning. You're cleaning company is actually, I think more important than even your gas because you can't have guests without a good cleaning company and I'll tell you, I've worked with a bunch of cleaning companies. I have a brand new favorite and we're actually going to be doing an interview with the owner of that cleaning company, but the cleaning company is important because if your place is not clean, you will get bad reviews.

[01:21] You will get no return clients. I mean it's imperative that you have a good cleaning company, but it's not easy to get a cleaning company that works with short-term rentals and the reason why is because there are several things that you need that most cleaning companies don't offer and you have to call and make sure and interview people. It's important that you do an interview process. I literally have interviewed every company that I work with and that's not a lie. I mean that's it's and more obviously because there are some that I just, you know, it didn't even get to that point, but there's going to be questions that you ask before you set up an interview to make sure that they do. And then when they come in, you meet them. You, you're going to want to have a very personal and wonderful relationship with your cleaning companies because these guys are going to be your best friends and I can't.

[02:19] I can't emphasize the fact enough that you really need to form a kinship with these people and a friendship because there are so important to you. Are there, they are so important to you. Honestly, it's like a personal physician is important to you that you have a relationship with them, said that they know you, they know what you're about. They know your past history, they know everything that's going on. Right, so it's the same way with your cleaning company. I think a cleaning company is that important that you form a relationship with the owners, with the workers and the crews and the staff. Obviously, you can't. You can't be close to all of the staff as you could the owners, but you want to have that personal relationship and there are a few reasons why, but you'll, you'll start to know and understand after you've been doing it awhile.

[03:12] All. Alright. I'm going to give you the questions first to ask a cleaning company before they come and do an interview with you, because most cleaning companies are just that. They're just cleaning companies. They're almost always the busiest on the weekends. Why? Because everybody's having family and friends over so Fridays. Um, and if they are open on Saturdays are the busiest day for the majority of cleaning companies. It's probably going to be true for you too, but you're going to see them a lot more often. For instance, our cleaning companies are in our properties an average of six to eight times a month. So that's more than a weekly cleaning. And um, they know your property better than you do. They see it every day. They clean it. I mean, it's just like when you were young before you got to clean a housekeeper right before you got somebody to clean for you.

[04:07] When you scrubbed every inch of the floor by yourself and you knew every broken tile on your floor. I, you're like, I know where this is, I know where this is. You know, you knew everything about your house and your property, your cleaning company knows everything about your property the same exact way. So you want, you want to form this relationship with them. Now, when you are looking for a cleaning company and you start calling cleaning companies to interview, to hire, right? You're gonna ask them a few questions. You're going to make sure first that they're open seven days a week. They have to be open seven days a week because here's the deal that, uh, your properties are going to be in and out seven days a week and people might stay for two nights or three nights unless you want to do a week at a time.

[04:59] When you do do only weekly stays. You won't get as many people as you get when you are doing, you know the daily stays at first until you build up your clientele. And usually the in an outdate is a weekend day, like a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And you get to choose that because think about when you're going on vacation, most people started, you know, they get off early on Friday and they might start on a Saturday. Uh, I, I think if you're going to do one, I like Saturdays, but some people like Sundays and some people like Fridays, it doesn't really matter. It's whatever you choose. But here's the deal. You've got to have a cleaning company that goes in on that day because a lot of cleaning companies are just Monday through Friday. And that's it. And if they are Fridays, Fridays are stuck. There full because that's the weekend.

[05:51] Friday, Saturday and Sundays be biggest cleaning days. Not so much Sundays for private companies, but Fridays and Saturdays definitely. So you have to make sure that there are seven days a week. You also have to make sure that they can clean between 11am and 3pm. That's your checkout time and your check in time. And when I say three, I mean they need to be completed and done and out the door by three. It can't be. Yeah, we're getting in here at 2:45 and we'll be done in 15 minutes. No, no, no, no, no. They have to be in and out by three, so you have to make sure that they know that. They realize that and they're good at it. Make sure that they're not just starting it for you because when they do, they'll give themselves sometimes an hour to do the property and when they first get started it'll take them an hour and a half or more depending on the size of their crew.

[06:42] You have to make sure that they're good at it. They have that they already have done it and when you hire them you'll do a run through but that. But right now you're just interviewing, so you gotta make sure they can be in and out and cleaned between only a 11 and three. Okay. They have to be able to touch food. I know that's kind of weird, but believe it or not, there's a bunch of cleaning crews and cleaning companies. They won't touch food. You're like, look, you're gonna have to go into the refrigerator, empty out and just throw it in a bag, whatever. They don't, you know, don't eat. The people will leave food in there, they'll leave leftovers in there, they'll, we've put all kinds of stuff in the fridge that you don't even want to talk about and you have to have a crew that will go in, take this stuff out, empty it out of the containers so you can keep your plastic containers right and wash the dishes and wash out the refrigerator.

[07:34] You have a bunch of cleaning companies out there. There are a bunch that won't touch food, so you have to make sure that they do that and make sure that they do dishes too, because I always make sure when I ask about the food that they do dishes and that they can take the towels and linens offsite. Right. If they can't, if they don't know of a laundry place, maybe they can do laundry if it's a smaller place, but otherwise they have to be able to take all the towels and the linens out the door with them. They can't leave them there, they have to go out the door with them and the new ones will be put into the unit. So if they can't do that, those are the main questions that I ask. I also asked too about inventory and small task, but it usually do that when I'm doing the interview process.

[08:21] So those will get them in the door to talk to me if they, if they can do those things. Okay. So now we're gonna break those down and go in. You're doing an interview process with the owners, not just with a manager, unless it's a bigger company that only does managers, but most of the time I want to talk to the owners. I want to see, I want to see them and meet them because I'm one of those freaky people that I can feel the energy of people and kind of I want to know that they're good, honest people and um, I want to know about their company, I want to know their purpose and their why. I want to know all about those things because honestly you can tell a really good company by the owners. Just by the way they run their company too, they'll say we're in this business, here's what we do, here's what we're about, this is who we are and you know, they'll even have, you know, they'll have a reason why they do it and what they're aspiring for.

[09:20] And some companies even have like, oh, and we do, you know, these kinds of activities around the holidays where we go and help, you know, soup kitchens down down that the Andre House or whatever. Right. What's really cool is when you find companies like that, they do the best job companies that have a purpose and a vision and that they have an identity about them that they're not just a cleaning company, you know, this is what we do. We clean because we're just here to make money and what do you mean? What are we about? We just clean those kind of companies. Don't do as good of a job as the companies that have a heart and soul behind them and the people behind them and you know, you'll get that feeling when you're doing the interview. There's some really great companies and like I said, I'm actually, I'm going to mention them in this episode even though we're doing an interview with them in a later episode, but I found this great, like really great.

[10:18] Well actually two really great companies down in Tucson that are cleaning companies now. One cannot do a short term rentals yet, but they had the same heart and soul that the other company that I chose did. But I want to tell you about Logic Maids. Logic Maids was this company. I met the owners and I'm telling you these, these guys, I'm going to call them kids because they're younger than me. So if you're under 50 your a kid, um, these kids created this company. They have a reason why they have a purpose. They have everything behind them. They have the tech, but they have the heart and they also created a community within their company and their business. They care about their employees, they care about their people and they care about what they do. And they're passionate, they're driven, they have a goal, they have a vision.

[11:12] And it's amazing to work with companies like that. They really go out of their way to serve you. So the first thing when you meet them, you want to know those things about the company, right? So you're going to ask too, oh, and this should have been on the other part too. Are you licensed and bonded? Usually when you look up a company, you can see that they're licensed, bonded, and insured right there. So you don't necessarily always have to ask if you don't see it, just ask. But first thing first you meet them. You ask about their company. You want to hear their vision. You want to hear their purpose. You want to hear the mission statement. You want to hear about their people, why they do it, who works with them. You want those stories? Listen, listen, listen, and feel them because honestly, these are people that you're going to be really close with and they're going to be handling something that's really important to you.

[12:03] They are going to be the most important people that you have working for. Honestly is your cleaning company. So listen to them. Then you're going to go off your checklist again, you're going to make sure that they're licensed, bonded, insured. You're going to make sure that they can work seven days a week, right? Whenever your guests check in and checkout, you're going to make sure that they can clean between 11am and 3:00 PM out by three. Now, Logic Maid was really good at this because they said, you know what? We want to specialize in this. We want to help out short term and owners. So they, they literally staff their people in those time frames. They do it right. You know, a lot of people don't. They'll say, oh, we've got these people on all day long, but in reality, you're not going to need them at seven in the morning because nobody's going to let you in their house at seven in the morning.

[13:00] You got to have them available at those timeframes. So your owners, if they're thinking ahead and thinking correctly, you'll hear them, they'll tell you, they'll give you little clues about the way they run their business, and those are the clues you'll hear. We staff our people to begin at 10:00 to 10:30 so that when we go into these places between the 11am were out by 3pm they know it, so they know what they have to do. Um, they are able to touch food and get it out of their, scrape out the bowls, do the dishes, right. Make sure that everything that when you have a short term rental property, that includes a kitchen. And that includes a small kitchenette. Anytime their glassware, anytime there's silverware, anytime there's dishes, storage things, those things have to be checked and it doesn't take a long time to check them.

[13:50] People go, oh, that's so much more work. If you've got a good cleaning crew, they're good at it. They go through boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. They just, they, they hit those spots and they know what to do and they never negate it. They never forget about it. It's on their checklist. Check, let's do it. It's kind of like an airline pilot getting in, you know, obviously there's a million things to check, but they go through that checklist each and every flight. Why? Because it's the one thing, the one little thing that you wouldn't check that would make a plane go down. It's the same for your rental unit. They have to have a checklist and we, we create a checklist. Actually, you know what, I'll put that in a pdf and we'll put that as a download for you guys so you can see what our checklist looks like.

[14:36] I'm on our bnb property is islandbnb. Um, but they're going to have to be able to do the dishes, take those foods out, wipe out the cabinets, wipe out the drawers, make sure these things are looking good, put the stoppers and fill up the soaps, I mean there's going to be a million things that are a little bit different than when you're just doing a regular cleaning of a house. You're stocking things is a little bit different. Stocking your soaps and shampoos and stuff is a little bit different, but you'll have, we'll have a checklist for you to have for them, but the main, these are the main things that you have to make sure they do. Now small tasks and inventory is something that I have my cleaning companies do, so small tasks include things like taking and putting out a bottle of wine or putting out our bookmarkers with our flowers on them.

[15:34] There's little things that we do for our guests that are unique and different, but they have to be done every time somebody takes, you know, like obviously if you're putting out wine for every guest or you're putting out bookmarkers the other people took the bookmarker it's something that they have to remember to do. Something different that's out of place. I don't know how to, you know, there's a regular cleaning routine that goes on, but this, these little tasks or something different and they can also do things like make sure that the uh, air vents are clean. Some, some of my cleaning companies do some of the things that a maintenance person would do, but it just depends on the location and the and the type of things. But you could have them do things like that. But the inventory is one of the most important things.

[16:25] So every unit should have a maid's closet. Something locked away with all the supplies that they're going to need and we'll we'll put. We'll put a list of have that on there too. I'm going to write this down so I make sure that I help you guys out with those things, but when you have that list that it's going to, it's going to keep getting depleted. Correct. So when they go in and they put the soaps and the shampoos and conditioners and the body wash and the bathroom, or they fill up the little hand soap containers or they fill up the dishwashing liquid, put new paper towels on the rack. When they're doing these things, they're depleting the supplies and you can't be at every one of your properties and you don't know what the supplies are, so they need to be in great communication with you so that they can say, hey look, there's only two rolls of paper towels left there, or there's only.

[17:28] There's no more filler for the dish soaps. It's fine right now, but we're going to need a new one. Or you're going to need more wine, man. You're going to, you know, whatever. Or you're running out of the bookmarkers and blah, blah, blah. Any of those things that, that has to do with inventory. You need them to do that. You need them to be able to call you and tell you when you're running low on inventory. Now some of our companies, but not all, but some of our cleaning companies will actually buy the supplies for me. Um, if it, if it's in a place that's way far away from my house or a place that I can't get you a, my properties in Florida, I'm only there maybe half the year and at different sporadic times so I can't be there all the time to do that. And I like to do it myself because I love going shopping at Costco.

[18:18] But um, but when I'm not there, my, my cleaning companies do it for me and they just charged me a small fee on top of it. So they'll go pick up the supplies at Costco and sometimes you can even have some. Costco's have delivery. So I could have it delivered to them too, right from Costco. But they'll charge me a small fee for that. And I have no problem with that, we'll go over real quick with the fees at the end of this, but I have no problem with the fees because it's worth it to not have to go and pick up those items yourself. And you know, I would have to fly back out to Florida if I was not there and pick them up myself. That's a little bit of a time consuming and expensive thing to do. Right. So obviously they save you time and money.

[19:04] So it's, it's very worth your little extra fees that you put in there. Okay. They also need to be available if something goes wrong. So all of my properties, all of my properties, I have a little acrylic, I'm trying to describe it. It's a little acrylic picture frame is like eight, eight by 10 or eight by 11, you know the, um, it's the size of a sheet of paper and it's a flyer. We put the flyer in there that describes the cleaning company. So in this case, if we're talking about Tucson, we would put Logic Maids in there, right? And Logic Maids would have their, you know, all the things that they do and a little business card holders and there they can put their business cards in there if they want to so anybody can use them or maybe if they're moving to the area or they know somebody there they can because they're a great cleaning company.

[19:57] You want to promote them. But why is that there? What's the main reason that that is there in my properties that's there? Because if they walk in and there's any problem, I don't care what time they're checking in. If they walk in and the towels aren't done or the sheets in it that aren't made or the bathroom is dirty or anything is out of place. That has to do with cleaning booyah. There's a 24/7 number for my cleaning company right there. So they know that if there's a problem with that, when they walked in, that was their responsibility and they now have to fix it at their expense because if the, if somebody left the towels, um, if somebody didn't change the bedding all the way and they forgot about it, whose responsibility is that? That's theirs. They were supposed to have that cleaned. That anything that has to do with cleaning, any mistakes that were made is now the cleaning companies, you know, duty to clean.

[20:55] And most of the time, I mean 99 point nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine percent of the time that nothing happens. Nothing does. But there are times where somebody forgot, like it's weird, but you'll walk in and they're like, holy crap, I thought I finished that. And then they walked out without checking it and it does happen. But they'll come out and 24/7. It doesn't matter if it's 10:00 at night when these people checked in, when they walked in, they found out that something wasn't done. They can call the cleaning company, the cleaning company will come out and they will fix it and it doesn't matter what time and I have that arrangement made beforehand with my cleaning companies. It doesn't happen very often, but if it does, that's why that's there. That is the main reason why that sign is there because I don't want to get a call at 10:00 at night and most of the time at 10:00 at night I'll probably be sleeping so that I won't get that call until six in the morning.

[21:56] And what does that do? Nothing. It does nothing actually harm me incredibly. If they couldn't get ahold of somebody at 10:00 at night. Right. So it would behoove you to have a 24/7 hotline number for your cleaning company that's on there and that's on them and they don't mind. Why? Because they know that they're responsible for it and they're ready to take responsibility for whatever they did or whatever they're people didn't do right. So it's really no big problem. I love companies that are ready to take the responsibility on their own shoulder that that really helps out. Another thing you want to make sure that they can do is book online. Now this isn't imperative, but it's really a great feature and honestly to me it's. It's almost imperative. I don't think I would use a company that doesn't let you book online.

[22:47] When you get your company growing, you'll be automated and you'll have a front desk system and they'll be the ones who contact and make the reservations and book your cleaning company, but while you're starting out small, it's really crucial that you have that and here's a cool feature from like Airbnb when when somebody books with you, there's an app that you can put the Airbnb app on your phone. It will notify you that you got a booking and as soon as you get that notification, as soon as you get that notification, boom you book it. You book your cleaning with your cleaning company right away there. The first thing you do when you see the booking, you see the checkout time. You go on and you make your bookiing in it. If you can do that online, then you can do it any time, day or night, just go online and do it.

[23:35] So having an online booking system, like I said, Logic Maids does that. They have a really great system online and I can put in there, you know, this is one of those properties. Everybody's got to be out by three and I can choose the time and if it's not available was really nice. As Ryan's the owner of Logic Maids, I, I've have a relationship that we're building with him and I can text him. I actually just recently had to do that because I had somebody last minute book Halloween night and I had to call him and say, Hey Ryan, I went to make a reservation but your Friday, that Friday, the second of November is booked solid. I don't see anything. Is it possible or can you recommend somebody who can clean that property? Because I've got somebody else coming in that same day and he was so amazing.

[24:27] He was like, no problem, Michelle. We've got you covered. We've got your back and that's why you wanna build relationships. That's why you want to, you know, pay them fair prices. You want to take care of them when the holidays come around, take care of those people because they're your bread and butter. Nothing is more important. Nothing is more important, and I hope I'm saying this so that you know that it's deeply coming from my heart. No company, no. Nothing is more important than your cleaning company. You have to have a good relationship with them. You have to love on them, they have to love you, you have to take care of each other. You know it's, it's literally that close of a relationship. Take care of these people and they will take care of you. That's what you have to do. We are going to have a great interview with Ryan from Logic Maids down in Tucson and if your listener down in Tucson, I highly, highly recommend using Ryan and his team, the cleaning fees.

[25:30] When you list your property on Airbnb, you don't have to worry about the cleaning fees. Well, not so much. I mean, you could check out and make sure what everybody else's is paying and charging, but you're cleaning fees are not included in your nightly fees. You're cleaning fees are additional. So that's really cool because if you're charging $50 a night, $100 a night, $150 a night and you have a huge cleaning fee in that area, then that would take a big bite out of your bottom line. A really big bite, but you're cleaning fees are in addition to the nightly fee. So when someone rents on, you know, rent your property for a few nights on Airbnb, they on their checkout will have the cleaning fee will be on there. So for instance, the properties that we have done in Florida because we do so many and because those companies are used to it, they can be as low as $50 for each cleaning for a one bedroom and maybe $100, $150 for the big houses and the four or five bedrooms.

[26:46] It just depends. But the cool thing is that price is tagged on at the end and everybody charges about the same price. So you don't have to worry about that. Okay. So let's say your are paying you know, $20 a night or $30 a night for a room. If you're in in a place where you can't get much at night, you can't charge $150 to clean when you're only charging $20 a night for a room or $40 a night for a room. Why? I mean it's like when you go on Amazon and you buy a book and the book is a penny. But to ship it as $3.99, it's like, dude, I got the book for free. They charge all their money for shipping and handling, knowing they can just send it media mail and they will write that off as an expense and not an income. And you know, because their sale was only technically a penny and nobody likes that.

[27:40] Nobody does. So don't do it to your cleaning people and are you with your cleaning fees? You're cleaning fees should be nothing but your cleaning fees. Maybe you know, maybe you can put in your wine or your bookmarkers and those expenses in there too, but you don't. You don't want to touch that too much. You want to keep that as low as possible while still being fair and up with the area, so don't overcharge or people on the end with their cleaning fees. That money should almost all of it, if not all of it should go to your cleaning company and just pay them a fair wage because you know that's it's just the right thing to do. So don't be all hung up about the prices and the cleaning fees and that's it. I'm going to go over real quick again, what to look for with your cleaning companies.

[28:31] We're going to have those handouts that you can download right on the website, so you want them to be licensed and bonded and it's basically saying they're insured so that they don't come into your house and rip everything off. You want them to be able to work seven days a week unless you're doing the weekly thing and if you're doing the weekly thing than just at least the one day that people check in and out, that's going to be really important and then you want them to clean between 11am and 3pm being finished complete by 3pm and out the door by 3pm and let me real quick while we do that, just hit on the fact that you never let anybody into your properties before 3pm, don't let anyone in because you don't want to rush your cleaning company. Nothing is worse for these guys.

[29:19] Then having people sitting outside in the car waiting for them to get done because they're going to forget something, so I never ever, ever rushed my cleaning companies might. Cleaning crew is the most important thing to me. You check in it 3pm, that's in time. I can't get you in earlier. The only time I would ever not, you know, maybe let somebody in if it wasn't rented the night before, but my cleaning company is in that day when those people leave and we're setting codes right away, my codes expire at 3:00 PM. They can't get back in. My cleaning company is there when they check out because that way I know they're out and they're not just sitting there thinking to themselves, well maybe my code won't work, but if my butt is sitting here know your butt's not going to be in there because my cleaning crew is going to be in there buddy.

[30:10] So butt not in there. So anyways, they're out your cleaning crews in and out by three. So 11am and 3pm. They can touch food, they can clean out the refrigerators, they can scrape the food, they can do the dishes, they can take your towels and linens off site and have them done either by, someone else dropping them off at the laundry mat, picking them up from the laundry mat before they come. Or they do it themselves. It doesn't matter. Um, they can do small tasks. They can do inventory, they have to be available 24/7 if something is wrong, if they miss something and have online check in, you know, have online booking system. So those are the things to look for in your cleaning company. Hopefully this was a great episode for you. Hopefully you understand the relationship that you need to build with your cleaning company.

[31:04] Kudos and the shout out to Logic Maids down in Tucson and his team. They are amazing and if you're down there, I highly recommend them. Please let them know that I referred them to you and take a listen to the rest of our podcasts. Go to our website, download those, um, all those pdfs that we'll have for you to help you out with your list of what to look for, what to, you know, the checklists for the cleaning company and the list to have inside your maid's closet, the inventory that you should be having. And also subscribe please like us and subscribe and Oh, look for our wonderful, wonderful 30 day challenge that's coming up. If you don't have your first rental property right now, we've got a challenge that is exactly for you. We want to get you to have your own rental property and money coming into your pocket.

[32:01] Like right now, we want you to have a short term rental, so in order to do this, we've come up with this amazing 30 day challenge and the 30 day challenge is right for you. It's going to get you your first rental property. We're going to help you set it up and get your business rolling in the money coming in, the money that you deserve, and money that can make a difference in your family's life. So please go to our website and look for that. Subscribe to our podcast, leave us any notes and messages will be happy to answer all your questions and if you can't, you don't remember. Go on our Facebook page because on Mondays we do a live Q and A for our podcasts, so thank you so much. I'm so grateful for your listening. Have a great day. God bless and Go and Grow.



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