Whether you’re just starting a vacation rental management business or already managing several properties, one thing is for sure: someone needs to clean those properties after every guest. When it comes to vacation rental cleaning, there are two main options: you can hire your own cleaning staff or a cleaning service. 

Whichever route you decide to take, determining how much you should pay your cleaners and charge your guests can be a difficult task. That’s mainly because the fees for cleaning vacation rental properties can vary greatly, from a few tens of dollars to hundreds of dollars per property. 

Charging guests a separate cleaning fee is standard practice in the lodging industry. After all, they’re the ones benefiting from the service. However, an exorbitantly high fee can turn guests away from booking the properties you manage. To help you set the right price on vacation rental cleaning, we’ve gathered below a few aspects you should consider.

Location and Size of Property

Location is one of the most critical factors that affect the cleaning fees you could charge your guests. Depending on location, professional cleaning services charge from as little as $50 per stay to $350 in some areas. In general, the short-term rentals located in the best vacation destinations have higher cleaning fees than the properties located in less popular vacation spots.

As well, if a vacation rental is located in a remote location, the cleaners might charge an additional fee because they’ll spend more time getting to and back from the property. An additional fee may also apply if a vacation rental is pet-friendly, as the cleaners expect to spend more time cleaning the property. Besides all these, the cost of living affects the price of all goods and services, and thus it can significantly affect local cleaning rates.  

The size of the property is another aspect you should consider when setting cleaning rates. For instance, if you manage several studio apartments, you cannot charge the same cleaning fees as the managers who rent out four- or five-bedroom properties.  

Cleaning Demand and Service Quality

Depending on location and seasonality, the demand for vacation rental cleaning services can vary greatly. In the most significant cities and the most popular vacation destinations, the cleaning rates are usually higher as the job is in high demand. Also, cleaners tend to charge higher rates when demand is the highest. However, the fees that you can charge your guests depend not only on demand but also on the quality of the service delivered.

For instance, if your target guests are looking for luxury vacation rentals and expect a high level of service, you may get a positive response to a higher cleaning fee. That’s because a guest who requires a spotless vacation rental can be more accepting of higher cleaning costs. Therefore, keeping your target audience in mind when determining your cleaning rates is a key prerequisite for setting the right fees for the vacation rentals you manage.

Another essential aspect is that vacation rental property managers usually require a slightly higher fee than what cleaning services charge. For example, if a cleaning service’s hourly rate is $25 and takes about 4 hours to clean a vacation rental, the service provider will charge $100. However, a vacation rental property manager might charge anywhere from $110 to $150 to cover the cost of keeping the cleaning calendar and any emergency fees associated with cleaning properties in the case of back-to-back bookings or same-day reservations.

Professional Cleaning Quotes

Another way to determine the proper cleaning fee you should charge your guests is to ask a few cleaning services for quotes. Although most cleaning professionals will want to see the vacation rentals before offering a quote, they should be able to give you an estimate based on the size of each property. When asking for quotes from professional cleaners, make sure they have experience with cleaning vacation rentals. If they don’t have any experience, their quotes might not be accurate.

If you cannot gather the information you need to determine the applicable cleaning fees for your properties, a good rule of thumb would be to check out neighboring vacation rentals on Airbnb, VRBO, Bookings.com, and other vacation rental listing sites. Categorize the properties you find by their types and sizes, and write down their cleaning fees. If there are significant variations between the fees, calculate an average cleaning rate for each major category. Then, you can adjust those rates according to the particularities of the properties you manage.

If all of the above fails, you can always count on our lodging management software, which can take the guesswork out of vacation rental property management. Besides allowing you to handle different areas of your business, including a wide range of housekeeping tasks, our solution is equipped with various tools that will help make your job a little easier. To learn more about our software solution, get in touch with our experts today!