Meeting and greeting your guests is an important matter and one that should be carefully considered. However, it’s equally important for you, or your co-host, to be on hand when your guests leave your rental. Some hosts would say that it’s more important. And here’s why.
ONE: HAVE THE GUESTS LEFT ANY OF THEIR BELONGINGS BEHIND?
It can put a host in an awkward situation when guests leave any items behind. If they are items of value (material or sentimental) then the guest will want them sent to them. The questions hosts ask themselves include ‘should I?’, ‘will I have to pay and will I be reimbursed?’, ‘what about the time it will take me to package the item and send it?’, ‘what if it’s lost in the mail?’ And more…
Far simpler then if the host or co-host enters the rental immediately and alerts the guests at once by phone or text if any property has been left behind. I have, on a couple of occasions, managed to get hold of the guests before they’ve even got to the end of the street. Happy guest, untroubled host. And happy guest = great review.
TWO: CHECK THE SHEETS AND TOWELS ETC.
We use all-white bedding and towels in the rentals. And it’s a pretty rare guest who leaves no marks whatsoever on them. Sheets might be perfect but there’s a touch of mascara on a pillowcase. Towels are clean but the white towelling bathmat has taken a bit of a beating from dirty feet. Then, of course, there are the nightmare laundry scenarios – they happen from time to time – and bodily fluids can be not-nice.
If the marked items are left hanging around for a while then you’ve given the marks the time to set in nicely. Walk around with your handy stain-removing spray or your preferred product and deal with marked items straight away. Once treated, they’ll be much easier to launder.
THREE: REMOVE GARBAGE
Most guests take the garbage out but I’d say that roughly 30% forget. (I prefer to think they ‘forgot’ rather than that they were blatantly inconsiderate people). Almost all guests genuinely forget to empty the trash can in the bathroom. And they might have washed the dishes but omitted to run the waste disposer.
Food waste can get pongy quickly, especially in warm weather or if the heating has been running full blast. So take that garbage out. Run the waste disposer if there’s one fitted in the kitchen sink. It’s more than likely to have food scraps in there.
FOUR: FLUSH THE LOO!
I usually wander into the (dark) bathroom and flush the toilet without peering into it. If the guests have left in a hurry and forgotten to carry out this vital hygiene function, then the evidence will be flushed away. You might want to sprinkle or pour your preferred loo cleaning product a little too.
I like to open the bathroom window just a little to freshen the room and cast a glance around to see if anything needs immediate attention. 99 times out of 100 it doesn’t. but if any obvious marks are given a two-second spray with a cleaning product they’ll be easier to clean later.
FIVE: PUT ITEMS TO SOAK IF NECESSARY
Sometimes, guests might have left their breakfast things or coffee mugs. Fill the kitchen sink with sudsy warm water and soak them. Add any other items that you’ll be washing later – flower vases, toothmugs etc. If you have a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher you can set it running.
SIX: CHECK FOR FOOD SPILLS
Food spills attract ants and, depending on the climate you’re in, other small beasties that you do not want to encourage into your rental. Check for accidental spills on surfaces, in or near the stove/microwave/coffee maker and don’t forget inside the fridge. Spills will be easier to clean up if you give them a spray with your chosen cleaning product now.
Even if your chosen cleaning product is vinegar rather than a chemical cleaner, it will still repel creatures.
SEVEN: CHECK AC/HEAT/APPLIANCES/LIGHTS
I don’t know about other hosts but I often have guests who are from Europe and leave early in the morning in order to catch long-haul flights. If they have left before the sun is fully up, then it’s likely that they have forgotten to switch off all the lights. Check too all other appliances and switch off if necessary.
You can see here why it’s important for the host or co-host to get into the rental as soon as the guests have left. Assuming that 50 guests a year leave the heating or AC on, and it’s left that way for a couple of hours, imagine how much that would add to your annual utility bill.
EIGHT: CHECK WINDOWS
Yes, quite a few hosts report that guests leave the place with the AC or heat full on … and a window open. They are paying to heat or cool the garden. Check that all windows are closed. In some areas, various wildlife creatures can also enter through open windows – not something you want to deal with.
However, you might wish to slightly open a secure (and possibly bug-screened) window to air the place.
NINE: CHECK FOR DAMAGE
It’s pretty rare that guests cause damage in a vacation rental. This is especially true of Airbnb where the host is able to evaluate and review the guest after the stay. But in the very unlikely event of there being damage, and that the host wants to claim via Airbnb, then it has to happen as soon as possible.
This means that the damage should be photographed and documented and sent to Airbnb as soon as humanly possible.
TEN: ENSURE THAT THE RENTAL IS SECURE
The host or co-host will be back later to prepare the apartment for the next guests – assuming that it’s a back to back turnover. Or if the host doesn’t have a guest coming in until the next day, the rental may not be fully prepared until the next morning. In either case, it’s a good idea to ensure that the rental is safe and secure.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.