With over 3.5 billion vaccinations administered worldwide, the world is emerging from pandemic restrictions and transitioning back to “normal.” Yet, even with growing vaccine rates and new technologies, facility managers cite employee health, employee training, retention and proper cleaning products as their main concerns regarding cleaning staff.
Offering guests and employees peace of mind is always a top-of-mind concern for any property manager. But, now that segments like the short-term rental (STR) industry are seeing occupancy rates fully recovered — achieving a whopping 60.9 per cent occupancy in March 2021, a 29.1 per cent gain from 2019 — renters and guests are ready to travel again.
Entering a post-pandemic world, property and facility managers know that cleanliness is more important than ever. As a result, many companies and property management companies have developed initiatives and frameworks to lessen the anxieties of guests and managers at the onset of COVID-19.
Hotels and short-term rental properties provide different experiences depending on what the guest is looking for — hotels give travellers the benefit of amenities and locations, while on the flip side, short-term rentals impart a sense of privacy and a “home away from home” feeling for guests, not to mention a guest’s ability to enjoy and utilize the facility’s entire space.
With “revenge travel” and entertainment gaining momentum again, here are three tips that property and facility managers can implement in accordance with new industry cleaning standards and protocols to successfully enter this new wave of property management.
Record and report cleaning procedures
Leaving a paper trail to document a facility’s cleaning history provides both managers and guests with peace of mind while also tracking when guests were last present onsite and when the property was last cleaned.
Regulating cleaning history via proprietary software for owners and cleaning staff can be one solution, enabling other facility managers to use new software, like apps, to track the cleaning process in real-time. Additionally, managers should ensure that they can “see the clean.” We call this process “Follow the Wall” to ensure the facility’s cleanliness is visible to the eye, rather than simply checking off a cleaning list.
Finally, always emphasize the importance of finishing cleaning and sanitizing a room before replacing items for the next guest or group.
Leave air conditioning on in summer when possible
When it comes to cleaning, one of the first things property managers should do is “air out” facility spaces by simply opening windows and doors. This is the first step to deter the spread of airborne bacteria. Adding airflow to a facility during cleaning additionally adds freshness to help alleviate stagnant air and muggy stuffiness leftover from a previous guest or event.
Display visual reminders of cleanliness to guests
Managers should use visual cues to show guests the extra measures that facility cleaning staff have taken by leaving small details around the space. These small details make a big difference in the peace of mind for guests and management alike.
Tools like QR codes that show a property’s cleaning history, high-touch surfaces sealed in plastic, and even notices of your facility’s commitment to the health and safety of guests and employees will help restore security as a property is enjoyed once again.
As new industry standards are being created and certified at a rapid pace, the key to normalizing these new health procedures will be open communication on the part of facility management, cleaning staff, property employees, and guests. On top of diligently staying on top of public health announcements from official agencies, intercommunication between all staff levels will prove prudent to the industry’s continued growth as we approach the future of property and facility management.
Marianne Heder is Director of Short-Term Rentals for Property Management Inc. (PMI). In addition to having hospitality in her blood, she has been working in the real estate and asset management industry since 2005. She is passionate about helping PMI franchise owners build successful short-term rental businesses by utilizing step-by-step processes.
Property Management Inc. (PMI) is a rapidly growing franchise with 300-plus locations that provides expert property management services and solutions across 4 pillars: residential, commercial, association and short-term rental management. For more information, visit https://propertymanagementincfranchise.com/.