The Cleaning and Staging App

No one wants a guest complaint to be the first they hear of an issue at their vacation rental. But, unfortunately, that’s often what happens, especially for those of us who manage our properties remotely. Even the best cleaners and maintenance folks miss the smaller details from time to time. (In the end, no one knows your property - and cares for it - like you do.)

This is where one of my favorite vacation rental apps (and I’m not an app person!) comes in. Properly allows you to make an interactive, visual checklist for the people who care for your space. Designed by Alex Nigg, a remote host who wanted to keep his rentals at a high standard when he couldn’t be there, Properly also matches rentals and housekeepers and integrates with your listing site calendars, so you can book a cleaning with a click.

Below I’ll give you a quick demo of how I use Properly to keep my rental in Kauai looking its best.

Another thing I really love about this app? It eliminates the need to micro-manage. My cleaner, who specializes in vacation rental cleaning, is excellent and doesn’t need me to be over her shoulder - nor do I want to be! It’s just not my style.

But this app makes her job easier by reminding her of all the things that are important to me. Because Properly is flexible, I don’t have to include every little thing (she doesn’t need to be reminded where to sweep and mop). I can update it to only include new items I’d like her to take care of.

And if she’s ever sick or on vacation, I can adjust the list to include more detailed instructions. Then my replacement cleaner will have all the info he or she needs to keep my condo looking as good as when my regular cleaner is there.

Hate the idea of being even more tethered to your smartphone? You’ll be happy to know there’s a desktop version, too.

Below you can see a few basics that I have included for my cleaners. As I mentioned, I can easily modify this based on a special need or request.

The screen above shows the exterior of my vacation rental in Princeville. Each task pin is a separate request for my cleaner.  For example:

  Visual inspection for garbage and debris.

  Stage, organize, and inspect the beach equipment monthly.

  Lock garage door upon each turn.

  Sweep stars at each guest turnover.

  Wipe down front door monthly.

Above is my rental's kitchen. This is an especially important space to me (and to my guests), so I've included some above-and-beyond items here for my cleaner.

  Lock window and owners closet.

  New dish soap (leave old bottle below sink) and new sponge

  Dust light fixtures monthly

  Check emergency closet for tampering

A peek inside my cabinets! Sometimes guests put their dishes away in....a less-than-organized manner. It's an easy fix that cleaners often forget, yet makes a big difference to guests. (Nothing says "I care" like well-organized cabinets.)

  Confirm that there are 8 of each of the items pictured, if not then restock.

  Stage flatware and glass as pictured.

This is the first-impression space that greets guest right when they walk into my rental. It needs to look good! And, again, the details are important. With Properly I make sure that the stage is set and it looks exactly like the listing photos (the last thing I want is disappointed guests).

  Confirm that all sliding glass doors to the lanai are locked.

  Stage window coverings, throw pillows, and orchid as pictured

  Dust ceiling fan monthly

You know how much I love a well-made bed. That's not an issue for my experienced cleaner, but ensuring the right pillows are on the right beds is an essential extra step. I also want to make sure the cleaner is checking for items guests may have left behind.

  Look under bed and in drawers for items left behind by guest.

  Stage throw pillows and throw blanket as pictured.

  Dust ceiling fan monthly.

  Confirm that sliding glass door is locked.

The small details win again. Busy cleaners can easily forget how I like things to be staged. This app offers a great visual reminder. (You'd be surprised how many guests comment on touches like this!).

  Stage cabana towels as pictured with star fish.

In short? Properly makes sure my guests are consistently impressed by the thought and care I put into my vacation rentals. Even when I can't be there. It's invaluable to me!

Have question about Properly? An experience with using the app that you'd like to share? Want to share some small touches that your guests love? Leave a comment below!