Owning a vacation rental is great. Not only do you have a personal vacation spot, but the financial returns are often 2-3x compared with a long-term rental. However, turnovers are a headache and finding an inexpensive and reliable cleaner can be difficult.

Because turnovers occur any day of the week, most hosts have at least two cleaners available for their vacation rental. So how do you find these short-term rental cleaning professionals?

Independent Cleaners

Independent cleaners are the backbone of the cleaning industry. They are sole proprietors in a cleaning company of one. Independent cleaners are an excellent choice if you live more than a few hours from your vacation rental, as they can act as your liaison if something goes wrong. Other benefits of independent cleaners for vacation rentals include flexibility in tasks, consistency, and thoroughness. However, independent cleaners can be less reliable, less flexible in scheduling, and difficult to find and keep. So how do you find an independent cleaner?

Talk to friends and family: Chances are you know someone who uses an independent cleaner – so ask around. Co-workers, neighbors, church members, etc. are all good places to start. Also, if your neighbors are short-term rental owners, they likely know of other cleaners and service professionals in your area.

Internet: Craigslist and Thumbtack are options to find independent cleaners. Craigslist is obviously the wild west of services, so you are likely to go through a couple of cleaners before you find one you like. Thumbtack can work well in large metropolitan areas and we like that they offer reviews of the service professionals; however, we find there are not enough service providers for Thumbtack outside of large cities to find vacation rental cleaners.

It should be noted that Handy does not work well for vacation rental cleaning because of the sporadic nature of vacation rental scheduling and Handy’s cleaning contracts that lock you in for months at a time.

Cleaning Services

A cleaning company, such as TheMaids or a local company, is a viable option for short-term rental cleaning because they are easy to find and hire. They also typically operate multiple crews if there is an issue with the assigned crew. However, drawbacks for cleaning services for vacation rentals include less attention to detail, difficult to communicate with actual cleaners, and a different cleaning crew each week leading to inconsistent cleaning. Also, cleaning services tend to be 2-3x more expensive for vacation rental cleaning compared with independent cleaners.