There has never been anything that has affected the travel industry in the same way that Covid-19 has. There are now standards laid out by Airbnb that vacation rental owners have to meet to ensure that their property is safe for people to stay in if they want to get more booking in the future. Property owners are now able to accept visitors and many are keen to do so to get their business back on track, but it is only natural that guests may still feel uneasy. Guests now need to be reassured about the cleanliness of the rental they will be staying in. To help with this Airbnb have launched their Advanced Cleaning Initiative which makes it clear to owners the steps they need to take when cleaning to provide peace of mind for guests.

Why Has The Airbnb Advanced Cleaning Initiative Been Introduced?

The initiative has been launched to ensure that there is a certain standard of cleaning which is being adhered to across all properties that are registered with Airbnb. Owners are given a five-point checkpoint that they need to follow. There is also a quiz that they can take to check they have understood everything that they need to do. If the quiz is completed and passed, then owners will be given a cleaning highlight named ‘Committed to Clean’ which they are able to display on their listings.

Airbnb’s five-step to the cleaning plan is as follows:

  1. Prepare

If you want the cleaning to be effective and be approved by Airbnb, then you need to get the preparation right. You should make sure that you have everything you need in the right rooms before you start. This will ensure that you do not have to keep moving between rooms, or even leave the property to get the things that you need. Always wash your hands before you start cleaning and make sure you wear protective equipment such as gloves or aprons. The rooms should be well ventilated before and while you are cleaning.

  1. Clean

There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and this is something you will need to understand this before you complete the Airbnb quiz. Cleaning is done to prepare for sanitization. As a minimum the cleaning process should make sure that all linens are washed, floors are mopped and vacuumed, counters are wiped, surfaces are dusted, the trash has been taken out and all the dishes have been washed. This will be part of the process that takes the longest, but it is also the most important stage. This is not really different from what you should have been doing before the Covid-19 crisis, but spending that little bit more time cleaning will ensure you always get 5-stars.

  1. Sanitize

Sanitizing helps to prevent the spread of germs. Surfaces that are used most frequently will benefit the most from sanitization, and this includes door handles, appliance, electronics, and light switches. Sanitizing will only be effective if the surfaces are clean to begin with. The instructions on the cleaning materials will tell you how long it needs to be left before being wiped down. For the best results, you should allow the sanitized surface to air dry.

  1. Check

The Airbnb Advanced Cleaning Initiative provides you with a checklist that you can work through once all the cleaning and sanitizing has been completed. There are different lists for different rooms, and you need to go through them all. An added advantage of doing this is that it can highlight any maintenance issues that you may have, these can then be put right before they become a problem for your guests. Most of all it will ensure that the property has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.

  1. Reset

Once the property has been cleaned and sanitized, and all the proper checks have been made, then there is one more thing to do to prevent cross-contamination. This step is vital because it stops germs from being spread from inside the house to outside. This means that all rubbish needs to be disposed of correctly and that any equipment you have used such as vacuums needs to be cleaned before they are used elsewhere. You should leave cleaning supplies in place so that they are able to be used by the next guest. If you follow all these steps, then your guests will be walking into a place where they feel clean and safe.

Airbnb Hosting Cleaning Commitment Quiz

There is more detailed information about all the steps discussed above on the Airbnb website. When you have read through all this information, you will be ready to take the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol Quiz. Once you have passed the quiz you will be given a cleaning icon that will appear on your listing page. You will also get a sticker confirming you are ‘committed to clean’ which can be displayed at the property.

If you have read through all the guides you have been provided, then you should have no problem in passing the quiz. It is an open book test and so you can have reading material to refer to if there are any questions you are not sure of. If you do get a question wrong, you are given an explanation of where you went wrong. You are also able to answer the question again to try and get it right this time.

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning Highlight On Listing

The cleaning highlight will be ready to place on your listing as soon as you have passed the quiz. All you need to do is click on the button to say that you accept.

Once you press the button, then you will be given a recap of the main elements of the initiative. You will also be told that:

– The cleaning protocols need to be followed across all of your rental properties.

– Airbnb may remove your listing altogether if the cleaning protocols are not followed.

– You should also follow the cleaning procedures that are put in place by local and national authorities.

What if I cannot commit to the Enhanced cleaning Protocol?

Airbnb then recommends you enable the booking buffer service, this will leave a buffer of between 24 and 72 hours between guests to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

I use a professional cleaner; can I still commit to the Cleaning Initiative?

Many Airbnb hosts don’t do their own cleaning, you should train your cleaners to the standards and you will need to take responsibility for the professional cleaning company following the cleaning protocol. Our cleaning checklist will help you ensure that the cleaners follow your guidelines

This additional cleaning will cost me more!

Indeed, if you are using professional service it’s likely to cost you more money, you can help recoup some of this additional cost by adding a cleaning fee to your listing. How much you charge is up to you, however, be aware that additional cleaning fees, can result in a reduction in booking requests. If you do charge a fee, ensure your property has been thoroughly cleaned throughout, otherwise expect a 2-star review.

Give Peace Of Mind To Your Guests

Guests may be feeling nervous about staying in your property because of these uncertain times. The best thing you can do is be honest about the steps you have taken to ensure their safety. You may want to let them know about the actions you have taken as a matter of course, even if they do not specifically ask.

If they see the highlight on your listing, and the ‘committed to clean’ sign at your property, then this can provide reassurance. If your guests do have any concerns, then you will be able to talk them through the protocols that this initiative has put in place.

Conclusion

It has never been important for you to keep your rental property clean and sanitized. The five-step process can help you ensure the property is as clean as possible for your guests, and this in turn will give them confidence that they are safe, which in turn will lead to more booking in this uncertain time.

Our own personal Airbnb tips for cleaning is to perform a deep clean of the property at least every 3-months, this will ensure that your property never falls shorty of obtaining 5-stars

Our final recommendation is to read all safety labels before using any new chemicals and avoid touching your face when cleaning.