Spring Cleaning for your Vacation Rental

Springtime is here! Is your investment home ready for the season?  The Bluewater Quality Assurance Team has provided a compilation of tips and guidelines for you to follow to determine if it’s time to recycle replace clean or renovate the various aspects of your vacation rental property.  As we all know, wear and tear is part of the vacation rental process and something that is bound to be encountered at some point during the lifespan of your home.

The vacation rental industry is a hospitality business with high owner and guest expectations. Owners want to maximize cash flow, but may not be prepared for the wear and tear of a vacation rental.  Guests pay top dollar and expect well maintained, clean, immaculate accommodations as well as exceptional service. It is our task to join hands with you as the homeowner and guests to achieve maximum income and a pleasant vacation experience, while maintaining the property in the best condition possible.

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Sandy Feet in 15 Weeks

New vacation rental homeowners should view their home as an investment.  While you have a personal attachment to your property, it’s important to view it as a rental property that will generate income to pay for a portion of your investment.  Bluewater’s goal is to maximize each owner’s income potential. We will do our best to keep every unit rented, clean and well maintained. In order to meet this goal, homeowners should be proactive in evaluating and refurbishing their homes, where needed, on an annual basis.

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Openings and Closings of your Sleeper Sofa

 

Flooring:  Carpet vs. Hard Surface – The heavy traffic areas of carpeting need to be cleaned in mid-season, at a minimum, to ensure fresh clean appearance. Coffee and coke “dribbles” are normal wear and tear and must be expected. The guest that arrive in August deserve a home in as good a condition as those that vacationed the first of June. Plus your August guests are paying the higher rate for your home! If you rather not contend with the wear and tear associated with carpeting, hardwood flooring, vinyl plank and tile are all great alternatives, especially in high traffic areas such as living rooms, dining rooms, recreation rooms, kitchens and even stairways.

Electronics/Remotes:  Guests love to see nice stereo equipment and high end TVs in their rental homes. If your system is not an “all in one” set, please provide detailed instructions so that guests can easily operate the equipment. Not all guests will be able to follow the instructions and, inevitable, they will call us to assist. If remote controls are reported missing we will replace them and bill your account accordingly.

Baby Equipment : Providing baby equipment in your home encourages families with young children to rent your home, but plan to replace this equipment annually, as it will be used frequently throughout the season.  If you do choose to provide a crib, the pack and play version is much more conducive to a vacation rental environment.

Grills: Gas or Charcoal? Many guests prefer the convenience of gas grills. If you provide a gas grill you must provide propane. Also keep in mind there is a high level of corrosion at the beach. You may need to replace your grill annually.

The following items are NOT recommended in rental properties:

  • DVD/Video Library
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Heirlooms
  • Excessive knick-knacks, artificial plants, tchotchkes and décor items (keep it simple)
  • Food items left for renters and in between renters (these can easily be contaminate by a previous guest and/or attract bugs leaving your home in a bad disposition)
  • Cleaning products left for renters and/or homeowner housekeepers, these need to be locked and secured to avoid liability of a small child or person having contact with them

To assist you in scheduling and budgeting replacement in your property, we are providing the following industry standard Replacement Schedule. Please note that those suggestions are based on the average life expectancy for items in a short-term environment and will vary based on the quality and rental frequency.

Update Timeline

  • Cookware
    Update Annually
  • Kitchen Inventgory
    Update Annually
  • Appliances (Dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer)
    6-8 Year or as needed
  • Small Appliances
    Replace as needed

    Blenders and coffee makers will need replacement most often.

  • Carpet
    5-6 years maximum

    Padding should be 6 lb. density

    Clean twice per year (minimum) plus spot cleans as needed

  • Vinyl Flooring
    5-7 years maximum
  • Bedding
    Annual evaluation & update

    High quality not suggested, Quilts are more durable and are easier to maintain

    Mattress Pads , Pillows & Pillow Protectors (Annual Minimum)

    All bedding pieces should be labeled with the property name in indelible ink

  • Matresses
    4-8 years maximum
  • Upholstered Furniture
    3-5 years

    Scotch Guard recommended

    Period cleaning as needed

    Sleeper sofas should have innerspring mattresses and commercial frame mechanism for durability

  • Chairs (Bar stools, dining chairs)
    3-5 years

    Clean periodically as needed

    Upholstered discouraged, but if upholstered periodic cleaning will be required

  • Deck Furniture
    Longevity based on quality and type, wicker not recommended

    Plastic 1-2 years

    Wooden 4-6 years

    Plywood and similar products have a longer warranty by manufacturer

  • Interior Paint
    3-4 years

    Bi-Annual touch up

  • Exterior Paint
    5-7 years (this will vary greatly due to location and type of exterior finish)
  • Blinds
    Replace as needed, faux wood recommended faux for more durability versus traditional mini

    Tab top or grommet curtains are a more durable option overall than blinds and sliders

  • Draperies
    3-4 years

    Lined backing recommended

    Launder/dry clean as needed

  • Closets
    Should be neatly organized and should not be used as a means of owner storage

    Hangers should be a plastic or wood (not metal wire or hangers from a department store)