Housekeeping in 2020: A New Normal

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, cleanliness and sanitation of vacation homes and accommodations will fall under greater scrutiny from guests, owners, OTAs, and the public discourse.

While vacation rentals are still wrongfully considered alternative accommodation by many, the industry is uniquely suited to emerge from the pandemic as a primary source of accommodation for sanitation-conscious travelers around the world. Converse to hotels and resorts which feature shared common space, dining, ventilation, and close passage in hallways, vacation rentals are ideal, if not perfect, for those looking to practise social distancing, and vacation from the comfort of a private home.

While there is much conversation to be had about the image and marketing of the industry coming out of the pandemic, the task at hand is how vacation rental managers can position themselves for success in light of the increased scrutiny, ensuring safe experiences for guests, cleaners, and all stakeholders alike.

Different entities within the industry such as OTAs, local governments, and advocacy groups have produced their own resources, which are largely similar with some small exceptions. To influence this module, CiiRUS has used the cleanliness guidelines and procedures which were produced by Vrbo. Their comprehensive guide to best-practices in cleaning was produced in consultation with Expedia Group partner Cristal International Standards and the Vacation Rental Managers Association. They're also based on publicly available information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Click here to view full guidelines from Vrbo

Fortunately for CiiRUS users, the new Task Manager module is perfect to begin incorporating sanitation best-practices into the management company's daily operations. The Task Manager module allows the user to configure step-by-step cleaning & inspection protocols for each home, with checklists, image proofs, issue reports, and more.

CiiRUS' goals for property management companies using Task Manager are as follows:

  1. Increase operational efficiency by reducing manual exchange between property managers and onsite cleaners.
  2. Increase overal housekeeping quality and efficiency due to fixed expectations, reference photos, and a central documentation of procedure.
  3. Maximize guest satisfaction with better housekeeping results.
  4. Decrease manual entry by allowing managers to create work-orders, inspection, and follow-up cleans based on issues raised onsite by cleaners.
  5. Lower management company's liability by providing a paper trail with time-stamped photographic evidence of cleaning and sanitation measures at the home.

In the current climate, point 5 above is particularly important, owing to the possibility that a guest may fall ill while on vacation at no fault of the property management company. In CiiRUS, the Task Report will show photographic and documentary evidence of the mandatory cleaning procedures having been followed.

This help-desk module explains how management companies can use CiiRUS to navigate new laws, guidelines, and requirements, ranging from sanitary procedures, to temporarily enforced booking fences (24-72hr gaps).