Save Time and Lower Your Costs: 7 Steps for Automating Airbnb Cleaning

Brittney Bergevin
Brittney Bergevin

July 10, 2023

Managing short-term rentals can be a rewarding experience but let’s be real—it’s not a passive venture. From coordinating guest arrivals to keeping up with maintenance tasks, there’s no denying the challenges that come with rental property care.

And when things go wrong, they really go wrong. A missed or poor-quality clean can double your day’s workload, do untold damage to your reputation as a host, and even harm your future occupancy rates.

But with automated Airbnb cleaning, you can save time and money, and strengthen your Superhost status. And that’s whether you’re an Airbnb host who’s just starting out or a seasoned pro with fifty properties across multiple listing sites.

Our article outlines the essential steps you need to take to automate property care, and we share insights from one of our resident experts, Koryn Okey, Breezeway’s VP of Community & Engagement. We’ll explore:

  • Why property management care software is crucial and the features to look for
  • How to sync your bookings and cleaning schedules
  • Automating task notifications, deep cleans, and inventory management
  • Training housekeepers on how to use the software and follow your cleaning processes

Save time with automation
Automate scheduling, communication, and inventory management so you can add properties to your portfolio without adding to your workload.
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How much time will this process save you per month? 

Before you put time and money into automating your business, you probably want to know what the return on your investment will look like.

The hours you save will depend on the size and complexity of your operations. One Breezeway customer with three properties saved themselves three hours per week on scheduling alone. Whereas another customer with over ten properties saved thirty hours a month on this task.

No matter the size of your portfolio, the time you save will be significant enough to let you focus on other tasks. As Koryn told us, “If you don't have automation tools to help manage key tasks, then you're constantly going to be working harder than you need to be.”

Breezeway customer, David Wilcox of Summit Mountain Rentals, agrees: ““We’ve reduced the time we spend texting, calling and updating by 50%, and are spending 20 fewer hours each week scheduling cleanings and inspections.”

And the time saved impacts business costs. Automation makes your cleaning service more efficient and prevents time-wasting issues like housekeepers showing up at the wrong time or at the wrong property. 

💡Pro-tip: Use Breezeway’s ROI calculator to check how much time and money you could save when you automate your property care.

7 steps to automate Airbnb cleaning

Here are the essential seven steps to automating your vacation rental company’s property care.

1. Choose robust cleaning automation software 

If you don’t already have cleaning automation software like Breezeway in place, this is your starting point. To choose a platform that suits your business, consider the following:

  • Affordability: While the best property care software provides fantastic return on investment, you still need it to fit into your budget and provide you with suitable pricing options. Just be aware that cleaning software saves you time you can put back into your business, and it protects you against missed cleans—itself a costly risk.
  • Essential features: Be sure your cleaning automation software has a comprehensive range of tools to maximize the efficiency of your property care, including task scheduling, team and guest communication, custom digital checklists, and inventory management. Using software like Breezeway that has all these solutions in one single platform makes your management tasks much easier.
  • User-friendliness: If you and your cleaners find the software easy to learn and use on a daily basis, you’ll have a smooth transition to using it across the team. Note that Breezeway’s operations and guest messaging tools supports English, Danish, German, Polish, and Spanish translation.
  • Integrations: To work best, cleaning automation software needs to sync with other important tools that you may use now or in the future, for example, your property management system (PMS), listing sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, or a digital guestbook.

Having the right software is essential to improving your team’s productivity and being as efficient as possible. It ensures you can manage all your property care in one place and streamlines your workflows.

2. Sync your booking calendar to cleaning schedules

When you connect your cleaning software with your PMS and booking calendar, you share reservation data between the platforms. That’s everything from check-in days to guest information and property amenities.

It’s this integration that allows you to automate scheduling—every time a new booking is made, it triggers your cleaning software to create a turnover based on check-in and check-out details as well as the availability of your cleaners, and your customized rules, which you can set to be property-specific.

And, since the software is synced with your PMS, tasks also automatically update when a reservation changes. You don’t have to edit the schedule yourself or risk mishaps like cleaners arriving at properties at the wrong time, and you eliminate the risk of there being a missed clean. 

“With automation, you have the confidence that the work is being scheduled. It's about having the confidence that things aren't going to slip through the cracks. On the other hand, if you’re focused on family or not checking your email—those six, seven hours can make a difference, especially for last-minute reservations.”

Koryn Okey, VP Community & Engagement, Breezeway.

3. Automate task notifications for cleaners

Automated team communication goes hand in hand with scheduling automation. As your cleaning timetables automatically update, you need to keep the relevant team members informed.

Automating team communication means cleaners will receive text, email, or app notifications whenever the software receives or updates a booking. That means you won’t have to call around your cleaners to keep them updated—everyone will always have access to the latest cleaning schedules.

4. Create custom cleaning checklists

Checking cleans is tricky and that challenge increases with each property you add to your portfolio. You need eyes and ears everywhere to make sure dirty spoons don’t get left in the sink and spoil the guest’s first impression of their stay.

With custom digital checklists, you can give cleaners a clear step-by-step process for turning over each property, so they have a precise breakdown of your expectations. Also, your checklists can be specific to each property—especially handy if you’ve got niche amenities to clean like a Zen garden or telescope—and get into as much detail as you need.

A screenshot of the Breezeway checklist creation interface.

Effortlessly create custom checklists for cleaners to follow with Breezeway.

To support your team in meeting your standards, and spare yourself from explaining the same method to different housekeepers, you should also include representative photos. These give cleaners a clear example of what each area of the property should look like for guests.

Equally, you can require cleaners to upload photos of completed turnovers so you can remotely inspect their work.

“Guests increasingly expect hotel-like standards from their vacation rentals. With checklists, representative photos, and photo uploads, you can make sure the property matches what’s advertised, that the pillows are fluffed, and that sentimental items are accounted for.”

Koryn Okey, VP Community & Engagement, Breezeway.

5. Auto-schedule deep cleans every quarter

Inefficient maintenance processes waste time, increase labor costs, and impact the guest experience—or worse, put guests at risk.

So, use your property care platform to schedule tasks like deep cleans and AC checks, which can be given to your routine cleaners or specialized service providers. This allows you to preemptively deal with issues like limescale and leaks before they cause damage, and helps you keep heavy appliances in good condition so they have a longer lifespan.

6. Set up automated inventory monitoring

Another infrequent but time-consuming task is inventory management. You don’t want to risk leaving your cleaners without essential cleaning supplies but counting stock takes hours.

Plus, there’s a lot of room for human error. Checking inventory is hardly engaging so it’s understandable if cleaners occasionally count the same detergent bottle twice.

To streamline this task, you can automatically track inventory and get alerts when stock runs low. That way you can plan more effectively, such as by ordering supplies in bulk rather than having cleaners dash to Costco on the day.

You can also dig deeper into inventory records to indicate where you could cut costs or when you need to buy more products. For instance, if you see guests drink less coffee in the warm summer months, you can order fewer coffee capsules during that period to reduce spending.

💡Pro-tip: Take advantage of a comprehensive inventory management tool like Breezeway to also monitor guest amenities like toiletries, snacks, and kitchen essentials.

A screenshot of the inventory management dashboard on Breezeway.
Track everything from toilet paper to hot tub filters with Breezeway’s inventory management.

7. Train cleaners to meet your brand standards

Once all these automation steps are in place, you have to notify your team, explain how to use any tools, and clarify your expectations. 

If you’ve chosen the right software, the new processes should be intuitive and easy to learn. But you can dispel any anxiety by demonstrating the new processes yourself and linking cleaners to videos on each feature. 

As you use automation, you can also collect feedback and review your progress. Cleaners can tell you, for example, whether digital checklists are too high-level or require a little extra detail. Then you can adjust your processes to maximize the efficiency of your operations even further.

Take tasks off your to-do list with cleaning automation

Managing property care can swallow hours of your time each week. And as your business grows, each new property can add more scheduling, messaging, and inventory management tasks to your workload.

That’s why scheduling automation software is such a game-changer. With the right property care platform, you’ll save time you can redirect into developing your business strategy and scaling your portfolio—or you can use it to achieve a better work-life balance.

“When you set up cleaning automation,” says Koryn, “you know the work is being done right, and that the standards you uphold are being met.”

Save time with automation
Automate scheduling, communication, and inventory management so you can add properties to your portfolio without adding to your workload.
Book a demo

Frequently asked questions about how to automate Airbnb cleaning


Is it possible to automate an Airbnb business?

Yes, it’s possible to automate vacation rental and Airbnb businesses. Property care management like Breezeway has automation tools that let you automate:

  • Scheduling your vacation rental cleaning including turnovers, deep cleans, and maintenance
  • Messages to guests and team members
  • Inventory monitoring and management

How do I automate everything on Airbnb?

You can automate everything on Airbnb by investing in software that lets you create triggers for different milestones in your guest’s booking journey. So, for example, when a guest books a stay, the software automatically schedules a clean and inspection based on your customized rules, property data, and your cleaner’s availability. To automate as many aspects of your business as possible, you should choose a property care management platform with a range of features, like Breezeway.

How do I clean an Airbnb quickly?

You can clean an Airbnb quickly by hiring professional cleaners, automatically scheduling their cleans, and sharing digital custom checklists with them. The scheduling tool ensures teams arrive at properties with sufficient time to perform their tasks to your standards. And the custom checklist means cleaners know exactly what they need to do to make sure the property is guest-ready.

When automated correctly, scheduling work to field teams has a powerful ripple effect throughout your business, saving hours of manual work and vastly reducing guest issues at check-in. More than that, though, scheduling automation helps hospitality providers showcase the professional care they take towards preparing and facilitating amazing guest stays.