5 Steps to Automate Vacation Rental Cleaning

Lizzie Griffin
Lizzie Griffin

March 6, 2024

If you manually schedule cleaning tasks, communicate with your housekeepers via WhatsApp, and manage supplies using paper-based logs, chances are you’re overworked and running the risk of missed cleans. You’re probably also struggling to keep up with other areas of your business, like guest management and marketing.

Plus, your business model isn’t scalable—your scheduling processes and internal communications are a limiting factor that won’t cope with a larger portfolio. 

You can address all these issues by automating your vacation rental cleaning operations. In this article, you’ll see exactly how to do so by following a simple five-step process. Having put these solutions into place:

  • You won’t need to constantly update your calendars and then send out revised schedules to housekeepers
  • You’ll have a concrete process for quality control
  • You’ll save hours on managing supply tracking and distribution
  • Cleaners will always start their day with exactly the items they need

Along the way, you’ll also discover how other successful vacation rental companies have automated their cleaning practices, see which business performance metrics you’ll improve by doing so, and learn about what tools and features to use.

No more scheduling turnovers
Create a set of automated cleaning processes, from task scheduling and assignment to quality control and inventory management.

Book a Demo

Vacation rental cleaning automation: The impact on business performance

Automating your cleaning operations isn't only transformative for your property care—it's a strategic move that elevates your entire business model. 

By implementing cleaning automation, you directly address the efficiency of your managerial processes, putting in place systems that drive greater quality and consistency. In turn, you’ll improve the guest experience and, ultimately, boost key business performance metrics like: 

  • Guest satisfaction scores
  • Occupancy rates
  • Repeat booking rates
  • Operating costs
  • Net profit margin (net profit ⁄ total revenue x 100)

For example, Vanwaw Corporate Rentals in Atlanta implemented Breezeway to automate cleaning ops, including the scheduling process, quality control, maintenance coordination, and tracking costs. This enabled the team to: 

  • Be responsive to last-minute bookings and put a stop to missed cleans
  • Make managing invoices and costs fast and easy
  • Improve guest ratings
  • Save hours of work by automating scheduling
  • Double the size of their property portfolio

With cleaning automation, you also help to safeguard your team's well-being, minimizing the burnout that often comes with repetitive manual tasks or from having to urgently deal with the problems that come about from systemic inefficiencies. 

As Vanwaw Corporate Rentals’ Kristi Campbell recounted for our case study, “With scheduling conflicts, I cleaned an 8-bedroom house on my own from a last-minute booking. I promised myself that would never happen again." We hear your pain, Kristi!

 Property from the GA Luxury Rentals portfolioVanwaw Corporate Rentals automated cleaning to improve performance and reduce the managerial workload.

But the business impact of automating your cleaning operations doesn’t stop there. By moving away from manual processes, you can spend more time on customer service and other value-adding activities, like creating a digital welcome book or developing personalized upsell strategies.

Just as importantly, cleaning automation equips you to scale your operations. As your portfolio grows, an automated system's scalability ensures your processes and standards remain uniform and repeatable, no matter how many rentals you manage.

No more missed cleans and fewer manual tasks
Breezeway automates your processes, minimizes the chance of human error, and helps you provide a more consistent service.

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5 Steps to automate vacation rental cleaning

Automating your vacation rental cleaning process significantly improves your operational efficiency and consistency of the guest experience. Follow these steps to streamline your cleaning tasks and ensure your properties always meet the highest standards of cleanliness.

1. Integrate Breezeway with your PMS

Start by connecting Breezeway with your property management system (PMS).

Linking your PMS account with an operations management system allows for seamless communication between your booking system and cleaning schedules, opening the door to a range of automated processes.

The integration process itself varies from PMS to PMS, but it’s always simple and can take as few as two steps to complete. For example, typically, you get your PMS’s API keys from support, which you add to the relevant integration within your Breezeway account.

With this connection in place, your properties and reservations will start loading to your Breezeway dashboard.

Breezeway integrations within the platformBreezeway connects your latest booking information with your operational processes—the first step to cleaning automation.

2. Add your team, account details, and general settings

Now you can set all the foundations in place for your automated systems:

  • Invite your administrators and service providers
    Add their contact information, roles, and which properties they’ll work on, as well as what days they’re available for work and what notifications they should receive.
  • Customize your account
    Add company information and set up the platform based on your preferences. For example, you can enable certain features like inventory management (which we discuss below) and create your default settings for reservations.

  • Breezeway platform showing general settings for reservationsCustomize the reservation information your cleaning workflows will be based around.

With Breezeway integrated with your PMS, your team added, and the platform customized, you can start setting up fully automated cleaning processes and begin striking off manual tasks from your to-do list.

Replace your manual tasks with automated workflows
Have tasks scheduled and assigned on auto-drive—all based on your customized set of criteria.

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3. Automate cleaning schedules based on the latest booking data

Now you can enable the auto-scheduler and configure Breezeway with your custom rules for each property and reservation type. This is where the fun really begins and you start to save hours of work.

The automations at this stage include:

  • The number of days in advance you want to schedule tasks
    For example, you can set the auto-scheduler to create cleaning tasks for all reservations up to 60 days before the check-in date.
  • Automatically assigned tasks
    This sets up Breezeway to auto-assign cleans to your default housekeepers based on their availability.
  • Automated updates
    This feature ensures that schedules will adjust dynamically according to any changes in the booking information—for example, a change in length of stay or a last-minute cancellation.
  • Property-specific and guest-type rules
    You can create different cleaning workflows based on property attributes (for example, if it has a pool or hot tub), or if the guest is the homeowner (in which case, you could automatically schedule an extra inspection before check-in).

Breezeway platform automated schedulingAuto-scheduling cleaning tasks will immediately save you hours of work.

With this step completed, any time a new booking comes in, Breezeway will automatically create a new cleaning schedule and assign it to the right housekeeper. If you’ve set it up to include an inspection, that’ll be there in the schedule, too.

Housekeepers will be able to see their upcoming assignment in the Breezeway app, as well as the cleaning checklist for each property, which we look at next.

This is an extraordinary time-saving feature that will instantly change your day-to-day.

4. Create digital cleaning and inspection checklists 

The next step is to create and customize your cleaning and inspection checklists

These are dynamic and smart templates that you'll use across all your properties to make sure they’re always immaculate representations of your brand values and ready for even the most discerning of guests.

Breezeway platform showing general settings for reservationsCreate multiple cleaning templates based on property, guest, and stay specifics.

Breezeway’s checklists are organized by:

  • Area – for example, interiors and exteriors
  • Rooms – which can include an outdoor space, like a patio
  • Items – such as specific pieces of furniture or electrical appliances

At each of these levels, you can implement the instructions you wish, including friendly reminders (like “Mop and sweep the floor”) or specific directions (like “Scrub the grout lines behind the taps”). Also, you can add representative photos so your team knows your expectations for each room or item in the property.

Within your checklists, you can also request for the housekeeper to upload photos of their completed work to the app. You can use these photos to share with the homeowner, or you can use them to carry out property inspections remotely—saving you time and making your operations even more scalable.

Breezeway mobile app

Provide housekeepers with a user-friendly mobile app to see their schedules and task requirements.

5. Automate inventory management and linen packing reports

Finally, you need to make sure housekeepers always have the supplies and linens they need for each departure clean, turnover, or mid-stay clean. 

To do this, you need a simple way to track inventory and generate linen packing reports based on the property, guest type, and type of clean:

  • Within the general settings of your Breezeway account, enable inventory management.
    This allows you to upload a list of commonly used items at your properties, which staff can log as they complete each task.
  • Associate supplies with specific tasks.
    Supply counts will now automatically update every time the individual tasks they’re associated with are completed.
  • Automate linen packing reports for each task.
    Customize what linens are needed based on the specifics of each stay and task.

Learn more
See how Daugherty Management used Breezeway’s automated inventory management system to stock their vacation rentals, saving hours on inventory tracking and distribution work each week.

Read the case study

Automated STR cleaning & streamlined operations management

Automating your vacation rental cleaning will save you hours of work, you’ll no longer need to be stuck to your phone as you WhatsApp multiple housekeepers, and guests will get a better experience, too.

Plus, you’ll be able to avoid highly stressful and costly scenarios, like missed cleans and miscommunications. You’ll have schedules mapped out well in advance of check-in dates, and those schedules will automatically update any time there’s a change to your booking information.

All you have to do is:

  • Connect your PMS with Breezeway’s complete operations management system
  • Customize your general settings, including adding your housekeeping team and default check-in and check-out times
  • Enable features like auto-scheduling, inventory management, and linen packing
  • Create customized digital checklists, which your housekeepers can view in the mobile app

With these simple steps completed, your reservations will automatically load into your dashboard, where you’ll be able to see property status across your entire portfolio and watch in real time as each rental property is taken care of.

Breezeway dashboard showing property schedule

Breezeway gives you visibility across your portfolio as cleaning tasks are carried out according to your predetermined specifications.

Automating your cleaning processes gives you more time to focus on high-level STR business concerns, like marketing to new homeowners, creates a scalable set of processes you can replicate as you grow your portfolio, and provides guests with a better, more consistent experience.

No more scheduling turnovers
Create a set of automated cleaning processes, from task scheduling and assignment to quality control and inventory management.

Book a Demo