How to Find a Housekeeper for Airbnb

I’ve had my fair share of housekeeping nightmares but I have always believed that there was that perfect housekeeper out there. What I realized is that in the Philippines it is very hard to come by a professional housekeeper. If you want the perfect housekeeper, you will have to train them yourself, give them guidelines, and have good communication.

The Housekeeping Service in Baguio

I have Airbnb condos in Manila and Baguio. Manila is easier to manage since it’s where I live but I had to find a way to manage my condo in Baguio from afar. I searched through Facebook and found a housekeeping service called Maid of Wonder Service Provider in Baguio that were extremely efficient and accommodating. For 3 hours of cleaning, the rate I pay is 250 Philippine Pesos. I deposit funds to the manager every month for my housekeeper’s salary, condo toiletries, and laundry costs. When they are low on funds they give me a breakdown of the money that was spent with scanned receipts.

Where to Search for a Housekeeping Service

I suggest to search on Facebook and Google to find a housekeeping service in your area. On the search bar I’d type, “Maids (Location)” or “Housekeeping (Location)”. Click on a page with more than 1k likes and good reviews. Send them a message and explain that you are searching for an on-call housekeeper for a bed and breakfast home.

I searched for “Maids Manila” on Facebook and found many pages that provide housekeeping services in the area. Several caught my attention such as Maid by Alona, with more than 3k likes and a 4.7 rating. There are also pages that have more than 25k likes but no reviews like MaidProvider.ph but it is your decision on which business has the information you are looking for and seems to be a better fit. Try messaging several pages to see which responds faster, provides the best rates, and is more organized.

Airbnb Housekeeping Introduction:

  • Bring them to the home and familiarize them with the space.
  • Show them your laminated Airbnb Cleaning Checklist.
  • Have them clean the condo once.
  • Inspect their work and notify them on what they did correctly and what can be done differently.
  • Tell them your guest check out and check-in time. This gives them the amount of time they have to clean. For example: My guests check out at 11am and check-in at 2pm which gives the housekeeper 3 hours to clean the place.
  • Once a guest books, text the housekeeper for example: “Can you please clean on January 1, 3, 8, 15, and 22? These are the dates that I have guests checking out. Please confirm, thank you!” Then, ensure that your housekeeper puts them in her calendar.
  • Use an app like Viber, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger to communicate while your housekeeper is cleaning. This will ensure you that the wifi is working.
  • Instruct your housekeeper to message you when she has arrived to your home and once she has finished her work.
  • Have her explain what the condo was like when she arrived, whether the guest was messy or clean. This is for the review you will leave on Airbnb later.
  • If guests message to complain about cleanliness, forward it to your housekeeper so that she does not repeat any mistakes.

This process has worked very well for me and I have had high reviews for cleanliness from guests. I like to tell my housekeeper when someone has left a good review so that they know they are doing a good job.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below! I hope you are able to find the right housekeeper for your Airbnb home, good luck!

Julia Quisumbing

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How I Make Extra Income by Co-Hosting a Home on Airbnb

Last year my father asked me to find him a 30-48sqm condo in BGC to invest in. I used my House Hunting Apps to choose units I liked and set up several viewings. My idea was to find a damaged and old condo in the best area. I chose Burgos Circle (BGC) and went to see a 37sqm studio on the top floor of Forbeswood Heights. Since it was a penthouse unit, the ceilings were high and it felt very spacious. The view was of the Manila Golf and Makati skyline. These features including the location of the complex were what caught my attention. The building was across a grocery store, walking distance to a mall and cinema, and was surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, drug stores, and convenience stores. The actual unit was a mess, deteriorated, poorly decorated, and dirty. Most people would walk away and not give the place another thought, but I believed it would be the perfect investment.

Before buying the condo, I asked the tenant how much her rent was and she replied, “P25,000/month” ($495). After renovations, I knew my father could only rent it out for P30,000/month ($594), which made renovations seem unnecessary. I wanted to make it worthwhile for him and make extra income for myself. I told him that we could make double or triple the monthly income if I put the condo up on Airbnb and managed it for him. Honestly, I had no experience with Airbnb but it was a risk I wanted to take as any entrepreneur would. My first investment in Baguio called, “Julia’s Cozy Mountain Condo” was still being built at the time and I only hoped that my statement of double profit would come true. I did go through a lot of ‘what ifs’ and doubts but I pushed myself through to the end. The most important thing was to prove to my father that he could trust I’d make it work. I had a good feeling about it and I believe you should always follow your instincts.

This unit was for sale at P4M ($79,300). We first offered them P3.5M ($69,400) which they declined. Then we increased the offer to P3.7M ($73,300) where they finally reduced their price and agreed to sell it for P3.8M ($75,300). I set up the meeting for my father and the owners to sign the Deed of Absolute Sale. As soon as the payment was made and the title was handed over to us, I hired a contractor and got to work.

Construction began and we completely turned the place upside down. All of the old furniture was thrown out, a door was added to convert it to a 1-bedroom, a split type air-conditioner was installed in the living room, the bathroom was remodeled, and a decorative feature was added to draw the attention of Airbnb guests; Brick walls. The decision to make the unit a 1-bedroom was to create more income. I placed a Queen size mattress in the bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room. The unit could now accommodate 4 guests at a time with a door for privacy.

Once I finished decorating the condo, I supplied essential amenities that would ensure that all guest’s would have a memorable stay.  I trained my housekeepers how to properly clean and turnover a nightly rental with my laminated cleaning checklist. Once everything was set, I put “Julia’s Urban Brick Condo” on Airbnb and immediately started getting bookings. I only had a few ratings as a host from my Baguio condo that I posted a couple of weeks before. I knew I had to increase my rating as quick as possible so I was happy that the process was sped up by having two homes on Airbnb.

Julia’s Urban Brick Condo” has a nightly price of P2,850 ($56), weekend nightly price of P3,050 ($60), cleaning fee of P500 ($10), Extra guest charge of P400 ($8) per person after 2, and weekly and monthly discounts. Our average monthly sales are around P70,000 ($1,390) and the average profit after bills is around P60,000 ($1,190). My statement had come true; we are earning double the profit of a regular rental and are recuperating the investment twice as fast.

My father is a very successful lawyer and partner of his firm. He knows how to play the game, he told me I could take 15% for managing the condo, I declined and said 30%, then he responded by increasing it to 25%, and I accepted. I’ve learned a lot from my father and he has been the best and most difficult teacher I could ask for. He never just handed something over to me, I’ve always had to work for it. I earn around P15,000 to P20,000 every month by managing (co-hosting) my father’s condo. That is around the same amount as many home-owners earn regularly by renting out a studio. I do everything on my phone and it takes very little time out of my day. I explain my daily tasks and the processes I go through in my post “How to Become a Superhost on Airbnb“.

You can become a neighborhood co-host with anyone, either solely managing their home or being a co-host meaning that you and the owner will both have access to the account to receive alerts and notifications. If you approach an Airbnb host or person who owns their home, you can offer your services to manage their listing for a percentage. I can imagine a lot of home-owners would like to do this if they travel a lot and especially if they’d like to earn a large profit without the headache of managing it.

For the last 5 months, the two small studio units combined have earned us more than half a million pesos ($10,000) on Airbnb. I’ve gained a lot of experience hosting two condos on Airbnb and cannot wait for my next unit to be ready! The income I will make from all 3 units will support my future investments and businesses.

My advice is to follow your gut, take risks even though you aren’t in any position to do so, follow-through, go over the top, and always believe in yourself. Try to filter out those doubtful voices, even if they are your own. Good Luck!

Julia Quisumbing

How to Become a Superhost on Airbnb

I posted two of my condos on Airbnb in July 2017 and for 4 months I aimed to be a Superhost. I was able to complete a total of 45 trips and achieve Superhost status in early October 2017. It was an amazing experience that taught me to be more organized, and forced me to look my procrastination in the eye and kick it out the door!

If you would like to rent your place out on Airbnb, you could use my referral code here.

What benefits do Superhosts get?

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.21.31 AM (1)Badge- You get this cool little Superhost badge on your host profile and all of your listings. This notifies guests that you have the highest standards of hospitality on Airbnb.

Priority Support – You get priority when you call Airbnb or tweet Airbnb @Airbnbhelp. I can request them to call me and they usually do right away, and someone is on the line with me within 10 minutes.

Search Filter – There is a search filter where guests can only see listings by hosts with Superhost status. This is a good opportunity to get more bookings since people will see you are trust-worthy and easy to communicate with.

Travel Coupon – If you are able to sustain your Superhost status for a year (4-evaluation periods) and have an active listing on the same day that you received your Superhost status the year prior, you’ll receive $100 USD travel coupon to use on Airbnb.

Product Exclusives – You get invited to preview new releases and events.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 1.24.45 PM

How to become a SuperHost? 

To become a Superhost you need to achieve a certain amount of bookings and reviews, and also keep your standards at a certain rate through an assessment period. I did so from July to October where Airbnb assessed my ratings and granted me Superhost status.

I knew very little about hosting on Airbnb and had only used the app twice as a guest. I knew I needed to find my own style since I didn’t have anyone to mentor me. I wanted to provide personalized hospitality to my guests. I thought about the things that I would appreciate and then sought out to please my guests in every possible way.

Below is the Superhost requirements (left) and my Superhost achievements (right) from July – October 2017. (Screenshot taken on October 24, 2017)

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Superhost Advice

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWJsgKqjyz0/?taken-by=juliaquis

Quick Responses and Communication

I respond the instant I see an inquiry or booking – no waiting till later. This is to keep my response rate up. If you can’t respond right away, try to respond in less than an hour more than 80% of the time.When I wake up, I get my phone and turn silent mode off so I’m able to hear Airbnb notifications all day. That Airbnb app notification is a pleasant sound because it gives you a boost of endorphins! It’s a reminder that, “You just made money!” or “You’re about to make money!”

If I leave a WiFi area, I turn my 3G on so that I constantly have internet on my phone. I also turn on my SMS and Email notifications in case I don’t see the Airbnb notification. Three is better than one, it’s crazy but hey that’s how you make money.

The guest is always right. You will get guests that are hard to deal with but always make it seem like nothing was there fault. Example: If they have trouble with something and it was their fault, apologize for the inconvenience anyways. The guest must never feel that they are being spoken down to, they should always feel special.

If guests ask questions about the listing that are answered in the listing, just reply with the answer and not by telling them to finish reading the listing information. Don’t cut corners, always be willing to answer any question or concern.

Your hospitality will pay off when you receive a 5-star review. It is important to have good communication in case there are issues so that you can respond and solve any problem quickly. Your guest will see this and be grateful for it. If your guest hasn’t written a review for days, it is ok to send a polite request message.

Registration

If you own a house then this does not apply to you. If you own a condo, then you will have to speak to your administration to see if they allow daily rentals on Airbnb. I like doing everything online so I asked my admin if they could send me the guest registration form through email. I saved a document in my computer and in my Microsoft Word App on my iPhone. That way, I can work on the go.

On the guest registration document, I saved my electronic signature over my name along with my unit number so that every time I register a new guest, all I have to do is input their names and dates. I then email the document to the admin always requesting them to confirm receipt. You don’t want to just guess they received the email.

I only register guests that arrive in a week to be sure that admin is aware near the date. I’ve had experiences where the admin gave my registration to the lobby who then misplaced the document. If this happens, it could affect your guest’s check-in experience and they may give you a lower rating. Always be sure and always be ready.

Check-In

Always greet your guests with a smile and a warm greeting. Provide coffee or tea for their arrival. Tell them about the area; what nice areas to walk around, activities to do, places to eat and more. Give them privacy and only check on them after a day or more. If they don’t contact you, it’s because they are enjoying themselves.

If you want to do Airbnb in a more sufficient and detached way that’s great as well. Actually, I  prefer this because I have a busy lifestyle and can manage many condos at once from from afar. The more listings you have, the more difficult it will be to greet every guest you have in person. You can provide the same hospitality without physically being there. I’d suggest adding a self check-in feature to your listing by getting a Smart Key Lock or Smart Key Box. This is attractive for businessmen, late travelers, and people who appreciate a quick and efficient check-in. It also makes a host’s life stress-free and easy like Sunday morning.

To learn about which self check-in feature I use, please read my blog post igloohome Smart KeyBox for Airbnb.

Amenities

There are listings that you will be competing with in your area. Check out other listings and see what amenities they offer. There are essential items for a daily rental and items you can add to give you leverage over your competition. Try to provide as many amenities as you can in your budget.

If you would like to see which amenities I provide for my Airbnb listings, please click here.

Cleanliness

Find a few trustworthy housekeepers that have flexible schedules. You always need more than one in case of emergencies. Create a cleaning checklist, laminate it, and place it in a cupboard for them to take note of every time they clean. For the first few bookings, be there to instruct them with the cleaning checklist and ensure that they know exactly how you’d like the space cleaned and where items should be placed. Not all housekeepers have worked at a hotel so it is your job to teach them a new set of standards; organization and consistency.

I also instruct my housekeeper to check if everything in the condo is still working because things do break down! I have them test the lights, TV, WiFi, appliances, water pressure, and water heater.

I had my housekeepers download Viber so when they arrive to the condo, they snap a few photos before they clean and send it to me. To give a proper guest review, I’d need to see how they left the condo. This helps the Airbnb community by providing future hosts with information on the guest.

If you would like to see my cleaning checklist as an example, please click here.

Check Out

Give your guests a checkout reminder – not more than once. If you don’t remind them, they might “accidentally” stay past checkout time. Who hasn’t tried to extend their stay even if it’s for a couple of minutes right? I completely understand. That’s why I always send my checkout reminder “saved response” and send it the night prior or the morning of departure.

My next Superhost assessment will be on January 1, 2018 so I will be striving to keep my ratings and bookings up with a constant search to improve my listing and myself.

If you would like to rent your place out on Airbnb, you could use my referral code here.

Thank you for reading!

Julia Quisumbing

Airbnb Self Check-In (Smart Lock)

I bought a Igloohome Smart Lock when I listed “Julia’s Urban Brick Condo” on Airbnb. I wanted to provide my guests with a self check-in service because I travel a lot. I bought the Smart Keybox and drilled it to the front door of my condo. All you have to do is enter the pin, open the keybox, get the keys, and close it. Igloohome is the most amazing digital lock system that you can ask for! Why?

 Easy Access

You can let anyone in the door even if you are miles away using the Igloohome app. All you need to do is generate a pin and forward it. You can even choose how long that person can use that pin!

Types of Pin Codes:

– Master PIN: This pin never expires and it is mainly for the owners of the home.

– One Time PIN: This pin can only be used once and it is for people to get into your home that single time.

– Permanent PIN: This pin code never changes and is good for your housekeeper.

– Duration PIN: This pin code is temporary and it only activates from the time and date specified then deactivates at a chosen time and date. This is good for guests and people who would like to drop something off at your home.

You can also unlock the key box by using Bluetooth and being in range with your smart phone.

Airbnb Management

The best part is if you are hosting on Airbnb, your life will become extremely easy. First, you connect your Airbnb listing to your Igloohome app. Once a guest books your home on Airbnb, Igloohome automatically sends an email to your guests notifying them that you have a smart key box and that the pin code will be sent to them 1 hour before check-in and activated at check-in time. On the day the guest checks in, Igloohome automatically generates a duration pin and sends it to the guest with instructions. The pin code will expire at the time and date the guest checks out. Like I said, easy peasy! The Airbnb service is free until a certain amount of time and then it will cost USD$4.99/month.

What does it Fit?

  • 6 physical keys
  • 7 key cards
  • Sim Cards
  • Transport Cards
  • Small items for guests

No WiFi

This smart key box does not need an internet connection. This seems hard to believe but it’s true! The smart lock and your Igloohome app will synchronize even before you install the lock. It is battery operated and even sends a notification to your phone when it is low. I’ve been using it for 4 months now and haven’t had to change the battery! If you would like to know more on how this works, read here.

Housekeeping

After the guest checks out, housekeeping uses their permanent pin code to clean the condo. Afterwards, they return the key to the key box for the next guest to check-in.

Price

I bought it on the Igloohome website and it costed USD$169 – worth every penny!

Julia Quisumbing

Airbnb Cleaning Checklist

Even if you have the best housekeeper in the world, I’d suggest still making a cleaning checklist. It’s a tough job turning over a whole home in just a couple of hours so to make certain that there are no mistakes, provide your housekeeper with a cleaning checklist.

I have printed and laminated two copies of the cleaning checklist I created below for my two Airbnb condos. I always urge my housekeepers to use the checklist even if they already know what to do. This is just in case they forget something. That one mistake can land you a low “Cleanliness” review and affect future bookings. This is a useful list to follow so feel free to take it and adapt it to your home!


Cleaning Checklist

 

Kitchen

  • Clean appliances, counters, cabinets, and chairs.
  • Throw out Trash.
  • Wash dishes.
  • Clean, scrub, and sanitize sinks, countertops, and backsplashes.
  • Clean, wipe around stove top.
  • Clean appliance exteriors, including the inside of toaster and water boiler.
  • Clean inside and outside of refrigerator and microwave.
  • Sweep and Mop floor.
  • Quickly organize cupboards.
  • Restock if needed liquid dish soap, and trash bags.
  • Put out clean dish towel, and dish rag/sponge.

 

Living Room

  • Clean and dust.
  • Dust window sills and ledges.
  • Dust furniture, curtains, picture frames, TV, and lamps.
  • Sweep and Mop floor.
  • Wash windows (inside and outside) on sliding glass doors (be careful of window stickers).

 

Bedroom

  • Change sheets, duvet cover, and pillowcases.
  • Sweep floor and under beds, and mop.
  • Check for personal belongings left in drawers and closets.
  • Dust furniture and clean mirrors.
  • Make sure light bulbs are not burned out (replace if needed).
  • Check for damage or stains on sheets and blankets.
  • Take dirty sheets, duvet cover and pillow cases to laundry.

 

Bathroom

  • Clean, scrub and sanitize showers, sinks, and backsplashes.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Clean and sanitize toilets.
  • Polish faucets.
  • Wash floors and tile walls.
  • Empty trashcan and replace trash bag.
  • Replenish liquid hand soap.
  • Supply clean linens, 2 big towels, 2 hand towels, and 1 shower mat.
  • Take dirty towels and shower mat to laundry.

 

Other areas

  • Check light bulbs and change if necessary.
  • Notify Julia immediately if you notice any damages, missing items, or if the home was left excessively dirty.
  • Check if copy of Main key and bathroom key is in locked drawer

 

 

Supply & Maintenance Checklist

 

Exterior

  • Clean air-conditioning unit (every few months).
  • Examine the septic system for flooding or unusual odor.

 

Supply Closet

  • Restock paper products (toilet paper, etc.).
  • Restock cleaning supplies that you leave for your guests including: all-purpose leaner/disinfectant, dishwasher detergent, window-cleaner.
  • Restock trash bags.
  • Check brooms and mops to see if they need replacing.

 

Must-Have Items

  • Broom and mop.
  • Various cleaning solutions, including window cleaner, bleach, and disinfectant.
  • Extra batteries for TV and AC remotes.
  • Light bulbs, in all sizes and watts, including appliance bulbs.

 

General Cleaning Tasks

  • Spot clean the walls, doorknobs, and light switches.
  • Dust the decor (photos, framed art, etc.).
  • Look for signs of pests.
  • Clean the windows.

 

 

How to Operate Samsung Smart TV

 

Check if NETFLIX is Connected

  1. Turn TV on
  2. Press SMART HUB on remote
  3. Select NETFLIX
  4. If TV says “Preparing the TV…Please try again later.” Just wait for a minute or so and then try again.
  5. If Airbnb picture shows up it is connected
  6. Turn TV off

 

If Netflix is signed out

  1. Select NETFLIX
  2. Select Sign in
  3. Contact Julia to ask for password
  4. Enter Password
  5. Select Next
  6. It is now connected to NETFLIX

 

If you select NETFLIX or YOUTUBE and a message says, “You’re not connected to the network. Check the network Status and connect to the Internet to use this service.”

  1. Press MENU
  2. Scroll down to Network
  3. Press on right arrow >
  4. Press on Network Settings
  5. Select: PLDTHOMEDSL……
  6. Enter Password: PLDTWIFI……
  7. Press Done
  8. If it says “You are connected to the Internet”, check if Netflix is connected.

Turn everything off before leaving.

THANK YOU!


Hope this helps and good luck! Thank you for reading.

 

Julia Quisumbing