Finding and managing reliable services for cleaning and maintenance
Many vacation home owners choose to manage their own properties to avoid costly property management fees.. A common question arises when making this decision: How can I find quality maintenance and reliable services to help maintain my property?
Start by asking your neighbours and friends in the area for referrals. Notice boards, classified ads, the local yellow pages or online searches are also good alternatives. Both Google and Yahoo are now offering local searches of business at http://local.google.com and http://local.yahoo.com. Start here by searching for cleaning services in your area, and then research the reviews that are posted online. Reviews always give you a good idea for how popular and respected various services are.
Here are a few good examples:
One decision you will have to make: Do you want an individual housekeeper and maintenance person or to work with a larger full-service company? Individual housekeepers offer a more personalized service and are generally flexible in their schedules. Although, if they are busy or sick, backup coverage can be hard to find. A cleaning service company adheres to a list of defined processes and schedules. Having multiple staff can allow for quicker cleaning times and backup coverage.
The most important thing to think about and communicate is your cleaning and maintenance expectations. Write a list of rooms, objects and any special areas that you would like cleaned. Think about how many hours it takes you to clean these things to get a good idea of how many hours you should ask the cleaner to work for. Be clear and specific about what you need done. Write down a list for the cleaner of each room and your expectations in point form such as: “vacuum all carpets upon a guest leaving” or “dust the blinds in the living room once a month”. Post a copy of these notes in a location of the home so cleaning crews can refer to them from time to time too.
By treating your cleaners respectfully, they will respond kindly. Detailed and frequent communication is extremely important. A good cleaning firm or person can be invaluable since they can act as your inspector and notify you of any damage or problems that may occur to your property.
As for maintenance service, a reliable handyman is also important, especially if you are managing a remote property. Much like selecting a housekeeper, you will have to decide on an individual handyman or a service firm that specializes in property management service work (i.e., apartments, resort complexes etc.).