How can holiday cottage owners help their housekeeper produce 5 star reviews?

When polled, guests always rate housekeeping as the most important element that can effect their holiday.  But as an owner are you doing all you can to help your housekeeper flourish?

With a staffing crisis affecting all aspects of the tourism trade, its more important than ever to attract the best housekeeping candidates, show them you appreciate their work and retain them. 

A successful holiday home can not succeed without a good housekeeper – here are our top tips for holiday cottage owners: 

1. A lockable storage area

Its super important to provide a well stocked, lockable storage area for housekeeping supplies.  We advise having a number code rather than key for lockable area.  Housekeepers often live week to week and do not have spare funds to purchase large stocks.  Its also much cheaper for owners to bulk buy items such as loo rolls. 

Housekeepers need the following items:

Loo rolls – Pedal bin liners – Hand soap refills – Soaps if you provide – New Sponges – J cloth rolls – Dishwasher tab – Washing machine tabs – Tea – Coffee – Sugar – Salt – Bin Liners  – Welcome gifts – washing up liquid refill

Hoover Bags – Lightbulbs – dishwasher salt – spare cushions / sofa throws / table cloths

2.  A great hoover

Whilst upright hoovers generally work better on carpets, the hose is often time consuming to remove.  We recommend a pull along hoover like a Miele or Henry.  Dont buy a rechargeable hoover as the charge is not enough for a whole house.  Also avoid those that need emptying often.  Also make sure your hoover has a long lead!

Top tip – Help your housekeeper by emptying the hoover when you are on site.

3.  Owner reservations

When we polled our housekeepers, one of their pet peeves was having to wait for owners to vacate and finding an untidy house after owners friends have stayed.  Housekeepers dont like to clean supervised and feel unappreciated if houses are left untidy.  Speak to your family and friends and ask them to make sure the dishwasher is emptied and beds are stripped.

4.  Make contact with your housekeeper

Housekeepers like to liaise with owners.  They tend to stay longer and generally reviews are better if they personally know the owner.

5.  Send a christmas card.

We always send out the housekeepers address before Christmas.  We urge owners to send a thank you – it will help retain a housekeeper into the new season.  Alternatively leave a little note of thanks and maybe a box of chocolates if you are really pleased with their work!

6.  Cleaning utensils

Make sure your cottage is equipped with a great cobweb brush, mob and bucket, dustpan and brush.  Make sure they are easy to reach.  Housekeepers work at speed and appreciate items that make life easy.

7.  Deep Cleaning

Always opt for a pre-season deep clean.

8.  Extra Time

Dont quibble about the odd extra half an hour here and there.  The hours quoted for a clean do not often cover deep cleaning or cover a full house in August.  Its a great sign if a housekeeper is being diligent and needs a little bit of extra time to make sure your cottage is in tip top condition.  

9.  Maintenance

Good housekeeping can not cover poor maintenance – is your cottage in tip top condition?  There’s nothing worse than completing a clean (often in hot weather) and not feeling satisfied with the job you have done because the paintwork is not fresh.  Owners can help by making sure window frames are regularly repainted, wall scuffs are touched up and general maintenance is well attended to.  That way you will attract and retain the best housekeepers.

Dont expect housekeepers to remove mould during routine cleaning, it takes away time from their duties and its often hard to reach.  Either attend to this during owner reservations or improve ventilation / add signs for guests.

10.  Reviews

Always listen to housekeeper requests and reviews.  The best housekeepers are perfectionists and you will want to keep them.