They say all good things must come to an end. 

I’ve certainly been feeling that recently. 

I’ve been working with the same cleaner on all of my properties for over a year now. She was dependable, honest, hard-working, and a fantastic cleaner. She was, admittedly, not fantastic in the communication department, but she always got the job done, so I didn’t worry too much about that. 

But a while back, something started to change. Her work had gotten sloppier and lazier, while at the same time her communication had also tanked. She became erratic and unreliable. After several missed cleanings and hugely unprofessional messages, I finally came to the difficult decision of letting her go. 

This was so hard for me – for several reasons. For one, she really did great work and was one of the cheapest cleaners around (too cheap, in fact – I kept telling her she needed to raise her rates). I also genuinely liked her as a person and wanted to see her succeed. 

But in the end, the drama proved too much for me, and I had to move on to someone else.

I’ve learned 2 important lessons from this unhappy saga. 

First, your top priority should be to get a good cleaner!

They’re worth their weight in gold. If you have found one of those, you need to do everything you can to keep them happy and make them feel appreciated.

  • Pay them promptly.
  • Give them occasional unexpected bonuses.
  • Text them periodically just to say that you appreciate their work.
  • Don’t make unreasonable expectations of them.
  • Be willing to block off time on your properties to allow them to get the job done the next day if they need it.
  • Be mindful that they have a life outside of cleaning, and respect that. 

Some people might struggle with going above and beyond for their cleaners. They feel like these tactics will lose them money and don’t necessarily see the point. 

I promise you, in the long run, you’ll lose much more money (and sanity!) with an unhappy cleaner. There will always be more guests and more bookings. Finding a good cleaner is hard because they are few and far between. If you’ve got one you need to do everything you can to hang onto them. 

The second important lesson that I learned is that if something is not working for you, you need to change it ASAP.

In my situation, as in most, that meant first talking with my cleaner and seeing if we could sort out our differences. But if that doesn’t work, you need to do whatever you can to get into a better place. Don’t hold onto things you’ve done or people you’ve worked with in the past just because they used to work well. If they’re not working well now, if they’re causing you unnecessary stress and drama, you need to cut them loose and find something (or someone) that works better for you. 

Don’t be sentimental or soft-hearted with stuff like this. Your own mental sanity, the stability of your family, and the success of your rental all depend on this. It’s important to have a well-functioning machine you can depend on. Anything less than that is simply unacceptable.

What about you? Have you had problems with your cleaners – how did you handle them?