Cleaning Tests From A Rental Property Manager

Tests and traps are set all the time for house cleaners and maids. Clients hide things for the cleaning provider to find to see how thorough they are.

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at some tests from a rental property manager. It’s a mini cleaning masterclass. Learn to ace these tests and have a steady stream of work from clients who want speed cleaning and quality.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: How Do You Choose Housekeepers For Your Rental Properties?

Today the show is a little bit different because I’m not the one with the answer, I’m the one with the question.Rental Property tests, house clip art with cleaning icons

So, I ran into a property manager who manages over fifty properties. And they are all high-end properties where people rent like $3,000 a week for a particular property that someone else owns.
So this guy just manages all the properties and he hires the house cleaners that come into clean the house.
So, my question to him was “How do you find and how do you choose a house cleaner for the properties that you manage?”

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Answer: Cleaning Specialists Must Pass A Series of Mystery Tests

And his answer was very interesting.
He says “I run my house cleaners through a test unbeknownst to them. I hide a series of things inside the home where they are going to be cleaning.
Because I want to make sure that they are thorough and that they do a really great job.”

Customers Hide Things As Tests Of Cleanliness for House Cleaners

Rental Property tests, bathroom ceilingBefore the house cleaner comes is he takes a cotton ball and he hides it behind the toilet, on the base of the toilet there’s a little knob. He hides it down there just to see if they actually get down there and clean the base of the toilet.
Then after they have cleaned, he sits on the toilet and he looks up in the corners of the room and he checks for cobwebs. And he looks up at the light and the air vent fan.
Because people will be spending some time in that particular space.

And so when the door is closed, are the backs of the doors clean?
Are the corners of the floor free from dust, and debris, and hair and things like that?

You would think that it’s easy to just go in and clean a rental property because people come and go. No particular person paying attention to the work you do. But the truth of the matter is people spending that much money want a place that is equivalent to the home that they live in. Right?
They want to make sure that it’s clean and tidy.

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Rental Property Manager Has Lots of Tidiness Tests

And then there’s this stigma around a bunch of previous renters who have left germs in the rental properties.

So you want to go out of your way to make sure that you do an excellent cleaning job if you’re auditioning for the contract. A regular series of rental properties on your roster is a full-time job. 

After he sits on the toilet, looking around the room he goes down and he sits at the dining room table.Rental Property tests, dining room with chandelier
Because when you’re on vacation, often times you will sit down and visit at the dining room table.

And he looks up at that lights and the corners of the room. He wants to make sure that the light bulbs on the chandeliers have been polished. And that there is no dust or cobwebs visible to the guest.

Fingerprint Tests Are Never Rigged

And he wants to make sure that there are no fingerprints or visible fingerprints in the kitchen where these people are going to be spending the bulk of their time. 

Fingerprint tests are never rigged, but an owner may take note of, and test you on visible fingerprints.  Hint: microwave handles, fridge handles, dishwasher handles, on the cupboards around knobs, garbage can, doors, door jams, glass surfaces such as tables etc.)

Tests Include Most Time Spent In This Spot

Rental Property tests, coin under the rugThen he also does some other tests in the house to ensure it’s clean.
He stands by the head of the beds. If guests are lounging about and they are lying in bed and they look up at the ceiling, are there any cobwebs while they are in this space?

Another one of his tests is he hides a coin underneath one of the mats in the kitchen.
And if you pick up the mat and you clean underneath it, you will find that coin.

Very rarely do house cleaners ever put the coin back under the mat. They put them up on the counter or they put them in a dish, or give them back to the owner or leave them with their worksheet.
So a missing coin after your cleaning means that you passed the tests.

It is important as a cleaning technician to recognize the fact that sometimes customers are putting you through tests.

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Customers Create  Cleaning Tests To Ensure They Made The Right Hiring Choice

I had a particular customer when I went to his house because he wanted to see if I would dust the blinds. He would take the two little cords where you pull the blinds and the blinds would go up. He would take them and twist them. Like five or six times.

And if I had pulled them to open the blinds, they would come unjumbled.
And so if they were unjumbled and everything was put back the way they were supposed to be he would know that I had cleaned the blinds.

And so, as a house cleaner, I don’t know what they all the tests are. They are different for every customer.
But there are tests. (And I’ll tell you a secret.) Most customers are not creative enough to come up with different tests every week.

So once you find out what their test is, it’s kind of a game, but you can fix that every single cleaning.
Because if they are hiding coins under the mat, they are going to keep hiding coins.

Cleanliness Tests Have a Life Span

They may have two or three different ones but it’s very rare that a customer would have twenty-six different tests for the house cleaner.
And if they did, and you were there for all twenty-six of the tests guess what? You passed because you’re still there. After a while, the homeowner or property manager usually loses interest in testing the cleaning provider.

So from this particular property management company, it was great to hear how the customer views things and what they’re expecting when they hire a house cleaner.
So I wanted to share that with you.

Share Spacer Savvy CleanerAlright, that’s it for today. So, until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company