Creating Effective Checklists: Guidelines and Best Practices
By Properly / 03.10
The goal of your checklist(s) is to provide a tool for service providers to convey detailed reminders and instructions, while not adding unnecessary complexity to their work. Toward that goal, we recommend that your checklists not be overloaded with standard cleaning tasks that a service provider knows to do, such as cleaning the toilet or the kitchen sink. (However, you know your team best, and if you think cleaning tasks should be included, do add them.)
What to Include
In general: We recommend no more than 3-4 task pins per photo slide and 2-3 slides per room in a home.
Time Sensitive Tasks: Start every checklists with tasks the are time sensitive and need to be done right away such as starting the dishwasher or laundry or inspecting for damages and sending problem reports.
Hospitality touches: This could include things such as arranging a welcome basket, leaving a card for the guests or turning accent lights or music on for guests’ arrival.
Operational Tasks: What operational tasks need to be tended to at each property such as resetting the thermostat, leaving the key, checking to make sure light bulbs work, checking the wifi, checking the TV or other electronics.
Restocking Reminders: What items need to be restocking or refilled? Coffee beans, tea, bathroom amenities or paper product?
Easily forgotten, highly repeatable mistakes: It is wise to include reminders such as checking for left behind items from the last guests or cleaning out the refrigerator of the last guests’ leftovers.
Specialty Cleaning Tasks: Include specialty cleaning tasks such as baseboards, a specific cleaning product that should be used or a complex cleaning task that requires pictures to convey clear instructions.
Staging and Presentation: It is critical that a home be clean, but it is just as important that it be presented beautifully. Include listing or other photos for service providers to use as a reference for how to stage.
Owner Requirements: Be sure to include any owner requirements in your checklist. And be sure to let them know their important tasks and quality checks have been included in your processes. It’s a good way to create a loyal customer for life.
Verification Photos: Consider what images you (or your client) want to view or have a record of for the finished job. You may choose to ask for photos of rooms that are staged or of operational tasks like an empty dishwasher.
Inventory or Location: Include reference photos of the insides of cabinets or closets if you (or your client) is particular about where items belong in the house or inventory of house or other amenities.
Using Properly’s Text Templates
Properly’s text templates are a convenient and efficient way to create a checklist. Our templates can be edited and we highly recommend that if you use them, that you review and edit them to ensure they are relevant for the property and job. You can edit, delete and add tasks on our templates.
Creating Customized Checklists for Various Use Cases
Properly allows you to create as many checklists per property as you wish. Take advantage so you are always prepared with visual instructions to send to a service provider.
- Home Setup: If a listing requires a different set up depending on the guests checking in, create a customized checklist. Here are some examples. Perhaps an additional bed needs to be made for a higher guest count or different amenities need to be put out for guests with kids or guests with a dog.
- Guest Hospitality: You can use Properly checklists to customize hospitality for guests. Here’s an example. If you have a guest celebrating a birthday, you can create a checklists specifically for this occasion and include your hospitality touches that acknowledge a birthday such as a Happy Birthday banner, a birthday card or a gift certificate for your favorite cupcake shop.
- Regular Maintenance or Safety Inspections: Have checklists ready for regular safety or maintenance property inspections.
- Deep Cleaning: Create checklists that include deep cleaning tasks.
- Seasonal Requirements: Do you manage properties in locations that require seasonal maintenance? Perhaps a dock needs to be installed or a property needs to be winterized. You can create customized checklists and easily send them when the task is required.