Carlos’ cleaning company – Hostable Hospitality – is new to the scene, but it is already the #1 ranked service provider on Properly in Austin. Carlos and his team are taking Texas by storm, currently branching out into Houston. We caught up with him to learn how he got into the biz, and how he is using Properly to help drive his company’s success.
Properly: So tell us, Carlos, what drew you to the hospitality cleaning industry?
Carlos: There’s this great book, it’s called the Go-Giver. It talks about being someone who provides value to others, and that really resonated with me. With the help of a friend, I initially started an office and student accommodation cleaning company because it allowed me – as a single dad – to bring my son with me to clean. That was a lot of fun.
Fast forward a bit and I started to briefly host on Airbnb myself. I got to thinking about how I could provide more value to guests, and the idea struck me: a dedicated hospitality cleaning company. Hostable Hospitality was born!
Properly: Would you say that vacation rental cleanings differ much from residential cleaning jobs?
Carlos: Absolutely! In my opinion, they are totally different. We don’t do very many residential cleanings, but when we do, no two are ever the same. Going into a vacation rental cleaning, you know there are always certain things that will need to be done; the predictability makes it a very straightforward experience for us.
Properly: So it’s safe to say that you prefer VR cleaning?
Carlos: For sure. Even before talking to a homeowner, we typically have a good expectation of what we’ll need to do. It gives us a lot more confidence and enables us to do a better job every time.
Properly: What would you say are the most important characteristics of a great VR cleaner?
Carlos: Efficiency, organization and integrity! When we first started interviewing cleaners, this was a hump we had to overcome. Some cleaners were only used to cleaning residential properties, so there was a learning curve; teaching them what to prioritize and what details to look for.
Properly: And how does Properly fit into your business?
Carlos: We joined the Properly app back in January and we’ve had tremendous success with it. I’d recommend it to anybody looking to start a cleaning company or find a side-gig.
The checklists and pictures are the most useful features in my experience. What I’ve found is that hosts want to set all expectations up front, and then take a fairly hands-off approach. With Properly’s visual checklists, it’s easy for them to communicate requirements; and instant photo verification lets us hold ourselves accountable. The relationship is completely transparent and there is rarely any level of miscommunication. I love that.
Properly: Hostable Hospitality is growing fast! Has Properly played a role in that growth?
Carlos: Definitely. Properly enables us to put our company and our services right in front of the hosts and property managers that we want to work with. It’s a fantastic marketing opportunity. I love when somebody new find us through Properly – and that happens quite a bit!
Properly: What advice would you give to other cleaners working in this sector?
Carlos: Always communicate. Ask your client what you can be doing better. The worst thing that can happen is to lose a client because you weren’t clear on their expectations. Check in with them periodically to make sure they’re happy with your services.
And I’d give the same advice to hosts and property managers. Give honest and consistent feedback to your service providers – we aren’t mind readers!
Properly: You’re currently listed as the #1 service provider in Austin. What’s the key to your success?
Carlos: I think it’s persistence. We are working extremely hard on marketing our services and getting out there to get new clients.
Properly: Thanks so much for sharing your insight. Before we finish, it’d be great to learn a little more about you. So, if you could be a guest at a vacation rental in any destination, where would you want to go?
Carlos: Australia! I’ve heard and read so many great things about it, it one place I look forward to visiting.
Properly: As a pro, when you stay at a vacation rental guest, what are the things you look for?
Carlos: I think it’s easy to tell when hosts go the extra mile. I check to see if, for example, the towels and toilet paper are neatly folded. Details like that instantly show me that this host cares.
Properly: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Carlos: Working with people for people. I love that we get to help create memorable experiences for guests.
Properly: And last but not least, what would you say is your cleaning superpower?
Carlos: Supervision! I can’t see through walls, but I can see every tiny little hair in bathrooms and on beds!