The Stumbling Block
Kleenerly began with a bang: Ricardo and Annette had already sourced their first major client, a corporate rental company with over 80 properties in the immediate area. They dove in with enthusiasm, quickly sourcing and training their first “turnover specialists,” most of whom are still with the company today.
The feedback on Kleenerly’s service was exceptional, but “I felt like my entire day consisted of scheduling, talking to clients, communicating to the team members, letting them know about last-minute bookings, answering texts saying ‘I can’t find the address for this property,’” says Annette, “I was under the entire day, at least 7-10 hours a day.”
Part of the problem was simply that Ricardo and Annette couldn’t be everywhere at once. “There was no visibility for us,” says Ricardo. “Are they really at the property? Did they start the job, did they finish the job? We had to manually reach out to each person to check so we could be sure the property was ready for the guest to arrive.”
While the founders of many new companies work around the clock when they first get started, Annette and Ricardo knew this wouldn’t be sustainable as they grew. And they were growing rapidly – it only took a few months to go from their first client of 80 properties to multiple clients totaling about 125 properties. They started looking around for scalable solutions.
The Kleenerly cofounders tried out quite a few different apps and platforms before deciding on their winner. “We quickly realized Properly was the perfect fit for our very specific needs and expectations.” Ease of onboarding, visual checklists that made it possible for any of Kleenerly’s turnover specialists to see exactly what was needed in each property, and real-time feedback were just a few of the reasons Ricardo and Annette credit Properly with a great deal of their success.
“It only takes me like 2 hours to schedule on Properly,” Annette says – a pretty impressive number, considering the duo now manage turnovers for 300 properties. “Thinking back to two years ago, I was scheduling for my entire workday if not more, and we had fewer properties then!”
That newly freed-up time has huge benefits for the business: “Properly won us 6-7 hours a day where we could look at everything from a birds-eye perspective,” says Ricardo. “It gave us the time we didn’t have before to figure out better processes, focus on big-picture goals, and grow into new markets.”
And grow they did. With Properly’s integrations with major PMS, it was easy for Kleenerly to add new clients – and locations – to its roster. “Our second large PM had 25 units and were using Guesty,” Ricardo says. “With one click on Properly, it was a perfect integration. All we had to do was duplicate our standard cleaning checklist in the app to all properties and customize it with the exact expectations for each unit.”
The last major change for Kleenerly’s cofounders was getting visibility on their properties. “At 11:30 am, we go through all the scheduled turnover cleanings from that day,” says Ricardo. “With Properly, we can see if the turnover specialist has started or not, and if they haven’t, we can reach out to them to see what the problem is. But we don’t have to manually reach out to every one of our 50 people in 3 different cities to check in with them, which is what we had to do before.”
The Unexpected Bonus
While Kleenerly’s cofounders anticipated that Properly would help them with scheduling, logistics and easier onboarding, the duo were surprised and pleased to find the app also helped their company expand and improve.
“Properly helped us with hiring and keeping great team members,” Ricardo explains. “We constantly got the feedback that the app made us look very professional and well-established, which is one of the reasons our team members felt comfortable joining a startup. It’s usually never that easy when you compete against big chain hotels for the same talent.”
Properly’s easy-to-use platform made it possible for Kleenerly’s turnover specialists to keep their workloads organized and themselves sane in a hectic industry. Ricardo and Annette feel that’s one of the reasons they’ve enjoyed exceptional retention in an industry notorious for frequent turnover.
“Obviously this is a very labor-intense and physical, hands-on, boots-on-the-ground kind of business,” Ricardo says. “It’s absolutely imperative to simplify and automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. After trying different apps and platforms, we quickly realized that Properly was a perfect fit for our very specific needs and expectations.”
Using Properly has freed up the cofounders’ time so they can focus on how to make improvements to their business model. At 80 properties, Kleenerly was spending 7-10 hours a day managing logistics; now with 3 times as many properties, Kleenerly is spending only 2 hours a day on those same tasks – thanks to Properly.
“Saving so much time, we could focus on things like hiring and training, our handbook, making the turnover process better in general. We’re creating more and more videos as well – onboarding videos for clients, onboarding for new turnover specialists to give them an idea of what an average day looks like,” says Annette. “We have a lot more time for training because we have the foundation more or less automated.”
Which means the Kleenerly team still has time to do something no one else in the industry does: inspect every single property after it’s been cleaned. “We did that before Properly,” Annette says. “But even though we have more clients, we still do it for 98% of our turnovers.” Kleenerly’s cofounders are clear: Properly makes it possible to keep their standard so high, even as they scale.[:]