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Why Checklists

The short answer: checklists prevent human error. You can find the long answer - along with best practices for checklists - here.

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Written by Team
Updated over a week ago

With Properly, owners and property managers can create visual checklists to create easy-to-understand instructions for vacation rental management jobs including changeovers, cleaning, staging, stocking, repairs, and maintenance. 

Checklists make it simple for any service provider to instantly understand your expectations, regardless of their familiarity with your business standards or the property they’re asked to service. 

Service providers use checklists on their mobile phone, checking off tasks as they complete them while on site. Owners and managers track progress in real time to know exactly what is happening at the property. 

Properly even allows you create visual checklists that show your service providers how the property should look when it’s staged. These checklists are particularly useful for service providers who haven’t been to this property before, but they’re also a helpful visual guide that ensures the property is staged correctly. 

Want a simpler checklist for your longtime service providers? No problem. Upload your existing checklists or create simple text checklists in the app. You can even start with our sample templates and edit to fit your property, saving you time.  

Checklists can consist of annotated photos or text or a combination of both, and you can attach them to any job request. You can set certain checklists as the default for a given property, and stack multiple checklists to create bigger jobs - e.g., you might have a Standard Cleaning checklist and a VIP Treatment checklist for special guests. 

Why should you use checklists? 

Studies have shown that even the most experienced professionals forget basic tasks from time to time. Any tiny interruption in our usual routine can disrupt our memories, which means human error is more or less inevitable - unless you use a checklist. 

Checklists effectively provide training for new service providers. Rather than train each new service provider to prepare properties to your company’s standard, you can use visual checklists to show how the job should be done - with no additional effort on your part. Visual checklists make it easy to explain even the most complex jobs by combining written instructions with photos, so your service provider never struggles to understand. 

Checklists make operations more consistent and efficient, and ensure quality control. You’ll always know that your service provider completed the inventory, checked the dresser drawers for the last guest’s belongings, and refilled the coffee. You set a task in your checklist for each item, and you’ll know it was completed when it gets checked off in real time. 

Do I have to use checklists? 

No! Though we really believe in the power of checklists, you can use Properly without checklists. That said, if you don’t intend to provide guidelines for your guests, we recommend working with a service provider you have long experience to ensure they have experience with hospitality cleaning and understand your expectations for each property. 

Is it important to use photos in my checklist? 

It’s not essential, but we highly recommend it if you (or your clients) are particular about staging details such as how beds are made or towels or welcome baskets arranged. Photos also provide a very easy visual reference for service providers so they know exactly how you want things to look for your guests’ arrival. 

Finally, when you use photos in your checklists, you can request that the service provider take a verification photo of the finished job so you can see exactly what your property looks like before guests arrive. 

What can I include in my checklists?

  • Listing Photos: Because you can import listing photos from your listing platform or PMS to Properly, you can use beautiful, professional pictures in your checklists. This way, your cleaners know exactly what guests are expecting from the booking process. 

  • Properly Specific Photos: You can also import property specific photos such location of supply closets or pictures of certain cleaning products. 

  • Task Pins: Task pins are added photos to provide instructions of the task that needs to be done where in the home.

  • Properly Text Templates: Some tasks are better conveyed through text instructions. We have created 6 templates that can be used as is or customized to suit your needs and property. They are: Getting Started, Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom, Living Room and Finishing Touches. Properly translates into any language, so service providers will always get instructions in their native language. 

  • Customized Text Templates: You can use our blank text slides to create your own list of written instructions, or cut and paste instructions from an existing checklist you already use into a Properly text template. 

  • Verification Photos: You can require photos of finished tasks from your service provider. If you need to see that pillows are arranged exactly the way you want or you never want a provider to forget to put the key back in the lockbox again, ask for a photo for quality assurance. It’s a great way to track activity and document service providers’ work (and provides great back-up if you ever have a dispute about a security deposit!)

Can someone make checklists for me? 

Absolutely. You can share access to your property so that an owner, a consultant, or one of your company’s other employees can make checklists for you. 

Can I make more than one checklist in Properly? 

Absolutely! Checklists can be customized for each property, and you can pin a checklist to a property so that you don’t need to find and assign the right one. You can also create checklists for customized experiences for your guests (like an anniversary gift basket), additional services (like turning on the pool heat) and jobs such as 6-month safety inspections or deep cleans. 

Assign multiple checklists to request a regular cleaning, a custom experience, and a special request all in one job. 

I’m convinced. How do I make a checklist? 

We recommend starting with a sample checklist. They’re already filled out with common tasks necessary for each room. When you start with a sample template, you can delete tasks you don’t need, add new ones to fit your standards, and modify the instructions we’ve created to be more precise. 

For example, “clean the toilet” is already a task in the bathroom template, but you could modify it to say “clean the toilet using Soft Scrub cleanser” if you prefer to use that cleaning solution. 

Ready to strike out on your own? You can create your own template from scratch here

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