House Cleaning made simple

At turnover, when a tenant serves notice to vacate, it is customary for the unit to be cleaned between tenants.  It’s like the Holiday Inn — no one wants to check into a dirty room.  Well, no one wants to rent a dirty home.  But as surprising as it sounds, it is difficult to find a good house cleaner.  Fortunately for us, we found one!

We sat down with Briana Norde, President of Caliber Cleaning in Lynnwood to learn a little more about what separates the wheat from the chaff in the world of cleaning.

FSPM: How long does it typically take to clean a 2/1 unit?

Briana: In a unit with normal build up (i.e. not excessively dirty or extremely clean) it typically takes 6 hours to clean a 2 bed/1 bath unit

FSPM: What things do other cleaners miss that you guys clean?

Briana: The top 3 things I have seen missed by other cleaners, that are included on our standard Turn Over Clean checklist are: cleaning under the refrigerator and under the stove, taking down light fixtures to clean them instead of just dusting them and cleaning both the interior and exterior window tracks.

FSPM: What success practices make your job easier?  i.e. What can landlords do to make your job easier?

Briana: The #1 thing landlords can do to make our job easier is ensure their properties our completely vacant when we go in to clean. Sometimes there are still items left behind and it becomes time consuming trying to decipher what to leave in the home vs. what might be garbage.

FSPM: What is the difference between a professional cleaner like Caliber versus an amateur cleaner like a landlord?  Can’t anyone clean?  (I know the answer, but I’d like you to answer it.)

Briana: Anyone can definitely clean, the difference is the standard and level of clean that is expected. If a landlord expects their property to be maintained and returned to them in a clean manner they need to set the standard high when presenting a new tenant with the property. Having a professional cleaner with experience in Turn Over cleans is very valuable in ensuring that standard is set high. Most tenants will clean the visible items. For example, they’ll run the vacuum, clean the tub/countertops in the Bathroom, and wipe down the counters in the Kitchen. However many won’t think to hand wipe the baseboards, or clean the interior appliances, interior cabinets/drawers, wipe down all the woodwork around the doors, etc.

FSPM: How have you been able to succeed?

Briana: We have been able to succeed with our company in the Turn Over Clean business by creating a proprietary 5 page checklist that we use during every single Turn Over Clean that we complete. In addition to that we have Quality Inspection Managers that come and check the cleaning jobs to ensure nothing was missed. Completing a Turn Clean is very different from cleaning an occupied house and we understand that. We have a training manual dedicated to these types of cleanings and train our crews very thoroughly. This is how we have been able to establish ourselves as one of the premier Turn Over Clean companies in the Pacific Northwest.

We feel both privileged and lucky to have Caliber Cleaning on our side.  It takes such a burden off this process of a rental turnover.

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