As the short-term rental industry shifts more attention toward cleanliness and sanitation in the wake of COVID-19, housekeeping platform Properly is piloting a program with Booking.com to enforce quality and safety standards that may help aid rentals in their recovery.
The pilot, which began prior to the coronavirus outbreak in November 2019, is designed to help improve the cleaning scores of properties that do not meet Booking.com’s minimum cleanliness threshold.
According to Properly founder and CEO Alex Nigg, the way it works is if a property listed on Booking.com consistently receives low cleaning scores, the online travel agency emails the property to say it’s at risk of getting delisted and offers using Properly as a solution, paid for by Booking.com.
When a property manager or host participating in the Booking.com-sponsored pilot downloads Properly, the software comes preconfigured with Booking.com’s minimum cleaning quality requirements.
Pilot participants, as well as all other Properly users, also have a recently published COVID-19 checklist available in their cleaners’ app, which is based on the World Health Organization’s guidelines for accommodation providers published on March 31.
Nigg says the platform is designed for any type of cleaner, from professional cleaning services to individual hosts, to follow, and once a property has completed the checklist – and passed a remote inspection from Properly’s end – Properly will provide internal certification back to Booking.com.
“The fundamental notion behind this is there are a million different hosts, but there shouldn’t be a million different ways of cleaning,” Nigg says.
“A key element is this creates a level playing field for the entire industry. You can be an individual host or [part of a larger property management company] and apply the exact same standards.”
Nigg says that while Booking.com is Properly’s first rollout of the program, the San Francisco-based company has signed deals with another global listing platform covering multiple markets and is in advanced negotiations with another global brand.
The current phase of the Booking.com pilot focuses on properties consistently scoring low on cleaning scores and covers properties in dozens of countries and two languages.