Spotlight: MaidThis Offers a Remote Work Model for Cleaning Vacation Rentals

remote work model

Remote work is becoming more of a reality for many workers. But the founder of MaidThis didn’t wait for such an opportunity to arise — he created his own.

Now, his company provides that option for others as well. Learn about this unique model for a cleaning company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers a cleaning franchise business that can be run remotely.

Founder and CEO Neel Parekh told Small Business Trends, “MaidThis has been called ‘the franchise for millennials’, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry. MaidThis offers hassle-free house cleaning for busy individuals and vacation rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). As I built my business to reach millions in revenue, I traveled for five years while managing a fully remote team — I am now on a mission to help others achieve the same!”

Business Niche

Focusing on vacation rentals.

Parekh says, “The top factor that sets us apart from other cleaning companies is that we are the first and ONLY US-based vacation rental cleaning franchise that exists. Our goal is make the customer experience super easy and super seamless — this is what a lot of people want but many local companies cannot provide.”

How the Business Got Started

To create a remote work opportunity.

Parekh explains, “I originally started my career in the cubicle-corporate grind, working in venture capital. My goal was to start a side hustle and eventually quit my job… I wanted the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle and wanted to quit and travel the world, and have a side hustle to support me while traveling. Therefore, I focused on the traditionally ‘remote’ business model. This included things like creating an eCommerce website, dropshipping, blogging about pet hair vacuums (yeah, seriously), and more… none of it really took off at all. Eventually, I stumbled across a post on Reddit by someone who started a cleaning company — this inspired me to launch MaidThis!

“After two years of working on MaidThis as a side hustle, I finally quit my venture capital job and booked a one-way flight to South America. My initial plan was to backpack for a year, and that just kept going and somehow ended up becoming five years!”

Biggest Win

Making an impact in new markets.

Parekh says, “When I think of my biggest ‘win’, two main things come to mind. First, it was a huge win to get to visit my team in South Africa and see the global impact we’re having on communities around the world. It’s a cool feeling! Another major win was awarding our first franchise — this was huge because someone else believed enough in our vision to invest and join us.”

Biggest Risk


Parekh adds, “It’s a HUGE cost investment upfront, and you have no assurance it’ll work out. However, we knew it was the next step to achieve the dream of expanding across the nation. It is still TBD on how things are panning out, but we have two amazing franchisees now and are looking to add more to the ranks.”

Lesson Learned

Take more risks.

Parekh says, “If I could do it all over again, I would be more aggressive at the beginning and take more risks during those younger years. One quote that really stuck with me is ‘Success loves speed’ — when things are rolling well, you should put some lighter fluid on it and get it blazing even faster. Being able to go faster isn’t always the best option, but you’ll generally achieve more by doing than by waiting.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Bringing on a knowledgeable team member.

Parekh explains, “I would use the $100,000 to hire a highly experienced person who has already done what I want to do, and have him/her go at it. I would pay for the ‘speed’ of not having to reinvent the wheel myself.”

Fun Fact

The business includes a charitable arm.

Parekh says, “MaidThis offers a Cleaning With Care program that helps people obtain the funds they need to make their dreams a reality. Using the Kiva platform, MaidThis provides microloans to people around the world, so that they can reach their goals, fulfill their dreams, and obtain the freedom we all strive for. We tell our customers about this, which helps them buy into our brand even more.”

Favorite Quote

“Well, what can you do now?” — my Dad.

Parekh adds, “Any time a situation or problem comes up in life, he just says ‘well, what can you do now?’ and carries on with his day unperturbed. It’s the equivalent of ‘no use crying over spilt milk’. Can’t do anything about the present situation? Cool, don’t sweat it then. Deal with it and move on with your day. This helps keep me present and more stress-free in my business journey.”

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Image: MaidThis, Neel Parekh

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.