If you’re a vacation rental property manager, the concept of “down time” is likely a foreign one. There’s always work to do in preparation for the busy season, such as deep cleans and preventative maintenance. Now is the time to put the final touches on your operations so you can feel fully prepared to take on the summer. Follow the steps below to prepare your team, operation, and homes for a busy and profitable summer.
There’s no such thing as too much training. Customer service is a huge part of your business, so training should be included in your programs and accounted for in your weekly schedule. Don’t discount the power of requiring existing staff to attend refresher courses. The most seasoned staff are still capable of mistakes if they’re not provided with updates on procedure changes. Similar to how a real estate broker maintains licensing, your existing staff should stay up to date on professional development.
Whether you’re just getting started on-boarding seasoned staff or are fully prepped, it’s always a good idea to develop an 80/20 mindset. In other words, you should be prepared to handle a 20% change in your routine or schedule at any given time. You can manage any of these uncertainties by securing on-call staff to cover your daily turnover schedules. These on-call staff can prepare homes for cleaning, exchange linens, make beds, and deliver items to homes, but should also be available throughout the evening to address any issues that arise. The earlier you can address escalating issues, the less risk of disrupting your guests’ arrival.
Prepare your supplies and equipment
As you prepare your staff for the summer, consider supplies and equipment as part of your preventative maintenance program. Keep the following things in mind:
- Vehicle tune-ups: Organize and catalog all vehicles, and take them to a certified mechanic for inspection
- In-house laundry equipment: Inspect, grease, seal and perform diagnostics testing on all machines
- Chemical storage: Clean and organize your chemical storage area. These items should be ready to disperse to cleaners.
- Stock items: Clean, organize and catalogue your storage area for house stock to ensure proper inventory and billing maintenance.
- Paper products: Not many companies have the storage space for an entire seasons-worth of paper products, but it’s good practice to have at least few weeks-worth in hand.
- Linens: Pre-pack all linens as necessary and store them in a clean and organized environment. Store excess linens in an easily accessible location with proper labels for tracking inventory.
Prepare your Homes
Stage your homes in advance of the renter’s arrival. Consider the feeling of a guest walking into a property for the first time and the ways you want to make an initial brand impression. Create an inviting environment with light pouring through the windows and a fresh scent in the air. Remember, it’s the little brand touches and attention to detail that add up to make for a wonderful rental experience and increase the chances that your guest will come back again and again.