Welcome to the third installment of Operations 101: Setting Company Standards. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll share insights for you to consider as you focus on improving your business’ operational efficiency. We’ve enlisted the help of industry veteran, Steve Craig who will be weighing in from his 42 years of experience building world-class housekeeping teams.
Having standards is of paramount importance for any vacation rental company. Standards serve as guidelines, benchmarks, and uniform criteria that help ensure consistency and quality.
Standards provide a framework for maintaining and improving quality. They define minimum requirements, best practices, and procedures that companies can follow to deliver products and services of consistent and high quality.
Standardizing processes and procedures can simplify operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency within organizations, all of which benefit your owners and guests. It is easier to clean 100 homes one way than try 100 ways.
Standards are what we use to measure people and systems. Without standards, everything is “vague.” In an industry with few standards, having strong ones for your company gives you an edge.
From a housekeeping point of view, four standards are critical in the VR industry:
- A set of standards that states how a property should be maintained at all times. This standard enables you to show owners exactly why their home needs updated. In fact, many companies assess units annually, based on property standards, to identify which areas of the home meet the standards and which do not.
- A set of standards that covers the specific housewares that are to be supplied in the property. This should specify what type of item is allowed or not allowed. Performing an inventory of the required items before signing a rental contract is also a good idea (see #1).
Here are a couple of examples:
A steam iron, with automatic shutoff for safety
- A blender with a glass carafe, not plastic, so it doesn't melt in the dishwasher
- Develop Standard Property Appearance (SPA).This document outlines how every property will look before a guest’s arrival. Housekeepers and inspectors will reference this to ensure each property is guest-ready and aligns with your company’s brand standards. Creating a SPA is fundamental to successfully onboarding new housekeepers and inspectors.
- Departure cleaning standards cover what a cleaner must do to receive payment. It’s important to avoid terms like “clean as needed” for blinds and ceiling fans because those can be subjective. Instead, consider terms like maintain the cleanliness of’ or provide specifics like ‘on every departure.’
Be sure to check back next week, where we’ll talk about the incredibly important role inspectors play in your success. In the meantime, if you have specific housekeeping questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll cover them in a future post!