Team Building in Short-term Rental Management
One of the benefits of being in the short-term rental business is that you can run your operation as one man or one woman show. Aside from cleaners, you can run your business with virtually no other labor expense. Automation is affordable, accessible and also eliminates the need to hire non-essential labor, the right apps can have you operating as a lean machine. As a solopreneur it’s easy to be nimble and adapt quickly to changing business conditions. It’s simply about making a decision, taking action on that decision and following up on that action. The thing that makes it so simple is that you function with one mind, there is no need to communicate with anyone else therefore nothing gets miscommunicated and mistakes are less likely to happen, as any business owner can attest mistakes cost money. At a certain level of scale there is a need to start building a team, this level is different for each individual but twenty listings is a good barometer to use when transitioning from a solopreneur who works in your business to a CEO who works on your business. Working in your business means that without your presence the business will not operate as opposed to working on your business which is more akin to being the maestro who coordinates the orchestra to play beautiful music. In this post we will be delving into the types of teams that you need, who should be on those teams, what those teams should be doing on a day to day basis and how those teams should interact.
What types of teams do you need?
The three main teams a short-term rental operator needs are cleaning team, maintenance team and communications team. Cleaning and maintenance team responsibilities are pretty straightforward, but to maximize effectiveness systematic procedures and detailed checklists are a must. The communications team handles guest communication, inter-team communication, 3rd party communication and digital listing updates. Although all of these teams are important to running your short-term rental business a good communications team will make your operation fluid and help avoid mistakes by facilitating the proper instructions to other teams.
Who should be on your teams?
Your cleaning team needs to be reliable, trustworthy and detail oriented. A simple question to ask a potential cleaner is; Do you enjoy cleaning? People work to make a living but it’s important for someone to enjoy what they do, this leads to better quality work and less employee turnover. On the maintenance side it’s important to have all the trades on call such as plumber, hvac tech and electrician but the trades people are usually 3rd parties and expensive. The maintenance team should consist of a jack of all trades, team members who can assess and fix many common problems that occur in property management, this person will be the first line of defense to look into any maintenance issue, a specific trade should be called only if your maintenance person cannot fix the problem. The communications team should consist of well organized and technology oriented people who understand the importance of timely and effective communication.
What should your teams be doing on a day to day basis?
Aside from cleaning, your cleaning team should be refilling supplies, reporting damaged items, keeping an eye on quality control caused by normal wear and tear and looking out for the general well being of the property. The maintenance team should be taking action on maintenance items promptly and be proactive about seeking out and fixing things around the property. Preventative maintenance through the use of checklists and redundancy will save major money and headaches in the long run. The communications team day to day tasks consist of guest communication, key performance indicator tracking, maintenance tracking, inter-team and vendor coordination to schedule and follow up on tasks. All these teams will interact rhythmically to create a harmonious whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
How should your teams interact?
Non-duality has spiritual connotations but the simple meaning of non-duality is one not two. As stated earlier it’s easy for one person to make, act upon and follow up on business decisions. The key is to make your team non-dual in other words to function with one mind as to not skip a beat in the operations. Clear and distinct communication with accountability and follow up are vital to the fluid operation of any short-term rental business. Ideally, your teams should interact as one seamless entity for optimal operational performance.
With scale teams are inevitable.
Cleaning, maintenance and communications teams are all required at scale.
Your teams should be seamless and function as one.
Thanks for your time and attention.