All of you have been to your favorite restaurant and ordered your favorite item. Once you placed the order, the kitchen began a dance of preparation and presentation. Your completed order was brought to your table and placed before you. There are many reasons why this dish is your favorite; one of them is that it is created the same way and presented the same way each and every time.
The work of a housekeeper is no different. The housekeeper’s objective is to take a property that is in total disarray and put it back together for the next guest, all while cleaning and presenting the property to the standard that has been set. This allows the product to be consistent, just like a favorite meal.
The “Standard Property Appearance” document creates the standard guests and property owners expect. It is one of the vacation rental company’s most important documents. This document sets the standard for the housekeeper, reservationist, owner relations manager, business development team, maintenance tech, and front desk associate. This is the standard product that everyone is working toward.
To create this document, all the departments in the company will have to collaborate. There will need to be discussion about everything in the property. Some of these items include:
- Where do the remote controls go?
- How are the towels hung?
- How are the beds made?
- What guest amenities will be used and where are they left? How are they arranged?
- What magazines are left and how old can they be?
- How is the toilet paper left in the property? In the wrapper? Folded to a point?
As the standards develop, so does the document that everyone in the company is working toward:
- Housekeepers clean to it.
- Inspectors inspect to it.
- Reservationists sell to it.
- Owner relations staff work with the owners to it.
- Business development sells to it.
This document is a foundational piece of everything that happens in the property management company. It aligns every department!
To create one, here is what you do:
- Select a property
- Go through the property and set it up the way you think it should look.
- Bring a representative of each department to the property and go through each room, discussing how it is staged; once everyone agrees on how it should be, that sets the standard.
- Take pictures of everything as it has been placed.
- Now take the pictures and put them in a Word document; next to the picture, write a brief description of everything the picture displays.
- Have multiple people review the document to verify everything is correct.
- Make any changes suggested during the review process.
- Review everything one more time to make sure the document accurately reflects your wishes.
- After the review process, you can add a second language by using translation software; However, some translations will be incorrect, so watch for and make any necessary changes.
- Now distribute the document and train your staff, verifying the standard is being followed, and then hold staff accountable to the standard.
Yes, it will take some work to create or reevaluate your “Standard Property Appearance” document. Each company will have its own, so no two companies will be alike. It is a personal document.
With this document in place, everyone can work together to accomplish the common goal.