I asked our Owner Advisory panel “If you lost your head of housekeeping today, do you automatically know who would take their place?”
First, Doug Brindley, owner at Brindley Beach Vacations, joked, “If James left, he better be dead.”
Anyway, Doug makes a great point saying, “You have to place an authority figure up front immediately.” Brindley added, “Yes, I know who that person is.”
Joe Refosco, co-owner at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and President of the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals, says “We cross-train multiple people to be able to do every job expected of our head of housekeeping. 8 of our 10 managers have been with us over 5 years.”
Jodi Refosco, Joe’s wife and co-owner at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations, chipped in saying “Joe himself could easily jump in and help. The owner of the company needs to know how to be able to run each department.”
Robert Bennington, CEO at Bennington Properties, is quite adamant when he says “Hell no! That is too important of a position to be able to replace in an instant. But you had better have members of your team (at least the owner or GM) cross-trained to be able to cover for at least 3 months while a replacement is sought.”
Charles Hale, owner at Atlantic Beach Realty, says he or his wife could run housekeeping but that they do have an assistant manager in place who would take over.
Chuck Steeg, owner of LuxuryGulfRentals.com, says “It is always best to be prepared with back-up plans for many things. That is why cross-training is so critical.”
So, we basically have three shared opinion here:
1. Have cross-training done so any of several people could help until a replacement is found
2. Have the owner (s) of the company step in until a replacement is found.
3. Have a well-trained assistant already in place to step in immediately
Each of us as managers, in my opinion, need to identify and train our own replacement. That helps with our own promote ability as well!
Take a minute to ponder: What would happen to us? Are we ready in case this were to happen?
If your vacation rental company places a significant focus on providing high level housekeeping services for guests, join Steve Craig, VRM Intel and the industry’s best vacation rental managers at the Annual VRHP Conference in Orlando, Nov 9-11.
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Steve Craig started Pro Resort Housekeeping in 1986 and his next clients will be his 216th. Steve started Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals in 1999 and was the Director until 2013. He is an exciting speaker and has presented at VRMA many times and numerous state associations as well as all VRHP seminars and his personal seminars. He is famous for his “Follow the Wall” cleaning and inspection techniques practiced by many companies across the country and for sharing his product tests.