A Day In The Life Of Serviced Accommodation
Running a Serviced Accommodation business is fast becoming a popular way for people to to earn a more passive income. It is one way of moving away from trading your time for money and instead, moving towards automating and leveraging tasks to earn money in a way which requires less time and effort.
Sounds ideal, right? Whilst it is a proven way of successfully earning a more passive income, it requires a lot of hard work at the outset and a stable foundation for growth.
Creating and continually refining processes for everything you do on a day to day basis, means you can constantly improve your business and the customer's experience.
Not only that, but having refined processes allows you to automate and leverage tasks, freeing up your time to concentrate on high level tasks to grow your business.
So what are the day-to-day tasks in a serviced accommodation business?
1. Making sure your guests are happy
Communication is key. Remember that the customer is always right. If you have a particularly difficult guest, remember to take a breath and reply politely. For 5 star reviews you need happy customers, so make sure you have done everything you can to facilitate them.
2. Problem solving
You will often find yourself in difficult, time sensitive positions where you have to make quick, effective decisions. For example, you have a check in in an hour and you have been notified by the cleaning team that the toilet isn't flushing. First step is to ring around handymen for emergency call outs - and make it easy for them to gain access by having a key safe. If they can't come out that day, put yourself in the customers shoes: be honest with them, apologise, explain when and how you will be solving the problem, and perhaps provide a bit of compensation by leaving them a bottle of wine or telling them you have transferred £20 to their account to go and buy themselves a drink on you.
3. Having a great team
A reliable team is priceless. You need someone reliable that will always be there. Given the fast paced change overs, your cleaners will need to get around your properties in the time between check out and check in. Having a good relationship with them and feeding back any problems is key to improving the quality of service you provide.
An accessible handyman is also so important. Hearing someone say 'I'll be there in 15 minutes' is such a relief when you have a problem that needs fixing quickly.
4. Leveraging your business
If you want your income to be more passive, you need to leverage and automate. There is so many things you can do to make this happen, but as a start, having a channel manager to manage bookings across Online Travel Agents is really important.
You can also set up automated messages to go to the guests, preventing them asking questions. For example, a sending a 'welcome message' to explain everything they need to know about the property and accessing it.
Ensure you have a key safe at the property so that you don't have to be there when the guest checks in. Not only that, but the cleaners and any maintenance workers will have easy access.
5. Pricing and marketing
Always make sure that you are competitive with other providers in your area. Ensure your pricing is correct for special holidays or events in the area.
Try to think of innovative ways to win more direct work, for example contacting contractors working in the local area to see if they need accommodation, or contacting previous corporate guests to see if they would like to book directly next time.