Everybody has their own idea of perfection. That goes for all of us in the holiday rental business. As managers and owners we have the right to set a standard and expect compliance. Memories fade quickly unless we reinforce the message.
Documented quality assurance is at the heart of the Holiday Rental Academy’s success. To keep everybody on their toes we need quality control checklists at strategic points in the guest cycle.
Quality Assurance versus Quality Control
Quality Assurance (QA) is the steps we take ahead an event to ensure the activity produces the desired result every time. In the holiday rental business, methods to achieve this include training, management, and documented work methods
Quality Control (QC) is what we do during / after an event to confirm someone performed an activity correctly, or produced the desired results. In the holiday rental business, methods to achieve this include supervision and checklists.
QA we say how we are going to do something. QC checks whether we did.
Vital Checklist # 1: Pre-Arrival Inspection
Depending on where are, holiday rentals may be quiet during low seasons, when owners either do maintenance tasks or take a well-deserved break where the climate is more pleasant. It is unfair to task the cleaning contractor or garden with pre-arrival inspections. The manager or owner must do this a few days beforehand, just in case the weather has not been kind to the building or wasps made a nest on the wall.
There are two ways to make sure we inspect the entire property, remembering that this is also a safety-inspection.
- Inspect by zones, e.g. defined spaces we can mark up on a plan
- Inspect by systems, e.g. storm drainage, ceilings, electrical and so on
Your choice is a mix of preference and circumstances. Make a checklist of everything you need to inspect. Set this up in a logical order so you do not need to backtrack. Tick things off progressively so you know you did what you said you would. Make notes, with deadlines of anything needing doing.
Vital Checklist # 2: Cleaning Up After Guests
Welcome to your worst nightmare. We are showing newly arrived guests around and all is going well … until we open a bedroom door and find the bed unmade. This has three unfortunate consequences:
- We pricked the bubble of bliss and cracked the illusion everything is perfect
- The promise of an exclusive stay is gone. Our guests are just one of many
- Our clients have to go elsewhere for a few hours while we sort the mess out
This is not good news, is it? It gets worse when viewed from a guest perspective. They have been looking forward to spending a week in luxury as they viewed and reviewed the stunning photos on your website. At the end of a tiring journey along congested roads or a busy airport, they are wondering whether they booked into a nightmare instead.
We do our best to apologise and make things up, but that is no excuse for bad management. We may not be responsible for making beds and tidying rooms, but the buck stops with us as owner / manager. The key thought at the core of the Holiday Rental Academy is we need procedures in our business so this kind of thing does not happen.
To give an example, the cleaner slipped a gear and forgot one room and the dishwasher. If only they had a simple checklist, and the supervisor signed it off.
|Cleaning Assignment Completed||Name Date|
List of Items Requiring Management Attention
The above checklist is a simplified example, just to give you the idea.
Vital Checklist # 3: Checking for Damage Caused by Guests
After your guests have been and gone – and the cleaners have done their work it is time to dust off Checklist # 1 and inspect for any damage guests caused. Some of this may be fair wear and tear, some it may be in the cleaner’s report. Some may even be chargeable to the guests or an insurance policy. To ensure a speedy return, if you need to make an insurance claim, do it sooner rather than later
Do not wait for a problem to happen. Prepare your checklists in advance to ensure your guests get a quality stay.