a professional blog for vacation rental managers

Friday, May 31, 2013

Back-to-back bookings - managing full occupancy in vacation rentals

The target in any business is to maximize revenue, and in the hospitality industry this is usually associated with the level of occupancy, i.e. the number of nights that your stock (beds, rooms, apartments, etc) is occupied. Vacation rentals usually suffer from very low occupancy levels, not because of the demand, but due to the way they are (mis)managed.

This article deals with managing vacation rentals in high-demand seasons where back-to-back bookings may mean using your assets to their full potential.

1. Turnover time
Check how long it takes you to inspect a property after checkout, clean it and prepare it for the next guests. Make sure you leave some time for any emergency maintenance and ensure that all supplies and equipment is always ready for deployment. This timespan is your turnaround time and should determine your standard checkin and checkout times.

2. Standard Procedures
Once you know what needs to be done, write it down in a form of a manual. Think of how you would want your employee or your contractor to handle your property. What to check, what to clean, how to clean it, etc. Start building your standard procedures, even though it is still a small operation.

3. Training
Train your team to pay attention to details, to work in an efficient way and to follow (and understand) the standard procedures. If you want to offer a consistent service through your vacation rentals, make sure that your team knows what is expected of them.

4. Quality Assurance
Check! Check! And re-Check! Make sure that every so often you check the works you have delegated to ensure that every step is being followed. Quality is imperative in this industry.

5. Tweak & Polish
You will not get this right the first time. Maybe not even the second time, so keep on observing, adjusting and improving your procedures to minimize turnaround time whilst maintaining the level of quality you desire. Involve your team in this phase as they might have more insight.

Following these 5 steps requires discipline and dedication. It may also require some technology especially if the number of units or properties is more than the dear old diary can handle (i.e. one!). At occupancylevel.com we have built an app to help vacation rental managers schedule their housekeeping whilst ensuring that all checkins and checkouts are all in line. Check this new app for free today by visiting www.occupancylevel.com
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  1. Maximizing occupancy is very important, but at the same time and of equal importance is the catering to arriving and departing guests on early arrivals and late departures. This takes special attention and balance that starts at the time of reservation and continues through departures without negatively affecting housekeeping while catering to your guests with WOW service.


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