Managing your time better during peak season

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Managing your time better during peak season

Peak Season.png

 

Hello everyone,

 

Whether you are just finishing a busy season of bookings or you are going into your peak time, it is always good to have a plan to manage and keep on top of your bookings.

 

There are lots things that can make a huge amount of difference, ranging from the communication with your guest to making sure you have a set cleaning routine.

 

What are you tips for making sure your time goes further?

 

Thanks,

Lizzie


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

47 Replies 47
Clara116
Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Huma0 Just wanted to say that for tagging folks I have found if you hit the Reply button - it will NOT work very often.....However, if you tag & write on Join the conversation....works every time. also, I use Google Chrome on my computer and it is the recommended for ABB success. Google Chrome gives me access to my listing and all the ins and outs and I have friends also hosts that struggle and they have to use as they say back doors to get in and message, and pull up their history, and past information. Hope this is somehow helpful Huma. Best to you, Happy HOsting,  Clara 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Clara116

 

Thanks for your advice. I think the tagging feature has been fixed now, but I will certainly try that if I have further problems as well as Google Chrome. 

Ioannis21
Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi lizzlie adn all, 

Although we are new hosts we try to automate things as much as  possible.

1) Messaging templates We have created  message tempaltes for almost everything and we have saved them in the messaging system . This saves time and shows an organised host.We update them recently 

2) Eficiency in bed linen, towels 

3) As we offer breakfast we have pleanty of supplies that could satisfy all guests needs

4) We alswys ask our guests if the have special dietary needs or allergies

5) Always offer welcome drinks (beer or wine)

6) We synchronise our airbnb calendar with google calendar.Then we share this calendar with cleaning service & transportation service personel so everyone knows what to do . A calendar entry looks like this  /1/

7) We dont accept same day bookings they all seem to turn out badly.No instant booking so far. 

😎 we send to every guest a goodbye message and 5 days after a review reminder if no review is submitted. 

 

 

 

 

 

/1/

Τετάρτη, 4 Ιουλίου
 
CHECKIN: 07/04/2018 2000
CHECKOUT: 07/05/2018 0600
NIGHTS: 1
PHONE: +123 456 7890 
EMAIL: guest@guest.airbnb.com
PROPERTY: ★Family getaway near beach/airport B&B sea view
PERSONS=2
FIX HOUSE BEFORE YES
FIX HOUSE AFTER YES
T IN  own car
T OUT  own car
KEYS IN no
KEYS OUT no
ALLERGIES
OTHER NOTES
 
Yiannis [Surname hidden for safety reasons]
Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Thanks @Ioannis21, this is a great list. In peak season do you find you are fully booked most of the time?


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

Ioannis21
Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi @Lizzie

Apologies for my delayed response.

This is my 1st year of operation so i am not sure yet what is my peak season, yet.

I imagine it is Jun-Aug , so yes answer to your question is that i am fully booked most of the time. 

 

Geri12
Level 2
Roslyn, NY

The cleaning routines are essential to being a great host. I never know when I'm going to be welcoming my newest guest (some plan ahead and some arrive at the last minute of the last hour of the day LOL) so I IMMEDIATELY clean and prepare my rooms for the next guest when the current guest moves out. I always have a second set of everything needed (bed pads, sheets, pillows, blankets, towels, and a steady supply of small essentials that I keep handy) The welcome kit contains a disposable toothbrush, sample size shampoos, conditioner, and body wash, as well as disposable razors and small containers of shaving cream. I also put some chips, breath mints, bandaids, and candy in the welcome bag that is greatly appreciated for the people who arrive late at night, and I make sure to offer them a light dinner or a continental breakfast the next day even if they are staying a long time and buying their own food later on. I provide maps of the area, and personally meet and greet them whenever possible. The personal connection is really important for me, and people treat my home better when personally meet me (I host at my home and at an apartment that I own). Basically, I let the guest know that I am here to serve! They love the enthusiasm and energy that I bring to the first meet and greet, and we usually end of becoming friends while they are here. I love hosting. 

Noel63
Level 10
Coober Pedy, Australia

Martha Stewart has a good way of folding flat sheets that make them easy to iron

Diego313
Level 4
null

Great to read, @Emily352

Emily352
Level 10
null

My secret plan to manage and keep on top of my bookings was very simple: Oscar Wilde.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

 

If you want to maintain a good mental health, take a little time (you decide, every week, every month etc.) to devote to the summary of reservations. In your communications, repeat the address, telephone number, house rules, check-in procedures. Everything that is essential for you must be said over and over.

 

On a sheet of paper mark the check-in and check-out dates, the name of the guest and the number of people you will host. Keep a space for notes. If you taken a special agreement, mark it among the notes. This will allow you to arrange your time optimally. It will be of great help for the time of check-in and preparation. It is not a waste of time.

 

Washing and ironing sheets and towels. It’s a race against the clock.  "Sorry, sweetie, I can not go to the movies with you. I’m checking-in” could adversely affect your relationship.

 

Check carefully check-in and check-out times on the same day. I’d rather have a few bookings with good reviews than to risk receiving negative feedbacks because I could not keep up with all the requests.

 

Your noblest goal is to offer your guest the best possible experience, but the most material goal is to get good reviews.

 

Clean the house after check-out. Fix up your bed all nice and fresh. Cleaning is essential especially if you have continuous rotation of guests. Do not neglect the details. The shower. The kitchen. The laundry basket. The lightbulbs.

 

A flawless house. A crumb on the sofa could become a synecdoche that stands as a paradigm.

If one of your towels has a stain, my advice is to change it. Even if you have washed it to a thousand degrees, in the eyes of those who will have to use it will always seem just a dirty towel. And that also applies to the sheets.

 

The guest lady who does not remove her make-up before going to sleep is much less infrequent than you think, So you’d better choose colored sheets: sober colors able to camouflage stains.

 

Forget bathrobes: they are expensive and require infinite drying times. Much better bath towels.

Tableware and household utensils. Accurate control. The idea of ​​pulling out a fork with the dirty tines or a greasy pot would have made anyone's stomach turned. Check the previous guest has washed the dishes carefully.

 

Kitchen. Few useful tools,  otherwise you'll find an amount of things to wash after each change of guest.

 

Sponges for kitchen. When I see an old and dried sponge, I lose my appetite. You’d better replace sponges frequently.

 

Kitchen cabinets. Throw all open packs, even if they have not expired, with the exception of vinegar, oil and salt. Yup, it’s a waste of food.   Nobody will drink a milk carton opened by someone else.

 

If you choose tablecloths, the same rule applies to sheets and towels. A kitchen is not complete without a corkscrew, especially in Italy.

 

The whole house must communicate freshness and cleanliness. Therefore, remove your stockings from the shower pole!

 

Essential equipment: tool box, drain cleaner and, especially in summer, bug spray.

 

Remove the dried leaves in the garden and do not leave dying plants prominently at the entrance of the house. If they are dry, say a requiem for them and throw them away!

 

The treasure you need for the high season traffic:

 

° toilet paper;

° trash bags;

° soap bars;

° lightbulbs;

° batteries for remote controls;

° ballpoints pens (the guest puts them in his suitcase);

° scotch tape;

° extra set of keys.

 

This treasure must be jealously guarded like the ring of Frodo Baggins in a very secret place. I happened to be “robbed” by compulsive guests that took my bedding supplies in a few days. Grrr!

 

Extra touch. Nothing expensive, but something that make the guest understand that you are something more than an anonymous hotelier. In addition to the typical flavors of your land, let him find something that reminds him of home or that you think is part of his habits. Things you would want your guests to find: good tea for English guests, peanut butter for American guests, spices for Asian guests.

 

Become a regular visitor of the local tourism office. The guest will hold you in even higher regard if you can publicise festivals, exhibitions, concerts, markets, everything you think might be worth seeing at that time.

 

Now, after a busy season of bookings, after months of suffering and fatigue, you can retreat here, in the arms of CC, watching "The walking dead", eating buckets of ice cream or killing yourself with an overdose of Pringles, hidden from all.

Oomesh-Kumarsingh0
Level 10
Pamplemousses, Mauritius

@Lizzie Double check everything and make sure the maid is fit for duty 🙂

Linda941
Level 2
Flagstaff, AZ

As i'm making up the bed, I have a strong hand held travel steamer with a wide mouth, that I can quickly go over the sheets as I'm putting them on the bed to get out any major wrinkles,  I have a large lint roller  to go over the sheets an blankets as I put them on the bed to pick up any hair that has stuck to them.  Hair seems to be the bain of my exsistance.  I've even taken to wearing a shower cap because I find that my hair falls out as I'm cleaning and one strand of hair can be the kiss of death for a review.  I leave multiple bags in the bottom of the trash cans. That way when you lift out the full bag there is one right there ready to be pulled up instead of going to get another. Saves an extra trip.  I always have a micro cloth on hand.  I can use this cloth for cleaning mirrors, water spots on faucets, clean windows, tv screens, and to dust,

 

  I have a question for all that are using using cleaning help.. Where are you finding them.  If I go to a cleaning service, they charge more than I charge my guests for the cleanings.  If I go to the ads I haven't be able to find anyone  reliable.  I'm fairly new to hosting, since march, and I really need some help with the business picking up during the summer.  I haven't lived in the area very long either so I don't know a lot of local people. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you

Linda

 

Clara116
Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Lizzie Hello and a very cool and interesting thread to start here......thanks.  

I like stuff organized and so I'll share how I deal with my bookings. I do NOT do IB - also, I of course do most of my ABB stuff on my computer or phone if away from my computer. I don't like having to always depend on electronics..........SO as soon as I get a booking I print off the reservation/booking sheet just 1 page with their contact info, how much $$,  dates, everything -  I make notes on it with extra guests names, reasons, questions, whatever my conversation has been with guests coming- when they give any new info, ETA, or late arrival time any thing I just pull out my notebook and add to this. After the guests has departed, I make notes, stars, comments for my future with them, should they want to return. It has proved great for me as I have hosted several returns. 

I keep the future bookings in order and I can access them super quickly...

..I also work with a paper monthly calendar - I put ck in-ETA- ck out...name-info on the side- and I add as new bookings come in. I don't love surprises and that would not be cool- 

The heavy dependence on technology and devices can become crazy so this is my way of doing really good hosting, being informed and if all power, internet, devices are OUT - I will not be very disturbed guessing who is coming next and all the details. Works for Me.....happy hosting, Clara

Cathie19
Level 10
Darwin, Australia

Linen:

- Ensure you have plenty in case they cannot be turned around quickly due to extra washing needs, damage or wet weather. 

- I sun dry all my linen for extra hygiene, but I prepare and fold everything as it will be presented as it comes off the line. If it has a peg mark, I use a peg to remove it, shake & stretch the towels out then fold. That is for tea towels, towels, hand towels, pool towels, face washers. They are all stacked good to go in a linen press. So much easier when needed in a hurry.

- I keep linen in exact piles so I can grab sheeting, mattress protectors etc from a stacked pile and know from the location if it’s single long, king bed or queen size. 

Same for bed runners, sarongs for tablecloths  etc.

 

Notes:

On my iPad & iphone with each new booking I prepare correspondence in Notes. I find it much easier then the Airbnb messages, where I once accidentally hit send when not ready to do so.... Or worse, you get distracted, have to do something else, and come back and your message you are typing has been lost!

 

Each page headed with the guests name and city details.  Plus cohort info. The final entry that ends at the top will be their public review from me.

Title stays on top of notes, but I date each new entry stacking on top till the review is the last one.

 

I copy, cut and paste from a similar cohort or requirements from previous bookings and then personalise the information. Once spell checked etc, select copy and then paste into Airbnb site,

 

 

Sally4
Level 6
Snoqualmie Pass, WA

I do same day bookings, and instant booking and during peak season,  our Air BnB has become a full time job.  We have 3 bedrooms in the winter and 4 in the summer. (We have a lovely outdoor "bedroom under the stars")  We are also two hours away from linen service and an hour away from any real grocery store or bakery.

 

I think the best way I manage is to always be prepared for my guests, and plan in advance. This saves time and stress, rather than preparing and purchasing supplies when guests book.

 

As many have mentioned, we also have multiple changes of bedding and bath linens.

 

We have an antique, glass fronted cupboard strictly for bath linens, toilet paper, and bath mats. 

 

We have a linen cupboard for our bed linens. 

 

We fold our bedding into complete packets.   *The fitted sheet has it's size marked every 6 inches or so on the top and bottom edges.  I started doing this so we would instantly know how the sheet fit on the bed.  We did this after a housekeeper freaked because the king sized fitted sheet didn't fit the bed right, and I had to talk her off the ledge, so to speak. Then I suggested she turn the sheet a quarter turn;  problem solved. I fold the fitted sheet the normal way, matching the corner pockets.    I set this aside.

*When folding the flat sheet, the flat sheet is laid flat, with hem at the top. Then the bottom is brought up to the top.  I repeat this 3 times. (I think it is three, it is so automatic, that I don't think about it, and I am at my computer now, not folding sheets) Then I bring the outside hems to the middle and set it aside.

*I include 2 king pillowcases and 4 standard pillow cases in each bedding set.  I fold the king until it is only as wide as its hem. I then bring the edges over to fold into 3rds. I fold the standard to be wider.  It is an easy trick to recognize my king and standard pillowcases.

*I put the partially folded flat sheet down on my folding surface, put the fitted sheet on it and then the 6 pillow cases. 

*I then bring one edge of the flat sheet over the fitted sheet and pillowcases. 

*I then overlap the other edge, making a tight bundle. 

*I roll it over, wrap it with a wide grosgrain ribbon and tie a bow. 

*I then take a size lable (Which I have printed on my computer) and stick it on.  

I tried storing 2 extra sheet sets in each room, only to discover that then one room would be occupied for a week and the other room would turn over 5 times, and I could find myself in a pinch for extra linens.  (And guests would take the extra sheets and use them in all sorts of interesting ways.)

 

Store bedding in the hallway or somewhere else, easly available to you.

 

I also have a green antique chest that has my guest amenities, such as those tiny shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, ear plugs, creamer, sugar, coffee pods, and all.  

 

All this to say, I have planned ahead, to make every room change as efficient as possible.  

 

The minute a guest leaves, I plug in the steam cleaner, strip the bed, collect the towels, empty the trash, and make a trip down to the laundry, to start a load and dump the trash.  I come back up, picking up my linens from their storage locations.  I make the bed and clean the rest of the room in about an hour.  

 

Peak season, I have 3 housekeepers I can call.  I have a regular that I know I can count on, for weekly catch up.

 

I have one that turns too many Air BnB's to be a primary cleaner, but who can turn a single room in a pinch, and an alternate I am training, just in case.

 

When I started my Air BnB, I searched for this sort of advice.  I hope this helps new hosts!

Letti0
Level 10
Atascosa, TX

@Lizzie I am going to give you a tip on saving time during any season. The picture you posted has something similar to my own Vent a Hood with warming racks which is great. The problem with this picture is all the utensils she has on the hooks/rack over the stove. This is a time consuming nightmare whether low or high season. If you cook or your guests cook grease, oil, sauces, etc. will splatter on them, thus you need to wash all of them almost everytime you cook. Reaching for one of the utensils over a steaming pot can scald your arm or a pan your frying something in can burn you with oil spattlers when grabbing one from the hooks/rack. Also if you grab one and loss your grip it can fall into a pot of hot liquid that splashes at you then burns you and ruins your clothes with say a tomato sauce/gravey you have simmering.

 

This is not only a time consuming constant clean up chore, but a safety issue. Just my humble opinion of course. I cook a lot, so things like this catch my attention. 

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

This is a really great tip @Letti0 and one that I think is useful in any home, whether you have guests or not. It is also lovely to hear you are into cooking.

 

Something similar I have noticed recently is that quite a lot of people are moving away from having ties in their showers/bath areas and moving toward single panels which make it a lot easier to clean. I'm thinking of perhaps changing this in my home. Do you have similar time saving features in your home? 🙂


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Letitia0   I noticed that, too!  Maybe it was just a staged photo and not someone's real kitchen? 

I'm also always surprised to see herb and spice racks over a stove- heat and light are a sure way to ruin your spices in short order. (Sorry this has nothing to do with managing time)

Letti0
Level 10
Atascosa, TX

@Sarah0 I agree with you about the spices. A friend of mind did this in her remodel. She had them build spice racks between the hood and stove on the wall. When I told her she was going to effect the life span of her spices and leave dirty bottles on display all the time unless she washed them contantly, she thought I was nuts. About 2 months later she told me I was right and her orgeano, thyme, cilantro, etc. didn't really smell strong anymore or the flavor was not right unless she added 3 to 4 times the normal amount now. She has since moved all her spices to another area of her kitchen. I still think this on topic because now they are cleaning spice jars constantly and spending time shopping for new spices to replace the ones the that are no longer good. I won't even get into the cost issue of replacing the spices lol...

Rachel0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

I still cannot tag so cannot mention anyone specifically.  Linen is the most important thing and although I only rent out one double bedroom, shower room and living room,  I have 5 complete sets and 5 sets of towels.  I strip the bed as soon as the guests go, wash the linen  and my wonderful cleaning lady, who comes in once a week, takes it all away and irons it at her home.  I don't accept same day bookings or one night stays now - I did when I started 3.5 years ago - and if I see a couple of nights free between bookings  I will ofen block them to have a break for some "me time".  At 68 this is vital!

I also keep a close eye on light bulbs for the two bedside reading lamps and the desk lamp in the study/lilving room, plus the rest of the house as  there is nothing more annoying than finding one of them has blown just before the guests arrive.  Sadly, light bulbs are not what they were and although they are now supposed to last 10,000 hours or so, they don't.  I write on the bulb box which lamp they are for when I buy them as  - and it is probably an age thing - I would literally be in the dark if I didn't.

I also provide a light continental style breakfast and have to keep on top of things like jams and breakfast cereals.  I had a horrible moment last weekend when my Dutch guests took the lid off the marmalade pot and found that it had grown a head of hair - fortunately they were wonderful and laughed - but I have learned a lesson there.

 

 

 

Sally4
Level 6
Snoqualmie Pass, WA

To be sure, take time for yourself...

During my peak season, I go to my multi-listing calendar, and see what day of the week seems to be open for a particular week.  I then block the rooms for that day, and use that day for me.  

And to prevent furry marmalade pot lids...

I also make my own jams during the off season, and can them in the smallest mason canning jars. I started this after a guest took his buttery, crumby knife and plunged it into a large, expensive new jar of jam, and gave it a great stir, mixing all that crumby mess into the jam. Now, a nice, small jar seems to serve one breakfast, or maybe two.  It is much more economical, too!  This can be done nicely with freezer jam recipies. 

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