Since you have decided to manage the holiday home yourself, you will need to avail the services of a support staff who will help you in the various tasks involved in running the property efficiently and safely. Before you start your holiday home rental business, there are many questions you need to ask yourself. So whether you live in the property or hours away, you need to first decide how much resources – both in terms of time and money – you are willing to spend to manage your holiday home as a whole.
Here are some of the support staff/ services you will require for your holiday home:
1. Housekeeper or cleaning services: For the holiday home owner, handling cleaning issues from a distance will be the biggest challenge. It is critical to find a housekeeper or cleaning service you can trust.
2. Maintenance Person or Handyman: A maintenance person or company will oversee your property on a continual basis. This works particularly well for people who live far from their second home and can’t visit more than once or twice a year.
3. Key-holder or key-holding services: You will need to assign someone who will not only hand over the keys of the property to the guests who come to stay in your holiday home, but will also welcome them.
4. A Caretaker: He will be your Man Friday who will receive your guests and get the above tasks done and run other errands. He will also take care of the tax issues, bill payments, etc.
But before you employ any staff to help you in running your holiday home, make sure you have done your homework well. Here are some areas which you need to look into before you keep someone on the payroll:
(i) Tourist calendar: Find out the peak season and off-season of the area where your property is located. Try to find out the average inflow of tourists in the area during off-season. If there are not much visitors during the off-season period, what will your employees do during that period?
(ii) Full-time, part-time or freelance: What is the kind of staff employment that you have in mind? Full-time employees will mean that you will have to pay them whether you have guests in your holiday home or not. Since support staff for holiday homes are available on a part-time and freelance basis, it makes sense to employ them on a part-time and freelance basis, wherein you can pay according to the number of visits they made to your property or on the basis of work done.
(iii) Tasks: Find out the tasks your support staff will do. Whether full-time, part-time or freelance, assign the tasks for which they will be held responsible. Tasks like inspecting the property before and after each rental, doing an inventory count, welcoming the guests into your property, organizing repairs and maintenance, providing receipts for all expenditures, etc are some of the tasks which your support staff will do.
(iv) Flexible staff: If you have decided not to take the services of a property management company, the next best option could be keeping a flexible staff. During peak season they can be employed full time and during off-season they can come to the property when required.