These three little words are interlinked and powerful. Wrap them in the K-word and you form the basis for good business. Failure in any of them and you have issues.
As property managers, we are constantly trying to second guess what a guest’s expectations are. Not easy considering we have no idea of their emotional state when they arrive nor what previous experiences they have had. Maybe a great stay in a small town where they were treated to fresh flowers, home-made bread and open fire going and they are hoping for this in their Auckland CBD apartment!
Our job is to make sure the listing description and photos reflect the right tone and correct details so the guest is prepared as to what to expect. It is important to never assume they have the same level of knowledge as we have. When I went to Canada the washing machine dials and liquid placements were completely different to those in NZ. Even in England a washer-dryer completely stumped me. Check-in messaging and house guides with appliance instructions need to be very clear. Pillo uses ‘how to images’ step-by-step details to help.
I say to my staff “Walk in the shoes of a guest who has just arrived tired from a 24-hour flight. It’s 10 pm, Friday night and raining and English isn’t their first language.”
No doubt some guests are unreasonable and know how to ‘play the game’ in terms of getting some sort of discount or refund. Our job is to try and ensure the listing and condition of the property doesn’t allow them to do this. Our experience has taught us how to handle these guests – not allowing them to use us but at the same time ensuring concerns and feedback are respected and they feel listened to.
As a team, we do our best to never ‘assume’ anything but to always research, follow through and actually, check.
(Image Source: Travelerdoor)
Over the COVID years short stay certainly took a hammering but Covid is now over and Airbnb is back. The seasonal nature of short stays has returned with the ability in the peak seasons to reap good rewards with high occupancy and nightly rates and continuing to have a steady income during lower periods. Where appropriate we find fixed-term contracts during winter.
As rates change daily, we talk about average daily nightly rates (ADR) charged per booking over a period of time. The return needs to be reviewed as an annualised figure e.g. annualised average per week or month or per annum. This evens out the high and low seasons.
Occupancy cycle – Pokémon city: not exact figures
When the market changes to the down season it is understandably challenging for owners but they have knowledge of the short stay cycle and appreciate it is necessary to be realistic and to have fair expectations of returns during this period. Pillo works within the market conditions to meet Owner’s expectations to optimise annual short stay returns.
The assumption between Pillo and Owner contractual relationship is both parties have the same knowledge, understanding and hence respect for the terms of the contract. By both parties signing the contract the expectations are the owner will abide by the terms and in return Pillo will support owners to maximise potential returns and as well as look after the integrity of the property. An agreed mutual understanding.
Problems can arise from all relationships when assumptions are made with expectations that aren’t fair. These problems can be costly; guests can leave poor reviews which affect future earning potential. Contract terms are broken with costly breach fines.
With knowledge, this is mitigated.