Want to hire a professional accommodation relief manager but not sure where to start? Here are some useful things you need to know.
What does a relief manager do?
Relief managers have all the necessary skills to come in and run your business in your absence. They are there to “hold the fort” and keep your business operating on a day to day basis, ensuring your guests and property are cared for while you take a break.
Some relief managers offer extra services for additional payment such as business consultancy, business development or undertaking special projects for you. It is recommended a Memorandum of Understanding or Service Contract is drafted between the two parties to ensure everyones expectations are met.
What does a Memorandum of Understanding or Service Contract look like?
This basic document is negotiated and signed by both parties and should cover agreed conditions like:
- Contracting parties
- Start and end dates
- Fees and payment
- Services undertaken
- Insurance requirements
- Cancellation, termination and disputes
Where do they stay, what do I need to provide them with?
A relief manager will reside on your property for the duration of the contract. Either staying in your home, in an accommodation unit or they may even be in their own mobile home and will require a place to park.
Because they stay over night they’ll need all the requirements of day to day living including laundry.
You may need to provide them with a work vehicle to undertake rubbish removal, business shopping or picking up and dropping off guests.
I’ve found the best relief manager/s for my business, now what happens?
Typically managers will arrive at your property the day before you are due to go away, this can be worked out with them and will depend on amount of information you’ll need give them to operate your business in your absence. Remember when you first started in your property? There would have been a sharp learning curve required.
Ensure you’ve got an up to date Operations Manual which outlines all the quirky things about your business, contact numbers, passwords and software information.
While you are away your managers will undertake all agreed tasks and report back to you if, and when, you need. On your return they’ll debrief and update you on all aspects of their stay.
What will it cost and how do I pay them?
Professional relief managers are highly skilled, experienced business people.
Typically relief managers charge a daily rate, this could be anywhere from $200 – $300+ per day, this depends on a few things like
- how many hours your reception is open
- how large your property is
- if you already employ staff
- if one or two managers are required full/part time
- what services you require
- if it’s over a public holiday
- your occupancy levels and time of year
Depending on how long the contract is for, most will invoice you with payment required at the end of the contract. Longer contracts may require payment weekly or fortnightly – you can negotiate this directly with your relief manager. Some may also be GST registered and issue a GST tax invoice.
Some may require a deposit or may charge travel costs or other related costs to complete a contract e.g. public liability insurance.
For those who haven’t used the services of relief managers before, you may initially think the cost is quite high, but as we all know, a typical day may start with 6.30am breakfast/s and reception may not close until 8pm or later (over 13 hours).
Do the sums … if you employed an unskilled waged part timer or temporary staff member you would be paying a minimum hourly rate of $17.70 as well as ACC levies, KiwiSaver, training costs and possibly FBT, as well as the legalities of employment contracts and PAYE registration – so by engaging a professional contract relief manager/s on a daily rate, makes it a cost effective and less hassle business proposition.
What skills do they have and what services do they provide?
Relief managers have different skill sets and offer varying services however, they are all experts in everyday accommodation operations and principles such as reservations & bookings, supervising staff, customer service, property cleanliness and basic maintenance.
Relief Managers may also be
- experienced grounds workers and can upkeep swimming & spa pools, recreational facilities, undertake lawn mowing and gardening
- prepared to undertake cleaning and housekeeping, food preparation and laundry
- experienced in technology, office management and staff supervision
- hold special licences or certifications such as hospitality, real estate, security registration, driving and first aid
- be avid animal lovers and are happy to look after your pets.
What reservation programs/software do they know?
Relief managers have different technology skills. The Accommodation Industry today is advanced. It can now be a technology minefield with booking systems, channel managers, OTAs, TripAdvisor and social media platforms. Our network of relief managers are skilled in a variety of systems – Seekom, Newbooks, Callista, RMS, Room Master, Roonsoft, Motel Mate, EzyRez, booking.com, Expedia, Wotif along with marketing groups such as Mitchell Corp, Mainstay, Golden Chain, Top 10, KiwiParks, Family Parks and BBH.
What happens if the job falls through or none of the managers listed are available?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org we have a database of over 40 managers who may not be listed on this website. We’ll put the word out ASAP and see if we can find someone else suitable.
Are they security vetted and can I trust them?
Some relief managers are police vetted. You should always complete due diligence and reference checking of any managers you are about to contract.
All relief managers should be more than happy to provide referees or references, if they don’t then maybe they aren’t the right people for your business.
This page was established May 2017 and is a work in progress as we list more relief managers. The owners of this website have no franchise or commission agreement with any independent contractors listed. As such we’re not responsible for the outcome of any agreements or contracts you may enter into with freelance contractors listed on this website. We encourage you complete due diligence and reference checking.