When planning your next getaway, here’s a handy checklist of things to consider and/or organise before you leave.
This will ensure your relief manager will be able to run your business as smoothly as possible, which means less worry for you while you’re enjoying your break.
After hours – what is your procedure for after hours contacts, emergencies, check ins?
Appliances – inform your relief manager about the location of spare jugs, toasters, crockery, cutlery etc.
Banking – provide details about how often you require the banking to be done, as well as the location of deposit book and where you bank is located. Also, be sure to inform whether you reconcile your reservation system every day. Do you take internet banking deposits, if so how will your relief manager know to update your reservations system?
Cleaners – Provide details about whether they need to be contacted to work or if they are contracted to work daily. Provide a roster. Provide information on who is responsible for linen orders, whether cleaners service the common areas, whether they sign off daily on what has been completed and if the relief manager should check the rooms after the cleaners have finished. Also, the location of your cleaning maintenance log for regular cleaning items such as cleaning behind fridges, air-conditioning filters, curtains, tops of pelmets, etc. As well as location of maintenance and guest comment reports.
Cash sales – Provide list of charges applicable for laundry powder, WIFI, equipment hire for items such as videos, use of barbecue, tennis racquets etc. Also, receipt arrangement for these funds.
Computer – Provide details as to how you backup the computer and how often. Most importantly provide the contact details of your computer geek. Do you permit your relief manager to use your computer to check personal emails, Facebook etc? Do you have somewhere where relief manager can have access for their own laptop?
Conference/Meeting Rooms – have documented procedures for hire, cleaning, catering etc available.
Electrical – Most importantly – provide the phone number for your electrician. Also provide details about the location of the main switch board and circuit breakers for each unit. Also advise the location of spare light bulbs and batteries. Also other details such as whether there is there an independent power supply for the building and/or for the office. How does this operate? What happens in a power cut? Do you have emergency lighting?
Facilities – Explain cleaning and servicing procedures for pool, sauna, steam room, games room, gymnasium, vending machines and public use of Internet.
Emergencies – Provide information about the location of the assembly point and of fire hoses and extinguishers. Also leave details if you have a special emergency number and the phone number for a direct call to the fire service. Other important information to consider includes whether sensors are hard wired to automatically call the fire service or if they are battery operated, and also who services the equipment. Provide instructions for the fire control panel, use of fire control PA system and sprinkler system. Ensure evacuation procedures are documented such as for tsunami or earthquake.
Float – arrange the float and the amount required – always count it together during handover.
Guests – provide detailed checking in procedure and what associated forms are required to be completed. Also details of the amount for deposits, bonds etc. Explain the filing system for receipts, deposits and guests’ information. Do you take group bookings, long term stays, special weekly rates etc?
Health and Safety – ensure you have a policy in place and it is explained to your relief managers.
Hydraulics – provide location information for shut off valves for the complex and for each unit, underground car park pumps location and manual override switch. Explain the operation of the garden sprinkler system and the location of the main control box. Also the phone number of your plumber.
Internet access – provide details whether it is wireless or cable. As well as supplier details and the cost of providing access.
Keys – explain how many should be issued to guests, if there is a master, if there are fees for unlocking after hours and for lost keys and the system for programming key cards.
Lifts – provide information about how to access to motor room and the name of your service agent. As well as who the emergency phone in the lift calls. Also give a brief explanation of how to read faults in the lift motor room.
Mail – do you want your mail opened? Does it need to be collected? Keys and location of you PO Box. Does guest mail get delivered?
Open and Close Up – a checklist of daily procedures like a run sheet is really useful – even include things like switch off computer, lights and heating, locking safe for example.
Passwords – don’t forget to provide passwords for everything! Including Eftpos machine, websites, trust account, computer, after hours, safe code and anything else.
Parking – provide parking rules and parking locations and any special rules for visitors.
Property Policies – ensure you have documented all your Policies – Health and Safety, Evacuation, Incident Reporting, Cancellation, Pets on site, Terms and Conditions of Stay, Children, Smoking etc.
Relief manager’s accommodation – most relief managers tend to stay in the managers’ house or apartment, but depending upon individual preferences, can stay in another unit within the complex. Do you have operating manuals for your washing machine, dishwasher, oven, alarms etc?
Residents and units – provide a list of owners, tenants and permanent residents. Do you have any arrangements with specific residents? Do any of them provide services for you? Ensure this is all relayed to your relief manager.
Rate sheet – indicate whether rates are negotiable and if so, by what percentage.
Relief manager duties – provide a detailed checklist of all duties, including office and outside, for which the relief manager is responsible. These include pools, gardening, bins, repairs, cleaning common areas, etc.
Reservation System – does your reservation system provider provide free advice and support or are enquiries charged for? What are the contact phone numbers, is there a help manual available?
Room Configurations – have a list or map of rooms, with their numbering, bedding configurations, if they have Sky TV, Wifi access, special views, disability access, facilities such as spa bath, ovens or laundry.
Rubbish bins – provide a schedule of what days the bins are emptied and also if there is a bin cleaning schedule.
Suppliers – provide a list of your preferred suppliers and their contact details.
Security – provide details on late arrivals and locking up procedures, including the location of switches. Also, the procedure to review security camera recordings, to issue new or replacement swipe fobs and the name of security service and their responsibilities.
Smoking – what is your policy on smoking in units and in common areas?
Staff – leave a roster and contact details of all staff members. Do they have timesheets and checklists that need to be completed? Are there any issues that your relief manager should be made aware of?
Swimming pool pump room – provide information regarding the configuration and explanation of all valves and settings. Also, the location of pool log book for recording water balance.
Telephones – provide a list of numbers for your phones and instructions for diverting, receiving messages remotely, answerphone retrieval and for transferring calls.
Tour facilities – do you work with local operators to organise tours? Ensure procedures are documented.
TV subscription services – Provide your account number and contact details in case of service problems. Provide detailed instructions on the TV, video and subscription channel connections and how to operate.