Honesty and transparency are key to successful guest and property management. Things may not always go to plan, but it is the way we deal with problems that matters the most.
It’s important to deal with any issues effectively and efficiently, and be professional and honest with your guests.
Here are our six golden rules of successful problem management, which will give you the confidence to deal with problems at the property you manage. And for more tips on becoming a property manager, check out our archive.
1. Think ahead
Before guests arrive, think through potential problems and how you could reach solutions. For example, if the guests are travelling with a baby, make sure that the property is ready for them. Check that all the equipment, such as the cot and highchair, is in good condition.
2. Agree on limitations in advance
Make sure you and the property owner have a clear understanding of limitations. For example, will the owner accept damage up to a certain amount, such as 50€, before passing the costs onto guests? Do you need to contact the owner every time a glass is broken, or do you have the authority to replace certain items without the owner’s consent?
Know the owner’s stance on what they’re happy with. This is their second home, after all. Make sure you are aware of the house rules – they may have a strict no pet policy or an age restriction on swimming pool use. This reduces the risk of conflict as you can be confident of your owner’s standpoint on certain matters.
3. Be reasonable
Some leeway is necessary. Accidents happen. Does the owner really expect you to ask for 15€ to replace something broken by accident when the guest paid over 4,000€ to book the chalet? Make sure things like this are agreed upon in advance.
4. Be respectful
Put yourself in the guest’s position. How would you react if you and your family found yourself in a similar situation during your holiday? There are always at least two sides to a story. Try to be understanding of different circumstances.
If you don’t know what the problem is, you can’t begin to resolve it. Don’t assume – make sure you ask questions and find out what the guest’s needs are.
6. Be proactive
If problems arise, deal with them as quickly as possible. Take photographs and share them on Whatsapp rather than sending long complicated emails. Guests will see you are reacting and owners will be able to make informed decisions.
Remember that problems can arise before, during and sometimes after the guests’ stay. An easy way to summarise the six golden rules and be confident in your problem-solving skills is to remember the L.E.A.R.N method…
The L.E.A.R.N Method
Listen to what the guest has to say. Don’t interrupt them or tell them to calm down. Ask questions and don’t assume you have the right solution before you’ve heard them out.
E mpathise – Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. How would you feel if this happened on your holiday?
A pologise – Say sorry, even if it’s not your fault. Don’t pass the blame and never hand out owner information, no matter how hard you are pushed.
R eact – Tell them the plan and when you’ll get back to them. It’s fine to go away and ask for help, but make sure you keep them updated. If needs be, remove yourself from the environment so you can come up with the right solution.
N ow! – Make sure you begin the problem-solving process straight away, do not let the issue linger! The more efficiently you handle the complaint, the more understanding the guest is likely to be.
We hope you found these problem-solving tips useful. If you’re keen to begin a career in property management in the French Alps, then visit our webpage to find out more…