No two days are the same in operations. Our day starts early with guests ringing with queries regarding their departure.
It’s also the time we prepare cleaning lists for our cleaning teams.
These need to be quite detailed so we know where to place travel cots, high chairs, extra beds, twin beds etc. Our cleaning crews then confirm the order in which the apartments will be cleaned. We have to liaise frequently with our very hard-working cleaning team especially in respect to the volume of dirty linen so we can manage linen needed for the following weeks.
Next up it’s time for a little chat between us all about the day ahead and life in general. Perhaps a coffee and a chocolate too!
Any maintenance issues have to be dealt with and we decide whether it’s something that can be done by ourselves or need to get another company involved. Once the decisions are made we call or email the contractors concerned. Emails are marked to the contractors so we can see what progress is being made so nothing slips through the net. We are lucky to know some skilled tradesmen who are very good to us and fit us in at very short notice whenever possible.
We have a shared email inbox so we can all read what’s going on and then mark it so everyone knows who is dealing with it. This keeps everyone in the loop and we can access it on our phones from the car, office or home.
Then around 10am we prepare the keys and the welcome letters ready for the day’s incoming guests. The letter contains info such as WiFi passwords, car parking spaces and any other relevant information. Then it’s time to agree who is travelling to which locations (no point in us all travelling to the same ones!).
Once out on the road you never know what’s going to happen, it could be straight forward and all go smoothly but that is rare. Something normally crops up and it can be just about anything…from a mouldy leek in the fridge to a leak in an apartment. Every flat is thoroughly checked before a guest arrives by one of the team to ensure that everything is present and correct.
We often stop and have a chat with guests, contractors or caretakers en-route. Midday to 3pm is generally our busiest so lunch is usually eaten in the car.
After 3pm its time to either head back to the office, go shopping or complete other routine tasks. Shopping is a fairly frequent task as we often need to replace kitchen items, lampshades, cushions etc. Believe it or not the novelty of shopping eventually does wear off! There is also the joy of lost property that needs to be sorted and posted back to their owners. This happens quite regularly so we are quite well known at our local post office. Other routine tasks include preparing event lists so our guests are aware of what is going on in the city. This helps them get the most from their stay. Another regular task is meter reading. Every day brings new problems and challenges so it’s not too repetitive in Operations.
On returning to the office which can be anytime from 3-5pm the keys collected from departed guests need to be sorted. Emails are checked and actioned as required and then it’s time to head home.
Our phones are on 24/7 and we take it in turns to cover the 7.30pm – 9am period. This period is for urgent problems – guests having difficulty accessing apartments, water leaks etc. We can deal with most things remotely and we are all adept now at dealing with most things that arise swiftly and efficiently, luckily it doesn’t ring too often.
Written by Claire Hooton (Director)