186. Invest In Your Property by Hiring A Caretaker (AMA)

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Sarah Karakaian:  [00:00:05] You’re listening to the Thanks for Visiting podcast. We believe hosting with heart is at the core of every short-term rental. With Annette’s background in business operation–

Annette Grant:  [00:00:14] And Sarah’s extensive hospitality management and interior design experience, we have welcomed thousands of guests from over 30 countries, earning us over a million dollars and garnering us thousands of five-star reviews. We love sharing creative ways for your listing to stand out, serve your guests and be profitable. Each episode, we will have knowledgeable guests who bring value to the short-term rental industry–

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:00:39] Or we will share our stories of our own experiences so you can implement actual improvements to your rentals. Whether you’re experienced, new, or nervous to start your own short-term rental we promise you’ll feel right at home. Before we dive into the content, let’s hear a word from our sponsor.

Hello, welcome back. My name is Sarah Karakaian.

Annette Grant:  [00:01:04] I am Annette Grant, and together we are–

Sarah and Annette:  [00:01:06] Thanks for Visiting.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:01:08] This is an AMA, Ask Me Anything, Ask Us Anything episode where you get to go to thanksforvisiting.me to the big red button in the upper right-hand corner. You press that, it’ll take you to a page where you can record your voice and ask us a question and we will answer it live on the show. So today we are going to answer a question by Calvin. Here we go.

Question:  [00:01:30] Hey, Sarah and Annette. This is Calvin Qualis here. I have been a longtime listener of your podcast. Thanks for all that you do in terms of educating newbies and even experienced investors about the space and how they can do things to fundamentally shift and change their business and their lives. I am reaching out as I have a question. I listened to one of your podcasts and I thought it was very interesting that you mentioned this whole notion of a caretaker, so someone that feels a little bit more invested in making sure that your property is up to snuff. So not just like a typical cleaner, but more of like an inspector or someone that is more aligned with taking care of the property and bringing up things that they come across that the typical cleaner or pool guy or someone else may not notice.

And so I wanted your feedback on how you find folks like that because the title caretaker is probably and has been much difficult to find than say a pool cleaner or an Airbnb or short-term rental cleaner. So we’d love your advice on how to go about finding a potential caretaker. I have just purchased a property in the Hamptons. It’s a luxury property that will begin–

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:02:44] And Calvin did cut off, but then he emailed us the rest of his question. 

Annette Grant:  [00:02:49] First of all, I’m just going to say I get emotional. I get a little teary when you heard the thank you at the beginning because that’s why Sarah and I do this is to educate and we’re so glad that you find this valuable. And Calvin, congrats. We are so excited about your new property. And you have no idea, we could probably do 55 episodes just on the inspector alone.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:03:08] So we should have an inspector podcast, Annette.

Annette Grant:  [00:03:11] Yeah, there’s should be a whole another episode of all the things that they’re responsible for. But if you don’t know what the role of the inspector is, Sarah, take it away.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:03:21] There are so many–

Annette Grant:  [00:03:22] Central workers?

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:03:23] Of this industry. And here’s what I would love to do if you don’t mind, Calvin. Number one is I want to help everyone who’s listening really shift their mindset. So a lot of people expect the cleaning team or it’s like how did the pool guy not recognize that? Well, because they’re to do what they are experts at– cleaning the pool. Or the cleaning team is cleaning. They’re not going to count your forks and knives. Honestly, you’re like, how do they not notice we have 10 wine glasses instead of 20. And it’s like–

Annette Grant:  [00:03:53] They walk in. 

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:03:54] To a mountain of–

Annette Grant:  [00:03:55] Right. They are trying to get it back to normal. They are doing all the laundry. They’re doing all of the cleaning. And so we encourage everyone, if you have never turned over your own home– 

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:04:00] Do it. 

Annette Grant:  [00:04:01] Do it. And don’t do it after you’ve stayed there. Do it after a guest checks out, so you get the real deal experience. And you’ll see what your turnover team is going through. And so that’s where a lot of people think that the cleaners are missing things. And it’s like, well, wait a second–

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:04:10] It’s not their job. 

Annette Grant:  [00:04:11] And if you have it in their contract, and all of those details, and they’re getting paid for that, but we find a lot of times they’re not trained on this, they’re not paid for this and there’s a lot of other things that need to be taken into account before.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:04:35] And I don’t know about you, but I want them to focus on the clean.

Annette Grant:  [00:04:39] Yeah, you want the cleaners focusing on the cleaner, not counting silverware, organizing that, or looking at your safety mechanisms. You want someone that can be really focused on the details.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:04:47] Correct. And so that is why we love to add another layer of quality control between the cleaning team and the guest arrival and that is what Calvin is talking about. 

Annette Grant:  [00:04:57] And we know some luxury companies they actually will call them stagers because they really do come in and reset the whole home if they’re luxury properties, but stager. We like to say, inspector because that’s what they’re doing. But let’s talk about how do you find these amazing people that you know–

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:04:48] Well, I think that’s really important to actually talk about their title really quick because there’s not one standard title. We know that because we’ve talked to people, but let’s go over some names. So there is sure a caretaker, inspector, but I want to be careful about the word inspector because it’s not this babysitter of the cleaning team. They are a support of the cleaning team. I know, for example, my property inspectors, and I call them property coordinators because they coordinate more than just inspection– 

Annette Grant:  [00:05:10] Maybe reservations, communications. 

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:05:12] Well, they don’t do that anymore, but–

Annette Grant:  [00:05:14] But if you have one property, they most likely will do that. 

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:05:17] Correct. Yes. So property coordinator could coordinate lots of different things, but a detailer, some companies call them the detailer. So whatever resonates with you and your brand and maybe the potential person because that title will shape their mindset, I think.

Annette Grant:  [00:05:23] And, Calvin, that might help you when you’re trying to hire this person is, do you only have the inspector role that’s available or do you have a lot of other things that you’re going to need assistance with? Are you going to need help with reservations, with communications? Are you going to need help with replenishing all of your amenities and your consumables? 

So we encourage you, number one, list out all the things that you’re going to need help with. And honestly, you got to just start getting out there either networking with other people in the town, there are places to put online ads. This is where you have to dig deep because you’re going to have to find that person. And you got to take the time to put the work in to find the snowflake that’s going to help.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:06:42] And I’ll say this has been my dream job prior to being podcast host with Annette here. But I think of a great person who might be great in this position are people who want to buy real estate, they want to get involved in this industry, but maybe they don’t have the bandwidth at this time, whether that’s a financial bandwidth or a mental bandwidth, and they could just help someone and learn. So that’s a great place to find people. 

Annette Grant:  [00:07:00] Calvin, just because you said you are like, if you’re in the Hamptons, are there people that are serving or in the hospitality industry in the evening and they have that 10:00 to 3:00 available, where they can come in and help? So you’ve got to find someone that has a flexible schedule with the time and they can help you whenever those reservations check in. But–

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:07:22] I’ve got more ideas.

Annette Grant:  [00:07:23] Yep, keep them coming.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:07:24] Professional organizers might love this. I used to be one. And so a lot of professional organizers are still trying to find their niche. And there’s a lot of organization involved in this. You have to order– systems. They love it. And also another idea and their industry are stagers. We also do this because I had a lot of personalities, you guys. But stagers love this too because yes, they get to take something from the beginning and they have instant transformation. They love that. So the soap is empty, now it’s full. The pillow was floppy, now it’s fluffed. So they’re going to love that. And depending on what you need, maybe those different industries will help you start your search.

Annette Grant:  [00:08:00] And I would say and I’m just going to throw a bunch of stuff out here and I don’t know exactly in your area. Maybe there are some Facebook groups with hosts and just posting that you’re looking for someone to help you with hosting they might know someone, care.com. You can still find people on Indeed, Craigslist, LinkedIn.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:08:15] Facebook marketplace.

Annette Grant:  [00:08:17] Yeah, I would really take a look at all off– Thumbtack. Maybe there’s some people that do some stuff there, but that might want to have more.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:08:24] Realtors.

Annette Grant:  [00:08:25] I was going to say that too, realtors.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:08:27] Realtors will know whether it be someone who tried the traditional transactional side of real estate and it wasn’t their jam, but they love being in houses, they would be great. That’d be good, too. Teachers off the summer, the Hamptons actors. You’re super close to New York City. I don’t know when your turnovers are. But again, I used to be an actor too. And they will take the train out and they might help you depending on the scope of work and when you need it. But there are a lot of people out there that would love this kind of work, Calvin, and anyone listening and it’s a really rewarding responsibility.

But again, make sure you set that mindset right for your team. They are not there to babysit the cleaners, they are not there to chastise the cleaners, they’re there to lend support. We are all a team and our goal is to protect the property and make sure the guests are safe and they have a wonderful check-in experience.

Annette Grant:  [00:09:10] But you are leaps and bounds ahead because just knowing that you need this person, you are going to have a lot less guest communications when people check in and things maybe aren’t up to snuff. So well done, Calvin. We appreciate the question. If you have follow-up questions, send them in, but good luck with your search for the inspector.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:09:28] We want to come and stay. I love the Hamptons.

Annette Grant:  [00:09:30] Yeah, we will come inspect before our stay.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:09:32] Yes, absolutely. It’ll be a hard job but we will.

Annette Grant:  [00:09:37] We’ll do some live podcasting while there interviewing someone. Thanks again, Calvin. We appreciate it.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:09:43] I am Sarah Karakaian.

Annette Grant:  [00:09:45] I’m Annette Grant and together we are–

Both Sarah and Annette:  [00:09:46] Thanks for Visiting.

Annette Grant:  [00:09:47] We’ll talk to you next time.

Sarah Karakaian:  [00:09:52] Thanks for listening to the Thanks for Visiting podcast. Head on over to the show notes for additional information about today’s episode. And please hit that Subscribe button and leave us a review. Awesome reviews help us bring you awesome content. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to hanging out with you next week.