At Savvy, one of our operational pillars is Responsiveness. Meaning, we respond quickly and effectively to the situation at hand. We also strive to embody the organizational pillar of Sustainability.
So in a sense, our team is trained to respond in sustainable ways. In other words, we don't use bandaid solutions.
Instead, look for the root of the issue and implement long-term solutions that last. If you own a vacation rental property, you'll quickly learn the difference between short-term and long-term solutions and how each of them affect your bottom line.
When you’re hiking on a long trail and feel a small pebble in your shoe, it doesn’t seem so bad at first. Perhaps a minor annoyance, but nothing significant. Since it doesn’t feel like a big deal, you leave the rock in and keep walking instead of stopping to take it out.
The problem with leaving the rock in is that if you’re walking far enough, the tiny little rock will actually end up causing a blister. With a small blister on your foot, it starts to become a bit more painful to walk. With each step you take, you can feel the skin rubbing raw, chaffing, bubbling up, until finally it pops.
With an open wound, walking is still possible but it’s not very fun. At this point, you take a break to tend to the wound by putting a bandaid on hoping it will help you get a little further on the trail.
The issue is, the bandaid is only a temporary solution—it doesn’t last very long, and you need to keep replacing it so you can continue walking.
Eventually you’ll run out of bandaids, or the one you have on won’t be effective anymore. But you can’t stop walking; the journey continues.
As you continue walking with a half-patched wound, the sweat and dirt accumulates and the bacteria inside your shoe festers. Next thing you know, your foot is infected and you can’t walk at all.
Each step now feels like a knife digging into your skin.
Now you’re stuck because you can’t walk anymore. You need to call a Medivac for help. But by the time they arrive it’s already too late—the medic says he’ll need to amputate your foot before the infection spreads to other parts of your body.
What started as a minor annoyance has quickly morphed into something much more dire. And all because you didn’t stop to take the rock out of your shoe when you first noticed it was there.
One of our core pillars at Savvy is sustainability. We operate our business with a longevity mindset which means when we encounter a problem, we don’t just put a bandaid on it, we implement a sustainable solution that makes the business better in the long run.
Sometimes it’s necessary to utilize a mix of short- and long-term solutions, but we don’t stop at the symptoms—we get to the heart of the matter.
For example, if your daughter has a fever, you may give her some Vitamin C and put a cold rag over her forehead. Oftentimes, the fever is merely a symptom of the common cold. But occasionally, it turns out to be something much worse so you keep an eye on how effective your treatment is and, if necessary, go to the doctor for help from a professional.
How does this apply to you as a vacation rental owner?
The lesson here is that small, seemingly insignificant problems can can lead to drastic effects on the business. And this fact is an important consideration to keep in mind when making decisions about how to operation your short-term rental property.
Something as simple as a hair on the bed could be an honest mistake, or it could mean that your processes aren't thorough enough. It could also mean that you actually do have strong systems in place but you don't have the right people to maintain those systems.
In hospitality, curiosity doesn't kill the cat, curiosity feeds the cat. And well-fed cats purr more often than starving ones.
That is to say, investigating issues that seem small on the surface is a healthy habit to adopt if you want to manage a profitable vacation rental. This means exploring the issue to the best of your ability and taking the time to dig into the root of the problem so you can create a sustainable solution (vs. only addressing the symptoms).
A major plumbing issue, for example, could be staring you right in the face and you wouldn't even know it if you didn't take the time to investigate.
A change in water pressure, or slow drainage in a sink or bathroom, or funky smells coming from the shower or toilets... these are all red flags to get curious about. They could be symptomatic of a simple hair clog or something much worse.
Dealing with problems as an STR owner often hinges on how much it costs to fix and what the ultimate payoff will be. This mindset is especially common amongst investors because everything is about ROI.
The irony is, many investor-minded folks who own an STR don't typically consider ROI in operational decisions. When something goes wrong, the go-to choice is usually the cheaper option (which is not always the best option).
This is like buying cheap toilet paper and expecting it to be as effective as the good kind. What ends up happening is that you end up using more of the single-ply anyways because it doesn't get the job done the first time around.
Why not just buy the 3-ply in the first place?
If your first choice for fixing something is the quickest or cheapest option, you might actually end up spending more time and money when the problem resurfaces than if you were to just fix it right the first time. It might require more time and money upfront but it'll save your ass down the road.
This mindset applies not only to maintenance and repairs at the property but also to marketing and advertising as well as the guest experience.
Since we manage quite a few vacation rentals, we encounter new problems all the time. Some are easy and familiar fixes, others are completely foreign.
Our approach at Savvy is to investigate the issues that come up thoroughly and find out not only what went wrong but also what could have been done to prevent it. Once we've gathered enough information, we contemplate the available options and decide on a course of action.
Sometimes these are 'one and done' kind of actions but other times we actually roll out solutions that end up retro-fitting our entire operation.
For instance, when we tackled the issue of damage claims and vacation rental insurance for owners, we found a solution that was applicable to all our properties. It turned into a win-win situation not only for us and for owners but also for guests, too!
Paramount in our decision-making process is the longevity of the solution. We'll always opt to spend more up front if we think it will save us on the back end in the future.
In summary, we bring long-term solutions to your short-term rental property so you can continue to profit year after year.
Being a Savvy Owner means working smart, not hard. It means using the resources at your disposal with the utmost intelligence and efficiency.
Partner with a trusted industry professional to make your vacation home dreams come true. With Savvy by your side, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
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