I stayed at Dickerson Hill this past weekend for some much needed R&R. When I arrived, I started making lists. Supplies and a list of things I would like to see different. I also created a video to pass along to the companies/people who are helping me run the place. I decided this would be a perfect time to share some ideas about how I have been efficient with my time and the different systems that I put in place for its success. It is booked solid every weekend for the next 8 weeks! If you are looking to host a company retreat or are able to slip away during the week, Dickerson Hill would be the perfect way to get away this fall! You can always check the Airbnb listing!
My time is limited, and more than that, I always want to set expectations and then over-deliver every time. It is not just a stay for me, but at the experience and that experience starts the minute they arrive. It has also been a learning curve this year, making it better and ironing out kinks.
A good business starts with your brand. Creating a website that carries forward to any social media platforms and any communication. Consistency is the key to branding. Here are my 5 tips that have allowed me to run this so well and only 3 months and have some amazing reviews and business structure in place!
Applications – Are there applications or websites that can help you market and/or help you to save time? I am using Airbnb as the platform to handle bookings, contracts, etc. Different businesses typically have different needs, and another similar company usually has those same needs, so there is a system/application that can be solutions out there. Why reinvent the wheel if there is someone who has already created a solution? For Airbnb, it provides a lead resource also, it handles prices, scheduling, contract, bookings, reviews, etc. Sure there is a cost, but it is highly worth it to simplify that booking process. Many Airbnb listings are open bookings. I have that turned off as I still want the option to approve or deny who stays in my home. Airbnb even reached out saying they want to spotlight my house if I would turn that off. No thank you. It is a business decision, and at the end of the day, this is my home, so I am choosing to be picky and not just look at the bottom line. Not everyone will respect my home!
Templates and Workflows – Create workflows and checklists for processes and continuously tweak them to make them better! For booking, I have a templated welcome email. A week before guests arrive, they receive another templated email. It allows me to save time, not miss any details and then I can personalize each of them slightly. I also have workflows for guests checking out. Anything that is a repeated process in a company should have a workflow and lists to support it.
Answering Questions (before they are asked!) Part of a business is the experience. A brand is not just a logo or how things look, but it is how you make people feel. I created this video that is personable and immediately allows people to get excited and connected to the home and myself. More importantly, it also helps answer many frequently asked questions! Also, I created a Welcome Guide. (I believe I am on version 7!) I am constantly tweaking and adding. It also answers questions and becomes a resource and part of the experience. You can see the most recent Welcome Guide HERE. I am a big believer in it being a personal experience so you will see a welcome letter from me, how to use things, guidelines, nearby restaurants and resources, check out, etc.
Social Media – So many companies miss this vital piece. Not all companies need social media, but it is the foundation of so much that I do. Social media needs to relate to the brand. I don’t have a ton of time to manage it, but I believe if you have a social media account for something you must use and post to it regularly. Otherwise, you look like you are not busy! I use Preview (another application to make my life easier) and plan out 90 days at a time of content with each of my companies. Here is a look at Dickerson Hills upcoming content. It saves time and visually allows you to see it together. Yes, it might change with me adding something, but this becomes a guide.
Constantly tweaking and updating – Systems and people have been put into place, but it requires constant tweaks to make it the best it can be. Creating lists like I said for cleaners, for lawn maintenance and even for myself. While up there this past weekend I changed the whole house water filter. Created instructions and assigned dates for its upkeep. I created this for the cleaning crew just for double-checking and for also placement of dishes and pillows.
The more organized you are! The more efficient you can be. The more efficient, the more your efforts are constantly refined to improve the experience and save time! I hope you loved these tips! Let me know on this post on (@kristydickerson) Instagram if you did love it!!