Key Management for Holiday Letting Agencies
Toms Holidays manages 140 properties for holiday rental, including cleaning and maintenance services. During a busy changeover, with keys going out and being returned by our guests, cleaners, cleaning supervisors and maintenance staff, we can reach 500+ transactions a day. This was far too many to try and monitor on paper, or with colour coded tags. Key Located was originally setup for our company and with a couple of years of testing under our belt we have smoothed out efficiency, transaction time and requirements. With all our staff having their own ID tags, any of them can collect a key, sign it out and leave the office within moments with no requirement to even look at a computer. Onsite staff can keep a track of usage whilst on the go with smart phones or tablets.
We have multiple offices, so we needed the system to record not only if a key was checked out, but also if it had been checked into another office. Our office locations include reception/key drop-off, housekeeping, maintenance and the manager’s office.
- Guest arrivals – As guests check-in we swipe the keys out using a guest ID tag. Later in the day any department can instantly see if a property is in use and the exact checked in time. For example, if maintenance is delayed before heading to a property they know if they need to expect a guest to already be there. This is accessed through a read only version of the web portal.
- Housekeeping – We use the system to trigger cleaning upon guest departure. The cleaning department use the ‘24 hour history’ screen to identify when guests leave so they can send in the cleaners. This really helps with early departures as our check out time is 10am but we can see exactly who has left at any point and get the cleaners working early to take the edge off the day.
- Independent Maintenance Staff – With the option to assign a temporary ID tag to a visiting gas engineer, we can keep track of who is around the park, when they arrived and when they departed.
- Equipment tracking – We use the system to track who has equipment, such as company mobile phones. We provide each cleaner with a company mobile phone. We attach NFC stickers to each phone. We then enter this tag into the system titled ‘Mobile 6 (07777 123456)’, for example. Housekeeping managers can then see that a given cleaner has a company mobile, plus know what mobile number to contact them on. Other tracked equipment includes PA testers, drills, vacuum cleaners, spare TVs and corresponding remote (each with their own NFC sticker) and many more.
- Key auditing – With the level of key movements we have, we carry out a full audit every week. As the system knows what is signed out of the office, the audit screen only lists the keys we should actually have in the office. We can select which office we want to audit. Every key in the list should therefore be in the key cupboard.
As a result of the Key Located system, we no longer require a member of staff to solely deal with key management every Saturday, cutting our wage costs. The system has hugely reduced the amount of telephone calls between departments and radio calls to onsite staff. This has creating a much calmer and more relaxed atmosphere as everyone has all the data live at their fingertips.
If you would like to discuss our use of the system or require more detail about how it will best work for you feel free to give us a call at Toms Holidays on 01736 753010 (ask for Ben).