Adina's BK - Formalizing a Staffing Structure

Adina's BK - Formalizing a Staffing Structure

Updated Feb, 25th 2013

Summary:

Adina’s Brooklyn is a growing business offering flexible, affordable, authentic short-term rental and hospitality services in Brooklyn. In that past year we've gone from a one-woman show to a team of 5 part timers. With high season around the corner we're in the process of formalizing and beefing up our staffing structure in response to burgeoning demand for our spaces and services.  

(I stumbled upon this class late but catching up!)

Background:

Three years ago I started renting out my Brooklyn apartment on Airbnb when I travelled for work. Before I knew it I was hooked on hosting, so I started a business providing extended hosting services for friends and neighbors who want to rent their homes without the hassle.  

In the past year I’ve built a network of hosts who offer their homes on a full- or part-time basis; and developed packages of services catering to everyone from hands-on, established hosts to hands-off owners seeking to break into the short-term rental market.  My team acts as intermediary and extended host, ensuring that guests are taken care of from inquiry to check-out. 

Our services include:

  • Creating and maintaining listings on international short-term rental sights
  • Referral and vetting of guests
  • Managing check-in and check-out
  • Pricing & occupancy maximization
  • Guest communications pre-arrival and during stay
  • Last minute booking solutions
  • 24-hour emergency contact & concierge services
  • Home cleaning and organization 
  • Stocking of Household/Cleaning Supplies & Groceries
  • Home Furnishing & (Re-)design
  • Individually tailored Home & Guest Guides
  • Neighborhood Guides, Maps, and Guided Tours

We are currently responsible for four properties full time and a number of other properties on an intermittent basis, and we're positioning to scale up for the 2013 high season. 

I'm in the process of building a team capable of expanding our portfolio of properties and services, while anchoring the business in the communities in which we’re operating.

Hiring status:

I just (2 weeks ago) hired an Operations Manager, but did so quickly without going through the process outlined in this course - so I’m using this as an opportunity to refine the job description during the trial period I’ve agreed to with my new hire.

Two positions are transitioning from ad hoc consulting services (so far provided by very smart friends) to formal, structured (albeit still part time) positions. These are: Revenue Optimization Manager and ICT Manager.  

Finally, the key position I’d like to hire this season is the Community Manager. While I can’t afford to hire this position quite yet I’m using this project to develop the job description and hiring plan.

Draft job descriptions for 3 of these 4 positions are below

Strategy:

  1. Take advantage of trial period with new Operations Manager to refine job description
  2. Develop formal job descriptions for 2 positions currently being done ad hoc by friends (Revenue Optimization Manager position completed; draft ICT Manager position this week)
  3. Formally interview for ICT & Revenue positions; use this as an opportunity to practice interview techniques and develop formal hiring strategy.
  4. Develop job description for Community Manager and begin informal recruitment for the right fit.

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Operations Manager


The Operations Manager is the one who makes our growing operation run seamlessly: a cross between a mechanic, identifying and fixing nuts and bolts problems as they arise; and the equivalent of a holistic health professional for the real estate/hospitality industry, foreseeing the unusual operational challenges of our unconventional business and providing mindful -- and ideally preemptive -- solutions. You’re the person responsible for the ‘flexible’ in the tagline.

The Operations Manager will hold primarily responsibility for the day to day operations of the properties and guest communications from inquiry through check-out.  Specific responsibilities include:

  • Maintain property listings, including updating photos and amenities and implementing price adjustments as agreed with CEO.
  • Manage overall guest calendar.
  • Oversee timely and consistent response to all guest inquiries.
  • Maintain records of inquiries and bookings using specially designed Salesforce database.
  • Schedule cleanings, apartment set-up, check-ins and check-outs.
  • Provide hands on support to guests as needed
  • Maintain and update house guides and neighborhood guides
  • Coordinate regular stocking of household supplies, linens, etc.
  • Maintain property inventories
  • Compile and maintain cleaning and set-up protocols
  • Draft guest agreements from standard templates
  • Intermittently post to Craigslist and other sites
  • Liaise with bookkeeper on expense records
  • Communicate directly with hosts/owners regarding maintenance and operations issues
  • Serve specified shifts on call for 24-hour emergency/concierge service.


Qualifications:

  • Hyper-anal organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Comfort with multi-tasking and autonomous time management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including solid oral and written communication skills
  • Two years of hospitality industry experience
  • Love and knowledge of Brooklyn neighborhoods, especially Prospect Heights,Crown Heights, Bed Stuy & Clinton Hill
  • Valid drivers license required; car preferable (mileage allowance paid)
  • Also preferable:
    • Graphic design skills (or willingness to learn) - especially In Design
    • Foreign language skills (especially Spanish & French) preferred



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Data Analysis and Revenue Optimization Manager


This position is responsible for maximizing occupancy and optimizing revenue by massaging pricing on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. This involves capturing, tracking and analyzing occupancy and pricing data; proposing and adjusting pricing structure; and synthesizing with budget and cashflow projections. You’re the person responsible for the ‘affordable’ in the tagline.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Oversee collection of occupancy and pricing data from all Adina’s BK properties as well as comparison properties, involving managing data collection assistant
  • Liaise with ICT Manager in order to adapt CMS used for capturing relevant data
  • Liaise with Bookkeeper to produce and analyze monthly cashflow reports
  • Liaise with Operations Manager to update pricing on a monthly/weekly/daily basis.


Requirements:

  • Five years professional experience in the hotel/hospitality industry, including at least two years working on pricing and revenue maximization
  • Attention to detail and multi-tasking ability
  • Ease with financial statements, budgets, and general number crunching.

 

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Information & Communication Technology Manager


This position enables the nuts and bolts of the operation by creating and maintaining a Content Management System capable of capturing and synthesizing information on guests; clients; inquiries; bookings; openings; properties; pricing.

Specific tasks will include:

[To be completed]

(Note - we've already developed a Salesforce database to capture all this data, so this position will be responsible for maintaining and expanding upon it to meet the needs of the business as it expands). 


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Community Manager


The Community Manager is responsible for anchoring our business -- and our guests -- in the communities in which we’re operating. This includes three main components: client (host) engagement; local business and social engagement; and guest engagement. You’re the person responsible for the ‘authentic’ in the tagline.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Client (host) engagement:
    • Support the CEO in building our network of hosts;
    • Liaise with Airbnb community manager to identify hosts in need of auxiliary support services
  • Local business and social engagement:
    • Expand network of local businesses offering perks in exchange for marketing in our awesome Neighborhood Maps & Guides and Events Calendar
    • Regularly update and expand Neighborhood Guides and Events Calendar
    • Identify local causes and organizations to offer guest volunteer and donation opportunities.
  • Guest engagement:
    • Develop creative ways of encouraging guests to eat and shop locally
    • Publicize events calendar and organizing group events
    • Providing local volunteer and donation opportunities
  • Social Media:
    • Oversee social media interaction with local businesses and guests
  • Intern management
    • Oversee neighborhood-specific Community Outreach, Social Media & Events Interns


Qualifications:

  • Natural People Person
  • Comfort with multi-tasking and autonomous time management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including solid oral and written communication skills
  • Love and knowledge of Brooklyn neighborhoods, especially Prospect Heights,Crown Heights, Bed Stuy & Clinton Hill
  • Solid social media skills, including Twitter and Facebook
  • Preferable:
    • Graphic design skills (or willingness to learn) - especially In Design
    • Foreign language skills (especially Spanish & French) preferred
    • Valid drivers license required; car preferable (mileage allowance paid)



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