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Episode 034 - Creating Your SOP: How to Put Your Business on Autopilot

 

SHOW NOTES & LESSONS

Creating your company’s Standard Operating Procedures begins by taking inventory of everything you do each and every day, down to the smallest detail.

#1 – Run through your entire day when it comes to your business.

#2 – List every single task in order.

#3 – Decide which activities “Spark Joy” inside of you and which do not. 

The first activities to delegate are going to be the ones that drain your energy or waste your time.

Remember, we are moving from one side of the Cashflow Quadrant to the other.  We are no longer trading time for money Employee and Self-Employed mindsets are a thing of the past.  We are creating a process in order to move us into the Business Owner and Investor side of the Quadrant now.  In order to do that, we let go and learn to delegate.

How to Write a Standard Operating Procedure by WikiHow - A great GUIDE and a MUST

Don't Overlook Standard Operating Procedures: Use These Apps to Put Them in Place by Zapier and author Jonathan Chan - A great READ with some TOOLS you can use to create your SOP.

Hire slow and Fire fast.

Get yourself a VA (Virtual Assistant) on sites like OnlineJobs.ph or MyVirtualStaff.comVirtualStaffFinder and Hubstaff are a couple of more but there are lots of companies out there.  You may want to look for a site with a time tracker and/or some type of productivity monitoring, too.  Technology makes this extremely simple.  See the story we linked for you just below.  It has a few of our favorite tools listed for you right there.

A little trick I learned from James Wedmore - when placing an ad for a VA, give them a small task to do hidden in your ad somewhere, like asking them to include a meme or gif of their favorite viral video.  Eliminate the applicants who don’t include what you asked for.  They didn’t pay attention to detail.

 

Create your company’s SOP and leave it on your desktop.  It will change often.  What goes into your Standard Operating Procedures?  Everything you can possibly think of, including things like:

Frequently Asked Questions for your guests

Emails for Guests: Things like Check-in Procedures, Verify Check-in, and Check-out Procedures.

Detailed Cleaning Instructions and Photos

Detailed Property Listing Instructions with Examples

How to Handle Customer Complaints

When Staff Should Contact You?

 

Make sure to include how to handle challenges.  Example: if the A/C goes out, call Fix-it Joe.  Get an ETA from Joe and call Guest back with ETA and Joe’s phone number.  If it’s more than 20 minutes, call runner and send them up ice and an Olive Garden Gift Card.  If Fix-it Joe can’t get there within 30 minutes, call me right away.

 

Each time a new question is asked or a new scenario pops up, post it in your SOP.  How did you handle it and what you could do better?

 

Who do you need on your team?  You’ll need these people to create a real-life Dream Team:

Accountants/Bookkeepers

Attorney

House Cleaners

Maintenance Crew

Gophers/Runners

Designer

 

WHAT BOOKS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR LINKS WERE MENTIONED...

Please use our Affiliate Links whenever possible and help support the show.  Thank you!

Recommended Article or Blog Post Related to This Week's Podcast:

12 of the Best Virtual Assistant Software Tools

Appsumo.com

Process.St

Recommended Podcast Episode that is paired with this one like a Fine Wine:

Episode 019 - Self-Employed Superman and Property Management Companies

Get This Episode's Show Notes in a pdf form...

Go To Our Download Page 

Show Transcript

[00:01] Over the last two centuries, nearly 90 percent of the world's millionaires have created their wealth through real estate. Here to tell you how you can ride this wave with less risk and less capital while creating greater income, is your host, best selling author and Speaker, Michelle Russell.

[00:21] Hi, this is Michelle, the Master of Money Mindset, and you are listening to the Short Term Rental Revenue Podcast...

and in today's episode, 

Speaker 2: (00:29)
we're going to be talking about creating your own sop and how to put your business on autopilot. So believe it or not, this is the third time that I am recording this specific episode. Yup. It's actually episode 34 and 35 it was so long that we cut it in half the first time and it was still a long when we did it the second time. But we are having such technical challenges with the computers and the automation and all this stuff that we've set up with a podcast lately that we keep losing episodes. And so this is the third time. I know, right? I'm like, guys, I'm moving. I'm supposed to be packing. This was supposed to be my easy month.

Speaker 2: (01:14)
And they said it's still technically not April yet. So I said, yes, here's the deal, you guys, this is an important episode. And so I want you to get this information as much as I want to pack my bags, right? So I'm like, all right, I will do this one more time, but this time I'm exhausted because I actually stayed up really, really late last night recording the second episode, and when that one was lost, I was like, okay, I've got to sit down. I've only had a couple of hours of sleep. And what's really kind of strange as once you record things more than one time, you forget. Did I already say that or did I not? And so I do have notes that I'm following that we created, and actually I even have the show notes that were created from the first podcast, which is really kind of strange because they already had taken it out and sent it away and the show notes we're already made up.

Speaker 2: (02:09)
So I'm like, Ooh, I can't even follow really pretty show notes for this episode. But here's the deal. This information is so, so important and honestly I love this episode, so I would have tuck this away and said, oh, we'll do it when I get back in May after we launched the membership site and everything, but then I thought, no, this is very, very important and I really want you to get the information, so here I am again, but this time I am not standing up so I'm going to sound a little different. Most of the time I stand up and I'm full of energy. Right now I'm functioning on less than two hours sleep because I recorded the second one last night, so oh my gosh, I'm super tired, but this is, this is really, really good stuff. Before I get into the episode, you know what I like to do?

Speaker 2: (03:06)
First of all, I really want to thank crystal Swenson for her five star review. Crystal left a review on iTunes that said, great, I have a small online business, but my end goal is to fund a vacation house for our family that we can rent out for passive income. Great Info for the startup. I am super excited crystal and I want you to do me a favor and everyone, listen, I want you all to do me a favor. We have a little board here in my office now and it has pictures of people and pictures of short term rentals. And before I start any episode before I start recording, while I'm doing all the due diligence and looking things up and getting all the information for you, I say a prayer, I say a prayer all the time that anyone who hears this is getting the information that they need, whatever it takes to push them forward, to help them succeed and to help their family.

Speaker 2: (04:05)
So I'm always wishing people the best. So we created this board and now that I'm moving I'm going to have way more office space, like three big offices and we want to create an entire wall. So do me a solid guys, go on Facebook or you can send it by mail, but if you send it by mail, go to support at the prosperity process and send us some pictures of yourself, your family, your short term rental, where you are now. And what your goals are. And I want to put you on this board. I really do. And old, that's not going to be a board. It's going to be a big, huge wall. So I want to put you guys on our new wall and it will be our successful. And every time before I start my podcast and every day when we go into the office, I am going to say a prayer for you every single day.

Speaker 2: (04:57)
I'm praying that nothing but happiness and success and joy come your way. But what's really funny is I've noticed that a lot of people are shying away from prayer and I don't ever want you to shy away from prayer, whatever religion you are. I hope you believe in a higher power. And I don't care who that higher power is, but I believe that we are here on this planet to spread love and not be war mongrels or anything else. That we can live in peace and harmony with each other. And I want you to know too, that there are studies after studies out there of the power of prayer. It's absolutely incredible. Do you know if there's a study where they had a group of people pray over the city of New York and during the time of the prayer and immediately following the prayer, the crime rate dropped.

Speaker 2: (05:47)
I mean it was incredible. The, the GNP of countries grow and prosper when people are praying for them. People heal cancers and stuff, the power of prayer, the power of belief is so incredibly strong. So I want you guys to know that that's what we're sending out there and it's not just me, it's going to be my whole team. And when we get the wall done, I want to take a picture of it because then you guys can pray for each other too. And I think we can just keep this going and make a bigger and bigger and bigger and we'll just all be watching each other and praying for each other and cheering each other on. So I would love for you to be a part of that. Also, don't forget that today's podcast is brought to you by audible. You can get your free audio book download and a 30 Day free [email protected] forward slash s t r revenue audible has over 180,000 titles for you to choose from and you can download your books or listened to them on the APP on a variety of devices and just have a really good time.

Speaker 2: (06:57)
And in this episode I mentioned several books. One new one in particular. Actually I've mentioned it a whole bunch of times already because this is the third time, but because it's the third time I want you guys to realize that there is so much great information out there. You should be reading, reading, reading readers are leaders. I've got two great articles for you to read too and they are going to help you build your sop. So if you don't know what an sop is, systems and processes are what push every business forward. And an sop is a standard operating procedure book. It's basically a book or a document put together that has all the processes and step by step information to do any task. Anything that you do over twice in your business should be in your sop. If you have to do it more than once, well they say more than twice, but if you have to do it all the time, basically it should be in your book.

Speaker 2: (08:02)
So that's going to be everything from your hiring processes to your cleaning process, to your management styles, to the questions that you answer with your guests and how you handle your guests, how you handle challenges. Everything is going to be in this book. So one of the articles that I mentioned right away is Wiki. How has a great article on how to write a standard operating procedure book, right? So you're probably going to create a word doc with your sop on it and leave that on your desktop. The reason why you want to leave it there is because it is a living, breathing entity and your business. It is constantly going to change and be updated. Parts of it you're going to share with other people in your team parts you will not, I mean it will always be open information, but there's really no need to share, for instance, hiring practices with your cleaning crew.

Speaker 2: (09:02)
They don't need that whole part. They'll just need the standard operating procedures for how to clean your units. Right. But what an sop does is it creates consistency. So you couldn't have a business like let's say Mcdonald's or franchisers are really good at at creating sop is because they create a standard version of something where ever they go. So no matter where you stop in the United States, if you stop at and Keynes, you know chicken place, you're going to get the same canes. Chicken in Louisiana were originated as you would in Arizona here and the desert because it's, it's very, very consistent. Franchisors are really great about that. So you can go anywhere and it will taste, the food will taste exactly the same. You want your practices of your business to be the same thing. Because as we expand our business and we build out, when we go from one unit to two to five to 10 to 20 to a hundred units, we need that consistency because our clients and our guests need to know that whenever they are staying with us, they're getting a clean unit, they're getting a consistent product and it needs to meet the standard that we've already said.

Speaker 2: (10:30)
And we remember we set the standard high, we do not compete for last place. Our standards are higher than everyone else. So I want you to read the Wiki leaks, how to write a standard operating procedure article, and it's really good. It's super clear cut, but I'm going to give you those steps in case you don't have a computer or just give you a general idea. But the better you create your sop, the better your business will operate. So this is really important to set these standards now to set the standards high and then it will create a business that's duplicatable and it will be duplicatable from the moment you create that sop. You'll be able to hand your sop to somebody and whoever reads it will be able to duplicate and execute that task in the same way that someone across the country would be able to.

Speaker 2: (11:30)
So that's what you are creating. Duplicate ability, I guess I would say that's what it is. So consistency and duplicate ability. Those are the big, big things. Right. Okay. So like I said, anything that has to be done more than ones needs to be in your sop. It needs to be in your standard operating procedure book. All right. So the first thing you're going to do is you're going to run through all the tasks that you do every day. These are the tasks that you do over and over again. Correct. So they might be things like checking your email in the morning, making sure you don't have any incoming requests, answering those requests, seeing if there's any cancellations, scheduling your cleaning companies, canceling the cleaning crews, communicating with guests about Checkin, about checkout, making sure that they arrived on time, any of these things. Okay.

Speaker 2: (12:30)
And anything to like your cleaning procedures. Those are the same thing. Every time a guest leave, you cleaned the place the same way you go in, you empty the refrigerator, you check inside the drawers, you cleaned the toilets. I mean everything is usually done exactly the same way. So you have to learn to love checklists. Procedures are pretty much almost all health checklist. They're just a way to write down everything that you do in the order that you do them, and it's very easy to duplicate if someone creates a checklist. Now to really good places to get your checklist right now are going to be using a site called process street, p, r o, c e s s. Dot s t not.com. Okay. [inaudible] dot t process.st or Trello. Trello is pretty good to, Trello is a little bit cheaper than process street, but right now if you're listening to this at the time that this episode is dropped, there is a wonderful, wonderful site that I am a member of and it's called App Sumo App, s u m o.com.

Speaker 2: (13:48)
It's very easy to join appsumo. What you do is you go on to appsumo.com you enter your name and your email address, they send you a little email, you click on the email confirmation to tab or the little link and you're now confirmed. Now you're a member when you're in there every month they have offers on software sites, any kind of software that has to do with business and most of businesses that they are good for our online businesses, people with online businesses, but a lot of times they have some really great productivity ones and right now they've gotten an offer with process street. Now Process Street, the membership that I have with them cost about $300 a year and that seems like it's very expensive, but it's a wonderful, wonderful system with a bunch of checklists in there that you can create and a bunch of templates that you can use and it's really, really wonderful and you can get it for free for the first year, the whole thing.

Speaker 2: (14:53)
And then you've got it. Once you've created it, you've got it. So if you don't want to continue it later on, you don't have to, but honestly, I love process street enough. Then I'll probably have a membership for a really long time, but if you become an APP Sumu member, you go up to the top one year. Once you've signed on and you've checked your email in and registered, then you go to their offers and you'll see a process street offer for a free year of process street sign up because it's absolutely amazing. Now, if you don't want to use process street, which I totally suggest you do because it's super easy and anyone can use it, once you create a checklist, let's say a cleaning checklist, because those are the easiest ones to use as an example. Once you create this cleaning checklist, you can email it to your cleaning crew and they don't have to have a membership.

Speaker 2: (15:51)
They can just click on it, they'll give them a free membership to it and there'll be able to read it and check it off every single time. So it's super easy for them to just reuse over and over. This checklist, they'll get to keep that checklist for life. They get up to five checklists for free. So the checklist is absolutely amazing and I love, I love process street. Now if you don't want to use process street, there's another company called Trello. Trello is t, R, e, l, l, o. And Trello is, I want to say a prettier version has a much simpler form of a checklist. You can create tabs and inside these tabs you can keep anything. So it's basically like having a file system that's more visual. So let's say you create a file for every single one of your properties and you can have the address there, and then when you're cleaning crew or somebody goes there, they can click on that property.

Speaker 2: (16:52)
Let's say you've got a virtual assistant or something and somebody needs the password for the Internet. They can click passwords and when they click that file that you've created, it could hold all the passwords and stuff. So things would be easily found in there. But it's basically like a visual folder file. I don't know how else to describe it, but it's not a very expensive account. It might even be free. I've only used Trello a few times. I have a couple of Trello's but I prefer process street because I love checklists and I love to be able to click things when they're done. You can move things over in Trello but it doesn't show up the way it doesn't process street. So I like them both. You can use them both, but those tools will really, really help you when it comes to checklists. And that's gonna bring us to our first book as well.

Speaker 2: (17:45)
The checklist manifesto. I want you to read the checklist manifesto only if you've ever had scrum. Remember I recommended scrum a few weeks back and it's one of my favorite books on processes and how to put things in order, you know the things you need to do and, and how to create a moving system that works because you have your sprints, your six week sprints. And if you read that book, you'll know what I'm talking about. But if you didn't read that first, get that book done. And like I said, get the audible version and listened to it on 1.5 if you can't listen to it super fast. But I love listening to things super fast. You want to listen to that one and then check out the checklist manifesto. Also available on audible guys, you can use these as your free books to download. So if you don't have an audible account by now, you really need to get one because readers are leaders and everything you read literally can be advancing your business by so much.

Speaker 2: (18:47)
Even if you only learn one thing in one book, when you read a book a week, that thing could really be the one key substance to propel your business like a rocket ship. So I want you to make sure that you're doing your reading, making sure that you're following, you know, not just, I mean, you don't have to read the books that I tell you to read. It would be nice, but you don't have to. But honestly listened to people's advice. They always have some, there's a million great books out there and over 180,000 on audible alone that you could be reading and a lot of them are going to help you with your business, but they're not going to help you if you don't read them. It's like if you don't play the lottery then you can't win it, right? So you have to read to win.

Speaker 2: (19:35)
So before we run through this, I want to remind you again about the cashflow quadrant. I've explained it before, the cashflow quadrant was Robert Kiyosaki's book about the four different types of people and the incomes that they create. So in the quadrant quadrant meaning for you'll have employees and the self employed on one side and business owners and investors on the other side. So you are going to fit into that category. Now most of us are brought up with traditional schooling and so we are taught, literally taught and formed and molded into little employees. We have employee mindset, we follow rules, we test well, who we do all these things that society wants us to do and we become little employees. The reason our education system is the way it is is because the world needs employees. There's a lot of businesses, but most businesses need employees way more employees than businesses, right?

Speaker 2: (20:42)
And on that same side of the quadrant, there are self employed people. Now a lot of people think because they're self employed, they have their own business, they are a business owner. So my husband for instance, is a doctor and he runs his own practice, but he's still an s. He's still a self employed person. What they eat and asked do is they trade their time for dollars. And not only do they trade their time for dollars, but without working, there is no income. If an employee doesn't go to work, they don't create an income. If a self employed person, like a doctor doesn't go to work, he doesn't produce an income. Same with an attorney. You might get $1,000 an hour for being an attorney. But if you're not working, you're not making anything. So if something were to happen to you and you were to get ill, you would still be trading your time for dollars.

Speaker 2: (21:38)
And now you're out of work, right? So if you're on that side of the quadrant, an e or an s, you're trading time for dollars. Your goal is to move over to the other side of the quadrant and that's going to be the B and I side meaning the business owners, right? And investors, business owners and investors invest their time, invest their money and create an income out of that of the time and money that they create. They don't pay themselves. They don't get paid by the hour. A lot of times, especially when you see a startup, you'll see somebody, let's say for instance, somebody who's in real estate. When you first get started, you're out looking for properties, you're out putting signs up on the corners, you're doing all kinds of things to find people who are selling homes and you're trying to find the buyers who are going to buy them from you.

Speaker 2: (22:33)
You're going to, if you're fixing a property, you might put a bunch of money in there to fix that property, but no pay check is coming into you the entire time you're working on something. No money comes into you until you've got a product that you sell, right? And once you've got a house that you flip or a house that you fixed up and flipped or a house that you rent out, whatever it is, you don't get any income until that's done. And there can be a lot of hours. I mean even weeks and weeks and weeks of hours that you put into that business before you got any paycheck out. So it's quite different to be a business owner and investor than it is to be on the e and the s side. It's just not the same, but it is better. The reason why it's better has a lot to do with this sop once recreate this system, it's not going to matter if you're working the system or not because as long as you have to work, you're on the s you're on the business owner, s side, the self employed business owner, and that is completely different than the regular business owner.

Speaker 2: (23:47)
Your goal is to create a business that runs by itself without you in case something were to happen to you. Or even if you're just going on a vacation for a couple of weeks, that's not to say that you have to step away from your business completely. It's just to say that if you did, if you were to step away for a while, your business would continue running and continue making money without you, and that's what this sop is going to do. It's going to create these processes and a system where your employees, virtual or real, can get in there and do the jobs that you used to do yourself and they can duplicate them in such a way that you have a high standard and that standard of operation is being met. Got It. Okay, so the very first thing you're going to do when you're creating your companies as Hopi is you're going to run through your entire day and then you're going to write everything that you do down every single task that you do that you do more than once is going to be written down.

Speaker 2: (24:52)
It's going to be written down in order. Now obviously throughout the whole day as you're doing stuff, you can't just keep taking notes, but you can have your phone next to you and there is an app on there that allows you to make little recordings. I suggest you use that so that you can constantly throughout the day just keep recording exactly what you're doing. And then when you get home, you can go sit yourself in front of your computer, open up your word and start writing it all down. Okay, start writing your entire list. The third thing you're going to do is we're going to do something, and I'm going to say it's the spark joy of your activities. I don't know if you're familiar with um, a book called spark joy, but it was a really great book and it was very popular a few years back and I read it.

Speaker 2: (25:41)
It was all about organization and how to organize your house and declutter your house. Marie, I can not remember her last name, but she's got her own show on Netflix now and she teaches people how to do this. But how she does it is instead of going room to room and organizing things and throwing some things out and whatever, because that clutter always comes back. She has you take everything of a certain kind one at a time, go through it and find out what sparks joy. So for instance, if you're going through your clothes, you would gather your clothes from all over the house, not just in your closets, not just in your drawers, but you would go down to the laundry room, you pull all your clothes up, you'd go down to the garage where you have maybe your winter clothes stored or your summer clothes store, depending on what time of year it is, you would pull all those up.

Speaker 2: (26:35)
Anything in the closets, anything in the coat closets, you'd pull all your clothes up. So for instance, I'm pulling all my clothes up. I pull them all out there and I've got like 20 Black Hawk shirts that I wear. But one shirt I wear in particular all the time, it's my goto shirt. Anytime the Blackhawks are playing, I put my shirt on. It's not working this year, but most of the time, most years it does. But I put my very self shirt on and I love when I'm home. I wear that shirt all the time. It's my go to one, but I have 20 others. Do I really need all those others? No. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to pick each of them up, look at it, hold it and ask myself, does this spark joy in my life and I'm only going to keep the items that I can answer honestly, yes to right?

Speaker 2: (27:28)
So that helps people eliminate, you know, a full closet. We're going to do the same thing with our daily tasks. We're going to look at all the tasks that we do and we're going to recognize that there are tasks that we are really good at that fill us with joy, that we get a surge of energy about doing. And there are other tasks that we do that really drained us, that slow us down, that take a long time, that we've totally wish somebody else would do. And those are going to be the task that we delegate to somebody else the quickest. Okay? We're going to delegate the tasks that we don't want to do. So maybe for you it's going to be bookkeeping. If you're not really great at math or good at handling your money, you're going to delegate that. Or maybe it's cleaning because you don't like cleaning.

Speaker 2: (28:16)
Whatever it is, those tasks are going to be the ones that we focus on first and we're going to make sure that the ones that we don't want to focus on ourselves, we want somebody else to do. We have to create as detailed as possible a system of process checklist for others to do it so that we can communicate well and they can do that. They can take over that task for us. So we just have to write it down really well once and we'll never have to do it again. We'll find somebody to do it right, but if we don't do a good job writing sound, we're going to have to revisit it over and over and over again. So I really recommend that when you start creating your sop that you take the time needed. And sometimes guys, I am going to be real honest, it might take you a week or more depending on the type of person you are to really get your sop down or even parts of your sop down so that you can hand it off.

Speaker 2: (29:20)
But the better you do at getting it done, the quicker you can hand off that task and you'll never have to revisit it. So I want to implore you and you should incentivize yourself to somehow create the best and most thorough step by step checklists that you possibly can. So that's where the checklist manifesto to that will help you with that. And so we'll scrum. So those two books were really, really great for that. Now there's articles I left for you and I'll have for you on the website and actually I think they might already be up and running, but the articles I have in there for you, we'll help you get very, very detailed about what exactly is in your sop. So things like your emails for guests that check in procedures or the checkout procedures verifying that they got in. Okay. The emails that you send out all the time are the same two gas where to park the rules and regulations, how to be a great neighbor, where not to park when the garbage goes out, blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 2: (30:25)
All those things that you're emailing out. You do the same emails for every single person so those things can go right into your sop. Detailed cleaning instructions for your cleaning crew. If you ever have to go into a new city, you've got a checklist already ready so you can even do this for hiring processes. You'll have the same questions that you ask a cleaning crew, whether you're looking for a new cleaning crew in the city you live in or in a brand new city that you go to an all over the country and all over the world. It will be the same set of questions, making sure that they can work weekends, making sure that they have enough staff so that they can be done in an hour by your check in time, which is three or four o'clock in the afternoon, right? All those questions are going to be the same.

Speaker 2: (31:15)
So you can even set up a procedure for how to hire people or what to look for. You can give detailed property listings so that you can eventually hire somebody to put in your property listings into airbnb or homeaway or Vrvo. Somebody else can put those pictures and the listings in there and you show them how to consistently do that, how to take pictures, right? Which rooms you need, which angles you like, how to hire a photographer to take those pictures. So every single thing that you do more than ones or that you're going to do more than once. Maybe right now you only have one unit, but let's say eventually you're going to turn that one into five and then the five into 20 right and 20 into a hundred so you want to make sure that you start now creating these systems and processes that can be duplicated, that will create a consistency and amazing consistency within your business.

Speaker 2: (32:21)
Another thing that I have in my sop is when to contact me. If there's a customer problem, let's say somebody's air conditioning went out, they're going to contact airbnb through messenger system. They're going to contact who they think is me and it never goes to me. It usually goes to somebody else, right? So let's say my virtual assisting gets the message, the air conditioning is out immediately in my sop. They can see that they need to call and contact them on the phone, not using messaging, but they want to. That's a big problem, right? So you don't want somebody just sending in a message like, oh, we're on it. No, you want them to know that you really care. So you want to call them back. That's in my sop. And they want to, before they call them back, they want to quickly call our maintenance guy and get an Eta of when he is fixing that.

Speaker 2: (33:17)
That ETA needs to be within 20 minutes. If it's not, then they call me back. All of that is written down in my sop. It's like if this cannot be taken care of within 20 minutes you call me and always say 20 minutes because when there's a problem, especially a problem like air conditioning or something with a water or something that makes a guest comfortable when there is a problem with that, it needs to be taken care of usually within 15 minutes, 20 at the Max and if it's a half hour, that seems like forever if you're on the other end of that. So let's say for instance to somebody is locked out of their property for some reason the electricity went down or maybe a battery went out or something happened and they can't get into the property. How long do you want to sit outside?

Speaker 2: (34:06)
What if it's the middle of the night and they've got all their kids with them and they just got back from an amusement park that closed at 1:00 AM, how long is too long for them to sit outside? Actually, any amount of time. It all is too long in my book. It needs to be taken care of immediately. So we always have runners, we always have maintenance crew. We always have somebody I'm on call 24 seven that can get there and I would say 15 minutes. So in my mind on the book, it's 20 because I don't want anybody inconvenienced longer than they have to. And if it's a big inconvenience, if it's our fault or any way, shape and form, you know an act of God and there's something we can do, we're going to have it in our sop, what we do, how we handle it. When they call me, what they can give away, if they're going to give them something.

Speaker 2: (34:55)
So let's say the air conditioner did go out. It's the middle of July and Arizona and it's 118 degrees outside. I'm going to authorize my VA to buy them dinner or something, right? Because we've got to make it right for them. It's not necessarily our fault, something happened, but at the same time it is because it's our property and it's our job to make them comfortable. So my VA's know what I allowed them to give. They can give a dinner coupon for olive garden or depending on where they are in the valley, if there's a restaurant there that represents the community, that's where we send them and we pick up the tab for that. If they complain more than there are steps to that. If you know, if they're like, oh, they're not going to stop. They want their money back, call me, call me, call me. Here's the steps and procedures for every single scenario that you can come up with.

Speaker 2: (35:50)
So your sop has not just how to do things, not just the checklist, but how to handle challenges and it also has frequently asked questions. You can put those in there so that your virtual assistants or whoever you have, they don't have to keep asking you over and over again. The same questions and we even have it in our guide that anytime a guest requests something or asks a question, that question goes immediately into our frequently asked questions, so who, I never have to address it again because if my virtual assistant doesn't know the answer, they're going to contact me and I only want to hear that question one time. I'm like, that is the last, and only time I want to hear that question. I answer it once. It goes into the Faq and they never have to call me again for it. So we have procedures like that as well.

Speaker 2: (36:45)
Now you're going to go on and you're going to read about creating your sop. I've got a guideline article for you. You can turn that into a pdf and download that and follow it step by step and create your company's own Sop, right? But then you're going to have to hire people and that's where it gets tricky when you're first starting out, you think to yourself, I can't afford this. I can't afford to hire an employee. Actually, yes you can. It's not that expensive and it's going to create a doorway that opens opportunity for you when you allow yourself to hire somebody and the best way to hire your first employee is going to be a virtual assistant, not a virtual assistant working in the United States unless you want to spend a lot more money, but a virtual assistant from somebody in the Philippines. It is huge.

Speaker 2: (37:40)
It's a huge, huge market. On the website. We already have four links too for amazing companies, therefore you that we use, we use online jobs. Dot. Ph is the one that I use all the time, but we've got a couple of really good ones on there for you. You can go and you can hire somebody in the Philippines. Now here's the deal. These guys speak English like you and I speak English, so it's really, really great, but not only that, they're in a country where the cost of living is so incredibly low that people with professional jobs, like accountants or engineers, they make only about 400 to $600 and that's good income for them. So you offering to pay somebody from the Philippines, $2 an hour or $3 an hour actually is a pretty good income for these guys. That's way, way more than their minimum wage.

Speaker 2: (38:35)
And it's not like you're paying them so low because where they live, it's actually a good income. The cost of living is so incredibly low, so you're helping them out and they'll do a really great job for you. So when you're posting a job on these sites, you want to put something in there, something specific that they have to do that you'll be able to tell right away if these people answering your ads are detail oriented. And I got this from James Wedmore who was absolutely brilliant with this and I had never tried it before and now I do it all the time. So for instance, if I'm looking for somebody to create my online memes for my business, I might say, um, you must be familiar with this program. Canva lumin five. There's a bunch of different programs that my business use. And so I'll say, you must be familiar with those, with these software programs.

Speaker 2: (39:32)
And somewhere in the middle there, I might say, send us your resume along with a gift that makes you laugh or send us your resume along with your favorite quote and author and why you like them. So what happens is I get a bunch of applications back with the resumes and all these different things. They'll tell me, oh yeah, I use this program and this program in this program, but they'll forget the Gif or they'll forget the little meme or they'll forget the quote that I asked them for. And when they do that, when they forget the viral video, it's the first thing I look for. I know that these are not detailed oriented people, only the people who are detailed oriented, read through the entire job listing line by line and made sure that they did every single thing that I wrote about that they checked it off.

Speaker 2: (40:22)
So that's going to eliminate 90% of the people answering those ads. Now once you get them, you're going to choose three, three best ones you'll be able to tell and then you're going to let them know that you're hiring them on a trial basis and then you're going to give them other tasks to do to see how well they perform. So let them know that it's only a trial. You've got a little test for them and then give them that test. Obviously the test is going to be a paid test. If they spend an hour on the task, whatever their hourly wages, you are going to pay them for that, but it's going to be worth the 20 bucks you have to spend to find the one person who fits in really well with your company. And after that you can use virtual assistants for everything.

Speaker 2: (41:14)
What's really cool is when you're using them for text messaging, because I love using virtual assistants for text messaging. You can have a virtual assistant every eight hours, a new one so that they're on call for eight hours at a time. And that way you know your requests. Everything is going to be answered immediately and that's how we keep such great response times on Airbnb. And your response time on Airbnb tells whether you're going to be a super host or not. We are super host. Why? Because we have a really high response rate and the reason why is we have virtual assistants who are watching our messages 24 seven what's really funny is we've gotten bad reviews from people before where they text you in the middle of the night, like 1130 at night and you don't answer until six or seven in the morning and they'll say, they didn't answer me for seven hours and you're like, what are you talking about?

Speaker 2: (42:13)
I was like, it was the middle of the night. It's like, but people will do that. So having virtual assistants really, really help that part of the process for me. And they also send out all the emails for me. So when somebody is checking in, when somebody is checking out, they go into our sop and they send out the the letter or the email that needs to go out in correspondence to that guest. So everything is in there and I never have to do it more than once. I only had to set it up that one time. And they know exactly what they're doing and how do they know exactly what they're doing. Because there is a checklist from process street and they can literally check it off when it is complete for each and every guest for each and every day, whatever they are doing. So it becomes an almost fail proof system.

Speaker 2: (43:04)
So you are going to set up an entire Dream Team for your business. Okay. And so some day when you are a multimillion dollar company, what are their job titles that you're going to have surrounding you? Right? So obviously you're going to have accountants and bookkeepers and attorneys and house cleaners and maintenance crew, gophers, runners, designers, photographers, um, just everything that you can possibly name, you want to set up a system for each one of those, even if even if you're not going to hire them right now, but you want to start those processes so that they can be growing all the time. And every time you read an article or you hear something, you're like, you know what, I'm going to add that to my sop and you're going to go in and you're going to add it in there. You're going to say, Ooh, this would be something good to add to my sop.

Speaker 2: (43:58)
This sop, like I said, is a living, breathing organism in your business. It's right there on your desktop and you can add to it and take away from it every single day. And anybody who takes one of those jobs, so let's say for instance, it's the house cleaner, they're going to get a piece of that. They don't need the whole entire thing, but you can give it to them if you want. Maybe you've got your mission statement on there or something and you want everybody to know. And that's, and that's a great idea. If you ever read, um, I think it was the power of why Simon's book. It was an amazing book. But knowing why people want to work, why your business is what it is and what your reason for running the businesses and the purpose behind it. If everybody can be on board with that, that's absolutely great, but they don't need every part.

Speaker 2: (44:49)
Your cleaning crew doesn't need to know how you hire a photographer or what your photographer needs to do. They only need to know they're part of the business, which answers a lot of questions too. For people who are always afraid to share things, they're like, no, no, I don't want somebody stealing my techniques. Most people in your business will not have every part of your business. They don't know how we run every part of our business. They only know a little part and that's the same one. We go to find landlords, right? When we go to look at apartments and we're going to rent an apartment out. We don't tell the landlord all our tips and tricks and here's how you can run your own amazing short term rental revenue business by renting out apartments. Because why would we do that? Why would we teach them to do what we do?

Speaker 2: (45:39)
We would be shooting ourselves in the foot. Correct. So we just give them the part that they need to know. They just need to know that we have all the systems, all the operations, all the people, everything in place Right now, this well oiled machine that they cannot possibly duplicate because we've worked so incredibly hard on it and so they don't even bother. So you don't have to worry about things. A lot of people, their other argument is that they can't do things the same. If I hire somebody, they're not going to clean the same way I clean or they're not going to do this the same way you do it, we'll write it down and they will. If you write it down in new, communicate it well enough, they will do it that way. Maybe they'll do it better than you and maybe they won't.

Speaker 2: (46:25)
But here's the deal. You have to be able to step away from that. If you are the superman, your business will never grow. So you have to decide are you willing to stop at one property and that's all you want and you're satisfied with that. That's absolutely okay. If that's who you are and you just want one little property and you love having people come in and he loved being a host, then oh my gosh, that's absolutely fine and you can be happy with that. But people like me, we don't want to be doing this forever. And when I got into investing, when I got into short term rentals, it was definitely as an investor, it was not as a host. So hosting was never my intention. Although I love to host and I wouldn't mind hosting sometimes I don't think it would be something that I would want to do all the time because I'm more of an introvert.

Speaker 2: (47:20)
I don't want to be on all the time. I don't even want to be dressed all the time. I mean, it's like, not that I walk around naked or anything, but you know, I walk around in my sweat pants with my hair back in a ponytail with no makeup on. My dog loves me by, you know, anybody else would go, wow. Wow, okay. Well, you know, my ups guy loves me, but that's about it. My ups guy, my dog and my husband and those are the three people who know me, but here's the deal. Maybe you are that kind of person. I've got sisters who are always on and they love it and they're really good at it and I've got a daughter who's absolutely amazing that way. She is just a firecracker. It's so much so that my son who's in the movie industry, he had her on a set recently and he said that she just brightened everybody's Day because she just has a smile on her face constantly.

Speaker 2: (48:18)
She's just happy to be there. I think she was happy to be there because she was with some rapper guy named Pope Malone or something and so it was like one of her favorite rappers, so he was working with this guy and he said, I know my sister loves the sky, she listens to him all the time. I'm going to ask her to work for us, and Nicole was just super happy to be there because she got to work with us. Awesome rapper who turned out to be, she said he turned out to be as wonderful as she always thought he would be, so she was super happy about it. But anyways, if that's who you are, if you're this happy person that likes to be around people, embrace that part of you. Remember your going to do what sparks joy in you, not what sparks joy and somebody else, but I still want you to create the Sop for the tasks that you continue to do just in case because here's the deal.

Speaker 2: (49:15)
Anything God forbid ever happens to you, then you will have somebody who can pick that manual up and read it and they know exactly what to do exactly what you would do and how you would do it just in case. Okay, just in case. But what's really cool is if you are doing your business and running your business like a business likey professional, you'll have proper insurer, right? So proper.insure.com if you don't know what that is, go to our insurance article, go listen to our insurance podcast. It's very, very important that you have proper insurance, which is really kind of crazy because that's the name of it. Proper dot insurer. But proper insurer actually covers your income. So in case something happens to you and there's a loss of income, they would help you out. But this book, this Sop, your standard operating procedure book will make it so that somebody can duplicate your processes to the letter and that your quality will be consistent throughout your business.

Speaker 2: (50:20)
If it's consistent throughout your business and duplicatable, then it becomes like a rubber stamp and it doesn't mean you know, cookie cutter is a bad thing. It can be a bad thing if it's a plain little cookie cutter, but maybe your cookie cutter is the most elaborate cookie cutter in the whole entire world and that's what you're creating. You're creating something better, something elite, and you want your processes to go with that. What's funny is that because I've done this so many times and I know, I know now, this is exactly where they split the recording, so I'm going to stop here on this one and we will continue next week with the rest of this and next week we're going to cover all the tools and the tricks and the tips to help you automate your business. There are a bunch of really great software systems companies out there to help you automate your company, but this week and believe me, this task is grand enough that it will give you something to do this week, but this week your homework is to go forward and create your sop.

Speaker 2: (51:30)
Go on the website guys. It's really, really important that you at least look at those articles that I left you. I'm going to put them, actually, I'll bold them out and I'll put them in red so that those two articles you take a look at and you read. The first one is the Wiki, how one and that's going to tell you how to put your sop together and the other one is just about what it's about. Now. You don't have to read that one, but it's definitely, it's only I think at one we printed it up. It was like 21 pages. So it was a quick read for me. And if you're a good reader, if you're a person who reads quickly than you can get it read. And if you're not, if you don't like to read, just kind of skim through it. Okay.

Speaker 2: (52:11)
But the Wiki, how has a step by step procedure, and I really liked that article. I was like, dude, why even, why even make our own up? Let's just put this on and let's just give him a bunch of information and this will show them how to do it. So if the information's out there, why duplicate it? Let's just let Wiki how do it, they did a great job and um, Zapier did the other one. And I love Zapier. They're there. I think all my websites, we use Zapier to connect different software systems and different tools for our businesses and our websites. So, or Zapier, I know some people say beer is Epi or whatever you want to call it. You say tomato, I say tomato. Anyways, sorry to leave you hanging, but next week you'll get the rest of this episode, and if you love this episode, as much as we love you, please, please go to iTunes and leave us a five star review.

Speaker 2: (53:05)
Hopefully I'll get to read it right here online. Tell me your name too, because some, sometimes these names are really hard for me to figure out, but sometimes they're super easy. I remember last week was was really easy. I was like, oh my gosh, I know who this is, so sometimes you'll, you'll fool me and sometimes you won't, but thank you. Thank you for listening. I appreciate you. I'm here praying for you. Send me your picture of some of your properties. Let's get your goals on our wall of the new house, and God bless you. Have a great day. Go and grow.

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