Challenges

Inefficient contractor management

“Job statuses were only in our heads,”said Justin Maes, Operations Strategy & Finance Manager for MetroButler.

Initially, MetroButler was sending out cleaning jobs using a combination of communication. A mix of emails, texts, and Google Calendar invites led to bottlenecks and spending too much time and energy on scheduling, assessing availability, and checking job statuses.

After reviewing several scheduling apps, they decided they needed something specific to short-term rental cleaning and management. MetroButler discovered Properly was the only industry specific solution.

Software adaptable to their business model

Due to MetroButler’s diverse menu of services, they also needed software that was customizable as each butler not only cleans but might also provide full concierge support that could include:

  • Offering a personal welcome and walkthrough with guests
  • Handling special requests
  • Ensuring no home issues come up during guest stays

“We found we liked Properly as people and they were super open and excited to hear ideas on what features could be added. We didn’t find anyone else as receptive to help expand their product,” said Justin.

Documenting property damage

Managing rentals in the City That Never Sleeps sometimes leads to overzealous guests who cause home damage. MetroButler needed a way to clearly prove the issue occurred during a specific guest’s stay as they filed insurance claims and took care of client’s assets. The claims process made the ability to capture and store images essential.

Solutions

Within 24 hours of activating their Properly account, they were able to send out cleaning jobs. Instead of needing to tediously email multiple people to check their availability, MetroButler managers can send jobs and butlers claim them using Properly’s mobile app.

Listing photos from Airbnb automatically propagated in Properly, saving them time re-uploading photos. With the photos pulled from the Airbnb listing, they can create checklists by adding task pins on top of interior pictures. And butlers can use the visual instructions as a clear point of reference to ensure the property’s presentation and cleanings are consistent. When the property owners have special things they want MetroButler to look out for, they simply include those tasks in their checklists.

Proving property damage

Today, butlers complete a photo-documented walkthrough of each property before and after each guest’s stay. These photos have been critical for successfully making insurance claims.

MetroButler saw an increase in property damage around the holidays including two broken TVs in one specific apartment. Thanks to the photos, they can efficiently provide proof to insurance companies that items were in good condition before a guest’s stay (and broken after a guest’s stay). Having this historical data handy has also helped them anticipate seasonal issues.

Cleaners can notify their clients when they find damages or low supplies using Properly.
Cleaners can notify their clients when they find damages or low supplies using Properly.

Scheduling additional tasks

With certain managed properties, butlers also take photos of where they leave keys so MetroButler can pass that information along to the next guest. For any unexpected issues that come up during their stay like a toilet chain coming off, MetroButler can simply message butlers through the app to arrange handling such tasks.

Spending less time tracking jobs

As one of the earliest adopters of Properly, MetroButler has enjoyed the benefits of working with Properly’s agile development team. Properly added new features based on their and other customers’ feedback including:

  • Calendar filters by the property to check which cleaning jobs are pending, in progress, canceled, and completed
  • Duplicate checklists to quickly copy/paste a checklist to a new property
  • Automatic reminder messages to butlers with start time and job location
  • Cleaner location tracking
Properly's Location Service displays whether a service provider was at the correct location when they tapped ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ on a Properly job.
Properly’s Location Service displays whether a service provider was at the correct location when they tapped ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ on a Properly job.

Using the location-based feature, MetroButler can confirm that a butler is on location for their jobs. Properly’s mobile app also clocks in and out butlers for accurate time tracking. MetroButler’s operations team does not worry about ballpark estimates on hours spent cleaning; they have verification of time needed to clean each apartment.

Results

Using Properly, MetroButler has cut down significantly on the amount of time spent communicating job statuses and cleaner availability. Freeing up their days away from their email inbox has helped them increase the number of properties they manage by over fivefold.

5X
Increase in
Properties Managed

Since partnering with Properly, MetroButler has also expanded to more of New York’s boroughs including Queens and Brooklyn. They’ve also added Las Vegas, Nashville, and the Hamptons to their rental portfolio. As MetroButler further scale their business, Properly will continue to add new features to make managing their contractors easier.

Published by Properly

A mobile turnover app for vacation rental hosts to schedule cleanings, make checklists and find cleaners (in select cities).

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