Motel Mingle Forums General Chit Chat Expectations of a motel manager

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  • #5222

    PaulPaul

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      HI all, we are new to here and also relatively new to motel management (two months in!). The owner of the lease doesn’t live here but visits regularly and we live on-site.
      The question we have is this; What tasks could be reasonably expected of a motel manager on a contracted ABN?
      We have housekeepers here (we occasionally do rooms ourselves) and we do the cooked breakfasts ourselves. We perform all the usual motel management duties along with minor maintenance jobs and the like.
      The problem we see is this; the lease owner’s expectations of what we do here is getting to us. The motel is a bit old and is in need of a refurb in certain places and this is what the lease owner focuses on. They expect us to do tasks such as painting walls, doors, trim etc when needed. Cutting out and replacing all the grout in showers with new grout. Painting driveways, replacing timber trims on cupboards etc etc etc. Sorting out air conditioners that go on the blink (albeit getting a technician and quotes),Where does a managers duties end? Surely if tasks like this are required, then they should get someone in to do them. What is reasonable?
      We believe we already go ‘above and beyond’ by handling all their banking and accounts, reconciliations, debtors etc. Tell us your thoughts?

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      • #5752

        PaulPaul

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        • Topics Started 25
        • Replies 80

          Thanks for the support TIDYWAZZA. I firmly believe that if you ALWAYS go above and beyond (which, by nature, we tend to do) then there will always be people ready to take advantage of that. As mentioned, we are relatively new to the accommodation game but not to management and we needed to get a feel for what was readily acceptable. Thanks once again!

        • #5745

          TIDYWAZZA

          Participant
          • Topics Started 10
          • Replies 84

            Paul, stand tall and in writing let your employer know what you can manage and what you need to arrange trades people to do. Your utterances here tell me you believe the expections of your employer are over the top so tell him / them how you see it ! You maybe contracted to the business but you can mentally & physically only do what you can manage safely. Ther must be a written agreement between you revise it and discuss it with the owners. You are set to high speed all day, this cannot last. Do not just talk with the owner about the situation show on paper how unmanageable it is and show a plan you can comfortably support. Perhaps consider opting out of the contract if no reasonable solution is reached.

          • #5597

            PaulPaul

            Participant
            • Topics Started 25
            • Replies 80

              Again, very fair comments and its good to get an overall view of expectations from many perspectives….

            • #5580

              Angimon

              Participant
              • Topics Started 14
              • Replies 80

                Hi
                Sorry if I’m repeating some of the missing comments, but as a manager (not relief manager) I would expect all of the day-to-day tasks to keep the motel running be completed, or delegated, by the managers. The ‘minor maintenance’ would include anything that you have the skill and time to do. Have you thought about doing up a maintenance schedule? I think tasks like shampooing carpets and cleaning windows should be done on a set basis. This could be handled by having the housekeepers do it, or getting a professional in to do it, say, every 3 or six months. Then if these things are required in-between you either do it yourself or once again have your housekeepers do it. I would only expect things like painting, grouting, driveways etc to be done if occupancy was low and it was obvious there were a lot of free hours in your day.

              • #5502

                PaulPaul

                Participant
                • Topics Started 25
                • Replies 80

                  I also have taken taken a contract without knowing what the job description was (after 12 years in employment management, I should do). My original point was to highlight the so-called ‘grey areas’ of a contract and would be normally be accepted in this industry. It appears, from few replies, that some owners expectations of a manager are wildly varied from others and that everyone should be aware of that. I think it’s called taking people for granted’ or it always used to be…

                • #5490

                  imageBallina Colonial Motel

                  Participant
                  • Topics Started 10
                  • Replies 87

                    I’m no expert on this, but as a manager of a motel you are under a contract of employment.

                    I have never taken such paid employment without knowing exactly what my job description was, my authority level and what was expected of me in the short and long term.

                  • #5398

                    PaulPaul

                    Participant
                    • Topics Started 25
                    • Replies 80

                      Thanks for those thoughts. We work a 12 day fortnight and are on duty 16 hours each day plus then on-call. We attend to ALL the financials of the business, booking guests in and out, all OTA’s and Channel Manager work. All cooked and continental breakfasts from 6:30 am, some cleaning, all bathroom and pillow case laundry, maintenance including pool and P&L. I don’t think $750 each per week on an ABN is over-paid (in fact, which other industry would you work 96 hours a week for that money? :-). We just wanted to get an idea of expectations being relatively new to the game…

                    • #5394

                      BMM

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                      • Topics Started 6
                      • Replies 46

                        Paul,
                        In my opinion,it depends on what you are paid and what time frame you have.
                        A relief manager is paid a relatively modest income and in some respect works a modest workload.
                        They do however have the burden of being on call a long span of hours.

                        A manager however, may earn a large income and in some respects I would not pay a management couple to sit and attend to reception and office duties only.

                        As an ex- retailer, my managers did a lot of menial tasks that weren’t necessarily in their job description, however the time existed to perform these tasks.

                        I am not condoning what the owners are requesting, but more-what his thoughts are.so trying to justify what his thoughts are.

                        The accommodation game is a tough one and we must try to do as much in-house as possible, however the income should reflect this.

                      • #5281

                        PaulPaul

                        Participant
                        • Topics Started 25
                        • Replies 80

                          Thanks for your earnest replies Stephanie. We undertake all the tasks you mention and many more (full financial accountability of the motel including payment of all bills and wages and chasing debtors) and hopefully this motel will continue to improve with or without the help of the lease owner….

                        • #5277

                          StephanieStephanie

                          Participant
                          • Topics Started 6
                          • Replies 43

                            I am no expert but “minor maintenance” to me would only mean the type of tasks a handyman could be reasonably expected to do. Touch ups to paint work, replacing light bulbs, keeping the common areas clean and tidy, checking that everything remains in working order and good repair etc. I am sure there are other Motel Owners with Managers who will enlighten you if I am wrong.

                            Stephanie@ Redcliffe Motor Inn

                          • #5273

                            PaulPaul

                            Participant
                            • Topics Started 25
                            • Replies 80

                              HI Stephanie, thanks for your feedback. There is definitely no misunderstanding and the lease owner fully expects us to undertake the work (we’ve had the conversation with them on numerous occasions). We certainly don’t mind organising this for them, arranging it and making sure they get the best price etc, but we must now stand firm on a number of expectations. Just wondering, in your reply, what is exactly meant by ‘minor maintenance’ in the motel game?

                            • #5269

                              StephanieStephanie

                              Participant
                              • Topics Started 6
                              • Replies 43

                                I am no expert, only having 3 years experience as a Lease Holder, but I am happy give my opinion. As the LEASE HOLDER it is our duty to do all those big tasks you are talking about – carpets, repainting, replacing etc. It is in our Lease Document that we must keep the motel up to a 4 star standard. The Lease Document outlines very clearly what we are responsible for. In the end we have an asset to sell – The Lease; it is in our interest to keep it up to standard so we can sell at a good price. But we are Lease Holders. You are Managers, responsible for ‘minor maintenance”. Quite a different role description in my mind. You are there to earn an income. Your job is to run the motel to the best of your ability, and if the occupancy is improving they are getting there money’s worth from you. In your position I would not be inclined to spend money improving someone else’s asset, but it probably depends on what you signed. Maybe they want you to organise these things and have the bills sent to them???? Worth asking….

                                Stephanie@ Redcliffe Motor Inn

                              • #5257

                                PaulPaul

                                Participant
                                • Topics Started 25
                                • Replies 80

                                  As I say, we don’t mind doing anything for anyone, its when it becomes an ‘expectation’ that we start to think things are not right. As a GM and Manager in a previous life, I wouldn’t expect my managers to do the things that I knew were a company task (in the motel game, a lease owner or freehold owners tasks). If we’ve got time to do things, then we’ll always offer to help but won’t be used because the lease owner can’t be bothered, or can’t afford, to organise it themselves. We will continue to ‘manage’ the business to the best of our abilities (we have already increased occupancy considerably) and will always go that extra mile to ensure our guests are well looked after and will return but when someone says something like; “That shower screen needs replacing and I want you to do it” then walks out of the door, we’ve got to draw the line somewhere….

                                • #5252

                                  imageDoug Marg

                                  Participant
                                  • Topics Started 0
                                  • Replies 1

                                    Hi Paul,
                                    We have been doing relief for 12 years and there is no way we would be cleaning carpets, painting walls, grouting or any such thing, unless of course you are being paid an extra amount for doing it which doesn’t seem to be the case. Most managers are underpaid anyway. Some operators will take advantage of their managers if they can.
                                    Doug

                                  • #5244

                                    PaulPaul

                                    Participant
                                    • Topics Started 25
                                    • Replies 80

                                      I thank you for the answers which were given (and unfortunately lost on the server :-(). I understand that as the lease owners then things like shampooing carpets and cleaning windows would be a task you undertook. If I was the lease owner and it was my asset then I’d expect to do those jobs also, but would I expect a manager who I paid to do them? Probably not. We do all the admin management duties including laundry and preparing and serving of breakfasts etc etc etc but surely when it comes to things like painting, replacing trim on doors etc, cutting out old grout and replacing etc, then you have to draw the line somewhere?
                                      Our contract covers all the usual management duties and ‘minor maintenance’ so it would be interesting to hear what you guys would consider to be minor maintenance? We are happy to undertake any task asked of us, but as the lease owner does absolutely nothing here, then we feel we may be being taken advantage of. Any thoughts would be welcomed.

                                    • #5226

                                      PaulPaul

                                      Participant
                                      • Topics Started 25
                                      • Replies 80

                                        Just to add to these comments; they also expect us to shampoo the carpets in the rooms and do all the window cleaning inside and out (35 room + Conference Centre). Surely, as the lease owner, you’d get someone in to do that?

                                        PS We are on an ABN and have to pay our own tax, super and AL etc….

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