Systems, Manuals and an iPhone
7000 miles away from home, I've just sat here and set live two properties live on booking.com. They were both fully set up before I left for holiday, just had to do a few extra things as it wasn't time permitted before. Hopefully, both of these will run like clockwork now without me having to be there and monitor much of what's going on. Love the fact that I can be sat here and control the whole business just off my iPhone!
We have set up a lot of systems on the operations side, my input from the daily operations point of view is very minimal, around 20 min a day (unless something goes wrong). We have a system for Airbnb to deal with enquiries, sending check-in instructions, dealing with guests wanting early/late check-in or check-outs. We have a completely different system for booking.com (ps - I keep getting a lot of people message me saying I've heard booking.com is really bad and hard to use and you get rubbish guests - well, I'm not a fan of booking.com but if you use it like Airbnb, you're in trouble! We use different systems for them both). A system which deals with the cleaners, notifies them in real time about any changes in their cleaning schedules. A system to make sure there's enough towels and linen for when there are extra guests. A system for security measures e.g. We have a system so if someone books a place in London and the customers address is also a London address then I am notified and I normally ask reason for stay. A system for lost keys. The list goes on but it's important to have a system to cover literally everything!
The next thing is operations manuals. Write down all the systems step by step so when you delegate - the other can just start the job you were doing. Make sure they are as clear as possible. You have to do this from a mindset of a beginner and not make any assumptions and be like 'ah well that's obvious' - because it really isn't to someone who hasn't done it before...
The last thing is an iPhone (sorry, I don't like androids). You can pretty much do anything on an iPhone. These are some of the apps I use to run my SA business: Airbnb, Pulse, Stripe, Collect for Stripe (rarely) and Dropbox.
In summary, systemise everything. Put it all on a manual. Get apps for everything you're doing online (or use safari).
PS - the picture is where I grew up and lived almost half my life.