Through the Keyhole: 10 Questions with 3 Airsorted Employees

As a service that works closely with many different people, from hosts to housekeepers to handymen and guests, there’s always a lot going on behind the scenes at Airsorted.

We caught up with three team members – Karl from Guest Experience, Jenn from Supplier Management and Sophie from Client Success – to find out more about them and what their working day looks like in the world’s largest host management business.

Karl Frewer, Guest Experience Executive

Describe yourself in three words.

Confident, outgoing, fun.

What do you do at Airsorted?

My role is to ensure that guests have a safe, easy experience when they stay at one of our hosts’ properties. This can include check-ins, issues with amenities in properties, or just sharing suggestions for fun activities to do in the local area: restaurants, local attractions, and a few hidden gems.

What’s the one thing hosts should know about your role?

We always have the interests of our hosts in mind. Guest experience is the name of our team, but really our role sits between our hosts and their guests. For example, there are some occasions when a guest will ask about something that would improve their stay, but we’ll always consider whether something could affect a property or a host negatively in future before saying yes.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

There’s a genuine satisfaction in actually helping people. I once had someone call us in tears on the phone to me because they were tired after travelling, their phone was about to die, and they were having trouble finding the lockbox to a property. It was an easy problem to fix, but I could hear the relief in her voice once she was in the property – such a great feeling!

And the hardest part?  

One of the hardest parts is communication. It’s true that guests can sometimes be difficult, but that’s part of the job. If I’d just arrived somewhere after 24 hours of travelling and the hot water wasn’t working or something, I’d be annoyed too! It’s understandable that people are upset sometimes, but making sure we communicate in the right way can solve a lot of these issues quickly.  It’s something we’re pretty good at too, and that’s amazing – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!

What’s your hidden talent?

I did acting for a long time, so I’d say performance. It’s because of this that I really enjoy speaking in front of people and meeting new people, I think.

What do you look for in a property when you’re booking as a guest?

Personally, I’m the sort of person who, when I’m booking somewhere, I’m booking somewhere to sleep. I’ll be out most of the day exploring, so as long as the place is clean I’m happy!

What’s your top tip for hosts to get the most from Airsorted?

Generally, we try not to get in contact with hosts unless it’s absolutely necessary – we don’t want to waste people’s time. But if we do get in contact, it means it’s probably pretty important or urgent.

I’d advise hosts to do their best to respond quickly when we do get in touch. And if you take a few extra minutes to fill out your preferences in the host dashboard, that will mean we won’t need to contact you about anything unless it’s important. Doing that makes such a big difference in how effectively we can support your guests!  

What’s been your favourite moment at Airsorted so far?

Ah there was this one really nice review that a guest left. It was shared internally with the rest of the business on Slack, which was really nice as I got to enjoy a bit of recognition from both the guest and the team!

If you didn’t work at Airsorted, what would you be doing right now?

I’d probably be repairing and selling watches. I was repairing watches for a year or two before I started at Airsorted – I liked that it was customer-facing. Come to think of it, that’s what I really like about Airsorted too!

Jenn Ulloa, Senior Housekeeping Supply Analyst

Describe yourself in three words.

Energetic, positive, quick.

What do you do at Airsorted?

I look after the housekeepers. I make sure that they’re trained well, they have everything they need to complete their cleans effectively, and that we have enough housekeepers to meet the demand for cleans, all year round.

What’s the one thing hosts should know about your role?

We spend a lot of time coaching housekeepers. We’re constantly speaking to them before, during and after their cleans, in order to help them do the best job possible. So support and training definitely aren’t lacking when it comes to Airsorted’s housekeeping!

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Engaging with the housekeepers. Getting to meet them in person, learn what makes them tick outside of their job, and maintaining good relationships with them over time.

And the hardest part?  

Managing the schedules over 200 cleaners in London alone! It’s difficult, but we have a great team – so we always pull it off.

What’s your hidden talent?

Tap dancing! I used to do tap, jazz and ballet in my past life.  

What do you look for in a property when you’re booking as a guest?

Cosiness: a place that looks welcoming and doesn’t feel too sterile. I like quirkiness too – interesting books or paintings, something that shows a bit of the host’s personality and makes the property feel more human.

What’s your top tip for hosts to get the most from Airsorted?

It can be easy to forget that housekeepers will be visiting your property between each guest. As a host, it’s really important that after you’ve been staying in a property yourself, you make sure that it is suitably restocked with everything the housekeepers need to do their jobs brilliantly.

What’s been your favourite moment at Airsorted so far?

Sometimes the housekeepers that I coach will come into the office, or I’ll run into them in London – I love that! They’ll give me a hug sometimes; it’s like they’re my buddies!

If you didn’t work at Airsorted, what would you be doing right now?

I’d be working with refugees and migrants – I have a heart for humanitarian aid, and I’ve done a lot of volunteering at refugee camps which was really eye-opening. Sad to see in person, but interesting too.  

Sophie Robinson, Client Success Executive

Describe yourself in three words.

Happy, friendly, kind.

What do you do at Airsorted?

I’m the point of contact for my hosts and I’m responsible for looking after their properties when they’re being rented out. I keep a watchful eye on the condition of properties, make sure they’re performing well, and I’m available to answer any questions my hosts have.

What the one thing hosts should’s know about your role?

We want what’s best for you! Airsorted earns from commission, so it’s in our interests to make sure you are looked after and your property is earning you money. We only succeed when our hosts do.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Going and meeting people at their properties – I love building good relationships with my hosts and finding out all the unique things about their properties. Face to face is my favourite way to get to know my hosts properly.

And the hardest part?

The hardest part is speaking to a host if something hasn’t gone quite right. The reality with hosting, and host management in general, is that there are lots of people involved: guests, housekeepers, guest support, maintenance people, hosts and more. As with other parts of the hospitality industry, like restaurants for example, no matter how well you prepare there’s always a chance that human error can occur. Dealing with these unexpected issues can be a real challenge, but it’s also so rewarding when an issue is resolved satisfyingly for everyone involved.

What’s your hidden talent?

I do life drawing! I’m just really good at drawing naked bodies. I don’t know why.

What do you look for in a property when you’re booking as a guest?

I see an Airbnb as a home away from home, so you can really get a feel for what it’s like to live somewhere else for a couple of nights. I look for good decor – to me, that’s somewhere that is a bit quirky with cool art, nice furniture… A nice environment to spend time in. A bit of an aspirational feel too, perhaps!

What’s your top tip for hosts to help them get the most from Airsorted?

Trust the service. We look after peoples’ property, something that’s both very valuable and very personal, every single day – and we really do have your best interests at heart. It’s important to us that you feel confident with us looking after your property.

What’s been your favourite moment at Airsorted so far?

I think my favourite moment is ‘Superhost Day’. This comes about once every three months, and it’s when Airbnb send emails to let us know which of our hosts have become Superhosts. I get to email lots of hosts and let them know the good news, that they’ve become Superhosts!

If you didn’t work at Airsorted, what would be doing right now?

I’d be travelling every continent of the world, having a good old adventure!

How much do you actually know about Airsorted and Airbnb!? [Quiz]

What it’s like to intern at Airsorted

Airsorted is a young, dynamic prop-tech start-up with a vision to turn the short-term letting industry on its head.

As a company that celebrates youth, with our own CEO, James Jenkins-Yates, appearing in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 list, interns play a valuable part in ensuring Airsorted’s peak-season operations run seamlessly for hosts.

“Like most hospitality businesses, summer is our busiest time of year. Fortunately, this ties in well with the end of the typical University calendar,” explains Anna Roe, Head of People at Airsorted, “Internships offer a great opportunity to get some much-needed experience on your CV.”

“Airsorted Operations Department is basically split into two main areas. On the one hand, we have our energetic Client Success team who handle onboarding and host management. On the other is our analytical Supplier Management Team. These guys focus on everything to do with hiring, training and onboarding hundreds of cleaners, linen coordination and handymen contracting. Both are incredibly valuable skill sets for future jobs.”

Juan, who began his Airsorted career as an intern and is now Senior Supplier Management Executive in Airsorted Madrid.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Juan Arangio joined Airsorted in Edinburgh in June of 2018, as a Supply Management Intern. After working a hectic summer over the peak of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, helping to coordinate nearly 4,000 cleans across the city, Juan was seconded to Madrid to help set up Airsorted there. Juan studied International Business Management at Glasgow Caledonian University and is enjoying the hands-on experience of growing an international operation from scratch.

“From the minute I met Juan, I knew he would be a great asset to our team, Internships are all about attitude and Juan is positive, energetic and smart. He was always going to make the most out of this opportunity,” says Imogene Keane, Edinburgh City Manager.

Over the same period, Amber Brown joined Airsorted Edinburgh as a Junior Client Success Intern, using her love of language to craft excellent listings for our short-term letting hosts. Amber had just returned from a year teaching English in Madrid, and within a few weeks of starting was offered a permanent role as a Client Success Executive – now, she’s managing more than 80 host properties across Edinburgh.

“Of the four interns who joined Airsorted in Edinburgh last summer, two have remained within the Airsorted family, one joined Expedia immediately after leaving us and another is now working at a reputable marketing agency,” explains Imogene. “The hands-on experience you get at Airsorted stands you in good stead, wherever your next adventure will lead you.”

If you’re interested in developing your hospitality or supplier management skills, why not join Airsorted for a fantastic summer of hard work and fun?
Take a look at our jobs page now and see if there’s an Airsorted internship that could be right for you.

Get to know the Airsorted Housekeeping Team

A whole lot goes on behind the scenes to keep all our hosts’ properties running smoothly. Right at the centre of this is the Airsorted Housekeeping Team – they’re responsible for organising linen, laundry and of course cleaning in every host property after a guest has stayed.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without fantastic cleaners. In every city Airsorted operates, we find, train and incentivise committed cleaners to do the best job possible for our hosts. Guests arrive at a spotlessly clean property, but it’s unlikely that either a guest or a host will ever actually see the cleaner responsible…

To put an end to this, we’ve caught up with three of the champion cleaners that keep properties ship shape for Airsorted hosts and guests day in, day out:  

1. Liudmila, cleaning with Airsorted since March, 2017

One of the first cleaners to earn our coveted ‘Supercleaner’ status (awarded to cleaners who have an average clean rating of 4.8/5), Liudmila’s favourite thing about cleaning with Airsorted is the Housekeeping app.

Designed specially to make it easier for cleaners to plan and report on their cleans, the app puts all cleaning requests for Liudmila at her fingertips, allowing her the flexibility to manage her own schedule.

For example, Liudmila was recently able to book a holiday to visit her family in Moldova with the security of knowing that she can use the Housekeeping app to remotely accept cleaning jobs for when she returns. This means she’ll be able to return home with plenty of work lined up – and all conveniently listed in the app.

2. Zoltan, cleaning with Airsorted since November 2018

Based in London, Zoltan’s favourite thing about cleaning with Airsorted is getting to go and see different places across the city. His job brings him a lot of satisfaction, as he feels appreciated not only by the Housekeeping team at Airsorted, but also by the guests:

“I once went to the property that had a box of chocolates and flowers left for me. The guests wanted to say thank you to me for making them feel so welcome in London.”

3. Sarinya, cleaning with Airsorted since February 2017

With well over a thousand cleans under her belt, Sarinya (or ‘Puma’ as all her friends call her), is entirely deserving of her Experienced Cleaner status at Airsorted. She loves visiting new properties to clean, and draws a lot of inspiration from her visits:

“I go for walks alongside the canal with my husband, who’s an interior designer – we can talk for hours about the amazing interiors of some of the homes Airsorted manage.”
Puma’s also a keen cyclist, and likes being able to accept cleans at properties within her cycling distance. But it’s not just being able to choose which cleans to accept that she values… When she’s not cleaning properties for Airsorted hosts, Puma’s busy running her own business selling responsibly-sourced rice crackers! Cleaning with Airsorted gives her flexibility and extra income, allowing her to follow her passion and continue developing her own brand.

Introducing the Airsorted House Elves

Airsorted’s been getting into the festive spirit this year. So much so, we’ve decided not to leave it to Santa to deliver all the presents this time around.

We’ve enlisted the help of some ‘house elves’, to bring a little extra festive cheer to a random selection of guests staying in Airsorted properties all over the world during the festive period.

From this week, some lucky guests will arrive for their stay at some select Airsorted properties to find a present with their name on it waiting for them in the home!

Using information from the Airbnb profiles of guests, each gift has been carefully selected to suit a guest and lovingly wrapped, before being delivered into host properties by one of the Airsorted House Elves before the guests arrive.

Presents already delivered include a DIY origami kit, travel guides, an A to Z of fashion styles, a book of architectural walks through London, a Miami Heat snapback cap, and a couple of bottles of champagne, with more to come over the next few days.

We hope the gifts from our House Elves will help some guests to have unforgettable stays over the festive period, leaving host properties with happy memories (and 5-star reviews for their hosts!).

At the end of the day, it’s the personal touches which make a guest’s stay truly special. As a host management company, we pride ourselves on making the lives of our hosts hassle-free, but we’ll never lose sight of the importance of looking after both our hosts and each one of their guests with genuine care.

Airsorted hosts can look forward to an update on the House Elves and their gift-giving adventures in January’s ‘Host Post’ newsletter.

If you’re not yet a host with Airsorted, and you’d like to find out more about our service and what we can do for you, simply use the price calculator at the bottom of the page to get started by finding out how much you could earn from short-letting your home with us.

Creating a world class cleaning service for our hosts

What’s the most important thing to get right when hosting a property on a booking platform like Airbnb?

No, it’s not getting your pricing right (but that helps).
Amazing photos are great for attracting bookings, but they don’t mean much once the guest arrives.
And it’s not greeting guests with a welcome hamper, as lovely as that sounds.

It’s cleaning.

For this reason, we’ve made sure our cleans go above and beyond what you’d normally expect from a home clean:

  • Rental, collection and dry cleaning of fresh-pressed linen for every guest stay.
  • Our cleaners are trained to carry out hospitality-level cleans, providing unerring attention to detail and those hotel-style finishing touches that delight guests.
  • We guarantee a fixed price on our cleaning fee, so no host is charged more than they were expecting to pay (even if a clean takes longer than planned, or a cleaner spends extra time popping out to restock toilet roll).

On top of this, since Airsorted began in 2015 we’ve made huge improvements to our cleaning operations:

  • We were the first host management company to ask guests to rate cleans when they check in, providing us with valuable information on a property and cleaner level to help us improve quickly.
  • We’ve built a housekeeping app to make it faster and easier for our cleaners to respond to clean requests and report on completed cleans.
  • We’ve devoted a 12-person developer team to improving the host dashboard and housekeeping app to give hosts more control over their cleans. Hosts can now view timings for upcoming cleans, review previous cleans and leave specific instructions for cleaners – all from their Airsorted host dashboard.

And it’s working! Currently, 75% of our cleans in hosts’ properties are rated 5-stars (and we’re expecting to make that 80% in the not-too-distant future).

But there’s always more we can do…

We have a responsibility to make sure cleaners on the Airsorted platform are paid fairly, and also to recognise and reward great work and notable commitment. As part of this, we’ve recently reviewed how much cleaners are earning to make sure they are getting a real living wage. It’s not just the right thing to do – it benefits everyone: guests, hosts, and Airsorted.

So here are 2 new initiatives we’re launching to help inspire and motivate cleaners better than ever before:

  • Rewards for the best cleaners – Allowing our best cleaners to earn up to 20% more.
  • Cleaner training & communication –  We’ve recently introduced a professionally-made training video showing how to provide a 5-star clean, every time. Also, we’ve started sending newsletter emails to our cleaners for improved communication and two-way engagement between each cleaner and Airsorted. 
A screenshot taken from the new Airsorted cleaner training video.

We believe in a future for our business that works for everyone: hosts, cleaners, guests and all our employees.

If you’d like to help us get there, take a look at our jobs page to see our current vacancies.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming an Airsorted host, you can get started right away by using the price calculator at the bottom of this page to see how much your home could earn you with Airsorted.

How (and why) Airsorted put people first

When Airsorted began, we knew that we had to find ways to allow the unique personality of hosts – the essence of that ‘local and authentic’ that Gebbia talks about – to stand out, even though we’re looking after properties on behalf of hosts. So here’s what we did…

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World Mental Health Day at Airsorted

Mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people in the UK every year (and 1 in 6 people in the last week alone).
It’s crystal clear that this is a subject that needs to be discussed more publicly and a few weeks ago Anna Roe, the Head of People at Airsorted, did just that. Anna sat down with Airsorted’s CEO James Jenkins-Yates to openly discuss her own experiences with mental health and share her wisdom with everyone in the company.

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