Vacation rental owners who want to maximize their rental income and booking rate need to know how to manage a vacation rental. Choosing to self-manage their rental property can save hosts on monthly management fees. But hosts must first decide if they have the expertise to manage their vacation home and if they have the time.
Read on to discover what aspects of a vacation rental need to be taken care of and how to manage a vacation rental remotely.
It’s important to remain in contact with guests throughout their stay at your rental. Ongoing guest communication will help present you as a caring host. It also has a positive impact on your ranking on online platforms. Sending prompt responses will help boost your property listing in listing sites’ search results.
Cleanliness is essential for how to manage a vacation rental to please guests. Your short-term rental property will need to be cleaned every time a guest checks out, and before your next guest checks in. Make sure that your cleaning procedure involves both cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces.
As a host, your primary goal is maximizing your occupancy rate. You can do this by maintaining consistent bookings. To sustain bookings, update your calendars on booking sites regularly, and offer deals and specials.
A smooth check-in and checkout process is essential for a good guest experience. Guests are looking for simple and easy methods for checking in and out. If the process takes too long, your guests will get frustrated and it could impact the reviews they leave.
Marketing is key to expanding your visibility online and attracting potential guests. In a highly-competitive market, it’s crucial to use various channels to promote your rental. The first thing you should be doing is marketing across multiple platforms, like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. You should also be marketing on different social media platforms.
An excellent response rate to guest messages is key to getting more bookings. Remember that the vacation rental industry is rather competitive, and guests have the luxury of choice when it comes to booking a rental.
If you take too long to respond to a guest’s message, they will lose interest and begin messaging other hosts. You should be aiming to reply to guest messages not more than 24 hours after receiving the message.
The check-in and checkout process is one of the most important steps for managing a vacation rental. A mismanaged check-in or checkout experience could leave guests feeling upset or frustrated. They may then turn and vent in their reviews. Automating this process allows guests the freedom to arrive at any time they like. Some popular methods of self-check-in and checkout are Airbnb lockboxes, electronic and smart locks.
Cleaning and sanitization have become a principal concern to guests. It’s paramount that property owners and vacation rental managers install strict cleaning measures for their rentals. It’s worthwhile investing in a reliable cleaning company for your property. Besides health and safety, nothing puts off guests faster than an unsanitary rental. By keeping your rental sparkling, you can ensure happy guests and positive reviews.
One of the downsides of managing a vacation rental remotely is not being able to be there should something go wrong. If a pipe bursts or your washing machine breaks, it can be stressful if you can’t be there to assess the damage. Your guests may also get angry and check out early if the problem isn’t resolved quickly.
To prevent this from happening, you should partner with dependable contractors and handymen. Explain to them that you’re not able to be there, and ask for them to be your official contact for issues. Doing this ensures that professionals will resolve any problems that may arise.
As you won’t be there to welcome your guests into your vacation rental, the best alternative is a welcome book. A welcome book presents you as a caring and considerate host. It also helps your guests to feel more comfortable in your rental property.
A well-prepared welcome book can delight your guests and leave a fantastic impression. Some things to include in your book are house rules and suggestions of things to see and do in your area.
Your property should be well-protected when it’s not occupied by guests. Home security systems include burglar alarms, motion detectors, security cameras, and motion lights. These days smart security systems can sync to your smartphone and send alerts. Security systems can safeguard your rental against burglars, and help you feel assured it’s secure.
Your rental listing is one of the biggest marketing tools for your property. Make sure you update it to attract new guests. If you’re offering any deals, include the new rental rates in your title and description. Add new photos of any recent renovations or upgrades you may have done to your rental. Identify your ideal guest and add information to your listing that will cater to the needs of your guests. For example, if you’re aiming to attract families, mention how your rental is child-friendly.
Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their listings to get an idea of what you could do. Updating your listing is one of the best steps in how to manage a vacation rental. Doing this can help to improve its rank in search results and boost its visibility to guests.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in demand for contactless check-in. Managing your vacation rental remotely reduces the risk of any physical transmissions. By opting for remote management, you can show your guests that you value their health and safety.
One of the greatest perks of managing a vacation rental remotely is being able to work from anywhere in the world. As long as you have solid management systems and strategies in place, you can manage your vacation rental from your dream destination.
Ensure you have all your bases covered before settling into full-time remote management. The last thing you want is something going wrong when you’re not able to get there or have anyone on hand to step in and assist.
Another advantage of managing a vacation rental remotely is flexible work hours. As long as all business operations are running, you can work at your leisure and at any time that suits you. Be sure that things are still operating when you’re off duty. You don’t want to log back in to find you have a mountain of tasks that have piled up! Vacation rental management software can run your vacation rental business even when you’re offline.
When it comes to managing a vacation rental property, hosts need to decide if they want to hire a property management company or self-manage. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. It’s a good idea to review both options before making a decision.
Whether you self-manage or hire a property manager should depend on your availability and schedule. Both options can be a good choice for you, depending on your circumstances.
Choosing to manage your vacation rentals doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might think. With a few handy tools in your arsenal, you can remove the hassle from your vacation rental management.. Some tools for successful remote management include:
Vacation rental software is an indispensable tool if you manage your rentals remotely. Without automation, remote management can become overwhelming. iGMS is an all-in-one vacation rental software that will run your business on autopilot. iGMS ensures seamless remote rental management by allowing you to:
Phoebe Gunning is a content writer in the Marketing Department at iGMS. She is passionate about the vacation rental industry, notably helping hosts make the most out of their vacation rental businesses. Some of her hobbies include reading, traveling and drinking a good cup of coffee.