There’s never been a better time to have a vacation rental property. With the rise of sites such as Airbnb, anyone can easily open up their second home or even their spare room to guests.
However, this can also pose problems for owners of short-term vacation rentals. More and more hosts mean that it is likely that you’ve gone for long periods without finding guests. This is especially difficult if you want to find the right kind of guests for your property. At the same time, letting out your property can still be difficult. Just because it is easy to advertise your property on Airbnb, you still have to stay on top of maintenance, budgeting, and regulations.
This is where vacation rental agents can help you. Rather than having to do everything yourself, rental agents are experts at finding and connecting guests to hosts. They can also take on some of the many responsibilities that many hosts struggle with, from organizing maintenance to conducting background checks on potential tenants to facilitating contactless check-in.
If you are looking for an even more convenient way to manage your vacation rental property, you can consider using a virtual assistant who can take care of your rental property from anywhere in the world. Virtual assistants can provide a wide range of services including managing your rental property, responding to guests’ queries, organizing maintenance and cleaning, and even creating and managing rental leases.
Using a rental agent has the potential to revolutionize your life as an Airbnb host, helping you to get the right guests quickly. But if you want to know whether a rental agent is the right approach for your vacation rental business, you’ll need to know exactly what they can do as well as how to choose the right rental agent.
The key to any business is getting the right people for the right jobs—human capital management (HCM HR) is a crucial part of success. If you want to achieve significant profits as a vacation rental host, you need to think in the same way. This might mean that you recognize that you aren’t the perfect person to handle all the aspects of your rental enterprise.
Luckily, rental agents are a type of property management company that are designed to make life easier for vacation rental business owners and allow them to maximize their efficiency. For a fee, rental agents will take over the day-to-day practicalities of owning a rental property. Most usefully, they can lead the marketing of properties and connect you with appropriate guests.
This process also includes screening tenants. Rental agents can make sure that only the guests are using your property. The financial side of a vacation rental business is also covered by rental agents, who will take charge of creating and managing rental leases. As well as this, agents will often take over aspects of property management such as finding a cleaning service or managing communications with tenants.
Now that you know what rental agents are, it’s time to think about the ways in which they can help you make the most of your vacation rental business. While they offer a range of services, there are five main ways that they assist landlords:
Marketing your rental property is one of the most important things to consider if you want to increase the number of guests you work with. The difference between a professionally marketed listing and an amateur one can be huge: persuasive advertising copy and well-lit and effective photography can go a long way on sites such as Airbnb.
As agencies are experts in marketing, you can be sure that using a rental agent will give you an edge in the vacation rental industry. On top of this, agencies will likely have a more comprehensive knowledge of the local area than you. This means that they can establish a marketing strategy that is perfectly suited for the local market and audience.
Marketing isn’t easy, so it’s no surprise that many vacation rental owners struggle with this part of letting out vacation rental properties. Rental agents can save you time and energy while making sure that your vacation rental property is presented as effectively as possible.
Getting guests through the door is what makes or breaks your vacation rental management business. However, this can be easier said than done. When you are relying on sites such as Airbnb to find tenants, you have to compete with thousands of other resntal properties. By marketing your property professionally, a rental agency will give you the best chance to win this battle.
More importantly, rental agencies also will often have a pool of potential tenants that they can draw on. They can use tools such as mail merge in Gmail to contact lists of interested vacationers. This means that you can bypass the likes of Airbnb and be directly connected to interested guests.
If you are having trouble finding the right guests for your property, consider using an address search tool to target guests in specific locations. This can also be helpful for renters who are looking to find the exact location of a property for rent. With the rise of vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, it’s becoming more and more important to have your property listed in the right location to attract potential guests.
Everyone considering going into hosting has heard horror stories from other property owners. Maybe it’s about guests who trashed the house in a party or difficulties in getting payment. When you’re letting people enter one of your vacation homes, you want to trust them.
This means that screening guests is an increasingly important part of vacation letting. Rental agencies can help you with this part of your enterprise. They have experience and expertise in marketing rental properties in order to attract the right kind of tenants.
As well as this, once a potential guest has expressed an interest in booking your vacation home, rental agencies can perform background checks on them. While you might be able to spot some red flags that will suggest that a potential tenant is a risk, rental agencies are experts at this part of the job.
No one enjoys reading and re-reading every lease agreement that you sign with guests. While making sure that rent is correctly calculated and collected is important, these financial tasks can be time-consuming, complicated, and difficult to enjoy.
While not all rental agents will be hands-on in the rent-collection process, many do offer these services while most will offer assistance in drawing up lease agreements. Having experienced agents manage these problems can make your life as a landlord much easier.
As well as this, many agents will have partnerships with service providers such as cleaners or maintenance companies. This can enable you to have cheaper or higher-quality relationships with those crucial companies that keep your property clean and secure.
Most rental agents focus on finding and vetting potential tenants for your rental property. However, some offer far more wide-ranging services that can extend throughout the guests’ stay at your property.
This can include the day-to-day work of responding to guests’ queries or maintaining communications with potential guests. While some companies focus solely on these property management services, there are a lot of rental agents that will also help you with these tasks. Finding a rental agent that does include property management can save you much time and energy.
You might prefer to work with an organization that uses vacation rental software or employee management software restaurant & hospitality solutions so that you know that their services are effective, standardized, and streamlined across the board. Alternatively, you might want to find an individual agent who will give you their full focus.
Rental agents can provide a range of useful services for landlords. These can benefit you in a number of different ways:
You’ll know as much as anyone that owning a short-term rental property isn’t easy. For many people, hosting a rental property is a secondary income – this means that you have to balance all of the work that comes with being a landlord with a full-time job. The time that you spend finding and vetting guests, as well as sorting out all of the practical financial details, often means that landlords have little free time.
Although other time-saving tricks can be achieved through Airbnb automation, one of the best ways to reduce the stress of being a landlord is by simply outsourcing some of the most stressful parts of the job. Working with a rental agent will mean that you know that your property is in good hands while you can put your feet up and let your passive income roll in.
Rental agents are professional experts in sourcing quality tenants. They have access to software that many individual landlords don’t use, meaning that they can use tools such as HubSpot integration to collect and store guest information.
This means that rental agents can easily look to a large pool of potential tenants to ensure that your property is rarely left empty. You’ll no longer have to worry about large gaps between rental periods or when your next paycheck will arrive.
As well as this, using a rental agent will mean that your mind can be at ease about the people who are staying in your property. Agents can utilize property management software for landlords to perform the sort of extensive checks on tenants that individual vacation rental owners can’t. Also, they will often have pre-existing communication with guests, meaning rental agents bring with them trusting relationships.
If you are renting your vacation property on sites such as Airbnb, you’ll know just how important ratings are. Good experiences for all your guests are crucial if you want to perform well in site searches and be viewed by more potential tenants.
Using a rental agent will mean that your guests will have a professional and streamlined experience from their first contact until the moment that they leave the property. Most individual vacation rental owners want to give their guests the best possible experience but the easiest way to achieve this is by leaving it to the professionals.
Whether it’s a polished advertising strategy or a simple and easy leasing process, tenants will appreciate the benefits that rental agents can bring to their experience. This creates a virtuous circle of better reviews and more tenants.
There’s no doubt that vacation rental agents can make your life easier as a landlord. But how can you find the right rental agent for you?
One of the most important things to consider when finding a vacation rental agent is to find a company that has expertise in the local area. This is especially important if you are owning property from a distance.
Rental agents that know the local area well will have the best idea of which type of guests to target when advertising the property. They will have experience in what works and what doesn’t, helping you to fill up your property more quickly. As well as this, using a local company will give you the chance to get to know your agent personally.
While all vacation rental agents will help you with finding and screening tenants – as well as assisting with the leases—you should think about whether you also want the sort of services offered by property managers.
Often, a property management company will include tenant acquisition services, while many rental agents will also offer extra services such as organizing maintenance and cleaning. It’s worth considering whether you want to make your life easier by outsourcing these services—if you do, this will impact which rental agent you choose.
If it’s possible, try to speak to other vacation rental owners about the rental agents that they use. While it’s useful to know what an agent says they do, the difference between policy vs procedure can sometimes be big. You want to work with an agent that will really do what they say they will.
Even if you can’t find another landlord with experience with the specific rental agent that you’re considering using, discussing options with others will help you decide whether you want to focus on a rental agent who’ll source guests or if you would prefer a wider set of property management services.
Owning short-term rentals is one of the most exciting opportunities for a passive income—and this will only become more true as sites like Airbnb continue to grow. However, vacation rental management and guest communication can be difficult if you are working as a landlord on your own.
A property management company and vacation rental agents can help you to overcome some of these difficulties. By professionally marketing your property and drawing on years of experience, agents will be able to source and screen the perfect tenants for you. As well as this, some rental agents can help you with issues surrounding maintenance, finance, and guest communication.
All of this means that finding the right rental agent for you can be a great way to make sure that your property consistently and easily attracts guests – all while taking some of the stress and anxiety that comes with being a vacation landlord.
Whether you’re a host, a property management company, or a vacation rental agent, the right tools can help streamline the entire rental process for you. iGMS is the only vacation rental software that supercharges your short-term rental business all year round.
About the Author
Jesse Liszka is the Senior Communications Specialist at Paylocity, leading provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software. She is a highly experienced communications, client marketing and content specialist, with more than 12 years of experience. You can find her on LinkedIn.
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