Short-term vacation rental management is not for the faint-hearted. It calls for blood, sweat, and tears (many times mopping it up literally). The following are seven essential things that will see to it that short-term rental property management does not get the better of you.
Create realistic expectations
It is always better to under promise and over-deliver to your guests. You might be tempted to promise certain amenities to attract more bookings, though you will only create issues for yourself in the long run. If you, for instance, create the impression that your property boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, but your guests are greeted by a kiddies pool, the chances are pretty good that they will mention it in the review.
In short, ensure that every single guest knows what they can look forward to during their stay. If your property has any drawbacks, mention it in the description. When it comes to short-term vacation rental management, honesty is always the best policy.
Five-star reviews are essential if you want to be successful. Even more so, if you are still new to short-term vacation rentals. One way to encourage guests to leave a review is to send them a short thank-you note after they have checked out which can also serve as a friendly reminder to leave you a review. Alternatively, you can be the first one to post a review. This small gesture can motivate your guest to return the favor.
Post picture-perfect photos
Another feature that potential guests look at when deciding on which short-term rental to pick is the photos. With enough natural light and the right angle, you can ensure that your property appears enjoyable and attractive. Be sure to get a professional photographer if your expertise only lies with short-term rental vacation management.
Change your prices from time to time
Short-term vacation rental management requires hosts to adjust their pricing from time to time. For instance, it could pay to set different prices for weekends, peak season or whenever there is a public or religious holiday or a local event such as a music festival.
The reverse is also true. During the slow season, you will want to adjust your pricing accordingly.
Get extra insurance
Now that you have worked hard to maximise your profits by selecting the right pricing strategy, you do not want to see your revenue go towards your most recent damages. Even though Airbnb does offer its own insurance programmes, you will need extra insurance too.
Reply promptly to messages
Your realistic property description, reviews and photos cannot do all of the work! Hosts should also be a good advertisement for their listings. One important task of short-term vacation rental management is replying to guests’ messages promptly. The rule of thumb is to reply within 24 hours. Though, the sooner, the better! As a matter of fact, Airbnb values the response time of hosts so much that it will penalise hosts who frequently reply only after a day. So, if you are looking for a way to climb those search results, start by improving your response rate.
That being said, communication is more than just replying in double quick time. Hosts need to double-check that their communication is clear and that no question goes unanswered.
List on multiple sites
Airbnb has truly boomed! Although that is good news, it means that there is a lot more competition. Therefore, you will have to consider listing your property on other platforms too and using social media to market your property. Luckily with the help of vacation rental software, listing on multiple vacation rental websites do not have to make short-term vacation rental management more difficult.
At the end of the day, short-term vacation rental management is round-the-clock. Many hosts forget that while their guests are taking a break, they have to ensure that their property is at all times in tip-top shape (that alone requires constant attention). Then, there is keeping tabs on market trends, marketing and the list goes on. Therefore, make sure that you implement these seven steps to lighten the load of short-term rental management.