Managing a vacation rental is not for the faint at heart, nor is it for the ‘set it and forget it’ types. Managing a successful vacation rental property is a full time job. Guests’ expectations are higher than ever, which means you have to be on top of it 24/7. The hospitality industry doesn’t sleep, and now that you’re in the vacation rental business, neither do you. Unless, of course, you hire a professional property management company.
That being said, vacation rentals can bring you some serious extra income if managed properly. Let’s explore the role of a property manager:
The many hats of property management:
- Managing all the business aspects of being a vacation rental host, including taxes, rental fees, insurance, vendor payments, permits and more.
- Maintaining the property so that it meets the guest’s expectations at each turn. This includes both inside and outside the property, from snow removal and landscaping to little and big fixes.
- Managing your listings on any number of websites (Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, etc), as well as staying on top of your marketing strategy to help secure consistent bookings.
- Constant guest communication. You must be available to assist them when they need it…this means at 2am when the heater stops working.
- Scheduling and ensuring the property is cleaned prior to every arrival and checking for any damages after each check-out.
- Being the contact person for any and all inquiries, including guests, neighbors, the city, realtors, vendors, etc.
With every vacation rental property, there are a ton of moving pieces and it’s important that you stay on top of each piece if you want to make money. One of the biggest mistakes we see from self-managed properties is the lack of attention to detail. This is not the fault of the owners, it’s just not natural for many people just getting into the industry. Owning a short term rental means you are a business owner, offering hotel-like services. Guest expectations are high, and if you want to keep occupancy high, you need good reviews. Good reviews come from happy guests, and happy guests are those whose expectations were met, if not exceeded.
What you get with a full-service vacation rental company:
- 24/7 guest communication. Yes, this means that you will never be bothered at 5:30am when your active guests wants to take a shower and the water heater is down. Guest communication makes all the difference. You have to remember, they are entering into a private home, a home with unique quirks. A full-service vacation manager understands what these are and how to effectively communicate them to guests.
- Faster response times and better bookings. Unless you live next door to your rental property, chances are you won’t be available 24/7 to one, secure bookings and two, respond to any guest inquiries or issues with the house. A property management company, like MyVRHost, cares for both your home and your guests at any hour, professionally. This means a better experience for your guests and yourself. You will also see a more consistent stream of bookings for your property when hiring a professional property management company since they are always on responding to new inquiries, managing your bookings, and making sure your home is in tip top shape through every turn.
- Better technology. This means better marketing and more bookings. Full-service vacation rental management properties have the tools to market your property on a myriad of sites. This means more exposure and a greater chance for bookings. They know the industry and understand how to properly market your home and optimize it to meet your occupancy goals. Their technology also helps streamline the process from marketing to booking to post-stay follow up.
- Reduced risk. Again, a vacation rental manager understands the ins and outs, including the risks involved. They can assist you with the taxes involved, contracts to reduce your financial risk, local laws, and much more. Because of their experience, they know how to create guest agreements that can save you from potentially costly situations. For example, if you have a damage waiver, you will need someone that can audit the property immediately after the guests leave to note any issues. Without someone actively onsite, it becomes much more difficult to charge for damages.
- Less wear and tear. This may seem counterintuitive since you will see an influx of consistent bookings, however, hiring a professional property manager means they are always watching the house. Consistent audits catch the problem or issue before it even becomes an issue. Not to mention, they have a number of resources in their palm to help maintain your home professionally. They will also recommend certain items like sheets, towels, cookware, furniture ideas, etc that can sustain vacation rental usage.
Finding the right property manager for your home may take time and some ‘shopping’ around, however once you do, you will find that your life becomes just a little bit better. Gone are the days when you are constantly monitoring your Airbnb profile or second-guessing whether you provided your current guests with the correct entry code and wifi password. Leave it up to the pros at MyVRHost. You will make more, see better reviews, and truly enjoy being a vacation rental host without all the hassle.