What You’ll Need to Get Started
Assuming you’ve already got a vacation rental property, there are just a few basics you’ll need to get started with managing it remotely. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A strong and reliable internet connection
This is probably the most important thing you’ll need since you’ll be relying heavily on online communications and tools to manage your rental. Make sure you’ve got a strong and reliable internet connection at your home base, so you can stay connected even when things get busy.
- A good quality camera
You’ll need a good quality camera to take pictures of your rental property, so potential guests can clearly understand what it looks like. A smartphone camera should suffice, but if you want to invest in something a little nicer, consider a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
- A user-friendly vacation rental software
There are tons of different vacation rental software programs out there, so do some research to find one that will work best for you and your property. Look for something that’s user-friendly and has all the features you need, such as online booking, automated payments, and guest management.
- A positive attitude!
The Importance of Staying Organized
If you’re like most people, you probably dream of owning a vacation rental property. And why wouldn’t you? It’s a great way to earn some extra income, and it can be a lot of fun too. But there’s one thing that many people don’t realize about owning a vacation rental: it can be a lot of work.
If you’re not careful, it can be very easy to let things get out of hand. That’s why it’s so important to stay organized when you’re managing a vacation rental. Here are a few essential tips to help you do just that:
- Keep track of your bookings
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep track of your bookings in one central place. This will help you avoid overbooking, and it will also help you keep track of when your property is available. This can be especially challenging when your using more than one platform to market your property (Airbnb, VRBO, and direct bookings)
- Stay on top of maintenance and repairs
Vacation rental properties need regular maintenance and repairs just like any other property. If you let things go, they will only get worse (and usually more expensive).
- Be responsive to your guests’ needs
Your guests are the reason you’re in business, so it’s important to be responsive to their needs. This includes responding to inquiries in a timely manner, being available if they need anything while they’re staying at your property, and following up after their stay to make sure they had a good experience.
- Keep your calendar up to date
This goes hand-in-hand with tip number one. Once you have a booking, be sure to update your calendar so that everyone knows when the property is unavailable. This will help you avoid double-bookings, and it will also give you a Heads Up for when you need to do some cleaning and preparation for the next guests.
- Have a system for managing keys
Whether you use an electronic lock or old-fashioned keys, it’s important to have a system for managing keys. This will help you keep track of who has access to your property, and it will also help you avoid losing keys (which can be very expensive).
Utilizing Technology to Your Advantage
As a vacation rental owner, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. By utilizing various tools and platforms, you can make managing your rental much easier – even if you’re not on site. Below are some essential tips to help you get started.
- Use a Centralized Reservation System
Investing in a centralized reservation system is a great way to keep track of all your bookings in one place. This can be especially helpful if you have multiple properties or if you frequently rent out your space for events. Not only will this make your life simpler, but it will also give your guests a more streamlined booking experience.
- Stay Connected with Automated Communication
With so many communication channels available today, it can be difficult to keep up with everything – especially if you’re trying to manage your rental from afar. Fortunately, there are many automated communication tools that can help. From setting up automatic welcome messages to sending reminders about check-out times, these platforms can take care of the heavy lifting for you.
- Use Online Payment Platforms
Gone are the days of having to mail in rent checks or deal with cash payments. Now, there are many different online payment platforms that vacation rental owners can use to collect rent and other fees. These platforms are usually very user-friendly and can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Create a Guest Manual
If you manage a vacation rental property remotely, one of the most important things you can do is create a guest manual. This document should include all the information your guests will need to know about the property, from how to operate the appliances to where the nearest grocery store is located. By having this information readily available, you can avoid having to field a lot of questions from your guests and help them feel more at home in their temporary rental.
Why create a guest manual?
There are several reasons why you might want to create a guest manual for your vacation rental property. First, it can help you avoid having to answer a lot of questions from your guests. Second, it can help your guests feel more at home in their temporary rental. Third, it can help you keep track of important information about the property, such as the location of the fuse box or the Wi-Fi password.
Including the following information in your guest manual can be especially helpful:
- The location of the fuse box or breaker panel
- How to operate the appliances
- Where the nearest stores or popular attractions are located
- The Wi-Fi password
- The check-in and check-out procedures
- Any house rules you have (e.g., no smoking, no parties)
Stay Organized and Communicative
Whether you’re managing a vacation rental remotely or on-site, organization is key. Stay on top of communication with your guests and be clear about your policies and procedures. Having a solid plan in place will help make sure everything runs smoothly, even when you’re not there in person.
- Have a clear system for communication with guests. Whether you use email, a phone hotline, or a chat service, make sure guests know how to reach you if they have questions or problems.
- Be clear about your policies and procedures. Guests should know what to expect before they arrive, so be sure to send them all the information they need in advance.
- Have a contingency plan in place for emergencies. If something goes wrong, make sure you have a way to contact someone who can help resolve the issue quickly.
- Follow up after their stay. Once your guests have checked out, follow up with them to make sure they had a good time. This is also a good time to ask for feedback so you can improve your vacation rental for future guests.
Be proactive about maintenance and repairs
If you manage your vacation rental remotely, it’s important to be proactive about maintenance and repairs. By staying on top of things, you can avoid costly surprises down the road and reduce trying to juggle solving a repair from a distance.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your property in tip-top shape:
- Inspect the property regularly. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. This way, you can catch any potential problems early on.
- Respond quickly to any repair requests from guests. The sooner you address the issue, the less chance there is of it turning into a bigger problem.
- Stay up-to-date on preventative maintenance. Things like regular HVAC filter changes and gutter cleanings can save you a lot of money in the long run. Create a list of items to review during your walkthroughs so items aren’t forgotten.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your vacation rental property is always in good condition – no matter where you are in the world!
Managing a vacation rental remotely can be a challenge, but it is doable with careful planning and execution. By following the tips in this article, you can set yourself up for success in managing your rental from afar. With clear communication, regular check-ins, and detailed documentation, you can confidently manage your vacation rental remotely and provide your guests with an excellent experience.
As a content writer passionate about travel and hospitality, I have a unique perspective on short-term rentals. With years of experience creating engaging, informative content for various clients, I enjoy communicating the benefits and appeal of short-term rental properties. I've been an Airbnb host for the last three years, consistently providing my guests with a high level of hospitality.