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Best Practices For Managing A Vacation Rental Property

Are you considering renting out your home or investment property as a vacation rental? It can be a great way to earn some extra income, but there are a few things you need to know first! In this article, we'll give you some tips on efficiently managing your vacation rental so that it's a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your guests.


By Derick Hargrave

Published on April 7, 2022

Why You Need To Manage Your Vacation Rental For More Revenue

As a vacation rental owner, it is important to manage your property efficiently. By doing so, you can avoid costly mistakes and keep your rental running smoothly. Here are some tips for managing your vacation rental:

  1. Keep accurate records. Be sure to keep track of all expenses related to your vacation rental, including utilities, repairs, and cleaning costs. This will help you stay organized and on budget.
  2. Communicate with your guests. Keep your guests informed of any changes or updates to your rental agreement. This includes any changes in pricing or policies. By communicating with your guests, you can avoid misunderstandings or problems down the road.
  3. Inspect your property regularly. It is essential to inspect your vacation rental property regularly. This will help you identify any potential problems or issues that need to be addressed. By catching problems early, you can avoid costly repairs or damages down the road.
  4. Be prepared for emergencies. No matter how well you manage your vacation rental, there is always the potential for an emergency situation to arise. Be sure to have a plan in place for how you will handle such a situation. This may include having a list of emergency contact numbers on hand or included in your welcome book for guests to review.

Tips For An Efficient Vacation Rental

  1. Keep your rental property in good condition. This will help you avoid expensive repairs and make it more attractive to potential renters.
  2. Be responsive to your renters’ needs. If they have a problem, address it as soon as possible.
  3. Advertise your rental property in a variety of ways. Use online listings, word-of-mouth, and print advertisements.
  4. Screen potential renters carefully. Check their reviews before renting.
  5. Have an explicit rental agreement that outlines the expectations of both you and the renter. This will help avoid misunderstandings and disagreements down the road.

How To Manage Your Vacation Rental With Confidence

  1. Choose the right platform: When it comes to listing your vacation rental, you’ll want to choose a platform that is easy to use and gives you the ability to reach a broad audience. Airbnb is one of the most popular platforms for vacation rentals, but there are others out there, such as HomeAway and VRBO.
  2. Promote your listing: Once you’ve chosen a platform and created your listing, it’s time to start promoting it. You can do this by sharing it on social media, listing it on vacation rental directories, and even reaching out to local travel bloggers and media outlets.
  3. Be responsive: One of the most important things you can do as a vacation rental owner is to respond to guests’ inquiries and requests. The sooner you respond, the better chance you can secure a booking.

Are you thinking about renting out your home as a vacation rental? If so, you should know a few things about how to efficiently manage your vacation rental. Here are a few tips:

Price your property for the right profit

Setting the right price for your vacation rental is critical to ensure that you make the most of your investment while complying with state and local regulations. Follow these tips to help you get started:

  1. Research your local market and average prices to get an idea of what you should charge. How much are they offering per night? Are they giving discounts? What about the cleaning fee? Keep in mind that it is the price that lures in a potential guest in most cases.
  2.  Don’t overprice your property; it could decrease bookings and lower profits. You should also realize that not every element of your property matches that of your competitor. We advise that you make necessary adjustments, taking into consideration the differences. This might include a higher price if your property has more luxury fittings and finishes and appliances and is in a more ideal location in the city.
  3. Set a minimum booking period which will help you avoid getting bombarded with requests from potential renters who only want to book one day or less in advance. This allows you to focus on more serious inquiries from potential renters interested in staying longer.
  4. Ensure all information about your rental is accurate and up-to-date, including the listing description, photos, and any additional amenities or features offered (such as Wi-Fi access). This will help you attract qualified renters and avoid any misunderstandings or problems down the road.
  5. Your rental pricing should also be adjusted based on local events and holidays. If there is a growth in demand due to a regional fair or sporting event, take advantage of it and review your prices upwards. The same goes if it is during the low season.

How To Hire & Manage A Cleaner For Vacation Rental

Guests prefer spaces that are well maintained and clean. Concentrating your efforts here will lead to positive reviews from your clients and a better chance of success in your investment. The benefit of hiring a professional service is that they will do a thorough job every time, and you can also hold them accountable if the property is not cleaned to standard. We recommend creating a checklist to ensure items don’t get forgotten.

Tracking Your Expenses, Revenue, And The Profit

Running an Airbnb business is akin to running a business. You must be organized, keeping track of any and every form of relevant documentation. This will include insurance payments, permits, expense invoices, payments to contractors, and stock supplies records. Detailed records are the key to ensuring you are actually returning a profit. Remember that there is no upper management here. You need to stay on track with all these records.

If you are renting out a property through Airbnb or another online rental site, track both the revenue and expenses associated with that rental. This information can help you determine whether or not the property is profitable and help ensure that you are making the most of your vacation rental.

Are you unable to keep track of the growing number of records? Consider the use of documenting software. There are several options in the market that you can choose from. They offer a remote, safe, and secure space to store your documents. Furthermore, digital spaces will hold your records to perpetuity. You can refer to them at a later time should you need to.    

Check-In Self Service: How To Improve Guest Experience

In this day and age of technology, you don’t have to be present for your tenant to get access to the property. You can either install a smart lock on the property or have a key lockbox. If you still believe in the traditional and orthodox ways, here are a few solutions that could work for you:

  • Keycafe. This is a premier service provider in the industry. As part of its service, the platform will send you updates via SMS when the keys exchange hands.
  • Everydoor is a revolutionary player in the self-check-in niche. They use a digital smart lock system where they send a wireless signal through the guest’s smartphone. The smart lock recognizes the signal and opens the door for the guest.

These smart systems are the new way to go for any reputable vacation rental owner. They save time, but they also offer convenience to the guests. You can expect good reviews and ratings from satisfied clients later on.

What Does A Vacation Rental Manager Do?

Let’s face it. Not all property owners have the time, resources, and expertise to manage an Airbnb property properly. There is also the issue of local regulations and restrictions, so choose a manager that knows the local ordinances, HOA guidelines, and state and federal laws. Choosing to outsource the management to a third party might be the best decision you have ever made.

There are property management companies that offer specialized services for Airbnb owners. Some of the services they offer include cleaning, restocking of amenities, maintenance, check-in and check-out, and concierge services.

What about the cost of management? Most service providers will ask for a percentage of the rental fee for services rendered. However, don’t just look at the price. Look at the convenience they have offered, the quality of service, and the cost of your time. 

Why To Setup A Local Team Of Service Professionals

Even if you have purchased the newest property on the block, it is only time until the effects of wear and tear rear their ugly head. To continue managing remotely, you will need trusted handymen who can respond promptly and handle any maintenance issues.

Maintenance issues spring up at whatever time of day or night. It would be best if you identified a 24/7 service crew. This will guarantee that your guest’s needs are catered for even in the middle of the night.

From our experience, you will need an electrician, a plumber, a pool cleaning service company, a gardener, and an HVAC repair company, among others. You will need to vet and approve their services beforehand to ascertain the quality of their work. Get referrals from your neighbors and other property owners in the neighborhood. In addition, don’t forget to read the reviews on their company websites, Yelp, and other platforms.

Why Should You Create A Welcome Guestbook

While it might be a cost to create a quality document, the Guestbook will serve you well in the long term. You can think of it as your manual. Whenever the guest has a problem, they won’t need to contact you. All they need to do is refer to the manual.

Also, the book should contain the contact information of the vetted and approved technicians and handymen. You can create the Guestbook either as a hard copy or a digital copy. We suggest that you do both.

Written by

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.