We have all seen it before, people start making money with a novel idea, it becomes popular, and suddenly everyone wants to jump in expecting it to be all joy, happiness, and profit. Then come the get-rich-quick guys.
Well, just like with any business, if you want to succeed in the short-term rental world, you will have to put in the hours. This is a list of 10 things based on a video form the OptimzeMyBnb.com Youtube Channel that I have learned through the years I spent being both an Airbnb Superhost, property manager, and a permanent Airbnb guest.
There will be sweat, and there might be tears. Being an Airbnb host is hard work, a around the clock job. As experts in hospitality know well, guests are expecting perfection, appliances need to be working, amenities should be readily available and in place. You have set the guests’ expectations and deliver. Get the idea of hosting being a passive thing out of your head.
In order for it to be a business, there needs to be a profit. In order for it to be a successful business, you need to make sure you are constantly reinvesting back in your listing to keep it in great shape. So, before you go ahead and invest in furnishing and equipping your rental, make sure you know you ROI and whether the numbers make it worthwhile.
Marketing, accounting, employees, contractors, and customer service are just some of the areas you will now have to take care of! Business owners must wear many hats throughout the day.
If you don’t, then hire someone who does. Customer care skills are key in the short-term rental world, and not all of us are born with or have that skill. I, for example, tend to be too straightforward and to the point for the taste of many, what do I do? I make sure to have people on my team who have the skills I don’t particularly excel in.
No way out of this one. Something will eventually go wrong, and you need to be prepared for it to happen at the worst time possible (ie Friday or Saturday night). That is why it is important to have plans in place so when things go wrong, because they will, you save time trying to figure out what to do because you already know. Nine out of ten reservations will be seamless, but it’s the tenth that separates the good from the great hosts.
It can either be one person who takes care of everything for you or a group of providers and contractors who you know you can count on. It all depends on how “hands-on” you want to be, and how much you are willing to delegate. The one thing I do recommend is for you to do things yourself (I mean, calling the plumber, not necessarily fixing the toilet yourself), so you get a good idea of the job and what it requires. My grandma used to tell me it is important to know how to do things even if you are not the one doing them all the time. This will also give you a better insight into both the host and guest perspective.
We all have different standards when it comes to defining the word “Clean”. Add to this, guests tend to be pickier when they feel they are paying good money for your place. Regardless of whether you have a budget listing or a luxury stay, cleanliness is not negotiable: EVER. Remember that we also tend to oversee “small details” over time, something you can do, aside from having a cleaning checklist, is bringing that one, Monica Geller, in your friend group every now and then so they help you find the spots in your listing that could be cleaner.
As a host, you are expected to do certain things, but even if you go above and beyond for a guest, do not expect them to be grateful to you for doing so. It happened to me once, I left work (at Airbnb at the time) to deliver a suitcase to my Airbnb guest at the airport just before her flight to China: her review was three words long! Make things easier for you by not expecting your guests to be particularly grateful, nor taking anything personally.
We’ve all met that random person who keeps a conversation going way too long. You don’t want to be rude, not sure how to end it, hoping the other person picks up on your social cues. You know that guy, right? Or did I just out myself as a grumpy young man? (hope not). Well! The exact same thing happens to guests! If you do welcome your guests for check-in, make sure to read the situation and give them their space. Some guests will be nice and engage in conversation with you out of politeness, but that doesn’t mean they are your new best friends and want to hang out and talk for 45 minutes upon checkin. Remember to give your guests the privacy they want.
Most people go into a venture looking for sunny days, but there is meant to be snow, and even hail sometimes. The good thing about vacation rentals is that if you do your homework, you will be clear on what the high and low seasons are, and, if you are proactive, you will have a plan in place to make it through the slow season. The year 202 provide that sometimes a season lasts and entire year. Hostaway came up with these 5 hacks to more bookings during the pandemic which I completely agree with.
Have I scared you away or are you ready for the challenge?