Managing a short-term rental property is a handful, especially if you’re living a significant distance from said rental property. However, hosts need to be intelligent in the tools and tactics that they use to manage their vacation rental properties. Whether it’s dynamic pricing, property management, cleaning services, or self-check-in systems, taking a modern approach to remote vacation property management is a must.
Here are all the tips, tricks, tools, and tactics that you’ll need to manage a short-term rental property:
Making use of a Property Management System (PMS) like Hostaway is a must for long-distance hosts. Without a PMS, hosts risk losing control of the management of their property listing.
Property Management Systems make communication, administration, and management of short-term rental properties considerably easier. They automate, optimize, and direct vacation rentals to better develop the efficient function of a vacation rental property business.
The scope of property management systems is far-reaching. In the simplest of terms, Property Management takes the laboriousness out of property management. These systems can be set up to do whatever you need them to do.
Once you’ve nailed down the management of your listing, your focus can turn to dynamic pricing. By using a PMS, your listing will be working like a well-oiled machine so why shouldn’t you benefit from optimized pricing?
Dynamic pricing tools, like DPGO, offer a range of critical data specific to your local market. By using one of the most advanced pricing engines on the market, DPGO can collect, analyze, predict and automate every aspect of your pricing needs. These pricing recommendations are based on a range of data, including competitor analysis, market health, exchange rates, changes in demand, market supply, booking pace, and more.
DPGO goes one better and even offers a free insight engine called Markets. All you need to do is enter the postal code or place name that you want to research, and Markets will show you the following data for that specific market: average daily rate, average occupancy rate, market supply, day of the week price factor, minimum night stay, day of the week occupancy and a map showing you exactly where the active market listings are located.
Hostaway is now partnered with DPGO, and our users can optimize their pricing directly through their Hostaway user interface.
One thing that all short-term rental hosts can agree on is that laundry is a job all on its own. Between the endless washing of bedding, to the cleaning of every nook and cranny, cleaning services are undeniably the most important thing for remote short-term rental hosts.
Hiring a private cleaning service, rather than an individual, will be more expensive, but cleaning services come with more people, more resources and their attention to detail might just be the difference between a four and a five-star review from your guests.
Having either a service or an individual that you can contact in case of an emergency at your vacation rental property is another critical tactic to managing a tricky remote hosting situation.
Guests on all short-term rental property websites expect a certain standard when they make a booking. Not having an emergency contact on hand for guests to communicate with if anything goes wrong is a very fast way to earn a poor review. Let’s pretend, for example, that your toilet stops flushing, or the electricity gives out, or the fridge stops working. Who are guests supposed to call? Yes, they can call you, but if you live hours away, how are you going to help?
Hosts can either pay a co-host, which many have opted to do, or they can pay monthly for a maintenance service with emergency call-outs included. You can still be your guest’s contact person, but you will need someone to call if they have an emergency. Of course, a co-host would also be an acceptable solution to this particular management issue.
There are what we would term ‘miscellaneous technologies that will further optimize the running of your vacation rental. They range from independent booking websites, internet access systems, automatic emailing networks, recurring product orders, and even welcome gift deliveries.
Let’s start with independent booking websites. Some Property Management Systems, like us, have the capability to create independent booking websites for our users. Private booking websites make it easier to manage your calendar, increases your marketing exposure, and also allow people to contact you if they have questions, without first making a booking query (which platforms like Airbnb do not allow).
Internet access systems can be a great help when marketing your property, and they can feed into automatic emailing networks if you want them to. By requiring your guests to enter an email address in order to access your free Wi-Fi network, you can add said email to a monthly marketing newsletter. These newsletters can advertise open nights for reduced prices, inform former guests about cancellations, or just remind guests about the wonderful time they had when they stayed at your property!
Recurring product orders are fantastic, and they alleviate any need you might have for repurchasing vacation rental supplies. Get yourself a toilet paper subscription, or an automatic delivery of cleaning essentials, then have your co-host unpack and store them safely in your rental property, ready for whenever they are needed.
There are a myriad of tactics, tools, tricks, and tips on how to run a successful short-term rental business remotely, but by far the most important ones have been highlighted and explained above.
Running a business is all about progress and constantly looking for ways to innovate. Well, every one of the technologies mentioned above will make your life as a remote vacation rental host easier than ever.