Are you planning to start a vacation rental business but not sure how to manage it remotely? Then read this article till the end. You will learn five quick tips to manage a vacation rental business remotely and efficiently.
The pandemic has caused a paradigm shift in the way offices and businesses function. From a typical office atmosphere, employees and business owners have now become quite comfortable with a work-from-home setup. And suddenly the concept of taking a staycation has become popular, resulting in a sudden spurt in vacation rental businesses. This has encouraged many rental homeowners and managers to tap into the fast-growing vacation rental market.
The new generation of vacation homeowners is interested in remotely managing their business while retaining their 9×5 job. While a few have managed it seamlessly and efficiently, many owners struggle to grow their vacation home income, without being present always.
Here in this article, I am going to discuss a few quick tips and tricks to manage a vacation rental business remotely, in a hassle-free manner. But before that, you might be interested in knowing a few key facts about running a vacation rental business.
What You Should Know About Running a Vacation Rental Business?
A vacation rental is defined as a private property that is furnished and decorated for renting purposes. This private property can be a furnished flat, a small home, or a condominium. Usually, vacation homes are rented out for a short-term period of 15 days to one month. Now that the concept of staycation has become so popular, vacation rental homes are making good profits. The one reason travelers prefer vacation homes over hotels is because the former offers a homely ambiance at a reasonable rate.
What Are The Facilities / Amenities You Should Offer to Make Your Vacation Home Attractive?
If you are looking for ways to manage a vacation rental business remotely, then make sure your vacation home has these facilities and amenities that attract guests easily.
Location is an important factor that you should consider carefully. When people rent vacation homes they prefer locations with quick access to nearby facilities and attractions, e.g. a shopping mall, the beach or park, hiking trails, ski slopes, cultural activities, and so on.
Your vacation rental home should look fabulous. It’s better if you can plan an ambiance that reflects your city’s/location’s culture and heritage. The decoration and furnishing of the vacation home should create a beautiful space that guests find comforting and homely. Also, it is important to plan the interior and exterior with efficiency and durability in mind. Not to forget, your vacation home decoration should look perfect when clicked. This encourages guests to post your vacation home photographs on social media. After all, you don’t want to miss this free-of-cost local marketing opportunity for your business!
Make sure your vacation rental home offers all amenities that guests need for a long-term stay. These amenities should include WiFi with blazing speed, a workstation, Smart TV, kitchenware, Tea/Coffee maker, bathroom toiletries, a geyser, a dishwasher, a diet menu on request, etc. The more amenities you can offer, the more likely guests will extend their stay at your place.
5 Quick Tips to Manage A Vacation Rental Business Remotely
Here are 5 proven tips that experienced vacation homeowners apply to make money from their business.
Use The Right Software To Manage a Vacation Rental Property Business From Any Location
The term “technology” might sound intimidating to rental owners who don’t have a huge budget to run the business. Worry not! It is possible to use vacation rental property management software even if you have a tight budget.
There are quite a few property management software that you can use for free. For instance, AppFolio Property Manager, Buildium, TenantCloud, Console Cloud, and Innago are free options that let you manage a vacation rental business efficiently from anywhere in the world. Usually, the property management software offers features like listing, reservations, screening rent collection, security, maintenance scheduling and a lot more.
Advertise Your Property On The Best Vacation Rental Websites
It is quite easy to sign up for a rental channel manager like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, VRBO, HomeAway, Hotels, Agoda Homes, Homelidays, and more. However, picking up the best vacation rental website can be quick tricky, which is why you need to follow a few rules while choosing the right one.
You need to make sure that the rental channel manager that you have chosen syncs easily with the rental software. This process enables the automation of all the complicated processes related to managing the vacation rental.
Let’s say you chose Airbnb to list your property on their platform. Once done, you can enjoy lots of facilities. Besides the free listing of your vacation rental, many other tasks can be automated, for instance, booking management, initial communication with guests, calendar management, and a lot more.
Automate Your Vacation Rental Property Check-In & Check-Out Processes
Imagine your guests reaching the vacation rental but unable to complete the check-in process because no one is there to let them in! This immediately creates a negative impression of your vacation rental management. So, If you are planning to manage a vacation rental business then you shouldn’t overlook the automation of check-in and check-out processes.
Wondering how to automate your vacation rental home check-in and check-out processes? Or perhaps these are too expensive? The answer is “No!” There are several automation options available. You need to select the one that you find convenient, safe, and affordable.
The easiest and cheapest option is to install a lockbox and inform your guests about its location and combination. You can send them an e-mail or text message explaining the complete check-in and check-out procedure. If you prefer a bit more sophistication, then consider installing a smart lock like this.
Thus you can remotely grant access to guests and workers after necessary authentication. However, the only point to remember is that your guests need to have Smartphones with a Bluetooth feature to access this facility.
The third alternative which is a good one too is installing an electronic lock. Your guests need to key in the code to unlock the electronic lock and gain access to the property. In case your guests are planning a detox vacation without a Smartphone then they will surely prefer the electronic lock check-in process.
Focus on Maintenance And Hygiene
Managing your vacation rental business remotely in a pandemic situation can be really challenging. People are already skeptical of travel. Even if they decide to go on a vacation, they double-check the property to know about its maintenance and cleanliness. Hence as the property owner, you need to address their concerns and make sure you present your guests with a clean and well-maintained vacation rental home.
The best thing you can do to manage a vacation rental business remotely is to hire a competent cleaning service. Besides competency, you need to verify their reliability too. Since you can’t be present physically to monitor the cleaning process, it is important to hire a cleaning company/professional who delivers as promised.
You should clarify the terms and conditions beforehand. For instance, what’s their cleaning schedule, whether they will be carrying cleaning materials, what are the areas they will cover while cleaning, and so on.
Regular cleaning and maintenance are an integral part of rental management. Thus if you fail to maintain a certain standard, it will lead to bad reviews from your guests. Needless to say, such reviews can be quite harmful to your business.
Strengthen The Security of The Vacation Rental
Security is a prime concern of guests who book vacation rental properties long-term. Because guests are aware of the fact that vacation rentals are usually managed by owners remotely. Hence they might feel a bit uncomfortable about the efficacy of the installed security measures and devices. Some might wonder whether the owner is aware of security lapses if any!
You, the rental owner, and the manager can address this key issue by installing tech-enabled security devices with remote access. Then you can monitor their operations live on your Smartphone from any location. Based on the inputs, you can take further action.
What do you do to keep your vacation rental safe?
Actually, you can do either of these two things.
Buy all the necessary security devices, install them and monitor them personally. In that case, you need to purchase indoor and outdoor security cameras, smart doorbells and locks, motion detectors, sensors for doors and windows, and environmental sensors that warn you of emergencies like a fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural disasters. Doing all these on your own can be time-consuming, and expensive. However, knowing your vacation rental home security measures like the palm of your hand will surely make you confident to handle any crisis single-handedly!
The other alternative, apparently an easier and cheaper one, is to buy a comprehensive security system package for your vacation property. The top security systems to mention in this regard are SimpliSafe, Vivint, FrontPoint, Protect America, and so on. These companies offer a host of services and amenities to keep your vacation home safe. Starting from professional installation of necessary devices to 24/7 monitoring, they do it all at affordable rates. You can opt for a monthly contract, some of which are as cheap as $20/month! You can always compare and negotiate for a better price.
To sum it up, it is not easy to manage a vacation rental business remotely. However, by following and implementing all the above measures, you can streamline and automate the entire process of managing your rental property. With professional and efficient management, monitoring, and marketing of your vacation rental business, you can attract positive feedback and reviews from guests. This can ultimately lead to more success for your rental home business.
Sweta is a veteran content creator, passionate traveler, movie enthusiast, music lover (reasonably good singer!), an informed reader …. and a coffee connoisseur! She has over 10 years experience in developing content for small businesses, internet marketing firms, website development companies and internet entrepreneurs. The experience has helped her develop in-depth knowledge about small business online which she now shares on the OnlismallbiZ platform. In her own words, “I am a dreamer and a doer!”