If you’ve ever tried to manage a vacation rental remotely, then you’ll know just how much work it can be. In fact, for many people, between the cost of travel and the logistical difficulties of making arrangements long-distance, it can be hard to even turn a profit on vacation rentals.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With good preparation, excellent organization, and a helping hand from modern technology, you can turn your vacation rentals from a money sink into a money spinner. Keep reading to find out how!
1. Get vacation management software
Are you tired of traveling to your various rental properties? Wish you could buy properties in more lucrative areas without having to live nearby?
What if there was a way to manage a vacation rental remotely with no extra hassle on your part?
In years gone by, managing multiple rental properties could be a demanding full-time job, especially if you didn’t live locally, but these days that’s swiftly becoming a problem of the past.
Vacation management software is the future of the rental industry. Instead of spending your precious hours researching the market, advertising your properties, dealing with maintenance issues, and traveling back and forth across the country, you can now streamline the process with one, easy-to-use service.
Put simply, vacation management software is not only great because it allows you to manage a property remotely, but it also removes hassle from every part of the process, making your life easier whilst significantly increasing your profits.
2. Automated check-in and check-out procedure
Another hassle of face-to-face property management is checking in and out. Even if you live relatively near to all your properties, traveling to each and every one, in person, several times a month just to exchange a set of keys can feel like a huge waste of time.
With automated check-ins, you can completely eliminate this problem. Automated check-ins generally function through the use of a smart lock or keypad. This way, the key can be sent digitally so there’s no risk of it being lost or stolen.
Even better, the entire system can be managed automatically meaning that you only ever need to get involved if something goes wrong. Just think of the hours you’re saving!
3. Invest in home security
For some, it might sound like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating nonetheless. Home security systems - such as cameras or burglar alarms - are a must-have for any rental property if you’re wanting to protect your investment in the long term, especially if you’re planning to manage a property remotely.
Nonetheless, many people put off installing security systems, seeing them as an expensive investment with limited returns. Truth be told, however, these people couldn’t be more wrong. Not only are home security systems a valuable precaution, but they can also give back.
Generally speaking, there are three main reasons to install home security on a rental property:
- To protect your investment from criminal damage
- To provide peace of mind for both you and your guests
- To improve your insurance rates
Yes, you read that right. Depending on your insurance provider, and the level of security you install, this is an investment that might actually save you money in the long run, even if you never actually have a break-in.
4. Home automation systems
Another place where technology can really help you to manage a vacation rental remotely is through home automation systems. Utilities such as heating, air-con, and lighting - for example - can all be controlled remotely, helping you to save money when the property isn’t in use.
On top of that, you can also use noise level monitoring to make sure your guests aren’t causing problems for their neighbors. Obviously, nobody wants to be a party pooper, but this way you can politely inform your guests if they’re being too loud, hopefully preventing things from getting out of hand.
5. Look for a reliable housekeeper or cleaning service
If there’s one problem technology can’t solve yet, it’s housekeeping, which is why you’ll definitely want to reinvest some of your profits into a good, local cleaning service.
Even if you have the cleanest guests in the world - and you certainly can’t rely on that - the property will always need cleaning in-between visits. That means you need someone you know you can trust to turn up consistently and do a professional job. Remember that the quality of the cleaning service directly reflects on the quality of the property and guests are much more likely to leave favorable reviews if everything was in perfect condition when they arrived.
6. Store a list of quality contractors
Just as with cleaning, there’s also no substitute for a good contractor. Things go wrong with properties all the time - that’s just something you have to accept early on - but they’ll go wrong far more often if you don’t hire the right person the first time around.
While it can feel painful to be constantly reinvesting money back into a property, it’s very important in the long run. Good contractors can be expensive, but they also know what they’re doing. If you want to minimize hassle and maximize profits then you’ll have to spend money now to save money later.
7. Market your property
We said before that vacation management software was key to building a good marketing strategy and here we’d like to expand on that assertion.
To be frank, marketing is hard - really hard. It’s complicated, difficult, and - worst of all - time-consuming. Successfully marketing any business in the internet age means having to stand out beside all your competition. It means constantly monitoring prices, hours of research and effort, not to mention all the time you’ll have to spend putting together materials.
That being said, there’s no reason to take on all that work yourself. After all, the key to success in any field is knowing where you can save time and effort, and any good vacation management software will do that and more. Good management software can track the relative market value of similar properties and automatically adjust your prices to be competitive. Take as much or as little control as you like, safe in the knowledge that your prices are being carefully calculated to maximize profits.
8. Keep your listing up-to-date
In 2022, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the internet moves fast. As a result, both people and search engines have come to place a lot of value on web pages and listings that look current and up-to-date.
In effect, what this means is that if you only update your listing once every five years, then it will likely get lost in the wide ocean that is Google. Alternatively, if you’re careful to regularly update your listing with new information and new pictures to reflect any changes in the property, then people will be far more likely to click, and the algorithms will reward you.
9. Get a property management team/manager
Often, the secret to running a really successful business is knowing when to scale. While investing in more employees is always something of a risk, it can also strengthen your business and help you diversify your assets. The more work you can pass on to a new employee, the more time you have to focus on improving the company as a whole.
10. Make a detailed guidebook
Guests often have questions, but they don’t always feel comfortable asking them. Alternatively, some guests may never stop asking questions, which can be equally frustrating when it starts to cut into your time. A detailed guidebook can solve both of these problems in one stroke, making life easier for everyone.
Even better, if it’s a digital guidebook, you can update it as you go, adding any frequently asked questions to the list where and when appropriate. All in all, a digital guidebook is a fast and accessible way to provide information to your guests.
11. Communicate with your guests
Good communication is at the core of any business and if you want to build up a really good reputation then you’ll want to be easily approachable.
Now, as we’ve just said, having a good digital guidebook will do a lot for limiting the need for communication, but nonetheless, it should be possible for your guests to get hold of you or a member of your team at any time throughout their stay.
Furthermore, it’s good to offer multiple channels of communication. While many will want to sort things out with a direct phone call, there are some who’d rather send a text or chat message. Once again, this is where modern technology comes in useful, providing all kinds of ways to get in contact with you.
Not to mention, this process could benefit you both ways. By making it easy for your guests to contact you, you also make it easy for them to alert you to any problems with the property. Should anything be damaged, or else if the property develops issues with damp or mold, your guests are likely to report this matter straight away, making it easier for you to manage the property.
At the end of the day, the key to remote property management is finding ways to be on top of every issue and to stay on the ball, and these days technology is the best strategy there is. With a reliable team around you, and good management software keeping track of the numbers, you can become a master of property management, all from the comfort of your own home.
|Distribution via 40+ platforms including major, affiliate, select access* and niche platforms|
|Single property page - Manage all your listings from within the platform|
|Booking management - Fully synced Bookings list|
|Single & Multi-calendars - flexibly update your availability and see your properties all in one place|
|Performance reporting in one dashboard - see your key metrics by Company or Apartment|
|Dynamic pricing - Managed in-platform and powered by Pricelabs, to increase revenue through rate optimisation.|
|Enquiry management - Track, action and convert direct bookings in one place|
|Smart Availability Search - Match enquiries with available properties through smarter searches.|
|Automated customer communications - Customisable email templates for all your communication needs|
|Automated Scheduler - Aut-schedule your field activity inc. check ins, cleaning and maintenance|
|Deep third-party integrations - Connect your automated schedule to Breezeway, Keynest and more|
|Customisable pre-check in process - Check-in and out times, special welcome packages & upgrades|
|Deposit management - Track, amend and action deposits from Hospiria|
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