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Thinking About Vacation Rental Management? Here’s What You Need To Know

Vacation rental management is crucial in becoming a successful host, whether you use Airbnb or any other property listing site. It ensures your house or apartment is always up to the highest standards, and your guests are provided for at all times, even when the rental owner isn’t around. 

You can be a vacation rental manager yourself, even if you’re the property owner and you have the time, or you can hire someone to look after your rental when you aren’t around so much. 

If you want to know more about vacation rental management, how to do it yourself, and how to hire a company, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the job.


What is vacation rental management?

The definition of vacation rental management is easy to understand. In simple terms, if someone owns a property and rents it out to guests on holiday, the manager completes the maintenance and communication. They will ensure that your guests have the best possible time staying with you, staying up to date on upkeep and helping them if a problem arises. This job can be done either by the owner if they don’t have another job to focus on, or you can outsource the work to an individual or management company.


Becoming a vacation rental manager

Hotels are now a day of the past as houses, apartments, and bungalows are now becoming popular on sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com. People want to stay in a place that feels a bit more luxurious with a more personal touch. However, just like cleaners and hotel managers, you need someone to maintain your property - and this is how you can become an expert yourself. 


Reading up on property managers

Before you even start, you will want to know exactly what a vacation rental property manager does. This includes learning all the duties that are expected of you and what qualifications you may need if you want to join a company. Looking at job descriptions can help, or you can dig deeper into these duties:

  • Communicating with guests
  • Staying on top of bookings
  • Collecting payment from guests
  • Assisting guests in checking in and out
  • Ensuring guests have essentials and toiletries
  • Hiring a cleaning service for the property
  • Advertising the property
  • Responding to reviews and writing your own guest reviews


Learning how to manage vacation rentals

Once you’ve learned what your duties will involve, it’s time to start learning how you can incorporate these duties into your property yourself. You will have to keep in mind that this is a full-time job, and it can be very time-consuming when you have back-to-back bookings. Only manage your own properties if you have the time to do it. 

Start by putting together a business plan and budget for everything you’ll be handling as a property manager. You may also want to look at hiring someone to focus on cleaning so you can spend time on guest relations.  


Building up your skills

It’s all well and good putting together a plan to become a vacation rental property manager, but you won’t do so well if you don’t have the skills to be successful. It may seem like an easy job, but it involves a lot of communication and time, so you may want to build up a few of the following skills before you get started:

  • Effectively handle multiple tasks at once
  • Plan ahead and meet deadlines
  • Solve problems as they arise
  • Continue to seek new opportunities to learn
  • Communicate clearly with guests
  • A go-getter attitude and positive outlook



Take courses to become certified

Not anyone can just walk into a property and become a vacation rental manager. You actually have a higher chance of success if you have the right certifications and licenses. Depending on where you live, there may be certain legal requirements you have to meet to become a property manager, so you may want to research your area. Similarly, if you need to be legally certified, you will want to find the best and most authentic place to provide you with your certification. Once this is all done, you’re ready to manage your vacation rental and start bringing in more revenue.

Here are some tips you may want to take into account if you want to start your own company:


Research the industry and competition

Before starting any company, you want to create a business plan. A great way to get insights on what to include in the plan is by looking up what successful vacation rental property management companies do and how you can incorporate it into your company or even make it better. 

Case studies are often included on the website of many big companies, or you can look at their reviews to see what their clients are saying about them. While also looking at the positives, you also want to look at the negatives and see what to avoid. 


Stay up to date on any trends

No matter what industry you work in, they are constantly changing, and successful companies need to adapt as these changes come up. By staying up to date on all trends in real estate, marketing, business, and finance, you can stay ahead of the curve and beat out your competition. 

If you don’t change your business strategy towards the latest trends, clients may decide to go with another company that is staying up to date. The best way to ensure you always know about new trends is by following industry blogs and YouTube channels and getting notifications when they upload a new post. 


Perfect your marketing strategies

It’s all well and good starting the best company around, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t advertise your services. To do so, you need to put together an effective marketing strategy. Then, depending on your audience and the type of clients you want to cater to, you’ll need to find the right platforms to communicate with them. 

You can build your strategy in the same way you developed your business plan. Have a look at what other companies in the industry are doing. The ones with the most clients will use the most effective marketing strategies, so try to adapt and incorporate these methods into your own strategy. 


Want to hire a company for yourself?

While many vacation rental owners will handle the management side themselves, sometimes they don’t have the time to do it and will outsource the work to a company. If you are one of these owners and want to find the best company for your property, here are some tips you can take:


Figure out what you need first

Not every host needs the same thing from a vacation rental property manager, so you should start by finding out what you want from the service. For example, how often will you be around and help yourself? If you want to do half the work, such as the bookings and communication, but want someone to handle the site visits, then you will need to find a company that handles that. On the other hand, you can also find a company that does everything for you; it’s just all based on your requirements.


Research different companies

It’s never a good idea to go for the first company you find. You will want to do some research first and find which ones best fit your needs. For example, do they offer everything you want, or will you be compromising if you hire them? At the same time, look at each company's reviews to see what other clients have been saying about them. Some of the best sites for reviews include Yelp and Google, which can help make or break your decision.


Choose the right prices

Before you contact and book a company, you’ll want to map out your budget first. There’s no point in hiring someone who is charging much more than you can afford, as this will negatively affect your monthly income. You’ll also want to know how the company will charge you: guaranteed income, fixed rate, or commission. Once you have all this information and find the right price, you’re ready to hire a vacation rental manager.


Final thoughts 

Property management is an essential part of vacation rentals and their success. Whether you want to take care of bookings, finances, and guests yourself, that is up to you, but various options can help. You will have to find out if you have the time and resources to handle it yourself and if you have enough money to pay for assistance.