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How to manage your short-term rental property remotely

Do you own an investment property but live too far to manage hands-on? Find out how you can manage your short-term rental property remotely on the blog.

While it may seem intimidating to run your business from another city, it is possible. In fact, more and more property managers take advantage of the technology out there that allows them to achieve this remote lifestyle.

The key to remotely managing your short-term rental (STR) is to automate or digitise as much as you can soyou have a hands-off approach to everything. This includes your operations, finance and communication, from smart locks to guest messages, review reminders, cleaner messages, and even pricing.

Below, we've listed 6 things you can do to run your business from anywhere in the world while supporting your location-free lifestyle.

Focus on personal gestures

Seeing as though you won't be there in real time to welcome your guest to the property, why not provide them with a few personal touches to set the right tone for the rest of their stay?

A foolproof gesture includes a handwritten welcome note and a basket filled with your guests' preferred snacks (be sure to find out any dietary requirements beforehand). This kind of thoughtfulness goes a long way when it comes to creating a positive and relaxed mood — and a memorable check-in experience.

Automate your communication

When it comes to effortlessly communicating with your guests, there are many ways to do this.

We recommend scheduling a number of well-thought out emails. Unlike text messages, this is a more professional , and less invasive, way to stay in touch with guests. A number of online platforms do this, which allows you to create personalised templates for key moments of your guests trip without having to remember to send them in real time.

Start by scheduling a few emails ahead of arrival to prepare your guests with the necessary check-in information they need ahead of their trip without having to actually send a single email yourself. Viola!

Provide extra supplies

Keeping extra essential items stocked will truly enhance your guests’ experience. It is also a great way to feel at ease knowing your guests are comfortable and safe while you work remotely. We suggest stocking your space with essential supplies that include:

Bedding

  • Towels
  • Pillows
  • Linen
  • Blankets
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Disposable gloves
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Disinfectant wipes or spray
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer
  • Washing powder

Wellness

  • Cotton wipes
  • Cotton earbuds
  • Room freshener
  • First aid kit
  • Bandaids
  • Toilet paper

Miscellaneous

  • Batteries
  • Torch
  • Light Bulbs
  • Bug spray
  • Candles

Find a trustworthy cleaner

One of the most important ratings on Airbnb is the guest cleanliness rating. A clean property really sets the tone for an enjoyable stay and is one aspect of your STR business. We suggest going above and beyond to ensure your property is always spotless and well-maintained. One way to guarantee this from a distance is to find a reliable, reputable cleaner who you trust to meet your needs — and your guests’.

  • Look for cleaners that have experience working at 5-star hotels where they learn presentation and attention to detail.
  • Look for a cleaner who is ambitious and has the potential and capacity to take on more responsibility in the future.
  • Look for a cleaner who is excellent at communicating.
  • Assign the same cleaner to the same property every checkout in order to get reliable feedback via reviews.

Invest in contactless check-in

One of the most time-consuming parts of managing a short-term rental property is coordinating the check-in and check-out process. Many managers have resolved this to a degree by installing lockboxes, however for remote managers, this isn't a foolproof solution. If a guest loses the key, or locks it inside, then a number of problems arise that make it difficult for a remote manager to fix.

That’s why we suggest investing in a smart lock - a keyless lock that can be controlled remotely by an app on your phone. This is a worthwhile investment because most apps provide a full list of who has entered and exited from the property, and when. You can also change the code when needed, giving you even tighter control over who can access your property.

Digitise all manuals

As a remote STR property manager, it is always good to be prepared by managing your guests’ expectations well in advance. We suggest emailing all the necessary digital documents before their arrival so that they don’t have to access the internet to download an app or PDF. They can even choose to print these before their trip. Some digital information we suggest you provide includes:

  • Check-in instructions and directions to get to your property.
  • A local guide with activities they will enjoy; this can include key highlights, activities and sites they can look forward to in your area.
  • A manual for all your household amenities and electronics (how to operate the coffee machine, washing machine and tv etc).

You can check out Hometime’s eBook as an example of a comprehensive digital guide.

Want to know more tips and tricks to support your short-term rental business growth? Feel free to drop us a line: we would be happy to help.

Hometime is an Airbnb property management company that delivers a Local Hosting experience paired with above-the-market returns. We focus on understanding the market, mastering marketing and distribution and analysing data to deliver exceptional performance to our clients. We support your property experience at every touchpoint; from guest enquiries, dealing with housekeepers and other vendors, communication - all aspects of a homeowner’s property.