Have you always wanted to start your own vacation rental business, or are you looking to improve your current short term rental? Below, we break down some of the most important steps to consider to help you manage your vacation rental like a boss.
Setting up your Airbnb management business
Register as a business entity
We’ve said it before, but running a successful portfolio of properties means setting up legitimate and compliant operations. We suggest registering as an LLC company and arranging the appropriate insurances so you can then project confidence to your clients.
Apply for licences and permits
Getting a real estate licence shows your property complies with certain health and safety standards, thereby building credibility and allowing you to lease property long term. Some cities might even insist you get a permit before you rent out your property. Check online to find more information on specific licences and permit requirements for your area.
Get your property ready
This is the fun part. Designing and decorating your property is a crucial stage in preparing it for success. At this stage, you'll want to think about your guests' every need so that your vacation rental is truly set up in the most functional and comfortable way possible. For interior design inspiration, check out our blog that provides tips and tricks when it comes to getting your vacation rental photo- and guest-ready.
When it comes to your vacation’s amenities, it is important to keep in mind the comfort, convenience and safety of your guests when preparing your property. These are areas where guests expect cleanliness and functionality as well as facilities to entertain. Whether you’re going for a luxury 5-star vacation rental experience or an earthy beachside oasis, guests expect certain amenities in their home to ensure a comfortable stay. Here is a breakdown of the most important amenities you don't want to leave out.
Set the tone
How you tell the story of your vacation rental can make or break a deal. The first thing to know is that professional photography is a game-changer when it comes to capturing your listing in the best light. Images that are the most visually stimulating are powerful to reveal what your listing looks like as well as create an expectation of what a guest can experience once staying there. Include photos of small touches and amenities that your guest would appreciate, such as the pool, an outdoor terrace or pet-friendly facilities.
When it’s time to write your vacation rental description, attention to detail is the difference that makes a difference. Get creative, be honest, and let the social aspects of your home shine.
Set your prices
Here, the goal is to find a sweet spot for your nightly rates. If you set rates too high, you risk scaring guests away. If you set costs too low, you may attract the wrong crowd or lose money on your bookings. We suggest looking to the market as well as competitors in the area as guidance. Use a pricing tool, or even an expert revenue management service such as the Hometime Platform, to ensure you are maximising revenue across all channels and get the most out of your listings.
Get yourself ready
It's time to manage your own expectations. The more excellence you provide, the better your property will do thanks to the power of positive reviews and recurring business.
We suggest viewing Airbnb’s guidance for excellence in service. On the Airbnb platform, these ratings are organised into 8 categories:
- Overall experience. How was it?
- Cleanliness. Did the place meet our standards?
- Accuracy. Was it accurately represented with up-to-date photos and info?
- Check-in. Should be easy.
- Communication. Did the Host respond to messages promptly?
- Location. Was the guest made aware of safety, transportation, points of interest and special considerations that could affect their stay?
- Value. Was it worth the price?
Get the word out
Getting the word out is one of the most important steps in your business journey. After all, if no one knows about your amazing vacation rental, then what's the point? We suggest using simple approaches like word of mouth, business cards and having friends and family sing your praise. Beyond that, social media is your best friend and won't cost you any money. Having an online presence allows you to showcase your personality through engaging posts whilst building up an audience of like-minded people and potential new guests. Use high-quality photos of your listing and its features and share testimonials from other guests to show your rental’s appeal.
Invest in a good cleaner
A good cleaner is considered gold in the short term rental industry. That is because cleanliness is one of the highest-rated requirements in property management. To find the right cleaner, look for qualities such as excellent time management, trustworthiness, excellent communication skills and someone with flexibility in case of any last-minute requests from guests. A reliable, smart cleaner can help you get your 5-star reviews.
Automate your operations
When you start running your business, finding tools that help streamline your admin and operations will be a saving grace, allowing you to free up your time to spend elsewhere. The free Hometime tool has a digital guest guide and automated message templates to help you get started.
Hire a property manager
When you have 5 or more properties, we recommend turning to the support guidance and expertise of a Airbnb property management company to help you deal with all your admin on your behalf. A company like Hometime can help you stay on top of your listings by managing the performance of your home, keeping your occupancy high and your guests happy.