People get into the short-term vacation rental business for many reasons. Some folks are simply looking to turn a spare bedroom into a little extra cash while others want to share a beautiful vacation property they only use a few weeks each year with others. Some enjoy meeting new people from around the world, and others like providing hospitality as a hobby and a little extra income. Many, however, seek to enter the Airbnb rental business solely as an investment to provide or supplement their income.
If you're not in the rental business because you enjoy all the details involved in running a vacation rental, you may want to consider hiring an Airbnb property manager to help. For a reasonable fee, a good Airbnb management company can take all those annoying tasks off your plate while helping you build your bookings and increase you income. It's important to be smart about finding a good property manager. After all, you'll be entrusting this organization with a big influence in whether your rental is fully booked or sits vacant. Here are some things to seek:
Excellent Communication Skills
Good communication is one of the most important factors in whether vacation property managers succeed or fail. They will be the ones answering questions from prospective guests, managing booking details once a guest has committed, and handling problems and concerns before, during and after a stay. In addition, your property manager will be navigating delicate relationships with contract maintenance workers, cleaning companies, neighbors, city zoning officials, and homeowners associations. You want a property manager who is responsive, friendly and tactful.
Superior Knowledge Base
Select property managers who are located in the same community as your property. They should be experts about the local community, understanding what visitors find most attractive about your city. They should be able to answer a wide variety of questions that guests may have about the area. If they take on your property to manage, make sure they have a way to learn the ins and outs of your particular rental. They should have an interest in and a way to track the details of your rental so they can quickly and effectively answer guests' questions and concerns.
Using technology wisely these days means that property managers can work faster and more efficiently, giving you more bang for your buck. In addition, many technological developments can help you stay ahead of the competition in more ways than one. For example, technology should be used daily to automate repetitive tasks, keep calendars synchronized and current, and centralize reservations and communications. Software tools specifically for this market can include automatic rate-setting software that monitors the rates of nearby competition, seasonal events and historic trends to adjust your rates on a daily basis.
One thing that a vacation rental property manager can provide is marketing expertise. Managers should have a network of expert writers, videographers, stage setters, and photographers that can paint an accurate yet attractive picture of your property. The market is flooded with rentals and potential guests, all working hard to find one another. A little extra marketing expertise in online channels and social media venues can go a long way in helping you capture more of that market.
Just like all businesses, a property management company is only as good as the people they have. Be sure you are comfortable with all aspects of the management company including the people who will be communicating with your potential guests, the contractors who will be cleaning your rental, the workers who will be fixing and repairing appliances or other systems, and the landscapers who will be trimming your bushes. The majority of these people will be customer-facing, and therefore, they will reflect you, as the property owner, for better or for worse.
If you're interested in working with an Airbnb management company, take the time to ask the right questions and really get to know your potential partner before making the commitment. Finding the right property manager can be well worth its weight in gold.