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Expert view on short term rentals

Turning Your Spare Space into Profit: How Short Term Airbnb Management Services Can Transform Your Property

Passive income is one of those phrases that sounds extremely appealing, particularly when it comes to offering vacation rental opportunities to guests. But when property owners learn how much work goes into managing their rental properties, they learn rather quickly there is nothing passive about it. In fact, many property owners don’t realize how time-consuming it can be to handle all of the critical day-to-day tasks that go into ensuring the best possible outcomes for their property’s performance in a crowded marketplace.

So what does that entail exactly? Good property management includes developing effective marketing strategies on major rental sites like Airbnb to attract guests, managing check ins and check outs of your guests, cleaning the property to prepare for the next renters, budgeting your property’s operating costs, handling all maintenance expenses, dealing with guest communications and addressing any issues that might arise before and during your guests’ stay at the property. Not to mention enforcing house rules and ensuring compliance with all local regulations while staying on top of the market trends that help make your property appealing to potential guests.

Simply put, its about delivering an exceptional guest experience. The very foundation of the hospitality industry is all about exceeding your guests’ expectations so they return to your property over and over again in the future and leave positive reviews, so that other potential guests seeking rental properties in your local market choose your Airbnb property over all the others.

Does that sound like passive income to you? If you are a property owner who has been personally handling all of these day to day tasks all by yourself, you’re no longer just the owner but a property manager. That brings it with a whole litany of responsibilities that, if mismanaged or handled poorly, can put the success of your short term rental business at significant risk.

Why risk it, when you can bring on a property management company with the experience and expertise at dealing with these and so many other property management services?

The Benefits of Working with the Right Property Management Company

If you’re among the many property owners with plans to turn a spare space into a profitable vacation rental that generates consistent income, you would do well to consider hiring a vacation rental property manager who understands all of the critical aspects of succeeding in the vacation rental industry. Property owners don’t always make the best property managers because they either don’t have the time, the patience, the knowledge, or the ability to separate the roles of owner and manager and that can leave your potential guests and your property at a disadvantage.

An Airbnb property manager can make all the difference in presenting your property to potential guests with a smart and effective rental strategy. By optimizing the property’s Airbnb listing on rental sites, taking professional photos of the space, and setting fair market rental prices as demand fluctuates, your property manager works hard to maximize occupancy for more consistent income on a routine basis.

As the property owner, you can have as much or as little input as you would like into setting prices, security deposits, check in and check out times, and house rules and boundaries in and around the property. Your property manager is the one tasked with establishing and enforcing all of these stipulations with your Airbnb guests and continuing an open avenue of guest communication with your renters should any problems come about or questions/clarifications needed on any aspects of their stay.

The following are just some of the reasons why hiring an Airbnb property management company to manage your short term rentals is a sound business strategy for long term financial success.

Vacation Rental Market Expertise

Vacation Rental Market Expertise

Having someone on your side with extensive knowledge on the complexities of the short term rentals market is often the most crucial component for operating a thriving business in the vacation rental industry. The right Airbnb property management services company brings far more expertise on marketing and operating short term rentals to the general public and if you are a first time property owner with designs on renting out a single room in your home or a single-family house, rookie mistakes can be costly.

Increased Rental Income

The market trends that dictate how much to charge for a vacation rental can be tough to track and when popular local events have resulted in higher demand for rental properties in your market, timing is critical for increasing your rates to get the most value for the property. The application of smart dynamic pricing strategies that adjusts rental rates as demand rises is ideal for maximizing revenue because you are always getting the highest value for your property.

Deliver a Top-Tier Guest Experience

It’s one thing to make sure your guests enjoy their time at your property. It’s another to make it a memorable experience they’ll never forget. Working with property managers who specialize in the latter helps your vacation rental stand out above the rest as potential guests become loyal repeat renters who are more than happy to tell others and leave positive reviews on your listing. When you can take every opportunity to deliver an outstanding experience, your reputation as a trusted Airbnb host grows, your property becomes more popular, and that leads to more robust rental income.

Less Stress, More Bookings

Whether it’s business travelers looking for a place to stay overnight or a family taking their annual vacation, you want to do everything you can to make sure they choose your Airbnb property. Taking on all of the responsibilities of optimizing your listing on rental sites, marketing the property, setting prices, and staying on call to resolve any unexpected issues for your guests can put a lot of stress on you, the property owner. It can severely limit the time spent on doing other things and restrict your freedom on nights and weekends. Real estate investors want to own the property, they don’t necessarily want to be in charge of handling the daily operations.

But one or two important details overlooked while a guest is staying in the property can be detrimental to your success, resulting in one or two negative reviews that might make future potential guests think twice about booking your property. Leave the daily operations to your property management company as they manage guests’ expectations and you can live stress-free while your property enjoys increased visibility, higher rankings on Airbnb and other booking platforms, and more bookings.

Thorough and Detailed Maintenance Support

A property in need of repairs starts to gain a less than stellar reputation. The longer you leave those repairs unaddressed, the worse they get (and the more costly they become to fix). Neglect can become a growing safety issue and that puts your guests at risk of injury, your property at risk of being banned from the major rental sites, and you at risk of being named in a lawsuit. Your property management company ensures that all inspections are conducted, keeps the property in compliance with all local laws and codes, and performs routine maintenance to preserve the condition of the property so it’s always ready to provide your guests with a safe place to stay. Airbnb hosts who fail at this most basic of expectations don’t last long in the rental property industry.

Strong Capabilities for Success

Running a successful short term rentals business takes a lot of work and property managers have access to tools and accessories to maximize their capabilities to help your property generate revenue. They utilize property management software, foster relationships with contractors and service providers, and possess the skills for customer service that create the foundation for a thriving business in the short term rentals market. A property owner may not have these capabilities and lacking in these skills can hinder growth and damage the reputation of the property, often unwittingly.

They say it’s best to leave certain things to the professionals and when you have a top-rated Airbnb properties management team in your corner, you can avoid the pitfalls that come when inexperienced property owners who purchase investment property don’t always have the know-how to turn that property into a proven commodity.

Should You Hire a Short Term Rental Properties Management Company

Should You Hire a Short Term Rental Properties Management Company?

Now that you know all of the advantages that property managers offer, shouldn’t you consider having a property management company on your side? If you’ve decided to turn your spare space into profit, a property management services company can help your transform that property from an empty room or unit into a money-making venture that brings in consistent income and puts more money in your pocket.

Gaining visibility and higher rankings on the Airbnb rental platform, as well as other booking sites, can be a challenging endeavor and if your property isn’t getting seen by the guests who want to find a safe, clean property in your market, it’s going to be extremely difficult to succeed. An Airbnb management services company can help you maximize occupancy and increase revenue by working round the clock to apply savvy vacation rental marketing strategies, optimize your listings, and provide exceptional guest communication to give your renters the experience they deserve.

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Airbnb stands for “Air bed and breakfast,” it is the most popular online marketplace for short-term rentals.  It connects “Hosts” (Property owners) with who list their property with potential “Guests” (Short-Term Renters).  Guests create a free Airbnb account and book accommodations ranging from a private room in a shared house to booking a private stay in a mansion.

Listing property through the Airbnb platform has many advantages.  Some of the main advantages to using Airbnb are:

1.  Market Share – Airbnb is by far the most popular, built out, and well-known platform for short-term rental accommodations.  Airbnb operates in over 220 countries and has more than 200 million active users worldwide that have booked almost two billion stays since its inception in 2008.  Because Airbnb is so popular you will significantly increase your property’s exposure by listing it there.

2.  User reviews and ratings – Airbnb allows guests to leave reviews for properties that they have completed stays at.  This helps distinguish your property from others by providing a superior experience, which in turn increases the demand for your property.  Airbnb has a “Superhost program which give special recognition and exposure to hosts who achieve a certain rating and host enough stays.  Becoming a Superhost can greatly increase your occupancy rates.  Conversely, having negative reviews will dissuade guests from booking a stay at your property. 

Hosts can also leave reviews for guests, helping you to make an informed decision about who you allow to stay at your property.

3.  Host Guarantee Program – Airbnb has a “Host Guarantee” Program that reimburses hosts for certain types of damages and losses caused by guests.  In order to be covered Hosts must go through the claims process which involves providing evidence of any damages.  Ultimately it is up to Airbnb’s discretion whether or not damages will be covered.

4.  Types of Rentals – Unlike many other rental platforms, Airbnb allows hosts to rent out their entire property or individual rooms.  This gives you more flexibility and can potentially allow you to maximize your earnings and increase occupancy rates.  Airbnb tends to have more unique listings as well, such as camper rentals and even treehouses.  Other platforms tend to stick to more traditional lodging options.

Renting your property through Airbnb can be lucrative but it also has its share of disadvantages:

  1. More time and effort – Because you are dealing with a constant stream of Guests, there is much more time and effort involved with responding to inquiries, coordinating check-ins and check-outs, and dealing with guest communication and issues.  More time is spent on cleaning, restocking, and managing guest turnovers.                 
  2. Fluctuating income and occupancy challenges – If you aren’t experienced with managing Airbnb rental property and you aren’t employing effective marketing and optimal pricing strategies, your profitability could suffer.  A lack of knowledge or experience could result in lower occupancy rates or renting your property for way less than it’s worth when demand is high.
  3. Deferred maintenance comes at a higher cost – There are a lot of things that can potentially go wrong when renting out property. Things will inevitably break and need to be repaired as soon as possible.  If something essential like the air conditioner or water heater breaks in your Airbnb, you won’t be able to rent the place out until it gets fixed.  In a long-term rental, your renters are still paying you as long as you make the necessary repairs in a reasonable amount of time.  In order to minimize your rental downtime and repair costs, it is essential that you perform regular maintenance to prevent costly problems.  You will also need a reliable network of local service providers at your disposal that you trust to get the job done as quickly as possible, while minimizing your costs.  Using unvetted service providers to repair your property can not only be more expensive, but you don’t know the quality of their work.                           
  4. Lower profitability from bad reviews – Guests most commonly seek short-term rental accommodations from online marketplaces like Airbnb and Vrbo.  These platforms allow guests to leave reviews about your property that everyone can see.  If you don’t live up to your guests’ expectations and provide a satisfactory experience they could leave a bad review, which could damage the reputation of your property and result in lower occupancy.  Having a clear and accurate listing, responding to guests in a prompt and friendly manner, and having a well-maintained property will help you get positive reviews which will lead to higher occupancy rates.

Investors primarily buy rental real estate for the rental income, tax benefits, and potential for long-term appreciation, not to become full-time property managers themselves.  Managing Airbnb rental property by yourself can be difficult and time consuming.  Most property owners simply don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources required to efficiently manage short-term rental property.  An Airbnb management company can save you time by eliminating the day-to-day tasks required while allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life or business.  Not only this, but a professional Airbnb management company will often save owners money in the long run by optimizing pricing, reducing vacancies, and minimizing maintenance cost.

No, although Airbnb is one of the best platforms out there for short-term rentals, we believe listing your short-term rental on multiple channels is the best way to gain the most exposure and maximize your occupancy rate.  Some of the other platforms we use besides Airbnb are VRBO, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Expedia.  Each platform has its own strengths and limitations, with some working better than others depending on your specific needs and preferences.  We can help you figure out which platforms make the most sense for you.