Airbnb can be very lucrative for owners of investment properties and second homes – especially with full-service Airbnb property management by an outstanding team.
Here are a dozen keys to optimized management for owners who prefer to outsource Airbnb property management:
1. THINK BEYOND AIRBNB – Promoting your property on Airbnb is a “must,” but limiting your exposure to a single site is less than optimal. Your property should be visible on 50+ online destinations. The best Airbnb management companies think beyond Airbnb.
2. EMPLOY THE “SECRET WEAPON” OF AIRBNB LISTINGS – Remember two words: “professional photography.” Your ideal full-service vacation rental property management company won’t have a staffer walk around your unit shooting photos with an iPhone; they’ll invest in first-rate photography to show off your property’s unique characteristics and make it look irresistible on Airbnb and other relevant sites. What’s more, they’ll write listings that go beyond the basics and rock people emotionally.
3. SEE THEIR AIRBNB LISTINGS IN ACTION – Ask the vacation rental property manager you’re considering to share actual listings they’ve created for clients on sites like Airbnb. See if you find the words and pictures enticing. Pay particular attention to comments from guests and ratings – including whether clients have achieved coveted Superhost status.
4. DEMAND YOUR PROSPECTS AND GUESTS RECEIVE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE – “Prospects” are people thinking about becoming your guests. Before booking, they often send inquiries via sites like Airbnb. Each inquiry has value that diminishes as each minute rolls by without an answer. “Guests” are, of course, people who book a stay in your property. When they have questions or issues, the quality of service they receive will directly impact whether they give you a good review and ultimately return. You should expect both groups to receive responses that aren’t just prompt but are clear, complete, and courteous.
5. OPTIMIZE YOUR RATES, EVERY SINGLE DAY – Vacation rental rates on sites like Airbnb are more science than art. If a property manager responds to your question on price optimization with something like, “We’re experienced and know what we’re doing,” it’s a good idea to look carefully at other options. The right vacation rental property management service will provide specifics on price optimization, which should be a daily occurrence. If your prices aren’t optimized each day, you’re leaving money on the table.
If your prices aren’t optimized each day, you’re leaving money on the table.
6. THINK STRATEGICALLY – A good vacation rental property management service will handle all the basics, including marketing, inquiries from prospects, questions from guests, housekeeping, feedback solicitation, and more. A great one will be a strategic resource and serve as your trusted advisor on big decisions like potential property improvements – and even help you choose your next investment property and city, whether it’s Portland, Orlando, Houston, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, or somewhere else.
7. USE A TECH-SAVVY MANAGER – The best vacation rental property management companies are using smart technology to give property owners a competitive edge. They use advanced technology in price optimization, call tracking, email systems, guest history, housekeeping metrics relating to cleaning services, and more. Technology helps ensure your turnover speed (interval between guests departing and arriving) is optimized, to help maximize your bottom line.
8. KEEP PROPERTY DAMAGE FROM EATING INTO YOUR PROFITS – Fact is, some Airbnb users are far more likely to cause damage to property than the vast majority. That’s why all of your guests should be screened. Cleaning services hired by your vacation rental property management service should inspect your unit between each guest stay to identify guests responsible for any damage and electronically document evidence. When a deposit isn’t collected by a website, guests should submit a credit card and sign a rental agreement with your manager to ensure you aren’t financially responsible for damage caused by a guest. Successful vacation rental carries costs, but property damage caused by a guest shouldn’t be one of them.
9. AVOID “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” MANAGEMENT – In vacation rental property management, a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t fit all cases. The right manager will customize a package that fits your situation perfectly. But they’ll also have standard operating procedures designed to ensure a consistently high-quality experience for guests. For example, because guests typically expect housekeeping that exceeds their cleaning standards at home, we always use professional cleaning services. And while we want new clients to give us ample time to demonstrate the value we bring, we don’t insist on locking new clients into lengthy agreements.
10. PAY YOUR MANAGER BASED ON PERFORMANCE, BUT DON’T OVERPAY – Vacation rental property managers typically receive all or most of their pay on a percentage-of-revenue basis. So, the more you earn from guests, the more they earn. As one might expect, some managers charge a lower percentage than others (One Fine BnB charges as little as half the percentage of some competitors). Very often, the service charging the highest rate isn’t the one providing the most services. On that note, it’s crucial to get a clear idea of what is and isn’t included in a potential manager’s monthly percentage-based fee, so you’re able to compare your options on an apples-to-apples basis.
It’s crucial to get a clear idea of what is and isn’t included in a potential manager’s monthly percentage-based fee, so you’re able to compare your options on an apples-to-apples basis.
11. ASK ABOUT A GUARANTEE – Traditional property managers haven’t generally offered a performance guarantee. In fairness to our competitors, very often, a guarantee of success is impossible to make in advance. But we’re proud to say One Fine BnB was, to the best of our knowledge, the first in the industry to offer guaranteed rental income to select clients.
12. CHOOSE THE AIRBNB MANAGEMENT OPTION THAT ENSURES YOU GET PLENTY OF R&R – An essential part of a property manager’s job is to make your life easier. After everything is in place, your ideal full-service vacation rental property management company will enable you to largely sit back and collect a check each month. That’s precisely what we do for clients at One Fine BnB. Intrigued? Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with us on your Airbnb vacation rental opportunity here.