In this modern era, there are many ways to launch and run a successful business. With the help of seed money and a keen eye for real estate, you’ve opted for a vacation rental company. It may not be an excellent time for holiday startups right now, but this will change. Everyone needs to get away and recharge their batteries, especially after two months of house arrest. (Image Credit: Konstantinos Eleftheriadis/Pexels)
The key is to adapt so that you survive and to do that you’re going to need to manage your properties remotely. The internet is your best friend because it allows guests and long-term tenants to view the area without being in the vicinity. Plus, the Web is a marketing channel that never stops advertising.
However, creating a video for a virtual tour and posting on social media accounts won’t be enough to boost lead generation and sales. Remotely managing a property is a subtle art that you need to understand if you’re going to be successful. Although it takes a while to master the process, some pointers will put you on the right path.
Below, you’ll find the top six tips for virtually maintaining the rental business that should help you turn a profit and keep the doors open.
Keep Listings Up To Date
If you think that upgrading listings is a walk in the park, you are ignoring the fact that it’s a time-consuming and tedious procedure. Usually, this is enough for business owners to downgrade the job or make excuses as to why it’s not been completed. You can’t let this happen because browsers rely on your resources to make a decision.
Anybody who spots differences between the pictures and your video will wonder why there is a big discrepancy. This instantly makes them suspicious of the property and encourages them to look elsewhere for a rental. Therefore, it’s crucial that the listing media are in sync so that it doesn’t raise more questions than it answers.
You can outsource the task if you find it too dull. The likes of TurnKey manage vacation rentals and deal with customer queries so that the landlord can focus on other issues. Another issue that you can’t ignore is the value of the property.
Knowing how much it’s worth at different times of the year will impact how much you charge. Upgrading the listing will allow you to set the rate to match the market and maximize profits.
Highlight The Property’s Best Features
Part of the problem of a virtual listing is bridging the gap with audiences. A regular viewing has an advantage because the realtor can let the house hit customers with the wow factor. As long as the curb appeal is on point, people will make a positive judgment as soon as they pull up on the drive.
You can’t do this because everything is done remotely, which is why it’s essential to highlight your property’s main features during a virtual viewing. Whether you own waterfront estates or buildings with tons of land, the images and videos should show them in their best light. Although it’s not as powerful as a face-to-face viewing, it will help audiences rank properties.
Unless you are a videographer or skilled web designer, it’s essential to hire an expert. As well as knowing which light to shoot the property to enhance its features, they understand website navigation. A site that’s clunky and complicated to follow will turn off anybody who lands on the page, forcing them to bounce to a competitor.
A website that flows smoothly adds to the customer experience, and this makes your rentals more appealing.
Follow the Latest Trends
Following industry trends isn’t straightforward anymore. It seems as if upgrades and updates are released every couple of months, and unless you’re into technology, you can get bored quickly. Of course, there’s a catch – certain trends are features that you can advertise. They make your vacation rental appear superior to the competition.
Keeping tabs on the latest advancements in the sector is a smart move as it lets you react when you see something that could make a difference. Digital smart locks are prime examples of investments that make a huge impact.
As you can’t be there to meet them in person, you somehow have to figure out small details that wouldn’t normally be an issue, such as handing them the keys. Thankfully, a smart lock secures the property via a keypad. All a person needs to enter through the front door is the code and they can come and go as they please.
Plus, you get peace of mind because you know that the property will be safe as the technology is hard to bypass. Merely switch up the passcodes when a guest leaves so that a new tenant uses a different entry number.
Don’t Run It As a Side Hustle
Like any startup, the initial launch phase is the hardest. With a small budget and several expenses, it’s a challenge to spend money frugally so that the company is profitable without overspending. As a result, you may decide to run your business idea as a side-hustle first to gauge the demand.
It’s a mistake. Usually, it’s essential to keep your full-time job when attempting to make a hobby profitable. This is because the industry is unpredictable and you need a steady flow of income for the first year. However, it’s not feasible with a vacation rental firm due to the time investment you must put back into the company.
When people contact you or make a booking, you’ve got to respond as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they’ll choose another vacation rental if they have to wait for a response. If this sounds simple, it’s not when the website is available around the world and customers from Europe lease the property.
The time difference means that it’s tough to reply instantly if you value sleep. Imagine if you have to juggle an office job, too. Also, don’t forget about dealing with feedback, such as customer reviews. You can’t let negative comments pass you by without offering a reason for their experience or else it appears as if they are correct. This business is a full-time job.
Hire Reliable Contractors
There is only so much you can do from the comfort of your living room. Once guests arrive at the property, it needs to be in top condition if it is going to meet their high standards. And, you better believe that customers are more quality-conscious than ever before. People no longer accept mediocre products or services without complaining.
With this in mind, you must hire contractors and outsourcers that you can trust. Mostly, this means they are reliable and do their job on time to a high standard. Dealing with builders is tricky, so you should analyze whether a renovation is essential before opening a can of worms. As always, look into their qualifications and certifications, customer satisfaction rates, and the company I.D.
Cleaners are easier to source but no less critical. If anything, a cluttered, untidy home is probably a bigger turn off because it ruins the holiday if the accommodation is dirty. The trick is to organize in advance by keeping a list of local, independent services. That way, you won’t have to clean your property in a rush and worry about them not doing a good job.
Researching the market is vital as you can’t choose contractors by trial and error. The property has to be spotless for the moment guests arrive.
Consider a Rental Manager
Your biggest decision will be whether you run the business alone or hire a property manager. The latter reduces stress and hassle and takes pressure from your shoulders, whereas the former is more affordable. The last thing you want to do is cut corners due to a lack of resources, yet it’s a difficult balance to perfect when the budget is limited.
Money plays a big part in the decision, but there is more to it than how the company’s liquidity. After all, the entire process could be intimidating. If you don’t know where to begin, it’s advisable to hire help and learn the ropes. Then, you can take control back once you feel comfortable being fully in charge.
Also, you may lack the necessary contacts. However, you could utilize friends and family that are happy to lend a hand. In this case, a property manager for your vacation rental may be a needless expense. Finally, never underestimate your time investment.
Time isn’t something you get back. So, if you’re spending too much of it dealing with admin duties, you can use an agency to delegate responsibility. By doing this, you can focus on the areas that make the biggest difference from anywhere in the world.
Managing rental properties has never been more accessible than today. However, you need the right foundations in place, from smart lock technology to an aesthetically pleasing, navigable site.
If you still find your everyday schedule too demanding, you may require a vacation rental property manager.