Those who invested in a short-term rental have options on what role they will take once their rental business gets started. You can either be a hands-on host where you handle everything from arranging your guest’s stay, answering their concerns, and assisting them with their check out. Or you can have someone completely take over while you watch from the sidelines while collecting your revenue; this is often called “arm-chair investing.” There are also regulatory provisions for hosting a property that should be taken into account when it comes to the property management of STR businesses. Licensure is mandatory to handle the financial elements of a property for someone else.
If you are issued a real estate license, you can charge much higher rates to your clients, and these fees are specifically correlated with duties that you would perform as a property manager. The roles and responsibilities will be addressed in more detail below.
Host responsibilities are adjusted based on strategy:
Property Furnishing and Decorating
It is essential to provide a safe and comfortable space for your guests. Have a master list of everything you need to add to your bare property to turn it into a livable space. In addition to decoration components, this process involves the setup of furniture pieces. Providing the visitors with a relaxing, comfortable home with all of the essentials for their stay is one of the critical factors of a successful STR business. There are also small pieces that you will need to include, containing items that are consumable or disposable that will require replenishment.
Having a checklist of everything inside your unit will provide you a much lighter task of knowing what to replace, repair, or should an item go missing, an easy manner in which to best inquire with the last guest.
Handling Necessary Repairs
Owning a home or condo for your short-term rental purposes can also mean that there will be many repairs. There could be instances when the air conditioner or the heater will suddenly stop working, or there could be plumbing concerns. Set a primary contact who your guests can call in times like these. When using a co-host or renting out a property for arbitrage, oftentimes the co-host or renter will be the first point of contact for the guest, and the message will be passed to the homeowner. Homeowners can partner with a trusted electrician, plumber, or HVAC specialist in order to have repairs made promptly, and it is recommended to have an emergency list of contacts on hand If the condominium has an in-house repair department, provide their contact information as well. Property Managers will handle all repairs directly according to the agreements made in the contract with the homeowner.
Maintaining the Property in Its Best Condition
Here are the things that need constant check-ups when renting:
- Pool (If applicable)
- Landscape (If applicable)
- Air conditioning and heater maintenance
- Wear and tear of furniture
- Restocking of perishable and consumable items
- Replacing broken glassware or cookware
- Replacing or repairing busted appliances
The tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming, but as a host doing everything yourself you can save money and will also allow you to check what else needs to be fixed or replaced. However, don’t underestimate the attention required to regularly maintain a property. If ample time is not available for self-management of an STR, then taking advantage of one of the other options will ensure that the property is maintained for each guest.
Some property maintenance items like painting, changing air filters, or a deep interior cleaning can be scheduled for quarterly, bi-annually, or annual frequencies. The most recommended amount for spending on maintenance materials is less than 2% of your revenue.
All required utilities must be established prior to your first guest and must be maintained without interruption. There are ways to find out about your average electricity consumption and ways to reduce expenses while improving sustainability by utilizing online calculators or the ones provided by your power provider. These online tools will get their needed information regarding the appliances you use, the type of lighting, or your air conditioning and heating systems. They will then measure how much you will consume and how much you can save by providing suggestions on improving your practices. Below are the utilities you need to check frequently:
- Internet / TV cable
- Garbage Removal
- Water / Plumbing
Having a rental calendar will make your life as a host easier. It can help you with keeping track of all your bookings, availability, and more. This is probably the most essential tool for a short-term rental business. A booking calendar is not just any calendar as it includes multiple benefits. This will avoid any mix-up with scheduling your client’s stay. You can also input information regarding a maintenance or about your clients and their preferences, so you’ll never forget vital details about your client and their needs.
You can use availability or booking calendars as online software, a website plugin that you can integrate on your website or a mobile application.
Communication With Your Guests
You got your client to lease your property because of how you communicated with them and earned their trust. This needs to be maintained at all costs during their stay. There will be cases where they need constant attention regarding their needs and, sometimes even demands. Ensuring your property is a good fit prior to the reservation will definitely help reduce guest needs during the stay. You can ask them questions as well; what do they like when staying in a vacation home? Are they on a business trip? Is it a family vacation? Do they need to go to the beach or relax by the pool? In this way, you will get to know if your property will be a perfect fit for them or not.
In addition, it’s crucial to understand what your client likes and dislikes so that you can attend to them effectively or make changes if necessary. As a host, you’ll have to do everything in your power to give them the accommodation experience they’ll never forget, from the first day of their stay up to their check out, and that they’ll only look for you when they come back to the area.
It is just as important if not more to keep more than one cleaner on hand for regular rotation cleanings and less frequent deep interior property cleanings. Calendar services can also be used with your cleaners to ensure that properties are cleaned at the appropriate times before and after guests check out.
You can have the most impressive property in the loveliest location in the world, but it ain’t spotless, then don’t expect repeat bookings or 5-star reviews. It’s more than just a good mop, dust, and polish.
You want people to leave you positive notices so that more guests will feel safe booking with you in the future. The higher ratings you get for cleanliness, the more appealing your rental will be, and the more guests you’ll be able to bring in moving forward. You’d be surprised just how much past ratings and reviews can strongly influence your future business – for better, or for worse! Listings that frequently get dinged for not being clean enough may even face penalties from Airbnb and other services. Airbnb, for example, has minimum cleaning requirements for hosts. If you fail to meet them, there could be consequences.
The Effort Is Worth It
Maintaining a rental home can be a tedious job for any investor, but the benefits outweigh the costs. The more you provide your clients’ needs, the more profit you’ll receive. Once renters experience the best service from you, you’ll be surprised by the number of reviews and inquiries you’re going to get within weeks. Word can travel faster than you can think.
If you have questions that we can be of assistance, feel free to schedule a call with us!
We can help answer any questions, but we can also co-host your property for you!