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12 Keys to Selecting the Best Service for Outsourced Airbnb Property Management

Airbnb can be very lucrative for owners of investment properties and second homes – especially with full-service Airbnb property management by an outstanding team.

Outsourced Airbnb Property Management

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 Flat 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 Flat 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 Flat. Intrigued? Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with us on your Airbnb vacation rental opportunity here.

 

Get Everything You Need to Know About Price Optimization for Vacation Rentals – in Under 5 Minutes

Price Optimization for Vacation Rentals

More than a fancy marketing term, price optimization raises vacation rental revenue by as much as 25%.

So, what is price optimization, how does it work, and what’s the best way to start using it to raise revenue on Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo, and other sites?

As it sounds, price optimization is about optimizing pricing on your vacation rental property.

Before we go any further, it’s important to add that unless vacation rental pricing is optimized daily, it isn’t true price optimization.

Price optimization in vacation destinations like Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, and other hot areas should include a wide variety of factors. “Comps” (comparable properties) need to be continuously reviewed, considering a full range of factors that contribute to pricing on a given day.

On that note, as a vacation rental property owner, you’re not just competing against owners of private houses, townhouses, condo hotel properties and the like; among many users of sites like Airbnb, you’re also competing against conventional hotels (yes, that Westin down the road may be your frequent competition). Their daily prices are data that must go into your price calculation … if you’re aiming for real optimization.

And as they say in those middle-of-the-night TV commercials, “But wait – there’s more.” When that big music festival inks an agreement to stage their event in Nashville in two years, pricing on those dates should quickly reflect that reality.

Besides special events, holidays and off-peak periods must be part of daily price optimization. Look at it this way: At the end of the year, it’s all about your annual bottom line. Some revenue during quieter times will be much better than no revenue – and be a serious contributor to optimization.

On top of all that, price optimization should rapidly reflect legislative or regulatory changes, as well as site commissions that can impact your bottom line.

Vacation rental property owners who’ve tried to do all this on their own have generally been unable to pull it off – even when using tools of different sorts. Fortunately, at no added cost to you, the right full-service vacation rental property management service will apply advanced technology to optimize your pricing and help maximize your bottom line throughout the year. In many cases, the lift in revenue from price optimization covers the cost of a vacation rental property management company that takes care of everything and allows you to sit back and collect a check each month. 

Find out more about optimizing the bottom line of your vacation rental using Airbnb and other sites. Download Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success.

Why Many of the Highest-Earning Vacation Rental Owners Use a Full-Service Property Management Company

Orlando Property Management

Let’s say you’ve decided to become one of the 2.9 million hosts on Airbnb. Your aim: earn as much money as possible – as fast as possible – while enjoying your vacation rental property each year.

As you consider the possibilities, you find yourself saying something like, “Surely I’ll earn more if I keep all the revenue, rather than turn over a percentage to a vacation rental property management service.”

If that’s you, consider this: whether you act as your own vacation rental property manager or hire a full-service vacation rental property management company, your bottom line will ultimately depend on this simple calculation:

Revenues – Expenses/Costs = Profits

To optimize profits, let’s start with the revenue side. Your vacation rental property absolutely should be listed on Airbnb – and on 50+ other sites. You’ll want listings to take full advantage of each site’s unique characteristics, with words and photography that compel viewers to act.

After your listings go live and you begin hearing from potential guests online (in the vacation rental property management industry we call them “inquirers”), you need to respond to each inquiry in a complete, polite, and timely manner – even if it’s 10 p.m. and you’re exhausted after a long day. If you don’t, you’ll reduce the quality of the experience before a guest even walks through your door.

While communicating with inquirers, it’s important to not “double book” – a common mistake among do-it-yourselfers in vacation rental property management (particularly when listing on multiple sites). When you book different guests for the same dates, someone ends up being disappointed.

A key contributor to revenue is, of course, pricing. Anyone who prices their property at the same rate throughout the year is guaranteed to be missing out on substantial income. Optimal pricing means scanning supply and demand of comparable properties daily – factoring in holidays, special events, and hotel room prices.

Vacation rental owners who attempt to perform price optimization manually tend to find the process time-consuming and almost impossible to pull off.

Fortunately, the right full-service vacation rental property manager will use technology to perform daily rate optimization … as part of their fee. And get this: the increased revenue from daily rate optimization may cover the entire cost of your property manager!

Now let’s return to communication, which by no means ends at the inquiry phase. Booked guests need to hear from you before arrival. If a problem comes up during a stay, they’ll want it quickly addressed. This is particularly true of urgent issues – including the 3 a.m. type. And after each stay, your guests should be encouraged to do something that contributes heavily to revenue: post a review.

On that note, let’s look at a significant contributor to ratings on sites like Airbnb: the expense side. Your property should be thoroughly cleaned before the arrival of guests (the right property manager will include this as part of the management fee). The unit should be sufficiently stocked with starter supplies like shampoo, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, and more (the right manager will also include this as part of the fee).

So, feel you’re up to the task? If your answer is a big “HECK NO!”, you’ve discovered why many of the highest-earning vacation rental owners use a full-service property management company. 

Find out more about optimizing the bottom line of your vacation rental using Airbnb and other sites. Download Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success.