Managing vacation rental properties can be challenging. Managers have maintenance tasks, security and safety tasks, and customer service responsibilities. Property managers who want to make sure guests have a great stay and a warm welcome need to cover all of the bases in property management. Keep reading for the fundamentals of vacation rental property management.
Many vacation homeowners manage their properties themselves. Some people, however, prefer to hire a property management company. Either way, the same basic tasks must be completed. Homeowners looking for a property management company can check out Casago for help.
Security and Safety
Property managers need to prioritize rental safety because it keeps guests safe and protects properties and owners. Owners will likely get good reviews, trust, and increased bookings. Smart locks and keyless check-in allow renters quick access to a rental. No one can copy a key with keyless locks. Management can also create access codes for individual rooms and allow the checking of activity logs.
Installing security cameras around entrances can keep guests safe and protect the property. Smart doorbells have live video and two-way audio so guests and owners can talk with visitors when those owners are not present. Install security lighting to keep stairs, entrances, and passageways well lit. Well-lit areas will keep guests from falling and being injured and will deter any thieves. Smart lighting systems have features including motion sensors, voice control, remote setting adjustments, and real-time alerts.
Safety devices, such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits can help prevent personal injury and damage. Every bedroom and each floor should have a smoke alarm. Fire extinguishers should be located on every floor and in kitchens, barbecue areas, or near fireplaces.
Keep facilities and devices in top shape by scheduling regular maintenance and safety inspections. Test everything frequently and change batteries according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Consider installing smart sensors for water, temperature, and humidity for alerts when faucets are dripping or when the HVAC fails. This will help prevent freezing pipes and water damage.
Homeowners who want to be successful in their rental business need to prioritize guests before, during, and after their stay. Managers should follow a set process every time someone books a rental to ensure a consistent and pleasant experience. Send guests a welcome letter before their arrival to provide a friendly first impression and give them all of the information they need. Before guests arrive, be sure to send them (either by email or SMS) all of the essential information they will need for how check-in and parking. Ensure they have the keyless access code. Provide guests with the management’s contact information so the guests know who to contact if they have any questions or need help with an emergency repair.
Once guests arrive, ensure they know how to use the appliances and amenities in the rental, such as coffee-makers, hot tubs, and pools. Place the Wi-Fi password where it is easy to find. Leave a document with the house rules in plain sight for all guests to see upon arrival. Be sure to leave a local guide, including great places to eat and things to do in the local area. Finally, ask for feedback, comments, and a review once guests have left.
Electronics and Smart Devices
Many forward-thinking property managers use smart home technology for rental properties. This gives guests more control and makes management easier. Smart plugs and bulbs make living more comfortable for guests. Be sure to check to make sure they are working well. Noise monitors can help ensure no loud parties or out-of-hand get-togethers are happening. Having smart thermostats can help a property manager monitor how the systems work and resolve little problems before they escalate.
Supplies and Amenities
Renters are willing to pay more for some amenities, so they’re worth the investment. Vacation rentals compete with hotels and resorts, so having many of the same amenities is essential.
Renters are more likely to book a property with upgraded kitchen amenities, including a dishwasher, coffeemaker, and quality knives and cookware. Stock the pantry with condiments, spices, and herbs to make cooking a fun experience while guests are there. Providing cleaning supplies will encourage guests to keep things clean. In the living room, guests enjoy finding nice electronics, puzzles, games, and even a fireplace. Providing universal chargers and adapters is a nice amenity that many owners don’t think of.
In the bedroom, be sure to have luxurious bedding with plenty of blankets and pillows. A travel crib can come in handy for families with small children. Equipping bedrooms with dark curtains will help guests sleep well and enjoy their vacation. Bathrooms should house plenty of soft towels and personal appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers. Heated floors are a nice touch, especially in colder climates. Grab rails can be an attractive feature for older guests or anyone with disabilities.
Since many vacationers spend much of their time outdoors while on vacation, consider upgrading the outdoor amenities. Swimming pools are a big draw for families and groups. Smart cleaning robots can help to stay clean without a lot of maintenance. A hot tub or Jacuzzi will be a luxurious addition to the property. LED lighting and waterfalls help create an elegant atmosphere outdoors and in the evenings. Provide a grill for cooking and a fire pit for evening recreation. Beach equipment, as well as furniture, will make spending time outdoors effortless and carefree.
Offer Additional Services
Homeowners can make an additional income by offering other add-on services. Provide access to tours, excursions, and sports with other tourist companies. Offer car or bike rentals. Provide airport pick-up and drop-off if guests are interested. For guests staying a week or more, offer mid-stay cleanings and extra linens and towels. Property owners can partner with local restaurants to provide food deliveries and special chef-made dinners.
Mastering the fundamentals of property management will ensure guests are happy and owners are getting the maximum return on their investment. Management is not a small job, but it can be done well consistently.