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5 new year’s resolutions for every success-minded property management company

When it comes to your business, there’s never a bad time to reflect, assess and set clear, achievable goals. Still, it would be an insult to tradition if we didn’t encourage the practice in time for the New Year. As we put one of the industry’s most historic years behind us and turn hopefully toward 2021, we encourage all success-minded property managers to take a moment to carve out some concrete ambitions and identify areas in which they’d like to challenge their businesses in the coming year.

To help you get started, here are 5 New Year’s resolutions sure to benefit any short-term rental business looking to grow in 2021:

1. Up your direct bookings game

One of the more fortuitous trends the pandemic has brought about is increased demand from guests to book direct. Given the health risks, guests want to know who they’re booking with and ensure they’re entrusting their safety to a reputable and reliable company that adheres to changing guidelines and regulations. 

Not only does promoting your listings on a direct booking platform ultimately earn your company more profit per reservation by bypassing OTA fees, it also enables you to showcase your brand, establish a loyal customer base and employ strategic marketing techniques to secure more bookings. 

By all means, continue to take advantage of OTAs, but consider making 2021 the year of direct bookings to help launch your business from property management company to  hospitality brand.

2. Invest in tech

In response to the obstacles presented by operating a hospitality business in the midst of a pandemic, property management companies of all sizes have turned to technology to help them reduce the personal interaction once needed to support enjoyable guest stays. What this did was accelerate the inevitable (and welcome) tech revolution of the short-term property rental industry, fueling the continued rise of guest expectations, which technology, in turn, provides the solutions to meet.

Hopping aboard the tech train doesn’t mean you need to turn your charmingly rustic bed and breakfast into an impersonal smart hotel. In fact, many of the best tools technology has to offer the short-term property management company are behind-the-scenes solutions, allowing for the automation and streamlining of processes guests aren’t even aware take place, but which are critical to providing them with 5-star-worthy experiences. 

Start slowly if you’d prefer, but definitely use this year to implement some of the remarkable tech solutions that are quickly raising industry standards across the globe.

Invest in tech for your short-term property management business

3. Keep your finger on the pulse

Believe it or not, for some property management companies, 2020 was their best year yet. This is likely due to a number of factors (including the appeal of private accommodations over hotels with shared spaces), but we can also attribute the success of these companies to their ability to pivot and cater to changing trends

The commendable performance of hospitality businesses that rose to the occasion, accommodating trends like last-minute bookings or extended stays, demonstrates just how important it is for players within the travel space to monitor constantly changing consumer behavior. 

Though 2021 promises recovery for the industry, it most certainly won’t bring about an abrupt return to “normal,” and it is critical for hospitality companies to continue to keep their fingers on the pulse of the travel community, noting any new trends or demands that may require adjustments to their business strategies. 

4. Work together

It probably seems counterintuitive to team up with your competition, and we’re not suggesting you sit around swapping trade secrets, but if this trying year has taught us anything, it’s that we fight hardship better when we fight together. 

Whether it’s to prove the industry’s value to policymakers or help the sector stay afloat during an unprecedented travel shortage, we are each other’s greatest resources. At the start of this challenging year, teamwork between short-term rental advocacy leaders brought us The STR Playbook, a collection of videos and articles demonstrating best practices for professional hosts. 

“We win together,” said Philip Minardi, head of Public Affairs at Expedia Group. “This playbook, and the collaboration that built it, are proof that when platforms, managers, owners, and our community of allies work together, we can effectively position our industry for long-term success.”

Minardi’s words proved truer than ever as 2020 progressed and we saw property management companies banding together to provide aid to their local communities and frontline workers in creative ways. Not only did this help to curb some of the impact of COVID-19, but it also likely went a long way in shifting public perception of the short-term rental sector.

Work together

5. Give back

Which brings us to our final suggested resolution. It’s been a tough year for everyone, so why not pay some of your success forward? 

With 90% of consumers more likely to shop with companies committed to positive causes, it is not only admirable for hospitality brands to support worthy initiatives, it is in their best interest.

We’ll keep this one short – if you see a way you can give back, both during the remaining leg of this pandemic and beyond, go for it. 

2020 was a challenging year, but it was also a unique learning opportunity for our rapidly evolving industry. 

Let’s look towards 2021 with a new set of goals for ourselves and our community, without forgetting to heed the many valuable lessons the last 12 months has imparted upon us. Happy New Year!

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