5 Principles Every Short-Term Property Manager Should Live By
Short-term rental property managers carry a lot on their shoulders.
While their business cards and email signatures may suggest only a single job title; the reality is that they wear multiple hats and take on several different roles throughout the day.
The challenge of becoming an effective and efficient property manager is compounded by the complexities of competing responsibilities, activities and expectations.
That being the case, how are property managers able to ensure that they continue maximizing profitability for their portfolio of clients without losing their sanity to the stress of a never-ending day job?
The answer is discipline and adherence to core property management principles.
High-performing property managers remain committed to core principles that enable them to navigate their many responsibilities as well as the challenges that get thrown their way each and every day.
Here are five core principles that empower property managers to thrive:
The first step is understanding the importance of maximizing exposure for the listings that they manage.
The best property management service amounts to nothing if there are no properties to actually manage. And the easiest way to ensure a constant influx of bookings is simply to maximize the chances of your properties getting found in the first place.
The growth and abundance of booking sites and Online Travel Agencies represents both a challenge and an opportunity: If inappropriately managed, listing on too many sites runs the risk of spreading the property manager too thin. They will become consumed by the excessive admin involved in managing multiple listings across multiple platforms without realizing the fruits of those labours. If managed correctly, listing on multiple sites will open the property manager up to thousands more travelers, eager to book the properties they manage.
Achieving the latter requires the assistance of tools and technologies that transform the complexities of an expanded portfolio footprint into the simplicity of a centralized management platform. And the best tool for doing this is a channel manager that enables you to manage multiple accounts across multiple platforms with simplicity and ease.
Short-term rental property managers simply don’t have the luxury of completing any task in anything less than the most efficient way. Achieving this goal is also contingent upon the tools and technologies they choose to implement into their businesses.
Property managers need to capitalize on new and innovative automation tools that allow them to put many of their daily tasks on auto-pilot, without compromising the quality of their outputs or the standard of their service.
Whether it be guest communications, daily pricing or leaving guest reviews, many of these “repetitive” tasks can not only be replaced by cutting-edge technologies, but actually enhanced by them too.
In the quest for automation and simplification, it’s easy to forget about the overarching necessity of delivering a phenomenal standard of service to guests. Maintaining happy guests is a critical factor for sustainably managing a portfolio of properties. The minute this disappears, the portfolio will crumble like a house of cards.
The easiest way to demonstrate the attention and dedication your guests anticipate is to remain responsive to their every want and need. Guests come in all shapes and sizes, but they ultimately share the same expectation that you will provide quick answers to their questions or pleasing resolutions to their issues. Following through on this will be the first step in earning your listings 5-star reviews.
Ensure that you communicate using the preferred communication channels of your respective guests. For example, some guests prefer emails, while others may prefer the occasional SMS. Find a solution that accommodates the various communication preferences of your different guest types, without burdening yourself with the complexity of needing to navigate multiple communication platforms.
As any high performing property manager will confirm, effective property management is just as much a mindset as it is an activity. And the reality is that good short-term property management is a 24/7 job, all year round.
Fortunately, technological progress has freed property managers from the limitations of a physical office or a defined location.
At home, on the bus or in the supermarket – property managers have the luxury of undertaking 99% of their core hosting responsibilities wherever it is they find themselves. Whether communicating with guests, updating their calendars or liaising with cleaners; high-performing property managers operate dynamically and on-the-go, without being hindered or constrained by their physical location.
Working with this freedom and flexibility requires taking advantage of mobile technologies that enable you to execute your core roles and responsibilities wherever it is you find yourself.
- Continuous Improvement
Successful property managers live by an ethos of continuous improvement.
They utilize their years of hosting experience to create great experiences for their guests as well as profitable outcomes for their clients.
To continuously produce these outcomes, they adopt a data-driven, evidence-based approach to decision-making. They understand that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
They relentlessly validate their performance using reporting insights that illuminate where they’re doing well, as well as where there might be room to do better. With nowhere to hide, they set themselves on a track of continuous improvement, and create transparency for the clients that they represent.
Ensure that you incorporate the latest and greatest reporting tools and analytics that shine a spotlight on your hard work and dedication, and create a roadmap for perpetually stepping up your property management game.
Summary: Reap the Rewards
Ultimately, property managers that adhere to these core principles will wrap a layer of discipline around the enormity and complexities of the tasks at hand. In doing so, they will differentiate their superior capabilities from the sea of competition. These property managers will be happier people for the simplified lives they lead and create happier clients for the maximized earnings they are able to achieve on their behalf.
Evian is the Founder & CEO of Padlifter – the one-stop-shop for getting found more often, winning more bookings and making more money on Airbnb. He is the author of the best-selling book ‘The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Making Money on Airbnb’ and is an Airbnb Superhost that has hosted over 500 guests.