Industry Insights

5 Ways to Save Time and Money in the Short-Term Rental Industry

December 26, 2017 |

Property management can be stressful, especially in the short-term rental industry as it eats up two things that are already hard to come by – time and money. Resourceful property management companies know the challenges that come along with managing short-term rentals, but find ways to provide terrific service without sacrificing the quality of guest experience provided.

You too can make managing short-term rental properties more rewarding and less stressful. Use the following tips to streamline short-term rental management, track budget and more.

1. Take Short-Term Rental Management Online

One of the most valuable tools for short-term rentals is an online all-in-one property management software. End-to-end solutions like Guesty’s allow you to screen guests, respond to inquiries, set your prices, and manage rental income — all in one, easy-to-access place.

Guesty in particular also integrates seamlessly with your Airbnb and accounts, automatically populating reservation details, which is one less step to manage. You can also use the multi-calendar view to make managing multiple listings much easier.

2. Know the What, Where, and Why of Your Budget

In order to save money, you need to have a clear picture of how much you’re spending each month on your short-term rentals. Luckily, you don’t need a confusing app to figure that out—instead, use this online budgeting calculator, which requires just two numbers: money in and money out. You’ll get a total number showing how much you saved or over-spent that month. That number is your baseline for creating and sticking with a budget.

Take it a step further by using a simple financial tracking app to see where that overspending is happening. With this information, you can create a budget that is both realistic and effective for your short-term rental business. Perhaps you need to re-prioritize projects for the first three months of the year to focus on other smaller, more pressing projects that will cost more to your short-term rental business.

With a handle on your finances, you’ll feel less stressed and still be able to make guests happy and comfortable.

3. Re-evaluate the Professionals You Work With

Who do you call when the pipes burst or there’s an electrical issue? Don’t fall into the trap of using the one contractor you’ve worked with just because you know them. Instead, save money by getting quotes from at least three different vendors or contractors.

It will be time consuming to do this for every project, so use it as a way of comparing new and current professionals every 6 months or year. You may be surprised at how much you can save on your short-term rentals by simply doing a little extra research.

4. Maintain the Property Regularly

This may seem obvious, but letting small maintenance issues fall to the wayside is easy when you’re busy with multiple short-term rentals. Not to mention, 61 percent of short-term rental owners see it as the greatest source of stress, according to a 2017 report. To reduce the stress of these tasks, consider how your property management software can help you streamline this process.

Add important dates to each short-term rental calendar, so you’ll know when it is time to your bi-annual checks. Prioritize this regular maintenance every spring and fall to stay on top small issues.

Ultimately, failing to stay on top of this can result in costly repairs that are more expensive than the maintenance itself—or worse, that could leave your short-term rental vacant. Once you have trusted contractors in place, consult with them about a recommended maintenance schedule, add it to your online calendar, and focus on other pressing issues.

5. Go Green

If you haven’t had an energy audit on your property, now is the perfect time to do it. An energy audit is a simple process that can save you money while reducing your carbon footprint—which is also attractive to potential renters. To set up an audit, contact your energy provider, such as the local electric company, and ask them to do an audit on your property. Make the suggested changes they provide, and you should start to see a drop in your utility expenses. Some companies even offer discounts for energy efficient homes, which can cut costs as well.

Save Time and Money This Year

Managing short-term rental properties has its share of challenges, but streamlining tasks can help save time while staying on top of repairs and maintenance will save money. Use these ideas to make 2018 successful and less stressful.

About the Author

Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She’s worked with a variety of property management clients and has written for Forbes, Inman, House Hunt Network, and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.

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