How to Succeed With Off-Site (And Hands Off) Property Management
On-the-ground property management isn’t always feasible, especially for companies with large property portfolios or properties in different locations. Fortunately, advancements in the industry have made remote short-term property management not only possible, but also simple and hassle-free.
The secret to success requires contracting, marketing and automation. Here are some key tips to maximize your serviced apartments, vacation rentals, aparthotel properties and more as an off-site manager.
1. Enlist Professional Housekeepers and Contractors
A tidy rental is a must for guests. As a result, you need to have your space professionally cleaned before and after each party’s arrival. This process will ensure everyone’s health and safety, especially amid COVID-19, as well as help you earn good feedback that can garner good reviews and increase bookings even when times are tough.
Since you won’t be on site to monitor and verify cleanings, you need to find a trustworthy housekeeping company, capable of handling guest turnover needs on a professional level.
Use a similar approach to hire nearby contractors. It’s vital to have someone reliable you can call to make any necessary repairs in a timely manner.
Fortunately, there are both cleaning and maintenance services specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of short-term rental properties. Platforms like Breezeway, Doinn and RoomChecking sync with your central property management software to collect reservation data and automate cleaning schedules so you won’t have to micromanage their operations.
2. Manage Staff Effectively
Should you choose to keep operations in-house and hire on-the-ground teams to manage cleanings and reception, you’ll want to utilize an efficient system in order to monitor and distribute tasks from afar.
Make sure to keep tabs on your personnel and acquire detailed reports so you can ensure everything is running smoothly and all of your guests’ needs are met.
3. Install an Automated Home System
There’s nothing more valuable than an automated home system to help you manage your rentals remotely. You can use technology to automate your home in different ways. Keyless entry systems remove the need for in-person key exchanges and smart thermostats help you save energy without ever entering your properties, turning on heat or air con timed with when guests are set to arrive.
Luxuries like smart lighting or noise control aren’t a must, but it’s always helpful to make your property comfortable for your guests. In any case, you’ll want to look into various options to see what’s suitable for your space.
4. Offer a Welcome Book
Wondering how to ace hospitality when you can’t even introduce yourself? A digital welcome book or a welcome basket is a great start. It’s challenging to find things to do and places to eat when you’ve never visited a specific town or city. You’ll achieve super host status if you take time to put together a list of your favorites.
You can go simple with a small catalogue listing different restaurants, activities, parks and other spots your guests can visit. Or you can up your game with a digital tablet that both provides guests with local information and doubles as an upsell tool.
Use some space to detail important information. This section can include trash days, check-out directions, contact information and more. Keep this section short and sweet so you don’t overwhelm your guests.
5. Be Responsive to Communication
The key to optimizing your vacation rentals while off-site is being available. A stellar host will respond to questions and concerns from guests within a short period and take quick action on any concerns.
Once again, technology can step in. Tools that automate your communication can take some of the burden off of you and ensure every inquiry is met with a prompt response and all instructions are sent out at the right point in the reservation process.
Short-term property management companies with larger portfolios or those operating in different time zones than those of their properties may find it worthwhile to delegate communication to a professional service that can provide guests with around-the-clock availability.
Maximize Your Vacation Rental Properties From Afar
It can be challenging to manage short-term rental properties remotely, but new tools and technologies are constantly emerging to facilitate smooth off-site management and help hospitality companies meet and exceed guest expectations from a distance.