Being in the short-term or vacation rental industry comes with a to-do list that usually touches the floor, and most of it will fall to the property managers. While everything on it plays a crucial role in keeping a rental business running smoothly, some property management responsibilities are definitely more important than others.
Knowing your audience, marketing efficiently, and keeping your properties up to date with trends will help maximize your booking potential. Clear house rules, prompt communication, and a problem-free facility will make your user reviews shine. Keeping organized payments and financial reports will help you maintain healthy business relationships. And the tasks don’t end there.
With a list as long as this, knowing how to do everything well should actually be your last step. Knowing what to prioritize is the first step, and we’re here to help you with that.
Here are some property management responsibilities that should always be at the top of your agenda:
4 of the Most Important Property Manager Responsibilities
1. Communication Is Key
Be available for questions – because your guests will have them, morning and night, every time. Human contact and quickly addressed problems are #1 for building trust. Trust leads to better experiences. Better experiences lead to good referrals and reviews. Good reviews lead to more bookings.
There are even communication services that can take this property management responsibility off of your plate, saving you from the onslaught of everyday questions. A simple, often automated message that lets the tenants know an inquiry was received has a major impact on their comfort level; it’s even better to include some additional information about the property and the area.
Another good idea is to have a reliable backup contact for emergency situations. In the words of Michael Joseph and Tom Feldhusen, the co-founders of InvitedHome, “Every dispute can be resolved with the proper amount of communication and determining just what the problem is that needs to be solved.”
Am I doing it right?
2. Play By the Rules
Rules and regulations are rapidly evolving in major travel destinations in order to harmonize the vacation and short-term rental industry with the surrounding economy, making them tricky to keep up with. These include zoning laws, rental length restrictions, tax jurisdictions and more, which even vary from district to district. And of course, it’s a property manager’s responsibility to make sure that any listings are adhering to them. Violating these can result in fines or other problems for your rental permits, regardless of whether it was accidental or not. As such, the more you know, the less risk you take.
3. Don’t Drive on an Empty Tank
Make sure all facilities on the property are properly functioning, because nothing is as bad as a basic amenity breaking on a tenant. Imagine your guest waking up to a flood or luggage soaked by a leak, being locked out, or losing power in an unfamiliar city. The situation is unpleasant at best or a catastrophe at worst, and out of the tenant’s control either way. The frustration will inevitably be directed somewhere – can you guess where? Straight towards your user reviews, though you might suffer some high-volume phone calls first. Unfortunately, an apology won’t usually make up for a stressful experience like this.
The best plan for dealing with accidents is to prevent them ahead of time. Schedule regular check-ups and maintenance to ensure that anything which can be avoided, will be avoided. It’s also worth writing some form of liability into the terms and conditions for tenants to agree to (which a real estate agent can assist with), and consider listing your properties through channels which offer damage insurance.
Nothing good comes from a hole in the wall.
4. Treat It Like Your Own
This really involves the mastery of the first three tasks on the list: treat the property like it was your own. Someone is trusting you with a monumental responsibility requiring physical maintenance as well as progressive, consistent business strategy. Pay attention to the details, and improve every single thing you can as soon as possible. Also be sure to plan ahead for future investments and long-term upkeep. Doing all of these things will be sure to proliferate your success as a property manager.
Make Them Wonder Why They Didn’t Hire You Sooner
The truth is, there are property managers out there who neglect their responsibilities, running the risk of backlash. Don’t make this mistake, because one brief moment has the potential to undo years of work.
Get ready for a lot more handshakes.
Once the foundations are covered, all of the other property management responsibilities can be maximized by using the right tools for your business. This includes finding prospective tenants and the best channels to reach them, maintaining reviews, automating pricing, and so much more. Why not use the property management software that has it all?
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.