Industry Insights

Tips from the Pros: How to Run a Successful Vacation Rental Company in 2018

December 14, 2017 |

With the growing popularity of short-term and vacation rental businesses, many people are joining the property management industry. If you’re thinking of growing your property management business, it’s good to be prepared and know a few guidelines upfront.


Airbnb isn’t and when people book a place they want to know some things up front, which is why most bookings happen after some back and forth communication between the host and the guest. Be prepared to answer any questions with patience even if sometimes you hear the same questions over and over again. Even if you get them at awkward times from guests coming from different time zones. Try to answer quickly. Keeping someone waiting a day to know if you provide parking isn’t a great experience. Your response rate and response time are visible at the bottom of your profile – people look at this, so it’s worth paying attention to.

Pro-tip: Airbnb have stated that they use reviews and response rates to rank listings on search results, so keeping this optimized will help you get more bookings.

Advice: Look into the Guesty Communication Service. Our team of professional receptionists will manually handle full communication with your guests throughout the entire booking cycle, from the first inquiry to a five star review after their stay. With 24/7 coverage you will have a terrific response rate and increase your Airbnb ranking.


Guests choose Airbnb not only for price but also for the unique experiences. Therefore you don’t have to convert your properties into a hotel; keep the personal touch and character and describe them in your listing so guests know what to expect.

Accuracy and disclosure is the best way to get the right guests for your property. By creating a better match between your properties and potential guests it also prevents any disputes that could occur and will help with reviews. Be honest and upfront to any questions you receive and your properties will get the guests they are looking for.

Pro-tip: Always keep your calendar updated – it’ll save you the bad experience of having to turn down potential guests contacting you on dates you may not have free. Plus, people with regularly updated calendars receive noticeably more bookings than those who don’t.

Advice: With both Guesty Channel Management and Smart Calendar features you can view upcoming bookings on Airbnb or any other booking channel, all from one platform. See the most current status of existing stays and future check-ins as soon as you login to your account.

Connect your accounts and view availability and pricing from those channels that are synced into one Multi-Calendar, ensuring that you get the most updated view of all your properties, no matter where they are listed. Manage them simultaneously from your Guesty account, without having to make any changes on the booking channel itself.

Guesty’s newly developed smart calendar rules helps you manage a property that has overlapping accommodation availability! Our smart calendar automatically updates to prevent double bookings.

House Rules

There are plenty of opportunities to mention any house rules the owner may have and what is expected. Any rules can be set as long as you’re explicit and upfront. Of course there are general things that are expected of guests, but it’s best, to be honest about what you do and doesn’t have.

Pro-tip: When writing your rules, try to answer questions before people ask. For example, if your guests may have a car then mention any parking options available; if they smoke, let them know if you’d like it kept outside, and if you’re fine with smokers inside then mention this and make sure you provide ashtrays.

Advice: The Guesty Unified Inbox can monitor guests in order to pre-approve or decline booking requests the same way you would on Airbnb or other vacation rental channels. You can keep the guests you want in and the ones you don’t out.


House preparations

Remove any valuables & personal items, fix anything broken and have the guests’ keys ready. Make sure all the kitchen essentials are clean, along with any guests towels and bedding. No one wants to arrive to a messy place – not to mention dirty. Make sure everything is tidy. The trash cans should be empty and the shower & toilet are clean. Charging your guest a cleaning fee is common as long as it’s stated upfront (Airbnb lets you state this and even handle the payment processing).

Pro-tip: Be sure to never run out of the essentials: trash bags and toilet paper. And keep a schedule ahead of time to let the cleaner know when the property should be cleaned.

Advice: Manage all the cleaning from the comfort of your own phone. With features like the Guesty staff management app and our integration with Properly, your staff members have easy access to all their assigned tasks, along with any listing information needed in order to complete the job. Receive important info about your listings or property with notes that your staff can leave on the App next to the assigned task. Managers can track status and completion of various assignments, monitor work duration and see the tasks remaining on the Guesty dashboard.

Hosting can be both a fun and lucrative experience when done right. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that both you as a property manager and your guests have a great experience.


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