How to Turn Your Long-Term Lets Into Short-Term Rentals and Boost Your Profits
Predicted to be generating 192 billion dollars by the year 2021, the vacation rental business is certainly booming.
So, are short-term rentals a good investment? Definitely. Still, the headache of a stream of changing guests, cleaning crews, multiple booking channels and the occasional 2AM call from a guest who lost his or her keys, have many property managers wondering, “Is it really worth it to have a rental property?” If you’re serious about success, you’re going to want to deeply consider jumping on the short-term rental train. Though it may present challenges different from those involved in long-term renting, the payout can be far greater.
Ready to change things up in the name of pocketing more profit? Below is your expert guide on how to turn your rental property into an Airbnb and minimize the frustration of managing your short-term rentals while maximizing revenue.
1. Change up your clientele
The number one most important rule to running any Airbnb or vacation rental business is to understand your market. Many realty companies never attempt to transition into the short-term rental space simply because their clientele require long-term stays. But they may be blind to a short-term rental market right under their noses.
The first thing a property manager must do is thorough research. Analyze the stats for the tourist market in your area, including volume and seasons.
Another simple way to verify the presence of a strong short term market is to check if there are any successful vacation rentals businesses your area – if their short-term rental business can thrive, so can yours.
2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Change can be a scary thing, especially when money is involved. This is one reason many long-term letting companies don’t shift their business models to include short-term rentals. Well, there’s a simple solution: transition only a few long-term lets to short-term or take on just a couple of new short-term properties.
Don’t be afraid to test the waters. Starting small means your profits will be minimal, but so will your losses. This way, you can learn from your mistakes on a small scale and ultimately succeed on a large one.
3. Prepare for Your Phone to Buzz…a Lot
You’ll occasionally hear from long-term tenants, when something needs fixing or a contract needs renewing. With short-term rentals, however, each guest will need an introduction to the property and will need you on call in case they have any questions throughout their stay. You’ll need to spend a fair amount of time communicating with on-the-ground staff as well.
In addition to preparing yourself to be readily available at all times, you should take steps to minimize the number of inquiries you get from guests by writing up templates for thorough check-in and check-out instructions that you can send to guests prior to their stays. You should also equip each property with a detailed guide reviewing everything about the property they could want to know, from the WiFi password to the whereabouts of extra sheets and towels to directions to the nearest grocery stores.
You can reduce questions from your staff by creating organized workflows and schedules and implementing a software tool that makes collaboration more efficient. With fewer messages, calls and emails coming at you, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business, rather than just sustaining it.
4. Use the booking channels
With long-term rentals, arranging tenants is a somewhat easy process; once you have found a suitable guest, they are there to stay for a minimum of six months. But with short-term rentals, you’ve got new vacancies to fill on a weekly, if not daily basis. This seemingly unsteady revenue flow can be daunting, but with major booking channels like Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway and many more, you can reach millions of travelers with minimal effort and guests can reserve your space with the click of a button. A short-term property manager must utilize these advertising platforms if they wish to maximize occupancy and revenue.
5. Invest in technology
No business succeeds without making some investments along the way. In the case of short-term property management, the most worthwhile investment you can make is in quality software solutions that will help you cut down your working hours and increase profits as you grow. When it comes to managing your schedule, guests, owners, staff and booking channels – there are software solutions that have you covered.
No Reward Without a Little Risk
Ultimately the task of transitioning your long-term rental company into short-term definitely has its challenges, but business is all about growth and that means finding potential revenue streams wherever you can. With these tips, you should be running your successful short term rental company in no time.
So, ready for a change?