What is Vacation Rental Management?

In short, the definition of short-term property management in 2019 is the overseeing of the promotion, rental and maintenance of properties. But it’s a bit more complex than it sounds. 

The property management industry has been around for quite some time, but the latest trend sweeping the world is vacation rental management, also known as short-term rental management. 

The concept is simple. If you own a house, apartment, loft, boat, villa, resort, etc., you can rent it out for short periods of time for visitors or travelers passing through. Guests usually will book a stay at a vacation rental for a few days to a week, although some trips can last a month or longer. The idea is to have a “home base” for their trip, without paying hotel prices. Generally, these properties come fully furnished and provide the guests with nearly everything that they would need, while maintaining a more private and “homey” feeling than a traditional hotel stay. 

Starting a vacation rental management business may seem daunting at first, but after reading through our handy guide, you could be earning a very lucrative side income before you know it. 

When doing research about starting your vacation rental management business, you should be aware that the industry may also be referred to as villa rental management, holiday rental management or may include references to holiday homes, cottages and short-term rental spaces. 

 

What Is a Vacation Rental Property Management Company?

Since managing short-term and vacation rentals entails a lot of work, many homeowners opt to outsource these operations to vacation and short-term rental management companies. Property management services include listing the rentals on online booking channels, pricing each rental and adjusting prices for specific calendar dates, answering inquiries from potential guests and communicating with existing guests, coordinating with cleaning and maintenance staff to ensure the rentals are prepared for each stay and more. 

Usually, property managers will earn a commission from every booking. 

 

Are You the Right Fit?

While the idea of starting a house rental property management business seems like a lucrative venture, you want to make sure that it’s the right move. 

Make no mistake, vacation rental business owners are entrepreneurs by trade and must have that fighting entrepreneurial spirit to ensure that their businesses thrive. 

When it comes to running a successful vacation rental business, the work never stops. It means attracting guests to your listings, ensuring they have a great stay, chasing down reviews and then cleaning up and starting all over again. Thankfully, there is vacation rental management software to help you manage all of this more easily, but you still have to be dedicated. 

If you’re up to the challenge, read on to learn about the first steps to becoming a vacation rental property manager.

 

What You Need to Know

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re getting started as a vacation rental property manager. 

 

Know Your Market

What location is optimal for your first property listing? What are people visiting that area looking for in a vacation rental property? Are there any regulations you should be aware of? 

These are all essential questions to ask before creating your first vacation rental property listing. In fact, there are even more questions along these lines that you can answer by doing some research online, viewing forums and asking around. A prepared property manager is a successful property manager. 

 

Put the Guest First

The golden rule of managing a vacation rental property is that you can never stop doing more to improve the guest experience. Whether it’s better amenities, more helpful information or more efficient check-in and check-out processes, there are always improvements to be made that can go a long way in earning you good guest reviews, which will result in more bookings for your business. 

There are countless integrations, companies, apps and tools to discover that you can utilize to ensure that your guests have amazing stays in your properties and reward you with glowing reviews. As long as the guest is your top priority, your vacation rental property will prosper. 

 

Never Stop Learning

The needs of your guests are as diverse as the guests themselves, and learning from each experience is paramount to succeeding in the vacation rental market. Are you sending follow-up emails to your guests after their stay? Are you encouraging them to share both positive and negative feedback? 

Implementing feedback from your guests and continuing to improve your listings is key to your growth as a vacation rental property manager and will help to ensure 5-star reviews in the future. 

 

Secure and Insure Your Rentals

Maintaining the safety of your guests, your property and your own financials is of the utmost importance when beginning your career as a vacation rental property manager. Proper security measures, as well as comprehensive insurance policies, will help you and your guests sleep easier at night. 

Just put yourself into the guest’s shoes. Would you want to stay at a vacation rental property that you felt wasn’t safe? We didn’t think so. When you first set up your property management business, make sure the security and safety factors are not ignored.

 

Get Started

Now that you know the basics of vacation rental property management, you need to understand the finer details of this industry. Continue reading our guide to learn about fees, tools, responsibilities and more.  

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