Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s how you may be managing vacation rentals wrong…
You have low occupancy rates
Having low occupancy rates for your vacation rental is a critical tell-tale sign of malmanagement. Maintaining high occupancy rates when managing vacation rentals is very important. After all, your main source of rental income as an Airbnb property investor is your guests.
You should consider ways in which you can boost your Airbnb occupancy rates. Consider the following tips:
- Make sure you have competitive pricing for your property.
- Make sure you fully equip your property with toiletries, food, a fridge, washer, coffee maker, stove, microwave, etc.
- Market your property right. Take and post good photos, and describe the property and its amenities in detail.
- And most importantly, make sure you have good reviews for your vacation rental property.
Finally, prior to buying an investment property, there are a few real estate indicators that could help you out, including CoC return and cap rate. Click here to find out how Mashvisor can help you know what Airbnb occupancy rates to expect, as well as obtain information through heatmap analysis, and our Airbnb profitability calculator.
You’re not looking at the competition
When managing vacation rentals, it’s important to look at what the competition is doing and learn from them. There’s so much you can learn from your competitors – whether it’s pricing your property within the right range, marketing it, or even the way you furnish it. If there are other vacation properties nearby, make sure to check them out and see how your competitor does it. Being aware of what your competitor does can help you out greatly, especially if you are a beginner real estate investor.
You’re getting bad reviews
Today’s customers have easy access to a wealth of information, and customer reviews are one of many ways guests can obtain information. Airbnb reviews are a function within the Airbnb platform which allows users, hosts and guests alike, to review each other. Guests get to share Airbnb experiences, good or bad. If you receive a few bad reviews, don’t panic. Simply read through the review, and make sure you understand where you may have gone wrong:
“The apartment did not have any toiletries.”
Stock up on toiletries.
“The apartment looks nothing like the pictures.”
Post up-to-date, high-quality photos of your listing.
“The apartment was dirty!”
Make sure the apartment is spotless before a new guest checks in.
You get the point. Use every bit of customer feedback, good and bad, to improve the quality of experiences you can offer your guests.
You’re not paying attention to hospitality when managing vacation rentals
Vacation rental hosts typically focus less on hospitality, and more on convenience and comfort for guests. So while guests may not necessarily be looking for an extra hospitable host, it wouldn’t hurt to be one! There are some things you could do to show your best hospitable self. For example, if you’re at the apartment at the time guests arrive, make sure to give them a warm greeting, and maybe even strike up a conversation. Many guests also like it when their hosts give tips and general information on what to do around town. If you don’t or won’t have an encounter with the guests, you can leave a couple of town or city maps with a list of recommendations. Little details like these go a long way with guests, and it’ll most likely reflect well in your property reviews.
Another thing that could fall under hospitability is making sure your vacation rental is stocked up with food, water, coffee, snacks, etc. The more complimentary items you offer your guests, the more appreciative the guests will be.
You’re not keeping up with maintenance
There’s no way you can succeed in managing vacation rentals if you do not stay on top of maintenance issues.
Imagine this scenario: You notice a leak in the bathroom sink, but you decide to forgo it and fix it tomorrow or the day after. In comes a guest, who of course notices the leak. The guest will either complain and have you fix it mid-stay, or they may not complain directly to you, but mention it in the review later on. The result could be one extra bad review – a factor that may affect your future occupancy rate.
To avoid the above scenario, and the likes of it, simply make sure you fix any problems in between tenants, and never put off any maintenance task, as irrelevant as it may seem.
When managing vacation rentals, should I consider vacation rental property management?
Hiring professional rental property management is definitely helpful, to the point where many investors have stopped thinking twice about it. It can especially be helpful if you own multiple vacation rentals.
The Airbnb website, for example, offers a property management option, or super-hosts. After you list your property on the home-sharing service, you can go under Find Hosts and chose one from a list. The feature also allows you to view and write reviews of different super-hosts, or property managers. The above will definitely help you in managing vacation rentals.
You can also hire a separate, independent property management service that’ll take care of almost all property management aspects you may consider. And because managing vacation rentals can be more work than managing traditional rentals, hiring property management services may be just the right choice for you.
A few last words…
We’ve listed a few signs that may indicate you’re not doing the best work at managing vacation rentals. So if while reading, you’ve noticed that one or more item(s) applies to you, reconsider your management approach. It’s very important to identify what you may have done wrong so you can improve your real estate and management skills.
Did we miss anything? What are other signs that indicate you’re mismanaging vacation rentals?