Owning a short term rental has been an ADVENTURE!
While I love self managing our vacation rentals, it is certainly not all sunshine and roses every day. Hosting guests seven days a week makes for some comical and unexpected issues, and when you add in the fact we are hundreds of miles away, it gets that much trickier!
So I thought I would share some of my biggest challenges of long distance hosting over the past year to help paint a more complete picture of what the #STRlife is like!
1. Not micromanaging your rental
When we first started renting out our property, it was way too easy for me to spend hours verifying that things were as they should be – the guests checked out, the cleaners showed up, the next guests checked in, the automated messages went out – rinse and repeat!
It was incredibly time consuming to always be double checking that our systems were working. Once I finally chilled out and trusted in our systems and our “boots on the ground” I was a much happier host!
And now, when something does go wrong, I deal with it and waste way less time in the process.
2. Getting work completed on time
Oh contractors – what a love/hate relationship we have. Can’t you just communicate? And stay on schedule? And show up when you say you will?
All jokes aside, we have been very lucky to have found some real gems – like our handyman. But we have also encountered some “make you want to rip your hair out” contractors a well.
This fall we ended up giving credits to two sets of guests for the inconvenience of having our contractor show up when they were not supposed to due to their inability to get the job done in the allotted amount of time. At the time I was incredibly angry, but that anger did not accomplish anything nor did it change the outcome.
See, there is such a thing as “Tennessee time” and if you are in the Sevierville vacation rental market you just have to accept it and plan accordingly. Not accepting that this is the way things work just leads to frustration for all parties. So now, instead of getting pissed off, we are just happy if things wrap up sooner than we anticipated.
3. Accepting that you can’t make everyone happy.
Read that again – YOU CANNOT MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY. There will be those guests that no matter how hospitable and customer service oriented you are they will not be happy. It took me months to come to terms with this reality.
I spent way too much time worrying about issues that were not actually reasonable issues, and oftentimes were things outside of our control – for instance, a roaming dog that our guests did not appreciate. Sorry, I don’t own the whole neighborhood?
I had to learn to identify issues I can fix and issues I cannot (or should not have to) and react accordingly. It is a balance between providing good hospitality and treating your business like a business – you are providing a service and should be compensated appropriately for that service. If you screw up you should make it right, but you are not responsible for every single element of your guests happiness!
I’m sure there are still many hosting lessons to learn, but these have been some of my most important growth opportunities over the past year!
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Based in the Greater Boston area, Beth helps buyers, sellers and investors across the country achieve their real estate goals. From navigating the purchase and sale process to growing your vacation rental business, Beth provides a one-stop-shop for all of your real estate needs.
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