As incredible as our investing journey has been, nothing is without its challenges, and learning to self manage our vacation rentals has been a constant journey of learning and growing.
Over the past two years, I have learned many lessons and I wanted to share with you all what I believe are the three key ingredients to managing your vacation rentals as successfully AND as passively as possible.
A good host will strive to provide the best experience possible. That said, guests will have complaints no matter how nice your property is and the best way to avoid issues is to set clear expectations from the moment they set eyes on your property by writing a strong listing description.
Include all the amenities you offer and be sure to mention anything that isn’t included if it might be expected. Ex: If you have a coffee maker, but don’t supply coffee it may be worth noting (“Keurig coffee maker – BYO K cups”)
Outline anything about your property that could be a turn off for certain guests – it is better for them to not book if it isn’t a good fit, than to book and complain. This can and should be added over time as you experience complaints or misunderstanding that you want to head off in the future. Ex: Mention spotty cell service or the noise that the metal roof will make in the rain/snow in this section.
Consider including a rental agreement in your listing that specifically outlines expectations around guest responsibilities, cancellations, repairs and any other issues that may arise.
Automated messaging is another post all on its own, but it is very important to overemphasize the most important parts of your listing in your first booking message to guests, as many will not have thoroughly reviewed your listing prior to booking.
Reiterate the house rules and that they are responsible for having read the listing in its entirety.
If you are pet friendly, be sure to mention this again in your messaging so that guests with allergies are aware.
Highlight anything that has been an area of confusion in the past, despite being outlined in your listing.
Included an automated “checking in” message – this gives guests a chance to speak up about any issues early in their stay and shows them that you care about their experience!
This is the most important, and the hardest one to implement! Once you have done everything possible to set and reinforce expectations, it is time to let go.
This means don’t check your security cameras, don’t micromanage your team on the ground, and don’t sweat the little stuff!
Things will get broken and guests will break rules from time to time. Don’t go looking for problems, just deal with the ones that are unavoidable.
Guests will have complaints even with the best laid expectations – don’t do backbends to compensate for reasonable issues, simply address them the best you can and move on.
Be the first to know about new services, resources and opportunities.
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.
Brokered by Board and Park