How to Get Help Managing Your Airbnb – It Is Possible to Work Less and Earn More
Perhaps you started out just renting a spare room to make a few extra bucks. Maybe you listed your vacation home for rent during the off-season. If you had a good experience and enjoyed being an Airbnb host, you may have expanded your short-term rental business to become a part-time gig or even full-time job.
As the vacation rental business has exploded over the past decade, the competition has grown fierce, particularly in popular destinations. Customers now expect a high level of service and top-rated amenities in just about every short-term vacation rental. As a result, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the details of managing an Airbnb. The stresses can be multiplied if you own more than one property. The good news is that help is available. Here are three ways to streamline your rental business and better manage your property.
Assembling a team of specialists can go a long way in helping you reduce your personal workload and ensuring that individual tasks get done properly and completely.
- You: If you are currently handling all of the listing, communication, booking, cleaning, and repairing tasks yourself, you may find yourself short on time and bogged down with innumerable details.
Start by identifying which tasks you enjoy most in your short-term vacation rental business. For instance, some people love talking to guests, either during the booking process or during the visit itself. Others may enjoy decorating, cleaning and preparing the rental space to make guests feel at home.
- Service Providers: Keep those well-loved tasks on your personal to do list and find a team of local service providers to take over the rest. For instance, you may be able to contract cleaning services with a local provider or individual. An all-around handyman can be a critical asset to your team. If these individuals can serve as point people, you may be able to eventually outsource the management of those tasks as well. Takl and HomeAdvisor are two great ways to find trusted local pros. (Use coupon code: 8E54F9E to save 10% at Takl.)
In larger markets, you can now find cleaning or maintenance services that specialize in working with Airbnb properties. Since guest ratings and comments can often make or break your rental business, it is worth hiring the best and most reliable service providers you can find. Many even provide round-the-clock service to ensure that you and your guests have someone on call at all times. Others may help you track, purchase, and restock your supplies and do the laundry.
- Accountant and Attorney: It’s also helpful to engage an accountant who is familiar with the lay of the land when it comes to short-term vacation rental tax implications. In addition, you may want to seek legal assistance regarding zoning and permit requirements in your local area to avoid penalties or fines. More and more communities are seeing the home rental business as an additional source of tax revenue, and many have already implemented lodging-related taxes and fees.
A plethora of web-based software solutions are available today to help property owners streamline every aspect of an Airbnb business. Property management platforms like Lodgify and Guesty have everything you need to increase your occupancy and income for about $30 per month. Each does all of the following and more:
- Accounting: Most of the solutions provide back-end accounting support, which can integrate your accounts receivable and billing records with reservations, booking, and maintenance activities. In many cases, these solutions can automatically update availability across multiple vacation rental sites and distribution channels as soon as your rental is booked or canceled, maximizing your online presence.
- Marketing: Vacation rental software programs may help streamline marketing efforts. They can send customized responses to customer inquiries immediately and facilitate instant booking. Pre-programmed algorithms allow these automated programs to confirm availability or to suggest alternatives immediately, which keeps your prospects engaged.
- Pricing: In addition, some software solutions can adjust rental prices dynamically depending upon local demand and supply. That means when demand is high during a peak vacation season, the program can automatically boost your prices and increase the minimum night stay. However, during the off-season, special deals can be initiated in order to maximize occupancy when demand is lower. These programs can adjust prices and deals during special events, conferences, or other times when lodging may be in high demand in your area.
- Reports: Access data and analytic reports so you can have a better understanding of all aspects of your business and where future opportunities may lie. Having a mobile app that allows you to access your accounts and data from anywhere is an added benefit. Airdna is the leading provider of short-term vacation rental data, tracking the daily performance of over 10 million listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, and more. Use their service to optimize your listing, increase your occupancy rate, and make more money.
- Phone Support: Some web-based solutions are expanding to provide some property management services themselves by offering 24-hour phone support to your customers.
In some cases, you may want others in the leadership or management role with you for the long term. By finding the right kind of partner, you can ease some of the pressure and obtain assistance with decision-making, finances or management over time. Each of the following partners plays a different role, ranging from simply providing advice, support or capital to managing your entire vacation rental business.
- Co-Host: If you’re the type of person who wants to stay involved in your Airbnb and just needs a little help, you may want to consider establishing a partnership with a co-host. Ideally, you find someone who enjoys the tasks that you don’t enjoy as much. Together, you may make an excellent team.
- Investor: If you enjoy managing all aspects of your vacation rental, but find yourself short on money, you may look for an investor. This can provide you with readily accessible cash when you need it in order to keep your vacation rental running smoothly.
- Mentor: Another potential short-term partner would be an Airbnb superhost who can serve as a mentor. This can be especially helpful if you are relatively new to the vacation rental business. It’s always nice to have someone to provide advice and answer questions that will inevitably come up. One of the easiest (and best) mentors to work with is Danny Rusteen. He literally wrote the book on optimizing your property and owns the number one Airbnb property management company in the world. He teaches people how to receive more bookings and make more money per guest at his site OptimizeMyBnb.com.
- Property Manager: If you view the short-term vacation rental business as an investment and a source of income but don’t necessarily enjoy the work, you may want to engage a property management company. Most of these organizations can create a package of services customized for your property and charge a fee of somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent. These services are not available in smaller towns, but there are lots of Airbnb rental management companies in New York and New Orleans and other big tourist destinations.
Some property management companies can handle listing and price optimization based on market conditions, booking and client communications, and even on-site hosting. Others may provide value-added services such as professional marketing and photography, interior design, and cleaning and maintenance oversight.
As the competition heats up in this arena, some property management companies provide concierge services such as grocery shopping, special events organization, or restaurant and entertainment planning as well as the basics. Others may even assist with investment consulting and things like noise management in your rental neighborhood.
By freeing up the day-to-day management of your Airbnb, you can spend more time on acquiring additional properties or on other personal priorities. The top companies in the full service Airbnb property management arena are Vacasa and Evolve.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can get help with managing an Airbnb rental property. The important thing is to balance your time, money, abilities and interests in a way that’s beneficial for you, your Airbnb endeavor, and your customers. Once you’ve achieved that balance, you’ll be rewarded with a fulfilling, successful rental property endeavor.