The vacation rental market has seen incredible growth in recent years. But according to industry experts, this sector is projected to increase even more in the future. Even though a fast-growing industry sector can bring huge benefits to regional development, it also leads to increased competition.
One way a lodging company can respond to a more competitive environment is by expanding into new markets where it could find new target audiences interested in its services. While expanding into new markets can provide numerous benefits to a vacation rental management company, managing different properties remotely will not be possible without the right lodging management software solution.
But even when you use the right solution, a few expert tips can come in handy when you want to manage vacation rentals with ease, regardless of where they’re located. Here are the most important ones.
Tip #1: Opt for home automation systems.
Nowadays, you can find many home automation systems that you can use to manage vacation rentals from a distance. Systems like smart locks for self check-in and check-out, smart thermostats, and smart lighting can make things easier for everyone, including your guests, property owners, and yourself. As well, since the rental properties you manage will be empty between stays, it’s advisable to opt for specific security solutions, such as noise monitoring systems and surveillance cameras. Not only will these systems facilitate the remote monitoring of properties; they can also help you attract more travelers given that safety is one of the most important considerations for many guests.
Tip #2: Choose a lodging management system that provides a reliable guest screening solution.
Guest screening can help you avoid fraudulent bookings along with all the complications that may result from them. While screening guests is essential even when you’re able to meet them personally, using an advanced guest screening solution, like SUPERHOG, is even more important when you’re managing properties long-distance. In addition to screening guests, make sure that you give your guests the exact address and any other details they might need to enter the property only after the booking has been completed and you have received the payment.
Tip #3: Find reliable third-party service providers.
While you can manage a wide variety of business operations from a distance, you still need a few third-party service providers to take care of specific things. Besides looking for trustworthy contractors that are ready to perform different routine cleaning and maintenance tasks, make sure that you also have a list of cleaners, plumbers, electricians, and handymen who offer same-day service.
Tip #4: Respond to potential guests in a timely manner.
According to research, 44% of customers lose interest when they don’t receive a response within a few hours. This means that finding a way to respond to guest requests in a reasonable time frame is key to getting more bookings. Luckily, you don’t have to stay up round the clock to confirm reservations or answer incoming calls or messages. You can incorporate an answering service, like RealVoice that takes after-hour calls. They can notify the member on your team that is on call that day for emergencies. The next day a list of calls that weren’t urgent will be available with notes for the staff to address.
Tip #5: Keep in touch with your guests.
The easiest way to communicate with your guests before, during, and after their stay is by automating at least part of the communication with them. For instance, you could send welcome messages, messages with check-in and check-out instructions, messages with house rules, etc. As well, providing your guests with a link to a digital guidebook, which includes all the information they need to know about the property and local area, is a great way to make the communication process easier while simultaneously improving their overall experience.
Tip #6: Choose the right distribution channels for your properties.
When it comes to marketing long-distance vacation rentals, make sure that you select a few distribution channels with broad global exposure. While there are different options to advertise vacation rentals, each property should gain as much exposure in the market as possible. This will help you secure a high occupancy rate all year round and maximize your earnings.
Tip #7: Comply with the local laws and regulations.
Different states and countries have their own laws that regulate short-term rentals. Thus, before you expand into a new market and close any deals, make sure that you check the local laws and regulations. For example, some states may limit the number of days you can rent a piece of property per year, while others may require special licenses or impose specific tax rules. Informing yourself on all legal aspects could help you better determine whether a piece of property in a specific location could generate enough profit for your company.
Managing vacation rental properties from a distance can be quite a challenge. However, the right lodging management software solution combined with the aforementioned tips will help you keep everything under control from one central location. To find out how you can use our system to manage remote properties smoothly while delivering remarkable service to guests, get in touch with our experts today!