This article was contributed by Dropee
Rising fast in popularity, the trend of property owners jumping into the short-term rental (STR) bandwagon is turning into a common sight within the property market as of recent.
Promised with up to 30% higher rental yield as compared to long term let, there is no surprise as to why short-term rental is a better option, especially for properties situated in prime locations.
As lucrative as it may sound, you should not rush to rent out your property to short-term guests until you know how to properly manage these short-term rental services.
Here, we’ve compiled some tips to effectively manage your short-term rental property as a starter.
1. Ensure Most Up-To-Date Property Listing
An introduction to your property and STR business, the way your property is listed on booking websites is the first few things you need to consider.
As a part of advertising and marketing efforts, placing your property listing on several platforms would help to increase your occupancy rate and maximize your rental gain.
Merely listing up your property alone is not enough, you need to also make sure that is it attractive enough to draw attention and secure bookings. How to do so, you may ask?
Ensure most up-to-date property listing is one of the answers!
Catchy headline grabs attention but informative, comprehensive, and detailed descriptions of your listing can reduce queries and portrays credibility.
A picture can tell a thousand words, but DO NOT literally put up a single photo of your property.
Provide more photos from different angles to highlight the special features and facilities available at your property.
Hire a professional photographer if possible, because most people are attracted to visual proof, so professional photos can give you the upper hand.
Be mindful to include your updated contact information as well. Best to include the time frame of when you would be available to be contacted and the estimate of your response time.
Remember to put up your primary email address because you would not want to miss out on a booking after checking your inbox a bit too late.
2. Practice Good Communication
The golden rule is to always pay attention to how you communicate with your guest.
Good communication is essentially the key to ensure guest happiness and will prompt positive reviews.
According to a survey by Guesty, findings show that 64% of bookings are closed due to direct communication with the guest beforehand. In order to improve communication, hosts need to:
- Keep communication organised
- Respond to guests in a timely fashion
- Answer all pre-booking inquiries with the right information before any potential guests lose interest.
Given the excessive volume of requests and bookings especially during peak seasons, most hosts would struggle to keep up with each and every guest.
One alternative to this situation is to utilise external management service which could either be:
- Through a management software
- Through short-term rental management service provider
- Hiring a property agent to keep everything in check
If you do not have the resources for the abovementioned alternatives, then it would be smart for you to identify the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and create a pre-generated template to help you reduce the time taken to respond.
3. Lay Down The Ground Rules
This can’t be stressed enough. Hosts have to make sure that all the ground rules are laid down properly.
Confirm with your guests what is allowed and acceptable and what is not, such as smoking, bringing pets, hosting parties, blasting music and the list goes on.
Clear rules and regulations will prevent unwanted issues such as trashed property and complaints from neighbours.
Not to mention, clear rules can help guests make more informed decision of whether or not the property would be suitable for the kind of vacation or stay that they are looking for.
4. Regular Maintenance And Inspection
As obvious as it may sound, many have actually taken the lax approach to keeping up a proper maintenance for their STR property.
Technically, STR is very different from a long-term type of rental, in terms of maintenance.
It requires frequent servicing and cleaning due to the constantly changing occupancy and higher possibility of wear and tear. Hence, regular inspection of your property is a definite must!
It could be very tedious and time consuming when it comes to cleaning and tidying up your property after each booking, hence hiring a housekeeper would help.
You’d also need to pay attention to the cleaning products that you are using as well. Quality cleaning products help your furnitures and fittings last longer.
Another great advice, you may want to get to know your go-to maintenance professionals better.
Not only having good relationship with your plumber, electrician, or air conditioner technician comes in handy, it may also help you get lower quotes through regular services.
5. Go The Extra Mile For Your Guests
The little things that really matters – this applies to STR too.
On top of furnishing your house with quality furniture and completing it with home appliances, there are little gestures you can take, such as:
- Preparing a care package
- Welcome packet
- Door gifts
- Guidebook of the area
- Free TV subscription is a nice touch to show you care (and possibly get more positive reviews!)
People generally love freebies and you do not have to break the bank to do this. By simply stocking up the mini fridge with complimentary bottled drinks and beverages would already do the trick.
It will give your STR business an added value and if cost is a worry, you can always buy the snacks and beverages at wholesale price, for example.
6. Post-Service Is Just As Important
Never underestimate the influence of reviews and feedback. It is the first few things that people would scroll and search for when looking through your property listing.
Having no reviews is just as bad as receiving bad reviews. Hence, do make it a point to request for feedback and review after each lease.
Although garnering 100% positive reviews might not be easy, but by providing excellent follow-ups.
Guests will notice how keen you are to improve your service and business which will have a spill over effect on their reviews.
On top of that, by following up with each guest, you are establishing the fact that you care beyond just running a business and you are providing good hospitality.
Eventually, this will encourage them to book again in future, or tell their peers just how much they enjoyed their stay. The power of word-of-mouth advertising is amazing.
Simply put, by following these 6 helpful tips in managing your short-term rental business, management of the property will be much easier, more well-organized, and more effective in getting more renters.
It will also generate better income potential following to guest satisfaction and great recommendation, and ultimately setting your short-term rental business apart from the rest!