Vacation rentals can be a great investment but also a way of creating a full-time business. Whether you’re taking on just the one vacation rental project for now or you’re already a few months in, there’s plenty to learn and grow to make it a successful venture.
With COVID still in existence, it may make for quite the challenge but the tourism industry is one that will continue to thrive both during and after this pandemic. Here are five tips for managing your vacation rental business.
Delegate The Work Fairly
One of the biggest challenges that comes with vacation rental management is that there’s a lot of work that needs doing. Even if you’re just managing the one vacation rental property, there’s still a mammoth of work that needs doing.
Property management consists of creating your listing on any relevant rental sites, marketing it so that you get it out to your target audience. It’s receiving and managing any bookings that come through, processing payments and preparing the property ahead of the guest’s arrival.
There’s a lot of work to do and the best way to make it easier on yourself and others, is by delegating the work fairly. If you’re working on your own, then it might be a family business where you ask a family member or friend to help out.
If it’s a business where you have multiple staff, then it’s good to ensure everyone receives an equal amount of the work that’s generated within the company day-to-day. The last thing you want is to spread yourself or other employees too thinly. This can lead to unhappiness in the workplace, and you may end up losing the passion or love you have for running it.
Spreading yourself too thin is certainly the case if you’re the owner of the holiday property because it’s your baby at the end of the day. It can be hard to let go of the important tasks, but it’s essential you do it for the sake of your own productivity.
However, if you’ve made the decision that you want it to become a money earner, it’s important to separate your emotions from the property. The property will get some wear and tear, perhaps even some costly damage on occasion.
It’s to be expected and so it’s critical to keep in mind that this property is now a business venture and not a second home for your family. Letting go off that mindset can be harder than you think.
Collaboration Is Important
With your vacation rental business, regardless of its size, the key element to a successful one is collaboration. Collaboration is something that all businesses need because it can help ensure you’re getting the most out of every opportunity that arises.
Working effectively and efficiently whether it’s just yourself, a small team or a large workforce, is going to help drive the success of your vacation rentals. Timely communication is useful for everyone to understand.
If there’s a lack of communication, then things go wrong and that can lead to unhappy customers and a drop in your ratings. By collaborating with others, you get the job done quickly and with few mistakes along the way.
If you’re running it alone, then you might turn to outsourcing as a way of collaborating. Outsourcing can be a great way of relieving yourself of tasks that would otherwise be pushed down the list of priorities. It’s also a much more affordable alternative to hiring internally.
Being a one-person band is a challenge that very few people manage to pull off and being open to collaboration is definitely the easier route to take. Try to encourage this throughout your company, despite how many staff work for you, it’s handy for everyone to know about.
Make Sure Your Marketing Is On Point
Marketing is an important element for any business because you can be putting in all the hard work to prepare your vacation rentals, to create the listings with as much detail as possible. However, without the right advertising and marketing, your hard work is likely going to go unnoticed for the most part.
If you’re running a number of vacation rentals and have your own website, then it might be a case of pushing that paid advertising and promotion via your social media handles and perhaps on other high-ranking websites. With your own website, you might want to boost it’s SEO so that you’re getting a bit more traffic coming through your doors.
The marketing element of your business will only work if you know your target audience well enough. So who are your target audience? Are they a family household or is it couples that are looking for a romantic getaway? It’s likely down to the type of vacation rental you have and who it’s best suited for.
Knowing your audience is really key to maximizing the success of your marketing but also helping make the most out of your advertising budget. Even though a lot of marketing online can be done for free, paid advertising goes hand-in-hand with organic searches to your business and so it’s important to make sure it’s working effectively.
If you’re struggling to navigate the marketing area of your vacation rental business, then it might be worth looking at your competitors or seeking help through a marketing agency or advertising company. Looking at what your competitors are doing will hopefully give you more of an insight of what’s working and what isn’t.
Use Technology To Help With Productivity
Technology can be a useful aid when it comes to your vacation rental business and its influence has managed to bring a lot of success to those who use it. With technology, you might want to implement it to improve productivity within your daily management of the business.
By using a vacation rental property management software, it helps you locate and manage everything from one place. This can help to avoid any double bookings with the right system in place and for owners of vocational rentals, it can provide a helping hand in growing the business.
The manual work can all be helped using a software like Lodgify and that helps to free up your own time to work on other important tasks. As a team, this can be really helpful when you’re managing a dozen or so customer queries at once or handling multiple rental properties.
This type of technology exists to make your life easier, so why not take advantage and use what’s out there? It’s a small price to pay for the extra helping hand it will give you and your business. It’s also something that most businesses, even small ones in the vacation rental market, will be able to afford.
Productivity is essential for business and if this lacks in any area, at any point, it can potentially result in a loss of profits for your rentals. Focus on how you can continue to improve and better the workplace productivity.
Set clear procedures
It’s important that as a business, you work as a unit. If a situation or crisis occurs, will everyone know what they need to do? If you double-book a customer or receive a particularly tricky complaint, do you have the procedures in place to rectify the problems as quickly as possible?
A good sign of a business that works well, is one that has clear procedures that are understood by everyone hired in the business. Whether working solely as an owner or within a large team, it’s good to define clear procedures that are adhered by everyone involved.
By doing this, you help keep everything in line and create brand consistency at the same time. A good way to make sure your staff are aware of procedures, is through training. Training can be a great way of building up your staff’s experience, and knowledge of the business and it’s daily running.
Investing in your business is essential and so when you spend money on staff training, it’s only going to better your business because of it. If you work solo, then it’s always good to give yourself training where possible so that you can add to your own skills and experience.
Never doubt just how critical employee training can be when it comes to any business, including your rental one. The clearer the rules, the fewer mistakes end up getting made as a company.
Managing Your Vacation Rental Business
Managing a vacation rental business is challenging, and it’s worth doing if you’ve got a vacation home that perhaps doesn’t get used for the majority of the year.
If you’re a business running a management company for vacation rentals, then it’s going to help to collaborate more efficiently and to utilize technology to help boost your work productivity.
By setting clear procedures and delegating work fairly and equally, you end up with a well-oiled machine in the form of your business. Make sure you follow these tips to achieve the success your business deserves.