What Do Successful Short-Term Rentals Have in Common?

Industry Insights, Property Manager Tips
What Do Successful Short-Term Rentals Have in Common?

Want to make sure you get the most out of your short-term rental property management strategy? From maximizing your occupancy rates to creating an unforgettable guest experience, we’ll share top tips that have been proven to elevate property manager performance and profitability. 

Whether you’re a seasoned manager or just starting out, the insights below will provide valuable guidance to help you stand out in the competitive short-term rental space.

Professional Listings

Creating professional, effective listings is an integral part of managing short-term rentals. After all, guests can’t exactly tour your property in person before booking. Your listing is all they have, so make sure it’s as thorough and accurate as possible. Here are a few tips for a great listing.

  • Invest in professional photography
  • Include ample photos of both the interior and exterior of the home including aerial images of the home, especially if it is near the beach or other scenic area
  • List all amenities (including small things like high-quality towels)
  • Include detailed, well-written descriptions that are free of typos and grammatical errors
  • If your property is close to tourist attractions, offer specific directions

Above all, make sure your listings provide an accurate representation of the property. If guests are expecting a luxury experience based on your listing and arrive to find something subpar, they’re not going to be happy.

Exceptional Cleanliness

Imagine renting a beautiful property only to arrive at a musty house with dirty baseboards and a malfunctioning HVAC system. No one wants an experience like this — especially when they’re on vacation!

However, if your property is dirty and/or in need of repairs, you risk more than just a disappointed guest or two. People tend to be more inclined to leave reviews if they’re very satisfied or very unsatisfied. If a guest has a bad experience, they’ll likely mention it in a review. Other potential guests will read those reviews and avoid your property (and maybe the other properties you manage, too).

Automated Booking

Automation makes everything easier. When you can rely on a Property Management System (PMS) to handle the more tedious elements of managing your properties , you’ll have the time to deliver great service for your guests and minimize the risk of making clerical or scheduling errors.

Of course, you can’t automate every single element of property management, but you might be able to automate more than you think. Here’s a sampling of the ways property management software  can help:

  • It can send instant, automated replies to certain events or guest messages (for instance, you can send an instant “thank you” message after someone books)
  • It can synchronize your booking calendars—even across multiple platforms. This is important to prevent double bookings if you list on multiple channels.
  • It can automatically schedule your cleaning crew each time a reservation is made.

Learning how to manage short-term rentals with automation might sound like a real challenge, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy. No need to worry — most types of automation software are surprisingly easy to use. If they aren’t, the manufacturer usually offers in-depth tutorials and one-on-one customer support.

Quality Amenities

Every list of short-term rental tips mentions something about amenities. This is a great area in which to outshine your competition! At a minimum, you should have up-to-date, fully functional appliances and high-speed internet. 

You also may want to consider setting up a designated workspace with a desk and plenty of places to plug in electronics. Why a workstation? As the culture of digital nomads grows, you may find that more guests are looking for a short-term rental where they can work.

When it comes to amenities, even small touches can make a big difference and help you stand out from the competition. Consider including Netflix access or a SmartTV with streaming capabilities, a fully-stocked kitchen, and even free snacks or a welcome basket. 

Including local guides can give your guests a jump-start on the activities they have planned. A guestbook is a nice touch, too!

Short-Term Rental Insurance

Managing short-term rentals comes with its own unique set of risks and challenges. However, short-term rental insurance is an optimal choice to mitigate many of those risks. The right policy protects you from liability and your property from damage.

Safely is proud to offer customized insurance solutions for property owners and managers. Safely offers multiplecoverage options and lets youset the guest fees. Safely integrates with all of the major property management systems, so you’re sure to be up and running in no time. Get started with Safely today!

Competitive Pricing

If you’ve spent any amount of time on short-term rental booking platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and similar, you know that guests have seemingly endless options. You might have the best property on the platform, but if it’s priced far above similar rentals, you likely won’t see much business. 

On the flip side, you should avoid undercutting the market too much. It’s fine to price your rental at the lower end of the affordable range, but if you price it incredibly low, potential guests might think there’s something wrong with it and avoid it.

Utilize data aggregate tools such as AirDNA and KeyData that will show you the average prices in similar homes for your area so that you can keep up with the Joneses and optimize your revenue throughout the year.

Positive Reviews

If you want to stand out from other listings on short-term rental platforms, focusing on getting positive reviews is crucial. You can’t control what guests say, but you can go above and beyond to ensure they have memorable experiences.

You want to make sure you cover the basics, but if you really want positive reviews, make sure your guests’ experiences include the following:

  • Professional, accurate listings and photos
  • A proactive check-in before they arrive
  • Great amenities
  • A welcome letter
  • Full transparency when it comes to fees
  • Clear, fast, and professional communication
  • A message after the first night asking if there are any issues

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to ask your guests to write you a review. You can send them a follow up email or leave a QR code somewhere in your rental to encourage guests to leave a review. Assuming there were no problems with their stay, you can return the favor and write them a great review, too.

Protect Your Rental Properties With Safely

Part of short-term rental property management is protecting your investments. Short-term rental insurance from Safely protects you from unexpected expenses and gives both you and your guests peace of mind. If you want to protect yourself before, during, and after each booking, contact us to get your quote today!

Safely’s Short-Term Rental Protection

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Amanda is a licensed insurance agent and the Vice President of Sales at Safely and has been with the company since 2021, leading new client onboarding and client initiatives. She is especially proud of her team’s efforts to successfully drive down annual churn to 3% with a trending net revenue retention rate of 130%. Outside of Safely, you may catch a glimpse of Amanda playing a nurse on TV, prepping for her next art show, or on a date with her husband of 16 years.

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