If you’re a vacation rental (VR) owner, manager, or work in a property management company, chances are you’ve wondered what it will take to be successful. We’ve put together a list of different strategies that you can employ in order to build up the success of your business!
A changing landscape
The Vacation Rental industry continues to grow and adapt in a landscape that seems to be constantly shifting, be it due to the global pandemic, the rapid evolution of technology and automation software, or simply due to the living and therefore ever-changing nature of consumers.
One thing is for sure, it is no longer enough to just create a nice place that tourists can stay in on their vacation, add it to a platform such as Airbnb, and watch the bookings roll in. And, although one could argue it was never really that simple, there are definitely more parameters to keep in mind nowadays, we can all agree on that.
Hidden opportunities for success
Today, competition is high, visibility is shaped by algorithms, which are in turn shaped by content and ratings, digital is growing increasingly more complex – so yes, no matter how simple things used to be, they are definitely more complicated now.
Buried in that complexity, however, are also an array of new opportunities and, specifically, the option of success without having to fit into a specific shape or box, something of significant value to VR property managers.
Namely, the power of niche marketing, one of the best strategies for VR management, and the theme of our most recent article. If you haven’t already read it, have a look at how you can optimise your vacation rental business by finding your niche market and the opportunities that it can create for your short term rental.
Let’s have a look at some other successful strategies for property owners that either want to start a VR business, or for any professional property managers who are already in the short-term rental market:
1. Treat it like a real business – because it is!
First things first – if you got into property management thinking it can be a side-hustle, you may want to reconsider. One of the most important things about creating and running a successful business in the VR market is for owners to treat it like a real, full-blown business endeavour. Keep in mind also that travellers’ expectations are on the rise following a marked shift toward personalized experiences, you can stay ahead of the curve by thinking like a hotel manager, no matter how small your business might be.
2. Avoid costly repairs with preventative maintenance
The idea is simple: prevent problems before they happen. On the one hand, having problems pop up during a visitor’s stay can be bad for business as you can be sure it will affect your ratings. On the other hand, we all know it’s easier – and a whole lot cheaper – to schedule regular maintenance rather than deal with unexpected repairs and costs.
It may not be a terribly exciting strategy, but it’s a tried and tested one. So, put preventative maintenance in your budget and in your agenda, and help your property management business be successful by making sure it runs smoothly and efficiently – your future self will thank you!
3. Save time and money with automation and partnerships
Software can help you automate some of the most time-consuming parts of your job, especially if you are managing multiple properties. There are several things you can automate in your daily life as a property manager, including guest communication, self check-in at any time, smart home automation, and even secure luggage storage.
You can also partner with a 5-star transfer service like Welcome Pickups and automate your guests’ transfers while, at the same time, increasing your earnings per apartment.
4. Save time with proactive communication
This is quite a simple strategy, albeit one of the most effective in safeguarding your valuable time. In essence, if you can anticipate questions that travellers and guests may have, you can make sure to answer them ahead of time through your communication materials and content. This will save considerable time and effort for both you and your guests, as well as make your guests’ experience even better.
You can use our guide to nailing your airbnb house manual as a helpful checklist!
5. Create an experience for extra buzz and income
In order to increase your profit and create some extra buzz around your property, think about how you can offer an authentic experience for your guests. You could draw inspiration from local flavour and knowledge, design the space with a specific theme, or you could expand your range of services by forming strategic partnerships with local businesses.
This will also generate you extra income and help you get even better reviews, all the while supporting your local businesses. Win-win!
6. Set yourself up for success with the right pricing strategy
The truth is that your pricing strategy can make or break your property business. There’s a lot of dynamic pricing tools that can help you with creating your pricing strategy , and a plethora of information online, including our introductory guide on how to optimise your prices. Here are two key points to keep in mind as you get started:
Check your restrictions and policies
The more relaxed your restrictions are, the more likely guests are to see your property on their list of available options. Also, by offering flexible policies, you should be able to charge at a higher rate.
Create your rates based on your booking data
Since it’s no longer as simple as a high and low season rate, it’s important you take the time to uncover insight from your property’s booking data and adjust your rates accordingly.
Have a look at all the information available, such as booking demand (different seasons and months, weekdays vs. weekends, and holidays) as well as guest data. For example, if one of your best target audiences is families with children and you want to attract most such guests, adding child rates can make a significant difference.
It will take some time to set this up and you may need to keep tweaking until it’s perfected, but it will be well worth the effort when you see the effect it can have on your overall revenue.
7. Own your brand and your digital presence
If you rely solely on platforms for your branding and marketing efforts, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. By creating your own website and social media accounts, you can take control of your digital presence and start to really build up your brand. You should also look into your Google Business listing and invest in SEO as these can help you reach new audiences.
If you have the time and resources for it, you might also benefit from creating your own blog in order to showcase your knowledge as a local expert, while at the same time building credibility and generating interest for your property.
Lastly, remember that photos are an essential part of any property website or social media content. Not only do they help “sell” the property, but they also provide valuable information about the place and its surroundings and set a tone for what your guests can expect from their stay.
The short-term rental property market is constantly changing and property managers can often feel like it’s a struggle to keep up. By employing strategies such as niche marketing, preventative maintenance, proactive communication and by creating the right pricing strategy, VR managers can increase their revenue, save time, cut costs, and bring in more bookings!