Property Management Practices: 5 Expert Vacation Rental Tips for Owners
Whether a new rental owner or feel like a pro, managing a vacation property may feel time-consuming and somewhat stressful. However, it doesn’t have to be a strenuous process, especially for those who follow our top property management practices. These must-dos cover important aspects of short-term management, including listings, marketing and pricing. Start maximizing your rental revenue with these five tips.
Best Property Management Practices: 5 Expert Tips
Offer Easy, Secure Online Booking
Technology has changed the way potential customers search and book vacation rentals. Studies show that 97% of consumers look online before buying locally. Travel companies with mobile apps saw 60% of bookings come from mobile devices. This means potential customers will research a listing before they consider booking and expect to easily book that property through a secure direct website or mobile app.
In order to compete with larger companies and reach online users, maintain an SEO-friendly mobile-responsive website and offer online booking options. This helps customers find listings and provides a seamless booking process, saving them time and stress.
Adjust Pricing Based on Market Trends
In the short-term vacation rental industry, one price does not fit all. In fact, experts recommend adjusting rental rates as much as daily to compete and keep current with trends, weather, events, and other important factors that influence supply and demand.
To accurately price a rental to remain competitive in its respective market, consider local market values. When compiling detailed data, location dictates demand, as does time of year, number of other available rentals in the area, and revenue accrued from comparative properties. Once all data has been studied, price the rental and plan to adjust often to remain attractive to potential guests.
Ensure High-quality Listing Content
Many owners choose to list on sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. However, many don’t know these sites have specific algorithms and criteria that give preference to certain listings over others. These listing site processes can become frustrating to owners who do not receive the same exposure as their competitors.
To appear better in search engines and listing sites, content is king. Each listing should have over 20 professional photographs, an eye-catching headline, accurate description, high guest reviews, up-to-date calendars, and easy access booking and contact information. Once the listing has these content recommendations, it should appear higher in search and generate more inquiries. Read a some quick rental listing tips.
Use Digital Marketing
Once your stand-out listing is priced accordingly, it’s time to market the property. Increasing online usage has helped create dozens of marketing options – from direct mail and email to online ads and social media. Experts agree that a mix of all avenues prove most effective in reaching guests and keep the listing in front of them.
What’s next? Decide where to advertise and how much to spend. Create a budget and decide where to spend those dollars, however test different channels to ensure a return on investment. While pay-per-click ads on Google work well for some, others have more success advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, some may choose to simply list on other sites as opposed to spending money on marketing. Try a different approach weekly or monthly to find what works best.
Enhance Guest Experience
According to a Tnooz survey, 95% of respondents read reviews before booking, and 70% of global consumers say online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising. With this in mind, vacation rental industry leaders continue to focus on increasing traveler satisfaction in order to produce higher-quality reviews and build a database of recurring guests.
Ensure guests have a positive experience by responding quickly to issues, providing amenities they need, having the rental professionally cleaned and inspected, and check on guests periodically during the stay. This extra attention to detail lets customers know you care about their experience and encourages them to share a five-star review.
Is it Time for a Change?
The short-term vacation rental industry has skyrocketed in recent years with evolving changes and more competition popping up every day. For those who struggle with these property management practices, there’s good news. Trained, professional management companies have the resources to meet specific goals. Not only does outsourcing to a third party help manage thousands of important details, but it also keeps each rental’s specifications in order while owners work – and stress – less.
Learn about the benefits of the iTrip Vacations® property management program.
Sources: Tnooz, business.com, The Marketing Blog