There’s no denying that as lucrative as a short term rental (STR) property can be (depending on the location), it’s not the easiest source of income to manage. In fact, there are a fair amount of moving parts, a lot of client management, and even the slightest oversight or misstep can have an impact on a host’s ratings and host status.
On one hand, opening up a home or a room via a rental platform such as Airbnb, VRBO and the like can enable a potential host to reap financial rewards and possibly allow them to invest in other properties to build a diverse portfolio of rental income. To someone just starting off in the short term rental business, it seems like using rental platforms can permit a host some measure of passive income and allow them to work at their own convenience. But those in the know understand that this is far from true. In fact, managing a rental business, whether it’s one property or several, can actually be a full-time job.
Managing an Airbnb business is tedious and time consuming, as it is a service business. A host needs to deal with all manner of vacationers. You, as the host, need to deal with people, be attuned to all of their needs, answer all of their questions, and be ready to jump in to manage something or another. And that is on top of the regular maintenance of the property, ensuring that it’s clean and sanitized between reservations, and having a solid access management plan in place to let guests in, but also ensure that your property is secured at all times.
But, if you want to increase your guest turnover and occupancy rate, and increase your ratings and average cost/night, then you need to go above and beyond to ensure you offer the best customer service experience possible. This is why a Property Management Software service is a must have for your rental.
It’s Your Very Own Personal Assistant
A Property Management Software is the best way to maximize your revenue and enhance your guest’s experience and overall service, and allows you to be as hands off as you need to be. Its core benefit is to automate and mitigate all the mundane tasks such as answering questions, keeping track of your reviews, updating your listings page, managing keys and access and keeping all of your guest contacts organized across multiple booking platforms.
Here’s how the right service can streamline your rental management and save you a significant amount of time:
1. It’s Convenient and Practical
Every service has its own perks and benefits, but the majority of them work across your multiple platforms and consolidates everything into one dashboard. With one click, you can see all of your reservations, check ins and outs, and can update your listings once and push it out to your different booking platforms.
This also applies to your inbox. Most services offer a unified inbox so that you can keep track of all guest communications in one place, as well as manage your vendors and whatnot.
2. It Offers Flexibility
Utilizing a PMS means you don’t have to be at your rental as often, or at all. In fact, you can manage it remotely. By relying on your software, as well as introducing automation and smart technology, you can manage every facet of your rental from a birds-eye-view.
For example, introducing smart locks, smart thermostats, noise sensors, and other smart tech allows you to offer access remotely, as well as monitor your property’s security and integrity. Some services, such as the one that Enso Connect provides, offer an AI-enabled concierge that can answer the common questions that hosts are tired of answering. It can also send out booking confirmations, greetings and reminders of what to do upon check out, and to leave a review.
It can also then inform the cleaning staff when a reservation ends and the next is to begin, so they can get in and sanitize.
3. It Can Optimize Your Pricing
There are major cost benefits to relying on a PMS after the initial investment, and one of them is dynamic pricing. The software can look at the market and rely on its algorithms to optimize based on peak and low seasons, surrounding availability and help you maximize your earning potential and total profits across all your listings.
That said, no system and machine learning is perfect. Letting the software manage your pricing dynamically is a good starting point and something that you can let run automatically most times, but as a word of advice, it’s a good idea to sometimes go in yourself and play with the numbers manually to boost your listing intentionally.
4. It Can Help With Your Marketing Strategy
When it comes to managing your rental property firsthand, there is a lot of input required from a host to best manage their listings. One such way is keeping your listing updated, changing the verbiage from time to time to freshen it up, and most importantly, managing and giving reviews. As mentioned above, the key to a good review is reliable and consistent communication with your guests. This is one of the largest pain points for most Airbnb veterans – hosts that are incommunicado, so being available is key to getting those good reviews and word of mouth. Hence, an inbox that has all of your communication in one place, in both email and direct message format, makes this a lot easier.
As well, a lot of PMS services integrate with social media, which helps promote your listing organically via your guests comments and photos on their personal feeds.
5. It Allows for Superior Guest Service and Operations
The key to having a successful rental property is offering that unparalleled service. Travellers have plenty of options when choosing a rental or Airbnb, so you need to lean on your PMS to take care of the little stuff, so you can focus on the bigger picture – offering a memorable stay. Automating tasks means that your attention is focused on your guests and what they want out of their time in your home.
From an operational standpoint, once you streamline everything (the cleaning, any repairs, the management of the physical space itself via smart technology), you’ll only see better guest reviews, more occupancy, and watch costs go down, while profits go up.
It Helps More Than You Know
As counterintuitive as it seems, running a rental business via Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, or any other site, is a customer-facing and hospitality-focused business. That’s how you succeed. And as with any other business, there are efficiencies to be found, and ways to rely on technology to do a lot of the heavy lifting, so that you can offer your best self as a host to your guests.
Reach out to us at Enso Connect to learn more about how we can make your home smarter and work for you, rather than the other way around.