You’ve got the property, fixed it up, listed it on several reservations channels, and now you’re waiting for inquiries to come rolling in. But do you still have a feeling that you’re forgetting something? No problem. While you wait for your bookings, take a few minutes to review this vacation property management task list and make sure you’re not missing anything! If you can check off all the boxes, you’ll be one step closer to providing the ultimate vacation experience for your guests—and setting yourself up for plenty of bookings.
Give The Property A Final Inspection
You want to ensure that the property you’re offering to guests is at it’s best. This means carefully inspecting the property and making any cosmetic changes or repairs that need to be made. Take pictures of the home, inside and out, so you have something to reference in the future when you need to make changes. Check all of the light switches, ensure there are batteries in TV remotes and smoke detectors, check the AC and heater function and ensure the kitchen is well-equipped. Making sure the property is in peak condition should be your top priority on your vacation property management task list!
Plan The Policies
Have you thought about a pet policy? What about smoking? What are the rules guests have to follow about parking, check-in and checkout, and damages to the home? Make sure guests know about your rules before they make a reservation—and consider making the guidelines accessible in a guest book or pamphlet. If you’re new to the business, good ol’ trial and error can help you to quickly learn what policies you do and don’t need to have in place.
Master The Marketing
Having a beautiful home is only part of the vacation rental process. Marketing and advertising is a whole new ball game for many property managers. Be sure to use everything at your disposal to get the word out about your great properties for rent!
Social media marketing works wonders. If you don’t know how to use it, ask the closest millennial! Listings on both paid and free rental websites are also essential these days. There are great channel management tools that can make this process easy for you, syncing your calendars to help prevent things like double bookings.
Prepare The Paperwork
Although the vacation rental experience revolves around people, memories and all of that feel-good stuff, it’s still a business. You need to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork in place to make the entire reservation process run smoothly.
How easy is it for guests to receive their booking forms and send it back? What precautions have you taken to protect private information like addresses and credit card numbers? Bogging guests down with too much paperwork can take the excitement out of the trip, while not asking for enough information could be dangerous for your business. It’s important to find that balance, and most importantly, make getting and receiving documents from guests as easy as possible. But don’t get bogged down. There are great free solutions for communicating with your guests without giving up all of your time.
Figure Out The Finances
The accounting side of property management is another crucial element for success. Not only do you need to decide on a rental rate, but making it easy (and safe) for guests to pay is also a must. How and when will you collect payment? What is your stance on refunds? Is there a down payment? What about a pet deposit, or cleaning fees? Being transparent about your costs and fees will make guests feel confident staying with you, and will prevent any misunderstandings or costly mistakes that could tarnish your reputation.
Learn The Legal Stuff
The legal aspect of vacation rental property management can be overwhelming for those new to the game. It’s important that everything is run legitimately, that taxes are paid, and that you’re current on housing laws and industry standards. If you’re not quite sure, contact an attorney to make sure you’ve got everything covered when it comes to legalities.
Get Your Logistics Straight
As a property manager, you need to have the right systems in place to deal with issues that are bound to happen. How will you deal with middle-of-the-night emergencies? How will you train and equip the housekeeping staff? Will there be a pre-arrival inspection? What is the process for last minute bookings? Having a plan for who is doing what and being able to communicate it effectively will help you go into whatever issues arise with confidence.
Why Property Managers Need Bookfull
This vacation property management task list is meant to make things easier for you, not stress you out! If you’re getting overwhelmed reading this, perhaps you’re not making use of the right tools to help you get organized.
Bookfull offers a comprehensive system to help you manage all of your responsibilities as a property manager with ease. From helping you navigate the accounting side of the business to syncing your listings and putting your marketing efforts on overdrive, Bookfull keeps you organized, up to date and on track. Work smarter, not harder with one of the most comprehensive property management software systems in the industry.