6 Tips: What to do and not to do as vacation rental manager

 

6 Tips: what to do and not to do as vacation rental manager

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Set your prices

Carry out market research to establish a competitive price within your area, from similar properties.

Set a price per night based on what you think is fair or based just on what you want to earn monthly.

Photographs

Hire a professional photographer to highlight the qualities of your property and make your listing much more attractive, with at least 25 pictures.

Take 10 photos with your mobile, without paying attention to the light and the staging of the photograph, and neglecting the details.

Calendar update

Keep your availability calendar up to date entering each reservation and blocking the desired dates in real time. If possible you should use iCal to automatically synchronsize your calendar.

Cancel new reservations because another guest already booked those dates.

Listing’s title

Write descriptive titles that include the main characteristics of your property, capacity and location.

Use generic titles which don’t stand out against other properties. Fill the description up with meaningless adjectives.

Reviews

Request reviews of your property after each stay: together with the photos, reviews are the best way to attract guests when booking a vacation property.

Do not worry about what your guests think, believing that there will always be more waiting to book your property.

Distribution

List property on as many vacation rental websites as possible to maximise your distribution and increase exposure.

List your property on B.com or on Airbnb only.

VRMA Official Sponsors in Paris

We are very proud to announce that Your Rentals will be sponsoring the 2018 VRMA Europe Conference, and we want to invite you all to join us in Paris from 4 to 6 of March.

We are heading to Paris for the 2018 VRMA European Conference, 4-6 March 2018 at Le Méridien Etoile. Register online and get ready to discover the latest business strategies and trends impacting the European holiday rental market.

Highlights of this year’s conference include:

  • High-level networking opportunities to build connections and share your expertise with fellow holiday rental professionals.
  • In-depth education sessions tailored for you. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned executive, benefit from key takeaways, and best practices, and lessons learned.
  • Dedicated time with suppliers to explore the latest innovations in technology and the resources you need to grow your business.

While in Paris, visit our display table to learn more about Your.Rentals.

VRMA 2018 European Conference
4-6 March l Le Méridien Etoile l Paris, France
Learn More

The European Conference delivers premier business and educational tools to support holiday rental professionals and deliver superior guest and homeowner experiences. Attendees will participate in high-level networking sessions, in-depth educational sessions, and dedicated time with leading industry suppliers to learn how to take their business to the next level.

Configuring the “Free Wifi” correctly on your listing

Many guests search for properties with free wifi and we see stronger booking conversions for listings with free wifi. To make sure your listing has Free Wifi set correctly in the listing editor:

1. On the Facilities page: Under “Internet”, choose “Wireless internet WiFi(fig. 1)

2. On the Extras page: Under “Optional extras and services” add an extra “Internet” provide for “Free”. (fig. 2 and fig. 3)

fig. 1

fig. 2

fig. 3

Other Recommendations

  • Check your monthly data allowance before you open up your WiFi. You can quickly exceed your monthly allowance once other people start using it.
  • Opening up your WiFi to guests may impact on your own internet use. If you have a reliable connection with 5MBps or more, sharing to a couple of units at 1MBps per unit should still allow you to watch iPlayer and surf the web.
  • And remember as property owner you have a responsibility for the internet supply and its proper use. There are disclaimers available which you should ask your guests to sign, in exchange for free use of the WiFi, specially if you run a small-medium business and don’t have (or can’t access) a Hotspot Controller.

The Booking League: the true story of successful holiday rental managers

Your.Rentals has created the Booking League to acknowledge the great performance of our community members.

Booking League members receive a welcome pack as well marketing exposure and first access to new features and channels. One lucky member will receive a special invitation to the VRMA European conference in Paris in 2018. Find out more about Booking League benefits.

Membership of the Booking League is by invitation only – find out what you need to do to get invited.

Newly added to the Booking League

These are the profiles of our most recent additions to the Booking League.

Read below for an introduction to their businesses, and their tips for using Your.Rentals to obtain remarkable results.

Giovanna Bonomo from Gestioni Immobiliari.

Gestioni Immobiliari was founded in 1984 and is a real estate agency offering tourist accommodation in Cefalù, Italy and the surrounding area. They offer clients the ability to choose from sunny holidays in one of many apartments in the Old Town to stays in residential towers only minutes from the beach.

Which Your.Rentals feature is the most important to you?

“I have been working with Your.Rentals for almost a year now and the most important feature to me is the possibility to use the channel manager, letting me have huge visibility in most of the important channels. I have saved a lot of time by just listing my property on one platform.”

What is the biggest benefit of using Your.Rentals in your daily work?

“Previously, I setup my listings directly in each sales channel, but setting up the first listing in Your.Rentals was faster, and I had to do it only in one place for all channels. It took just a few weeks to start receiving bookings and since then I’m seeing an increase in bookings week after week.”

How do you manage your calendars across channels?

“I use the Your.Rentals calendar as the main calendar for my property management daily, and synchronize through iCal sync with my other calendars”

How do you set your rates to reach your booking conversion goals?

“To set a successful rate strategy I check the rates of similar accommodations in my area and I set my rates to be, as much as possible, competitive. I always try to set an all-inclusive rate.”

How do you feel about working with the Your.Rentals team?

“I am very happy with Your.Rentals support, replying and helping me at every step, it is definitely a great service for us”

Toke Terkelsen from Bakuri Group

Toke is a property manager in Thailand managing properties all over the country and has been using Your.Rentals for almost a year now.

How did you find out about Your.Rentals?

“I heard about Your.Rentals from a friend and decided to give it a try. Today we list 29 properties and I am happy I made that decision to use Your.Rentals.”

Which Your.Rentals feature is the most important to you?

“The most important feature to me is the simple commission structure: Having only one commission to cover all channels is an amazing asset to me and my company.”

What is the biggest benefit of using Your.Rentals in your daily work?

“We use beds24 software to manage our properties in several channels, but since we signed up with Your.Rentals, and after a few weeks, we noticed an important increase in the traffic in our listings in comparison. To set up one listing in Your.Rentals was incredibly fast, and took me less than 10 minutes to do so.”

Do you use other software or directly manage your listings in different sites?

“We import our beds24 Calendars through iCal and Your.Rentals takes care we don’t get double bookings, this way we can multiply the visibility of our properties online and use different systems and channels at the same time.”

How do you feel about working with the Your.Rentals team?

“Your.Rentals support is great and I am very satisfied with Your.Rentals solution, it was a great discovery for us!”

Joop Soonius, private owner

Joop manages one property (targeting golfing holidays) in Faro, Portugal and has been using Your.Rentals for the past 3 months.

Why did you choose to try Your.Rentals?

“It’s free of monthly fees and I didn’t have to pay anything extra to use the channel manager option with all the available channels.  I like the simple commission structure (only have to pay one commission to cover all channels)”.

You have used other property management systems in the past, how does Your.Rentals compare?

“I found Your.Rentals more intuitive and easy to use. It only took me half an hour to create my listing and publish it. After a few weeks, I started to see the results and it hasn’t stopped.”

How has Your.Rentals helped to improve your business?

“I gained in both quantity of bookings and organization to optimize my time.”

How do you manage your calendars across channels?

“I use Your.Rentals as my main calendar, and I update the calendar manually for offline bookings every day to avoid cancellations or unwanted bookings.”

How do you feel about working with the Your.Rentals team?

“There is a very good team supporting a very good product”

4 Security Tips for Vacation Rental Owners

4 Security Tips for Vacation Rental Owners

Whether you are new to the vacation rental industry or have been renting your home for years, you’re sure to have heard some Airbnb horror stories and terrible experiences from other hosts.

If you want to avoid these kinds of nightmares, the first thing you need to do is write up a good contract in which both parties have to agree to certain responsibilities. After this is done, the next step is protecting your vacation rental from those who might want to take advantage of it.

We’ve put together these four essential pieces of advice which will help rental property owners keep their homes (and guests) safe and sound.

1. Make your property look lived in

An empty vacation rental or second home can sometimes be a prime target for thieves and opportunists – so you always want to give the impression that somebody is home.

If you live local to your property, this is something you can easily do yourself. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to take care of your rental, especially if it’s looking a bit worn and clearly vacant.

So, how do you make it look like your property has guests?

You can start with the obvious: by taking regular care of the garden and other outdoor spaces. Keep any outside areas looking neat and manicured at all times, and never let them get to the point of looking unkempt or abandoned.

Another great idea is to switch lights on and off – as this will create more of an illusion of life at your home. But don’t worry, you won’t need to visit the house every day to do this! You can buy timers quite inexpensively, which you can easily install and set up to turn on and off again for a few hours each evening. Additionally, you could install outdoor motion sensor lights which will let you (or neighbors) know if anybody is lurking after hours.

It’s important to avoid putting up posters on your property’s exterior which announce it’s “For Rent” or “Vacant”, as this can also warrant unnecessary attention. The best and safest way to promote your vacation rental is with your own website, and via listings on reputable online travel agencies.

2. Install the latest security systems

Security is one area where you shouldn’t scrimp for your rental – both for your own and your guests’ peace of mind.

We’re not saying you need to have 50 CCTV cameras in and around your home! But at the very least, your property needs to have a good lock and alarm system in place. This will help your guests to relax knowing they’re safe, and will also save you from any intruders during vacancies.

Also, make sure that guests close windows and lock doors whenever they leave your place, and avoid leaving keys out in visible places such as under the doormat or in a plantpot. A simple and practical solution for vacation rental owners is a key lockbox, or even a smart lock.

As well as this, it’s not a bad idea to have an extra pair of eyes keeping watch every now and then. You could ask a trustworthy neighbor to send you a message should they see anything suspicious at your home or in its surroundings.

3. Be careful when promoting your property and accepting bookings

When you are creating listings that are going to help promote your vacation rental, avoid giving out too much location information. Get to know your guests before accepting their reservation by asking them some questions about who they are and the purpose of their visit. You should neither give out your exact property address until the booking is confirmed and payment has gone through nor upload any photos which show the precise property location.

What’s more, it’s essential you take reservations and accept payments through a secure system to avoid being hacked or receiving false details. Our advice is that you accept online payments via credit cards through your own website, which is supported by a good vacation rental software that prioritizes the safety and security of both monetary and sensitive data transfers.

4. Ensure your guests feel safe

Help your guests to make your vacation rental a safe place by giving them the tools they need in case of emergency.

For starters, you can provide them with a safety manual, in which you encourage them to follow some of the practices previously covered in this article. It is also helpful to use this space to explain where emergency equipment (such as fire extinguishers and a first aid kit) can be found.

You can even install a safe at your home so that guests can securely store any valuables such as money, jewelry, passports and electronic devices while they are asleep or out of the house.

Finally, ensure guests have an emergency contact number so they can get in touch with you if needed, as well as a list of other key local emergency numbers (such as police, fire department, ambulances, etc.).

 

About the Author
Lodgify is an all-in-one vacation rental software which empowers owners and managers to easily create their own website, accept online bookings and credit card payments, and manage all reservations from one place.