How to Manage a Short-Term Rental Property
The short-term rental market is a great way to increase revenue and your return on investment. Airbnb has been around since 2008 and offers an alternative to hotel-style accommodation in more than 100,000 cities and 220 countries across the world. It's no surprise that property owners are opting for the highly flexible solution that comes with the short-term rental market.
What makes Airbnb different?
The Airbnb platform serves as a middle man between homeowners (Hosts) and guests looking for authentic and local experiences when travelling. Families, groups, couples and solo travellers now have an alternative to expensive hotels and guest houses while enjoying new areas as the locals do. It's also encouraged longer stays as Airbnbs are booking, on average, 2.4 times longer than hotels.
As of 2021, more than 2.9 million hosts have joined the Airbnb platform, with 14,000 joining every month. Many hosts manage multiple homes and have started their own property management businesses in the process.
How to manage an Airbnb
With the right technology, planners and service providers, managing an Airbnb property can be a rewarding experience. We share some of our top tips, below:
Finding the right price for your Airbnb
This can be tricky, but luckily, we've written a detailed blog post to guide property owners in finding the correct average daily rate for their short-term rentals. A good place to start is by knowing the Airbnb market in the neighbourhood. Airdna.co is a platform that provides average and top-performing Airbnb and Vrbo data from neighbourhoods all over the world.
If Airdna doesn't cover your area, you can do a manual search on the Airbnb web or mobile platform. Be sure to check the amenities and number of guests when searching. A 2-bedroom apartment with secured parking and air conditioning will charge more than a shared room in a home.
Build relationships with service providers
By using local service providers, like cleaners and property maintenance companies, you're ensuring your home is taken care of by professionals while supporting the local small businesses.
Building lasting relationships with these service providers will ensure you receive the best possible service when you need it. Guests locked themselves out and you need to organise a locksmith or a pipe burst in the early hours of the morning? Your service providers will become a key part of your Airbnb management business taking away the hassle of scrambling for last-minute resources when you need them most.
Use a free property management software
Australia's largest Airbnb property management company, Hometime, launched property management software aimed at managing short-term rentals.
The robust and free property management software is easy to use and intuitive whether you're managing one property or a portfolio of properties. Built by Airbnb managers, for Airbnb managers, the platform makes it easy to stay on top of bookings, maintenance, cleaning and invoicing.
Although Airbnb does offer a management platform for Hosts, it can be overwhelming managing multiple properties, invoicing for homeowners, keeping track of expenses and managing multiple party messages. The Hometime Platform is free to use for property managers looking to try out the platform for an unlimited time. Below are some of the features included:
The paid version of the Hometime Platform is geared towards property managers wanting to take their businesses to the next level. It offers tried and tested Hometime resources, finance tools to automate homeowner statements, access to Hometime's listing optimisation frameworks and more. Follow this link to find out more.
Stay at other Airbnbs in your region
Short-term rental and Airbnb Hosts often think there's little to learn from other Airbnbs since they manage their own. Staying in other Airbnb offers inspiration for your own and allows you to see the experience from a guest's view.
How was the checking-in process and was it easy to find the lockbox? Did the Host provide basic amenities like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, milk, tea and coffee? Was the Airbnb listing a true reflection of the home or did you find the listing overselling the location and size? These are important questions to ask yourself when staying at other short-term rental properties. It allows you to see an outside perspective into your listings and highlight areas for improvement.
Know when to get expert help
Hosting and managing an Airbnb is meant to be a rewarding experience and a chance to meet new people as you welcome them into your home or investment property. We understand that life can get in the way of providing the best possible experience to your guests. If you find yourself too busy with work, travel often or want to spend more time with loved ones, it may be time to bring in the professionals. There are many Airbnb managers available on the market, but the most important thing is to find one that works for you.
Take a step back and ask yourself what the most significant factor of managing your Airbnb property is. Are you looking to increase your earnings, need a professional cleaning team, or want to travel for a couple of months out of the year? These questions will point you in the right direction when hiring a professional company. We've written a blog post to guide you through a property management contract and highlight areas to look out for before committing. Does the company charge a set monthly fee, or do they work on a commission so they only earn when your property performs?
You're on the right track to finding the best management company for your short-term rental property by asking these questions to ensure total transparency between you and the property manager.