How to become a short-term rental property manager
We share insight into how you can become a short-term rental property manager and make money in the vacation market without owning property. Learn more!
Published on 05 Nov 2021
Share this article
If you’re considering dipping your toes in the STR industry, you’ve come to the right place. At Hometime, we understand the power of local hosts. We’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners and over 40 local Airbnb managers to help them navigate through every kind of market condition.
To get you started, we’ve listed 6 simple steps to get you more acquainted with the ins and outs of the short-term rental industry.
Find yourself a property to manage
Get the basics right
Invest in professional photographs
Pricing for success
Listing on Airbnb
Managing your operations
1. Find yourself a property to manage
If a listing hasn’t just fallen into your lap, you’ll want to have a few strategies in place to grow your portfolio. There are several ways you can do this.
Build a strong network Many successful property managers have built their business off the back of a strong network. We suggest reaching out to everyone you know, from family and friends to acquaintances. The more people who know you are in the business, the more likely leads will be sent your way. Have an online presence In today's digital age, having an online presence is the difference that makes a difference. By telling your story on social media like Facebook and Instagram, you give more people an opportunity to learn about your business, share your content and invest in your vision. Get to know the community A great way to find out about new listings is to get to know local developers. Whether they are building new properties or refurbishing existing ones, they will likely have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest in the real estate market.
2. Get the basics right
Whether you own your first listed property or are managing it on someone else's behalf, you will want to get the basics right from the get-go. These include but are not limited to investing in a good cleaner, having a solid maintenance team and ensuring your security system is reliable.
Cleaning A good cleaner is one of the most important investments you can make early on. Find someone trustworthy, communicative and flexible enough to meet your needs when you have last-minute cleaning requests from guests. Maintenance Toilet blocked? Light bulb gone out? We suggest having a list of trusted suppliers on hand for any last-minute fixes that need to be made. Security If your guests want to meet you in person, a lockbox will not be your best option. For those guests happy to check-in themselves - make sure your instructions (lockbox placement, code and key) are all readily available.
3. Hire a professional photographer
If there is one investment to make when it comes to starting the STR business, we strongly suggest hiring a professional photographer to capture the property in the most attractive light. Aim to take photos of all rooms, the outside area as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Be sure to include small touches that your guest would appreciate to give greater insight into some of the amenities you offer. You can also check out our blog — How To Improve Your Airbnb Listings.
At Hometime, we have 2 basic rules when it comes to pricing your listings.
Focus on maximising your occupancy
Know when to adjust your rates. Use dynamic pricing and chance rates based on the market supply and demand
A dynamic pricing tool takes into account market data to help optimise your nightly rates for a variety of situations, such as seasonal surges. We also suggest applying length-of-stay discounts and calendar markups for holidays and special events. Take a look at Hometime’s Dynamic Pricing Tool to get a clearer picture of how you can improve your listings’ performance in the market.
5. Listing on Airbnb
Once you’ve got your property all set up, it’s time to list it on Airbnb. Airbnb has made it very simple to get your property up and running.
The main thing to remember at this stage is to let your guest know exactly what value they gain from staying at your property. We suggest listing all amenities you offer to paint a clear picture of what your guests can expect from your hospitality. The devil really is in the details. Want a step by step guide on setting up? Check out our blog on How to List on Airbnb.
6. Managing your operations
Once the above is all set up, it’s time to think about how you are going to manage your listings. If you have under 5 properties, managing your operations manually with free tools like Google Calendar might be sufficient in the short term.
However, we do recommend investing in a PMS (property management system) to help automate repetitive tasks and free up time to focus on signing new customers. With the right technology platform, you can track all your operational expenses, including cleaning and maintenance tasks, to stay on top of your end of month statements. Check out Hometime’s robust property management software that helps you spend less time on admin and more time growing your business.
For more support related to property management of short term rentals, get in touch - we love to chat!
About Hometime Hometime is an Airbnb property management platform that delivers a Local Hosting experience paired with above-the-market returns. We focus on understanding the market, mastering marketing and distribution and analysing data to deliver exceptional performance to our clients. We support your property experience at every touchpoint; from guest enquiries, dealing with housekeepers and other vendors, communication - all aspects of a homeowner’s property.