As the world becomes more connected, it’s expected for the vacation rental industry to follow suit. The latest innovations in the technology sphere have found their way into vacation rentals allowing owners to manage their property from anywhere in the world. Property management no longer has to be done within commuting distance so why should you feel confined to the locality of your short-term rental home?
Of course, managing your vacation rental property remotely doesn’t happen overnight nor is it as simple as installing automated locks. To carry out the same level of functionality and personalization will take some initial effort. If done right, you’ll be able to manage your vacation rental from anywhere you want while still delivering the same great service. How’s that, you might ask? We’ve got five top tips to keep your vacation rental business running smoothly from wherever you are!
1. Automate your check-in and check-out process every step of the way
If you have multiple reservations in a week, you can drive yourself mad running back and forth to greet guests and make sure they’re prepared to start and leave the accommodation and trip. Further, guest needs are always shifting and the new focus is on efficiency. More than anything, guests want to have the smoothest check-in and check-out possible. Especially in the wake of COVID-19 more and more guests are seeking a hands-off easy solution to enjoy their vacation as soon as they arrive at the property. What are the options for remotely managing your check-in and check-out? There are a couple of things you can do.
a. Virtual Keys
Keys might be the biggest hassle for vacation rental owners. From time to time, guests lose keys that require you to then either change the locks, make a copy of the original keys, or both. Talk about a lot of unnecessary added work! Virtual keys have numerous benefits for both the host and guest. Neither party wants the added trouble of passing off the keys or the responsibility that comes with having a physical copy.
Thankfully there are now many options that allow you to grant access through a wifi-door lock or mobile phone app that you can activate from anywhere. Further, you can set a timer for how long the virtual key will stay active, so you can also have a smoother transition for checking in and checking out your guests.
b. Smart Home Security
You can do almost anything from your phone in today’s day in age; whether that’s ordering your groceries or securing your home. Smart home technologies have made it even more possible to manage your property remotely and security is no exception. Most smart home security systems come with features like motion detection sensors and security cameras that allow you to ensure a safe and thorough check-in from your phone or computer.
2. Have a thorough guest screening process
Once your guests are through the door, you don’t have much left to do except hope they take good care of your property. To reduce the need of having to be in close proximity, make sure you’re only hosting safe and responsible guests. The best way to do this is by implementing a guest screening process to find the best travelers for your property. Some questions you might want to include are:
- What’s the purpose of your visit?
- Have you stayed in the area before?
- Why did you choose our vacation rental?
- Have you ever stayed in a vacation rental?
- Have you read and understood the house rules?
Getting to know your guests a little better first will ensure that you don’t have to be so hands-on and can confidently remotely manage your property knowing that responsible travelers are enjoying your home.
3. Have a trusted team on the ground
As the saying goes, “it takes a village.” Make sure your vacation rental business is surrounded by a network of people you can rely on both on your team and physically close to the property. Maintaining good rapport with plumbers, handymen, cleaning service crews, and any other essential members for operating a vacation rental business will help to ensure a successful remote operation. Have people you can count on in a pinch so you don’t have to be the one to alleviate any issues that will arise.
4. Keep guest communication as your top priority
Remember that the reason you even have a vacation rental business in the first place is entirely due to your guests. Guests are the backbone of our success so keeping them happy is what will keep your business running, remotely and otherwise. Fortunately, you can automate guest communication for things like sending house rules, check-in instructions, a welcome guide, and a thank you note. Keeping guests informed before they have to ask is what’s going to save you time and the necessity of having to be on site.
5. Implement vacation rental software
Most importantly, you’re going to need strong, reliable vacation rental software if you want to smoothly operate your business from afar. The key to remote success is streamlining your processes, automating tasks, and managing everything you need from one convenient, online platform. If you want to take your vacation rental digital and manage your property remotely, you’re going to need the right tools to make it happen.
More and more hosts are opting for remote management for their vacation rentals out of ease, convenience, and guest satisfaction. If done well, you can remotely manage your property without sacrificing any of your guests’ needs. Be it a remote check-in or automated communication, remote management is entirely possible with vacation rental software, like Lodgify, and the implementation of our top tips.