Temporary Rentals: Should You Use a Short-Term Rental Management Service?
By Nathan Gusss |6 min|September 2023
Are you juggling the challenges of a short-term rental property? See whether a property management service could be the time-saving game changer you’re looking for.
Short-term rental properties can be a lucrative side hustle or even full-blown business. But they come with their share of hassles and logistical puzzles. You manage many routine tasks that are easy to plan for (arrivals and departures, housekeeping, pricing strategy, etc.). On the other hand, you also need to brace yourself for some unforeseen snafus. Have you dealt with midnight lockouts? Guests “forgetting” to check out and lounging in their pyjamas when the cleaning crew arrives? The guest who can’t figure out the coffee maker and calls you—at 5:00 a.m.?! You never know what’s going to come up.
You can take on all that yourself or hire a property management service to relieve much of the burden. So, what can they do and is it worth paying for?
What services do STR property management companies offer?
- Booking management
Handling guests’ reservations might seem straightforward, but using different STR platforms, managing dates, avoiding overlaps and dealing with occasional last-minute cancellations can be complicated. Rental management services employ advanced software that integrates with multiple platforms. This ensures real-time updates on availability, reducing the risk of double bookings and automating the reservation process.
- Communication with guests
Guests often have questions about everything from the property’s amenities to the best local dining spots. Responding promptly and professionally to these inquiries leads to positive reviews. To that end, rental management services often have dedicated communication teams. These professionals handle all guest interactions and quickly, courteously address inquiries.
- Coordination of check-ins and checkouts
First and last impressions matter. A smooth check-in sets the tone for a guest’s stay, while an efficient checkout ensures they leave on a positive note. Rental management services often employ digital solutions, such as smart locks, for seamless arrivals. They also have departure protocols that ensure properties are left in good condition.
- **Property maintenance **
A broken appliance or sudden leak can quickly turn a guest’s stay from delightful to disastrous. Taking care of such issues swiftly is essential. Rental management services have a network of trusted professionals, ranging from plumbers to electricians. They address any maintenance problems swiftly to minimize disruptions. Plus, they can also handle routine maintenance between guest stays.
Guests expect impeccable cleanliness and will rate your property accordingly. Beyond standard cleaning, there’s laundry to manage and essentials to restock. Rental management services employ or hire professional housekeeping teams with high standards. Regular cleaning schedules, inventory checks and a keen eye for detail keep properties in top condition.
- Pricing strategy
Setting the right price isn’t always easy. You must adjust to market demand, seasonal fluctuations and even local events. Rental management services use dynamic pricing tools that analyze current market data. This ensures that property rates are competitive, which maximizes both occupancy and revenue.
- Regulatory compliance
To be a responsible businessperson and avoid fines, property owners should comply with local regulations. Rental management services are well versed in local by-laws and can make sure everything is in order.
- Review management
Online reviews create a property’s reputation. Consequently, encouraging positive feedback and addressing any criticisms are crucial tasks. Rental management services often have strategies in place to garner positive reviews. Moreover, they handle any negative feedback with grace and professionalism so that the property’s online reputation remains stellar.
Is paying for this service worth it?
When deciding whether to hire a property management company, several factors come into play. First, ask for some quotes and weigh the cost versus the potential benefits. Will the fees be offset by optimized rental rates and savings on maintenance? And be sure to consider the amount of time you dedicate to property management (or make an estimate if you’re still in the planning phase) and its hourly value. If you’re stretched thin or you could be making more money elsewhere, a management company could be the right choice.
Distance is another factor. If your rental property is far from your residence, addressing on-site issues is a big challenge. Even if you do live nearby, think about your comfort level with tenant or guest interactions. Dealing with concerns, feedback and potential conflicts requires a certain finesse and interpersonal skills. Is this something you excel at and enjoy? If not, handing it over to someone else can be a relief.
Consider what your areas of expertise are. Can you clean like a pro? Are you handy at home repairs? Do you have a reliable network of service providers for whatever you can’t handle? An STR management company can fill in any gaps.
Keep in mind that many property management companies have varied service offerings to fit different needs and budgets. Full-service management covers just about everything. You can also go with a partial array of services or choose them à la carte.
Become a SiniSTAR Host
With SiniSTAR, there’s rarely a need for property management services. Being a SiniSTAR host requires less daily involvement. Tenants often stay in their temporary accommodation for several months, which translates to less work on many of the tasks discussed in this article.
Interested in joining the largest community of hosts for people displaced by home disasters?
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