Guidelines on Having a Successful Short-Term Rental

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There are two approaches to take, 1) Do It Yourself or 2) Hire a Professional Photographer. While it’s quick and easy to snap photos using your camera phone, it won’t provide the same level of quality if you hire a professional photographer with high-end camera equipment. There’s a reason why Realtors hire photographers to capture photos using expensive cameras and lenses whenever they list a property for sale. The cost far outweighs the commission they’ll receive from the sale. The same holds in presenting the best imagery possible for your short-term rental. Higher quality photos can help your listing lead to more Guest bookings and higher day rates. 

Cleaning Services

Property or house cleanings are required after Guests check-out as part of being a Host on short-term rental websites. With back-to-back bookings, the property must be cleaned in a short time frame, usually between 11:00 AM when one Guest departs and 3:00 PM when a new guest arrives. You can adjust these check-out times if needed, but keep in mind these are typical times that Guests worldwide are already accustomed to. 

Regarding cleaning fees, you can charge that expense to your Guest as a part of their stay, or you can offer a $0 Cleaning Fee but charge a higher day rate to compensate for the expense. Guests are accustomed to paying Cleaning Fees if it’s reasonable. You can check comparable property listing to see what other Hosts charge to stay within a reasonable price range.

When hiring cleaners, it’s crucial to find a reliable company or independent contractor that can service your needs and clean within the standard four-hour window between Guest turnovers. You generally have three options for cleaning your property between bookings. 

1) Cleaning Company: This is an ideal choice because cleaning companies’ staff numerous house cleaners to handle more properties than independent contractors who work as solo entrepreneurs. While they typically charge the highest fees due to more staff management, you’ll receive peace of mind knowing that they’ll provide a high standard of cleaning and have enough staff on hand. 

2) Independent Contractor: While an independent contractor who runs a solo cleaning business might charge you a lower fee, if that person fails to show up on the day of the cleaning due to an accident or sudden illness, you must scramble to find a replacement in a short amount of time. This delay can lead to an unpleasant experience for the arriving Guest.

3) Do-It-Yourself Cleaning: If you truly wish to maximize profits, you can clean the property yourself. This serves as an ideal choice, especially if you are only renting out individual rooms while keeping the common areas regularly cleaned yourself, such as the shared bathroom, kitchen, dining, and living room.


Ideal Guests

Once your listing is live on a short-term rental website, you’ll begin receiving questions or requests for bookings. Most websites offer Guest verification that includes name, email, phone, photo, government ID, and reviews from past Hosts they’ve stayed with. The more verification a Guest provides, the better. The same goes for ratings and reviews. The more positive reviews past Hosts have left in their profile, the greater the chance they’ll leave your property in good condition.


Customer Service

Managing a Short-Term Rental business requires ongoing customer service. Guests will message you using online messaging via the website platform that displays your property listing. It’s crucial to address each question promptly because guests are determining if they will choose to stay at your property or someone else’s during this time. Many sections on short-term rental websites allow you to check off a list of items found in the house. Still, if you find that Guests commonly ask the same questions, it’s a good idea to reiterate those concerns in the description of your listing. Anyway, you can anticipate and fully address questions in your listing will reduce the number of questions Guests ask you.

Most of your customer service will lie in text or photo-based communication with your Guests. While you can call your Guest, it’s ideal for keeping important contact in the message feed of the website that displays your property listing. The reason is that if a dispute arises, you will have a record of the conversation on the website, which employees can easily reference. Disputes that occur over phone conversations result in he said/she said scenarios that are difficult to settle. With every communication, it’s essential to remain professional, address questions/concerns on time, and resolve issues as they arise. If a dispute does occur and you cannot fix it with the Guest, you can reach out to the short-term rental website employees to help settle the matter. 


Ratings & Reviews

Nearly all short-term rental websites allow both Hosts and Guests to rate and review each other regarding the experience. Suppose you’ve done your job by answering questions and responding quickly to issues that arise. In that case, Guests will reward you with five-star ratings and positive reviews. Suppose you receive anything lower than a five-star rating along with negative written feedback. In that case, it’s recommended that you consider their reviews and make adjustments to the amenities offered in your property or your customer service. You can also surprise arriving Guests by leaving personalized notes, a gift basket, or anything else that indicates you appreciate the fact that they booked a stay with you. Creating an incredible and memorable experience can also help increase your chances of receiving a good rating & review.

Short-term rentals are an excellent way to generate a high amount of monthly revenue and more management and customer service than other real estate strategies. The varied options for property rentals that expand beyond a traditional house to vehicles, boats, and other forms of shelters make this a unique real estate opportunity. The three strategies of owning, leasing, or managing a short-term rental offer varying degrees of startup investment from large, medium, to small. Suppose you enjoy the customer service aspect involved with the constant turnover of Guests that can result in high monthly revenue. In that case, short-term rentals make for a great choice.


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