VRS330 – 9 Projects to Help You Reboot Your Short Term Rental Business

In times of uncertainty and anxiety, our natural instinct is to focus on the here and now and avoid looking ahead to speculate on where we might be in the next few months or years.

However, given the enforced downtime we have choices.

We can bemoan our fate, worry and catastrophize, or we can plan for recovery.

In this episode, property managers and independent owners share their suggestions for what you and your staff can do to prepare for the reboot of our business.

Thanks for contributions from Betsy LaBarge – Mt Hood Vacation Rentals, Hilary Skye – Skye Luxury Rentals, Justin Ford – Breezeway, Amy Gaster – Tybee Vacation Rentals and Sharon Michie – Cottages to Castles of Sanibel and Captiva.

Deep cleaning, maintenance projects, and safety inspections

Betsy Labarge suggests this is a good time to catch up with maintenance items and grounds work, deep-cleaning all homes to include sanitizing the interior and exterior of all cabinets, closets, furniture, etc., laundering all homeowner linens (mattress covers, comforters, and bedspreads, etc.) and cleaning upholstery, carpets, and drapes.

Skye Luxury Rentals owner, Hilary Skye, adds in window washing, caulking kitchen and bathrooms, minor repairs, upgrading pool tables and hot tubs and deep cleaning patio decks to the task list, while Justin Ford from Breezeway proposes safety inspections as an activity we could undertake while properties are vacant.

The caveat to this was voiced by Amy Gaster of Tybee Vacation Rentals who cautioned that adding an expense with no guarantee of revenue could actually hurt the business and this isn’t a good time to be stuck with bad debt, however, getting buy-in from owners could be the way around the dilemma.

Create an SOP Manual

Do you have a manual that covers all your processes and procedures? If not this is a great time to build a staff handbook that contains everything that a new staff member needs to know. Use a cloud-based storage system or better still, a platform such as Touch Stay to keep all the information in one place.

Build a Direct booking strategy

We can only speculate on how the OTAs are going to emerge from this, so having a robust book direct strategy you can launch as soon as the time is right could be essential. Consider how you’ll put this together to create landing pages and branded messages to educate your guests.

Create an Owner Acquisition Plan

There’s likely to be many more owners wanting to rent out their properties, so plan how you are going to capture their interest. Your strategy could include putting together a package for realtors; building a new web page that showcases your services, and creating an attractive owner information library. Be ready to meet the demand when it comes.

Learn a new platform

How many apps and resources do you have downloaded that you haven’t had the chance to learn? Commit to learning one thoroughly.

Write content for your website and blog

Maybe you don’t feel like posting a lot to your blog right now, but the time will come when you want to be back on top with your content. Develop a plan to expand the content on your website and build a library of articles.

Form a Networking Group with Other PMs

Sharon Michie of Cottages to Castles of Sanibel and Captiva suggests that if you’re in an area that has more than one professional property management company, you should reach out and form a local VRMA group. She says,

“We formed ours on Sanibel 16 years ago and have been sharing ideas, concerns, trends and welcome guest speakers to develop our skills and offer our guests a superior vacation experience”

So there you are.

A lot of ideas to help move you forward in these uncertain times.

Let me know what you are doing to take some positive out of it all.

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