The vacation rental industry is one of the most stressful and demanding industries out there! You have to run a successful business, deliver first class customer service, and provide an exceptional guest experience as host extraordinaire!
Let’s face it, vacation rentals are a passion. Many of us arrived here by chance, saw a unique lifestyle opportunity, rolled with it, and unexpectedly fell in love with an industry that is demanding, constantly evolving, and complex in many ways.
“The only thing that is constant about this industry is that it’s constantly changing.”
Steve Schwab – Casago
As vacation rental property managers, we work long days while others play, and our dedication to the industry is often centered around holidays and weekends. Vacation rental managers never have a day off from minor (and major) mishaps, but we get to share the things we love about our homes and destination, make money for our owners, and deliver an amazing and memorable experience for our guests.
But that’s just the start. Behind every outstanding guest experience we deliver, there’s marketing and sales, reservation and channel management, never-ending guest communication, financial reporting, data analytics, and the basic day to day operations of running a business. How many of these hats are you, the business owner, wearing?
Would your business thrive or barely survive if you decided to jet off to a deserted island for a week (or month)? Sounds good right, but are you in a position to take the break from your business? Are you living the life with the freedom you envisioned as a business owner, or does your business own you?
Here are 7 tips to take control of your vacation management company, scale your business, set yourself up for success, and enjoy the freedom of owning a business that doesn’t own you!
#1 Identify Your Goals
Identifying and setting goals is the first step to achievement. Next, is to plan the steps needed to realize your goals, then set out to achieve them with persistence, determination, and a strategic process to advance your business to the next level.
“The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short.
but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
#2 Put Business Systems in Place
Create a robust infrastructure and business systems that support and streamline your daily operations, free up time, and generate income. Smart and structured business systems can transform your business into a well-oiled machine, giving you the opportunity to move from business operator to business owner, step back, and focus on higher value work. Perhaps the opportunity for a little freedom to island hop too. Removing yourself from micromanaging day to day operations can be a challenge, but it’s possible if you turn to tech.
#3 Turn to Tech
Technology is driving the growth of our industry, the guest experience, and the digitalization of travel. The global vacation rental software market size is projected to reach USD 397.3 million by 2027, from USD 148.4 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 15.1% during 2021-2027. The time is now to embrace innovation, take advantage of automation, and turn to tech.
A fully integrated property management system (PMS) has the power to increase efficiency and productivity, drive growth, and provide a positive experience for your guests at every touchpoint of their journey. One easy-to-use integrated solution that offers booking software, channel management, financial reporting, data analytics, dynamic pricing tools, CRM, and marketing!
#4 Communication is Key
Good guest communication is key! Contactless travel is quickly becoming the new norm and often the only contact we have with guests is via email or text – what impression are you leaving? Proactive guest communication sets the right expectations from the start, eliminates friction, develops trust, and has the potential to create an exceptional guest experience from the first touchpoint.
Choose a reputable PMS with a CRM solution to automate your guest communications for a seamless arrival, stay and departure, and take care of your leads! Think of the time saved with one unified inbox for all your communications, triggers to automate your messages, e-signatures for ease, and tools to manage your marketing campaigns.
#5 Be Smart!
In 2021, the estimated number of smart homes worldwide was 258.54 million with 69% of US households owning at least one smart device. Be smart and save time by automating not only your business process by your vacation rentals too. Most of us have made the switch to automated door locks but perhaps it’s time to take it a step further. The smart home options are endless – smart thermostats to monitor and control heating and A/C, smart lighting, smart security systems to safeguard your homes, noise monitoring devices and sensor technology to monitor your home in real time.
Be smart with your guest communication during the stay too. By the end of 2021, over 90 million smart speakers had been sold in the US, an amenity that over one third of guests have come to expect in a vacation rental. Gone are the days of brochure racks, old-school welcome books, and constant calls from your guests asking all kinds of questions – give them all they need just a voice command away. A digital concierge is the way forward to answer all their questions about the home and destination, enhance the guest stay, and save your team valuable time!
#6 Build a Trustworthy Team
Does your business rely solely on you to get things done? Building a trustworthy team takes time but is impossible if you don’t delegate with confidence and train your team to perform without micromanagement. Step back, let go and trust your team to execute with you at the helm.
A trustworthy team includes a loyal and trusted team of local vendors and contractors ready to assist for midnight emergencies, save the day, and reassure your guests they’re in good hands. This team should include reliable plumbers, electrician, repairmen, landscapers, pool services, and professional cleaners.
#7 The Power of Partnership for Success
Demand is at an all-time high and acquisitions of small vacation rental management companies aren’t slowing down. At the same time, there’s also a level of uncertainty in the travel sector with gas prices impacting travel, rising inflation rates, and destinations fighting for their right to rent on a short-term basis. Keeping your finger on the pulse of changing vacation rental trends is time consuming.
Casago offers vacation rental managers the power of partnership with the tools, industry knowledge, and a team of vacation rental experts to prepare your business for success, capture the increasing demand for short-term rentals, and stay ahead of the competition.
“The Casago Franchise provides an enterprise infrastructure as a service so that you, the property manager, can be the local hero on the ground in your destination. You own the company, you are the entrepreneur and you’re making it happen, with the operational support of a brand that has the scale, size, technology and expertise to help you compete with bigger companies and grow your business successfully”.
Steve Schwab, CEO and Founder of Casago.