How To Find the Best Airbnb Management Companies

How To Find the Best Airbnb Management Companies

Are you interested in hosting on Airbnb but don’t have the time to manage your listing? S&T Properties is a top-rated short term rental management company and can assist you through each step of the process – from the first step of marketing your rental, inviting guests to the cleaning and maintenance of your home.

What Does an Airbnb Management Company Do?

An Airbnb management company ensures the space is ready for guests before they arrive. This includes marketing your property, cleaning your Airbnb property, providing toiletries and other Airbnb essentials, and staying in touch with them from check-in through check-out.

They will help you create the listing and take professional photos of your property. They know the trends in your region and can help you set your pricing to maximize revenue.

Ideally they will have extensive hosting experience and their detailed knowledge of the market. 

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Full-Service Airbnb Property Management Services

The most important things a high quality full-service Airbnb property manager will provide are:

  1. Each guest has a pleasant experience to ensure the listing receives high quality reviews.
  2. That revenue is maximized. This is done by marketing the property well, ensuring the unit is priced correctly, staging and photographing the property well.
  3. Ensuring the unit is maintained and guests don’t cause excessive damage.

Ensure Each Guest Has a Pleasant Experience

This starts with ensuring that communication is done in a timely manner.

Both before and during the stay. If a guest has a question it’s important that their question is answered promptly. If the guest has a concern it is important that concern is taken care of in an efficient manner.

Great communication can resolve a lot of issues.

Cleanliness is one of the most common reasons a guest will leave a negative review. This means regular cleanings after each stay and deep cleans scheduled monthly or quarterly.

Other details that are important.

  • Listing images match the unit. There is nothing more disappointing than showing up to an Airbnb that looks nothing like the pictures
  • A well stocked unit. Including kitchen essentials, bathroom essentials, and other items your guest may need to enjoy their stay.
  • Comfortable sleeping arrangements. This would include good beds, blinds, pillow and sheets.

Revenue is Maximized

If you’re renting out your unit it’s because you’re trying to generate additional income. As the owner the last thing you want to do is leave money on the table. 

A great vacation rental management company will understand how to get the most out of your property. This largely means pricing it correctly and accounting for peak season and off-season fluctuations. It also means staging the property well and having great photos. 

Ensuring the Unit is Well Maintained 

Finally, a good management company will make sure your property isn’t being damaged and is being maintained.

This means limiting the likelihood of parties (screening guests, minimizing 1-night stays, routinely checking for damage etc.). Additionally it means that maintenance issues are dealt with promptly when they’re reported and the cleaning staff know to report any issues they may come across. Finally it might also include routine checks by a handyman.

A Short Term Rental Property Manager Should Be Well Versed In the Local By-Laws & Strata Regulations

Although your Airbnb management property manager is unlikely to have a law degree, he or she should be familiar with the fundamentals of local real estate law. This enables them to provide some basic guidance on what requirements there might be to rent a property as a short term rental in the area.

Any high quality full-service Airbnb property management company will follow the local by-laws and strata requirements.

Airbnb Marketing Services

Although offline marketing might help you increase your booking rate, the majority of transactions now take place online. As a result, digital marketing is critical to your success as a host. Specifically a great Aribnb management company will understand how Airbnb’s algorithm works and how to maximize bookings through that platform.

Airbnb Guest Services and Communication

A positive guest experience begins with effective communication. From the moment guests express interest in your listing until they check out, your property manager can assist guests in having a fantastic stay by communicating simply and promptly. Some tactics and strategies that your property manager may use are:

  • They are being transparent in order to set and manage realistic expectations for a guest’s stay.
  • Being available to the guest – from the booking process to prompt response with questions during the stay, through to check out.
  • Be caring – a lot of times, it’s how the manager responds to requests that make the guests feel cared for.
  • Being tech-savvy will help document all conversations to ensure customer satisfaction, protect you as an owner, and access important guest information.

The following is a check-list of all the important communication points in which the manager will be right there to give the guest any information they may need:

  • Guest inquiry
  • The time of booking
  • Pre-arrival
  • At check-in
  • After the first night’s stay
  • Before check-out
  • After departure

Airbnb Price Optimization

There are so many different factors when it comes to price optimization that your property manager can choose from. A high quality vacation rental management company will use a number of tools to maximize revenue. Some of these pricing strategies may include:

Base Price: The historical and prospective performance of your property is examined to determine the best base rate. This base rate serves as a standard against which additional percentage changes are applied.

Seasonality: Looking at regional statistics and historical trends for both hotels and short-term rentals in your area can help you figure out seasonal trends that are specific to your location and can help you create competitive pricing models.

Day of Week Trends: Using local data to discover which days of the week generate patterns and how to apply them to your listing. At any point in time, specific trends can be modified on the fly.

Lead Time Adjustments: Last-minute reductions and long-term premiums ensure that you don’t lose money while keeping high occupancy. These can be tailored to your pricing strategy.

Holiday Demand: Usually holidays are busier and thus more expensive. Your short term rental manager should identify these and make sure to set a premium on those dates.

Weekend vs. Weekdays: Optimize pricing for weekends to ensure you get the most out of the unit.

Far Out Bookings: Sometimes, your calendar will fill up inefficiently, creating gaps that will make it more difficult to rent in the future. Increase the minimum stay requirements for further out dates to avoid short stays blocking your future calendar. This increases the likelihood of your listing being open for lengthier booking queries while also increasing occupancy rates.

Auto-fill Gaps: Setting rules that give shorter minimum stays to gap days that would otherwise not be booked makes it simple to fill gaps in your calendar.

Last Minute Pricing: It’s a good idea to lower your listings last minute if you have free days approaching and don’t want to miss out on possible money.

Orphan Day Prices: Apply discounts to such days to fill in smaller gaps in your calendar. You can also create rules that apply premiums to stays that are less than your desired duration.

Day of Week Pricing: Adjust rates to match daily patterns in your neighbourhood by customizing prices for each day of the week.

Minimum Pricing Limits: Set a number of different minimum rates depending on the day of the week.

Occupancy Based Rules: When a listing’s occupancy rate exceeds a certain threshold, automatically apply discounts and premiums to particular days.

Airbnb Photography

High quality staging and photography turns a good investment property into a great investment.

The typical photoshoot that your Airbnb management company will take place as follows:

Preparation: They will make sure your photographer is local, qualified, and has prior experience photographing interiors. They’ve been specifically trained to do photoshoots for Airbnb.

Having the property well decorated and staged is a big part of getting high quality photos. We’ll talk a little bit more about that below.

Process: When your photographer arrives, they’ll go through your space to get a feel for it and may make a few minor changes, such as fluffing cushions or other minor staging details.

They’ll set up their equipment and get started once the rooms are ready. 

Airbnb Cleaning

To prepare your Airbnb listing and create a friendly experience for your guests, you’ll need a dependable cleaning service. You want a cleaning service that can respond quickly, is reliable, and understands what your guests value most. Your Airbnb rental is only as good as your reputation, and every competent Airbnb host understands the necessity of keeping their homes clean while listing them.

Because of the benefit of managing multiple units an Airbnb management co. often knows reliable cleaners.

Airbnb Interior Design

There are some simple suggestions and hacks that can make an Airbnb unit pop. The best Airbnb property management companies have staged and rented out hundreds of homes. Here are a few we’ve found to be effective.

Hire a Professional

Interior design can be very expensive, however if you can find an interior designer for an affordable rate this can make a huge difference.

Wallpaper, Feature or Accent Walls

Add some pop to the unit. A picture of a beautiful accent wall will often be the best photo of the entire unit.

Add a Feature Light Fixture

Like an accent wall, a featured light fixture can bring a room to life. 

Add other Unique Features

This could be a neon sign that your guests can take photos in front of. Or it can be an arcade machine that will provide hours of enjoyment while elevating the photos.

These are just some of the things that an Airbnb management company can do to help enhance your space to attract more guests

Airbnb Maintenance and Repairs

Regularly performing Airbnb maintenance to prevent failures and other difficulties down the road is not only cost effective but it will keep guests happy. Otherwise, a broken heater, damaged cabinet doors, or a bad air conditioner may result in negative reviews. Even if everything appears to be in working order, scheduling routine checks is a good idea.

Prevention is usually less expensive and easier than dealing with a problem after it has arisen.

  • Verifying the operation and safety status of smoke and CO2 detectors, mechanical equipment and appliances.
  • Assuring that the property meets the Airbnb service’s requirements;
  • Maintenance and repair of the exterior of the house, as well as common area maintenance (such as lawn mowing and tree care);
  • Interior house maintenance and repair (required repairs and restorations, furniture repair, regular examinations of HVAC systems including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, flooring repairs, window replacement, and door handle replacement etc.)

Payments and Finances

Most Airbnb management companies will handle all the important pricing, payments and overall financial responsibilities of the rental. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Dynamic pricing technology
  • Payment processing
  • Guest screening and damage coverage
  • Advertising fees

There are advanced pricing tools to update your home’s rates multiple times per day to fill your booking calendar and capture the most revenue. Industry-leading technology considers hundreds of factors such as weather, local events, and historical trends, and there are advanced pricing tools to update your home’s rates multiple times per day to fill your booking calendar and capture the most revenue. When it comes to their specific markets, they should be regional experts to help maximize your rental home’s potential.

What to Look for in an Airbnb Management Company

Experience in Airbnb Property Management

What is the company’s experience with managing short-term rentals? Are they fresh to the industry, or do they have years of experience and a long list of delighted customers? Is the company solely focused on short-term rentals, or do they also handle long-term rentals?

Dedicated short-term rental property managers are frequently favoured because they produce better outcomes, because they are more familiar with the nuances and complexities of running a short-term rental business.

Renting a unit out for 12 months a year is a much different service than managing units that turnover 12 times per month. A traditional property manager has likely never had to consider how design and unique features might impact revenue.

Experience and Knowledge of Your Specific Market

A property management company should have a solid understanding of the characteristics and competitiveness in a local market to set up your short-term rental business for success. It should:

  • Assist you in developing the most successful pricing approach possible.
  • Keep up with the newest short-term rental legislation, restrictions, and taxes.
  • Develop advertising methods to increase bookings.

History of Compliance with Local and Airbnb Regulations

Look for property managers that have a history of following the rules and who will not book visitors who will cause noise complaints, unauthorized gatherings, or any other problems that will cause you, the owner, problems.

Previous Client Reviews of the Airbnb Management Company

Look at their Facebook reviews or Google reviews. Ask them to show you examples of their listings. Do they have a high number of five star reviews? Do guests complain about  lack of communication, cleaning or the basic necessities? 

Those are all areas that your property management co. would be responsible for.

Also ask them to provide you with two or three references. It is. a huge read flag if they can’t provide a few people to talk highly of their services.

You may want to also ask if they themselves own any properties? Are they confident enough in their abilities to generate a return on their own assets? If not, why should you feel confident in trusting them with your assets?

What is the Airbnb Management Fee Structure?

There are two different fee structures to consider: guaranteed and commission. We offer both models.

Guaranteed Income

With a fixed fee model or guaranteed income, your income is consistent (or at least set) throughout the year. A property management business will pay you a set amount of money regardless of month to month revenue. Even if your property has no reservations, you’re still receiving revenue.

The fact that you won’t be able to profit on the high season or take advantage of transitory increases in demand is the disadvantage of this model.

Commission

The property management company earns a percentage of your Airbnb revenue under this fee model. Your monthly income will be determined by the total amount earned by your rental. The smaller your monthly gross income, the less the property management company will earn. On the other side, if you have had more reservations and generated big money over the course of a month, you will have to pay more.

This model aligns the owner with the short term rental manager goals – maximize revenue.

What’s Included in the Airbnb Management Fees?

A few services may be added to your monthly charge depending on the form of your vacation rental’s management contract. A lot of companies sneak fees in, we prefer to be upfront with ours.

Cleaning Services:

This price is largely passed on to the visitors by short-term rental managers. Cleaning costs are added to Airbnb. 

A manager will arrange for cleaning at your property whenever there is a turnover. Ideally, most or all of this expense will be covered by the cleaning cost charged to the guest.

A few questions worth asking.

  • What does the cleaning price cover?
  • Is there a procedure in place, as well as checklists?
  • How much time does it take?
  • Will you be able to clean the house in between guests without causing any possible reservations to be lost?

General and Urgent Maintenance and Repairs

It’s critical for you, the vacation rental owner, to understand how the maintenance process is organized by the manager. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is there an in-house team, or do they hire outside help?
  • What maintenance concerns are they unable to resolve in-house?
  • How long does it take them to complete a routine repair?
  • Is there a number for guests to call in case of an emergency?
  • When must they consult with you as the owner? This is often at some pre-determined price (ie: over $100)
  • How do they bill you, and do they deduct it from your rent or is it a separate charge?

Additional Fees

Make sure to inquire about any additional fees that your property management business may charge. Some will charge for consumables like shampoo, toilet paper, coffee etc. We prefer to build these costs in.

If you have a hot tub or any other amenity that must be cared for that is unusual there will likely be a charge for this as well.

Almost all short-term rental management businesses have a deep cleaning fee on an annual or bi-annual basis. This is probably a smart idea, but make sure you’re aware of the frequency and expense of this additional fee upfront.

Review of an Airbnb Property Management Contract

When you employ a property manager, you should read their management contract thoroughly. You must ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities and the property management’s responsibilities so you are protected if the manager fails to meet his or her commitments.

Fees & Services

The first thing you need to know about the management contract is what services the property manager has committed to providing and how much they will charge for them. You must understand what services are included, what services can be performed for a cost, and what services will never be provided.

Short term rental property managers who charge a lesser initial cost may charge more for “additional services” such as dealing with maintenance issues, and handling complaints. 

The agreement should explicitly state how you will be charged for any services that are considered optional. Is the price a set rate, a percentage rate, or will it be determined on a case-by-case basis before the service is rendered?

Understand Contract Duration and Termination

Make sure you understand the duration of the contract and if there are any ways to terminate the contract (for either party).

Final Thoughts

Hiring a good Aribnb property manager versus a great Airbnb property manager can make the difference between a great investment and a very mediocre one. 

If you have any questions or would like to connect with us to see if we would be good fit for your property, contact us.

Looking for a Property Manager for your Vacation Rental property?

We have years of experience ensuring investors get the most out of their vacation property. Contact us to find out more.

Table of Contents

Looking for a Property Manager for your Vacation Rental property?

We have years of experience ensuring investors get the most out of their vacation property. Contact us to find out more.

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