In part one of this article series, I discussed some of the pros and cons of becoming an Airbnb short term rental host. Obviously, the biggest con and the source of much apprehension for many buy and hold investors is the fact that running an Airbnb is just like running a hotel.
In other words, guests check in at a certain time. Guests check out at a certain time. In between those guests, the place must be cleaned, trash cans emptied, linens changed, towels replaced, and consumables like soap, shampoo, water, coﬀee and tea must be replenished.
Anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel knows exactly what I’m talking about. And unless you actually live on, or very close to the property, and you plan to do the turnover work yourself, “if” your schedule permits, you may be thinking that listing your property on Airbnb is simply not an option. However, what many investors don’t know is that because of the ever increasing popularity of short term vacation rentals, an entire industry of service providers has also emerged to provide just about everything from guest messaging and check in services to house cleaning and maintenance. In short, you can run your Airbnb vacation rental virtually hands free, from any location in the world by assembling the right team and using some state-of-the-art tools.
For example, a quick Google search for “Airbnb Housekeeping Services,” will turn up a wide variety of results ranging from independent, small business owners to large, nationwide chains, like Molly Maids who have also extended their services to include short term rental turnover services. A search for “Airbnb rental management,” will allow you to locate companies who can manage every aspect of your short term rental. Some of these companies provide everything from optimizing your property listings and pricing to providing around the clock response teams, such as local staﬀ, managers and operations (i.e. cleaning and maintenance) to actual concierge services. Which means your home and your guests get a hotel experience from the privacy & exclusivity of your property.
I can’t endorse or recommend any one specific company, as every property is diﬀerent and may require diﬀerent tasks. But, I will say that your housekeeping choice is probably the single most important, as that person, or company, will be responsible for providing a lot more than just cleaning services. This person will essentially be the eyes and ears of your rental property. In addition to cleaning, they will likely be interacting with your tenants even more than you will. They will be responsible for restocking consumables, as well as keeping track of inventory and restocking your supply closet and so on.
So, when interviewing a prospective housekeeper, be sure to ask if they have short term rental “turnover” experience. You’ll also want to make sure that they are willing to provide linen and towel services, and possibly even laundry services once a week, or as needed. Again, a reliable housekeeper will more than likely become the most important member of your team. So be sure to take your time and choose that person wisely.
You will also want to ﬁnd a reliable handy person you can count on for emergency repairs and to take care of periodic maintenance, such as replacing heating and cooling system ﬁlters on a regular basis, etc. Your handy person should be ﬂexible with his or her schedule and possess the necessary skills to address all aspects of home repair.
And ﬁnally, if you’ve ever been a property manager or owned a vacation rental, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that lost keys can be a real hassle, not to mention, a huge time waster. Inevitably, tenants will lose keys. Your maid service will lose keys. Your handy person will lose keys. And who has to make copies and deliver them? That’s right… YOU DO!
The solution? Just say no to keys and install E-Locks!
E-locks are Wi-Fi based, allowing you to unlock remotely in the event of a tenant lock out. They also allow you to set up individual codes for each of your team members, as well as change codes from anywhere. Again, I can’t endorse or recommend any particular brand, so you’ll have to do your own research to ﬁnd a solution that’s right for you. But, I will say that a small investment in this technology will save you countless hours of time and frustration now and in the future.
In part 3 of this series, I will be discussing how you can conduct research to ﬁnd popular Airbnb areas and then use our Smart Map Comping System to locate “ready to rent deal properties” in that area.
by Laura Leatherdale