Vacations are back! For the first time, the average annual revenue earned by short-term rentals listed full-time reached $56,000 at the end of 2021. Vrbo recently reported an accelerated rush to book summer vacation homes, and property managers expect 35% more bookings than two years ago. People are ready to vacation again! 

As property managers across the globe explore ways to meet (and capitalize on) this heightened demand, many are scaling their property inventory. Excellent for business, but juggling a fast-growing portfolio requires skill and expertise. 

We’ve already shared our tips for building a successful short-term rental, but what happens when you experience fast-paced business growth? Here, we share our top survival tips to keep you afloat in this fast-paced industry. 

1. Conduct an in-depth market analysis when investing 

Whether you’re investing in a familiar area or considering buying a short-term rental in a different city, it’s essential to examine the market and demand in the area. 

Ask yourself, is there enough consistent demand for short-term rental investment to be considered sustainable here? Remember to consider practical aspects when investing in a new property, such as nearby attractions, seasonality and property types, and taxes and expenses. 

As your business grows, it’s important to put as much effort into each property as you did your first - and the process should always start with market analysis. 

2. Keep on top of the latest short-term rental trends

Recognizing the latest trends affecting the way people travel and consume is key - and better yet, you can use these trends to your advantage when investing. 

This year, for example, wellness and relaxation experiences are expected to see increased demand, and travelers are more interested in exploring remote locations following a stressful few years. An increase in family get-togethers and multi-generational trips has resulted in people seeking short-term rentals with communal living areas, fire pits, nearby activities and more. 

Staying ahead of the curve with current trends and using them to influence your strategic decisions is key. 

3. Utilize property management technology 

Is it possible to grow a vacation rental business without automation and machine learning? Yes. Will you be spending twice as much time and effort doing so? Yes. 

For property managers with fast-growing portfolios, this advice is invaluable: don’t struggle alone (or in other words, manually). There is a whole world of automation to explore, and streamlining property and guest management will free up valuable time to focus on other areas of your business. 

Using a reliable property management system, you can automate guest communication, cleaning and team management, reviews and more. 

4. Be prepared for emergencies 

The more properties you manage, the more responsibility you hold. Be prepared for emergency situations. Have a backup plan. Develop clear policies. Work on your maintenance strategy

A dripping tap or a broken chair is easy to fix in one or two properties, but what happens when four rentals require maintenance at once? When developing your property management strategy, don’t forget to prioritize maintenance. Every property should be inspected regularly, with a reliable team on standby to tackle any issues. 

5. Don’t underinsure your properties

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many property managers underinsure their rentals. The last thing you want is an incident in a property that isn’t insured for as much as it should be - or worse still, for you to be still dealing with a claim 18 months down the line. 

As a general rule of thumb, property managers should aim to get as much liability coverage as they can. Remember, your personal insurance policy as a landlord or homeowner may not automatically cover everything you need as a short-term rental owner, so it’s important to explore other options and talk to a professional advisor. 

6. Use multiple channels for listings - but don’t struggle manually 

In the short-term rental market, you’ve likely heard it repeatedly - but it holds true: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For increased visibility and higher chances of bookings, you need to be listing your properties on multiple channels. If you have a big portfolio, the last thing you want is empty properties. 

Using a channel manager ensures your properties are synced and visible on every channel, with a unified calendar to manage bookings across platforms. 

7. Make sure you are financially ready

A growing portfolio is exciting, but you should only scale if you are financially ready. Property investment goes far beyond paying a mortgage; you need to make sure you are financially able to fully stock your vacation rental property, cover insurance, vacancy expenses, down payments and closing costs. 

Short-term rentals are part of the tourism industry - and therefore, it’s important to recognize your guests expect a unique experience. Only invest when you’re ready and aim to offer guests a stay they won’t forget

Remember, your guests are the heart of your business. By following the above tips, you’re already on your way to success! 

Scale your short-term rental business with Uplisting

Uplisting is a short-term rental property and channel management software built specifically for helping managers scale their businesses. Designed with you in mind, our all-in-one system helps you grow your short-term rental revenue and streamline your business. 

Click here to read some of our success stories.

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