How well integrated is your short-term rental business with technology? Sure, you’re probably putting your listings up on AirBnB and other sites. You may even have a website or two and an Instagram account and consider yourself set up pretty well.
But technology has far, far more to offer than that. There are tech innovations available that will quite literally revolutionize the way you run your short-term rental operation. These innovations cover everything from electronic locks to dynamic pricing and everything in between.
In fact, we’d go out on a limb and say that if you’re not using any of these innovations, you will be left behind by your competitors.
So what are these innovations you ask? Let’s take a look!
Revenue generation software functions exactly the way it's described - it helps property owners make more money. Solutions like Dack help boost revenue by offering upsells like guest services, stay enhancements, and local recommendations.
It’s important for visitors to know the house rules whenever they rent one of your properties, but many guests either gloss over this information during booking or skip over them entirely. And even if they do read your posted rules, the list doesn’t cover everything there is to know - how to operate the thermostat, for example, or where the best nearby pizza place is.
That’s where digital home manuals like Duve (formerly Wishbox) come in. They’re handy, accessible, and excellent at conveying information about your property and the surrounding area to guests.
Automated guest messages help keep your guests informed during their stay. They’re designed to answer questions about the property before they’re even asked, and to communicate important reminders such as checkout times.
These messages can be scheduled to arrive in a timely manner, for example just after check in or just before the check out period. It’s an effective, scalable way to keep your guests up-to-date.
Every business needs accounting software. But not every accounting software is right for every business.
We highly recommend getting specialized accounting software like BookingTrust, which was developed specifically with short-term rental businesses in mind. It can accommodate things like holding deposits and automatically calculates monthly fees, charges, and their distribution at the end of each month. It also integrates easily with existing property management solutions like Uplisting.
In today’s era of online bookings and long-distance commerce, property owners need to be more flexible in how they accept payments. Services like Paypal and Stripe are trusted names in digital transactions, and are worth the fees for the convenience they provide to guests.
It’s already a challenge to keep up with bookings for a single property; tracking bookings for multiple properties is a whole different level of difficulty. Especially when guests throw in special requests like early/late bookings or suddenly ask to extend their stay.
Online booking calendars let you know exactly which property is occupied/spoken for and for how long. Advanced online booking calendars can also incorporate all the different rental platforms and even help schedule cleaning crew appointments in between guests.
Noise is a constant concern for short-term rental properties. Unruly guests can damage relationships with neighbors and may even incur fines. Installing noise monitoring devices like Minut will help you keep disturbances under control, and possibly help provide supporting evidence for any litigation or claims that result from unruly behavior.
One of the most challenging parts of owning multiple rental properties is the need for security. Supplying all of your guests with keys in a timely manner can be a logistical nightmare - and that’s when things are going right. Should the guest need a replacement in a hurry, you and your team are going to be put in a difficult spot.
Electronic locks like Remotelock help solve this problem by securing your property with digital locks. Now, instead of leaving a key in a public location, you simply send the property’s access code via DM or email. No risk, no inconvenience.
Regular price review and updates are the key to growing your short-term rental business. But don’t just guess and change prices at random. Software like PriceLabs and Beyond Pricing use market data and machine learning to recommend the optimal prices for every single one of your properties. The calculations take into account seasonal price changes, local events, and your closest competitors.
Rental agreements are crucial if you want to protect yourself and your short-term rental business. It sets expectations for the guest and discourages unwanted behavior. eSignature rental agreements like that offered by Uplisting offer a convenient and scalable way to provide such agreements to your guests.
Since the rental agreement is digital, you can easily customize the specifics of each document based on the individual booking details and have the guest sign without ever printing out a single sheet of paper.
Smart use of social media can attract guests to your properties in droves. And while you might not have the same marketing resources as that of a big-budget hotel chain, you can still leverage social media marketing software like Hootsuite and Sendible. With these social media marketing tools, you’ll be able to share photos and videos of your property and engage with potential guests online across Instagram, Facebook, and other channels.
Utility costs can run away from you if the guest is careless and forgets to turn off the heat/air conditioning. That’s why smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee exist: to ensure your guests’ comfort while minimizing wasted energy. Smart thermostats do require an initial investment, but pay off in the long run.
So there you have it - important tech that will streamline your short-term rental operations. Using any of these technologies is going to give your business a boost, make your life easier and help you outshine your competition.
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