If you are a property manager and if you manage multiple short term rentals you need to be very organized as the main challenges come with day to day operations and you will need the following tools and systems to be effective:
- Property management software and or a booking system to keep track of your bookings and messaging with your clients and property owners. Functionalities to consider:
- automatic messaging to clients which are triggered by special conditions as check-in date, payment of the booking etc.
- unified inbox where you have all the communication with the client so whoever is on shift would have all the information and wouldn’t need to dig through different e-mail boxes or booking apps.
- property management module where you keep track of different property related repair and maintenance issues
- Channel manager. Software to synchronize the pricing and availability between the different sales channels as booking.com, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc.
- Software to keep track and distribute tasks to your cleaning and maintenance crews. This software has to be easy to use on mobile devices and includes scheduling and task checklists
- Software to control the entry to the properties if you use electronic locks or special key terminals. Functionalities to consider: cleaning crew codes, codes for clients which are valid only during the booking period, keeping track of who and when has had access to your properties. Additional functionality for key terminals might be payment terminal, recording camera devices, QR code, and document scanning.
- Good e-mail provider so you and your colleagues can have quick and efficient communication with clients and owners as e-mails are still the backbone of the communication.
- Telephone communication provider. Might be a mobile communication provider but also could be IP based phone communication provider with different options to consider: conversation recording, phone number saving and pulling client data based on the incoming phone number, internet-based phone communication.
- Home automation and smart home features. Sensors (temperature, CO2, smoke, fire), heating/cooling, temperature control and electricity usage. This will save you a lot of money in the long term and you can make sure no energy is wasted (aircon is on while there are no clients ?)
- Password manager. An essential tool to keep your passwords complicated enough, different and safely stored.
There are many vendors nowadays and many of the functionalities get intertwined but as of today, it is not possible to get all the functionalities from a single vendor. And here are the general questions you should ask your providers:
- Do you provide a reliable API with the software? This is important as it would give you an option to further integrate your systems and automate your processes.
- How reliable is their product support?
- What happens if one of the services does not work and what are the chances of that happening?
Best Apartments is a professional and innovative property management company based in Tallinn which manages multiple properties in Estonia.