Tag Archives: property management

Tallinn apartment rental for 6

Communication tips for an apartment rental company (20 years of experience)

The communication layer depends a little bit on the size of the company and is very important.

1 Family business size where you manage 5-10 apartments and work together with your spouse/partner/friend etc. If you discuss all the matters that happened during the day in the evening most likely all are in the loop so no need to worry.

2 Any operation which involves more than 2 workers and 10 apartments. You have to ensure that all have the information and whenever another shift comes to work they have all the information concerning promises given to clients, and issues in the apartments which come through the cleaning personnel and client information. The ideal situation is when both client information and cleaning feedback from the cleaning checklists comes to one place and can be reacted upon swiftly.

The must haves:

Cleaners check-lists in real time and with multimedia

Central communication platform which brings together all the information from different channels in one place.

Communication with property owners. If you manage properties for owners you have to keep them in the loop both about the sales and what happens within the apartment (things that need fixing or upgrade etc.)

Public relations within your community and neighbors (be friendly and react swiftly to misbehaving clients who do not respect silent hours in the evening) this is important both for your business and the image of the apartment rental industry globally.

Quality control communication layer. Congregate feedback from client feedback about cleaning and appliances. You have to have a system to check the cleaning quality in real time and give instant feedback to the cleaning personnel before the client arrives, this will ensure high satisfaction rate both with your clients and your cleaning people and you will have a mechanism to filter out the “bad apples”. The most useful feedback for the cleaning is straight after the cleaner has finished where he/she can see the areas which need to be improved. Be friendly, do not attack the person explain then improve then forget and go forward.

 

What you need to know before getting into a vacation rental property management ?

 

1  Cleaning.  (this will make or break your vacation rental management company)

Think about logistics of people and supply in a realistic way as it is very easy to schedule and an impossible amount of cleanings per person and unrealistic delivery schedules for the towels and linen.

Real-time checklist which cleaning ladies have to fill and notify about broken or missing items (look for smartphone-based software solutions).

You have to have a quality control system and check the cleaning quality as without that mechanism the quality will inevitably go down. The cleaning ladies are your front line personnel and you have to have a direct contact and confidence in them.

 

2 Repairs and reacting to events within the apartments.

 

Think how you will prioritise the events which will occur as you will have limited resources also who pays for what (Example: If a 10-year-old washing machine breaks should your rental customer pay or the owner ? ). Have a system how to determine the responsible party for each event, which events need immediate attention and which ones can be scheduled. Try avoiding young local crowd who stay for 1 night and most likely will arrange a “social event”. There are different property management software and better use one to stay organised.

 

3 Manuals and information for your customers

Try to make the experience as easy for your customers as possible and think about:

Internet access, washing machine instructions, tv instructions, heating, check in check out, terms etc. The more information you have the better. More photos and videos the better as people don’t read nowadays. Videos don’t have to be fancy but useful take a peek at  Best Apartments YouTube channel

 

4 Public relations with your neighbours and community.

Try not to upset your neighbours and have a system to detect a noise and disturbances within the properties BEFORE  your neighbours. Think of ways how not attract the wrong customers which will save you a lot of hassle later on.

 

5 Check-in and check-out procedures and key delivery

Key management system to track and deliver keys the following questions need to be answered:

  • How you deliver keys? Do you meet at the apartments or at your office? Can you deliver keys at night? Do you have a self-check-in option as key terminal, lockbox or electronic locks? Check in and check out times and policies for late check-outs?

How to market your vacation rental properties ?

For every starting business, this is the area where most companies fail and it translates into NOT ENOUGH SALES. The good news is that you can do a lot yourself and the only cost is your time.

1  Social media Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google maps listings – my advice would be to make separate listings for all your vacation rental properties where you can and be responsive whenever a review comes in.  DO NOT INVEST TOO MUCH TIME LOOKING FOR LIKES AND RETWEETS as the users of the social networks are not in a BUYING MOOD whenever the use them. It is more of a proof of life and additional push for a client who has already made up his mind to rent and an SEO tool for your own direct bookings. YouTube also falls into the social media category and is becoming increasingly important – use it to make videos of your area and also to make video instructions for your clients (How to enter/exit, tricky equipment etc)

2 Own website.

Even if there is a single website which you use and it brings you a lot of bookings you still have to make your own as you will save on commissions and also the markets change very quickly nowadays and you will be prepared for whatever lies ahead like commission increase, some channels have even closed over time, changed and bought by the competition.

CAUTION: before you start with the website you will have to figure out first which Property management software or Channel Manager you will use as they will provide you with the online booking capability. There are a lot of free platforms you can use but  Wordpress has the most options and different plugins you can use.  Think about who is your client and in which languages you have to make the website.  Make news sections where you can post news of your area and of your properties.

3 Channel manager

As you will want to have a reach on different platforms as AirBnB,  Booking,com,  Agoda, Hotels.com and etc. you will need to have a tool which will sync the availability of your vacation rental properties on all of them simultaneously so you wouldn’t have overbookings. Some of the vendors provide 2 in 1 solutions as they also serve as Property management software. Do your own research on this one as this is a very extensive topic and I will feature it in a separate blog post.

4 Mailing list

An important tool which is easy to implement. Set up a form on your website to help you collect email addresses of potential clients and ask your existing clients to enroll too. MailChimp and CampaignMonitor are one of the biggest and easiest to use

 

5 It is last on this list but the most important. Photos of the property. Don’t waste your time and order a professional real estate photographer who works in your area. It would take you way more time and money to learn this craft yourself. 80% of the decision is made based on the photo of your vacation rental.

Vacation rental management – not just AirBnB hosting!

Almost every single time people hear about vacation rental business, they think about AirBnB. “Oh, so you’re renting apartments over AirBnB?”

Vacation rental management is much more than just listing your property over various internet booking channels and AirBnB. True, listing your property on AirBnB is as easy as turning on your computer – everyone can do it! With just a little more effort you will start getting your first bookings. So now what?

You feel excited, answer all the questions the guest might have, clean the apartment for the next guest, arrange a meeting in front of the apartment for showing the apartment and handing the keys, answer calls about any questions the guest might have during the stay, check-them out and start cleaning again. And the cycle continues.

After doing this process the whole summer, you might feel happy, seeing that you earned more than you would have for long-term rental, but the same time you feel exhausted working when your friends were having a nice time at the beach :). Maybe you used a cleaning service, but now after deducting all costs from the sales, all your valuable time that you used for problem-solving, guest communication, key handling – was it worth it?

 

And then there is Autumn! A lot of AirBnB hosts say that they are having a lot of bookings during offseason as well. True, but what are their selling prices? Many hosts rent at a rate lower or equal to the rate of long-term rentals. Why do so? Maybe you get a few more euros, but for what cost and effort. Think about it! After all it is or will become a full-time job!

Nowadays, vacation rental management firms, such as Best Apartments PLC have partial- or fully automated systems which will make property owners make as much or more sales with absolutely no effort.

Best Apartments PLC provides full vacation rental management service with innovative technology, automated check-in system, daily price monitoring, quality cleaning and maintenance service,  24-hour problem solving and providing guests a mobile phone with free calls and internet during their stay.

Using a professional vacation rental company not only save you from the hassle of communicating and meeting with and cleaning after guests, but it also adds extra value for the services and reaction speed the company provides.

If you are into investing in real estate or would like to find your AirBnB property a professional host, then we recommend getting in touch with our professional team +372 555 34933 or info@bestapartments.ee