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Homeowner  •  June 15, 2022

Out of Office: How To Manage Vacation Rentals Remotely

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over five years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.

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Managing a vacation rental located in a different city than where you live may seem like a daunting task, but it’s entirely doable—and profitable! Many vacation rental owners purchase short-term rental properties out of state, from favorite vacation destinations to popular markets with high revenue potential. Technology and tools in the STR industry are always evolving, making it the new normal to manage vacation rentals remotely. With the right prep, tools, and team, vacation rental owners can create an exceptional guest experience, drive positive reviews, and maximize income. Whether you’re on the opposite coast or down the street, here are our top tips to manage vacation rentals from anywhere you choose.  

Communicate with your guests

Communication is key to managing your vacation rental remotely. Guests should feel welcomed and know that they can easily get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns, even if you aren’t in the area. Create templates for automated messages to send guests before, during, and after their stay so you can stay on top of communication and show your guests that you care. 

Also, make your guests feel at home and get ahead of potential questions by providing a vacation rental welcome book, physical or digital. Write out everything guests need to know about your home, including amenities with how-to instructions, local contact information for maintenance and emergency issues, and things to do and places to explore in the area. 

Set up contactless check-in and check-out

Create a great first impression and limit any departure stress by automating check-in and check-out procedures. With contactless check-in, you won’t need to physically greet your guests upon arrival. Not only is this great for remote hosts, but guests won’t have to worry about arriving later than planned.

Use a lockbox or smart lock for the ultimate self check-in experience. With smart locks, you can create custom codes for guests that are only valid during their stay, get notified when they arrive, and issue designated codes for your housekeeping team. 

Implement smart home technology 

Keep your vacation rental home safe and running efficiently with smart home technology. Besides smart locks, install home automation systems like smart thermostats and smart lights so you can remotely monitor and control the temperature and lighting when guests are gone, cutting down on your electricity bill. 

Secure your home and reduce any risks of upsetting your neighbors with noise monitoring and device counting technology. At AvantStay, every home is equipped with our complimentary smart technology package which includes noise monitors, video doorbells, occupancy detectors, and keyless entry locks. Our monitoring and prevention technology is integrated into our operational dashboard, giving our Guest Experience team 24/7 real-time insights at each property.

Create reliable housekeeping and local vendor teams 

From housekeeping to landscaping and maintenance, create a solid team of local contractors that you can trust to keep your vacation rental in pristine condition. Make a list of the best housekeepers, repairmen, plumbers, electricians, and landscapers that you can call when needed. Build a strong relationship with these folks and pay and tip them well, they’ll be your right hand in managing your vacation rental remotely. 

To ensure that every AvantStay property is meticulously cared for, we employ a highly trained staff with the highest standards of professionalism and care. At your home, our local operations teams manage maintenance, upkeep, and surveillance, while our housekeeping team professionally cleans after every stay in adherence with our premium cleaning standards. We also have pre-negotiated rates with top local vendors that we know and trust, saving you money on maintenance costs.

Keep your listing up to date

Hire a photographer to take high-resolution photos of your vacation rental that accurately reflect the space, amenities, and what guests can expect when they walk into your home. Make sure you update these photos and descriptions after you make any changes to your property so guests don’t leave negative reviews about an inaccurate listing. 

With AvantStay, our Design and Photography teams develop a marketing and listing plan that best highlights the experiences and amenities for our guests. We stage, style, and photograph your home to showcase the property’s best characteristics across top online travel agencies (OTAs). 

Stay updated on local short-term rental laws 

Every state, county, and city has its own short-term rental laws. These are often changing, so make sure that you’re fully updated and understand the current rules and regulations in place for your market. Also, check with your local city or county government about taxes. You will likely need a general business license or short-term rental permit. These ensure your vacation rental is compliant with zoning restrictions and meet the local health and safety requirements. 

Unlike other vacation rental managers, AvantStay has fully dedicated and experienced accounting, permitting, and tax professionals to provide peace of mind and cover all of your compliance needs. Our Policy and Risk team handles all administrative duties related to initial permitting and renewals of short-term rental permits, home inspections, occupancy taxes, and HOA and government relations. 

Hire a vacation rental manager 

While it’s possible, and common, to manage vacation rentals remotely, consider partnering with a vacation rental manager who can do all of the above—and more—on your behalf. AvantStay offers end-to-end, flexible management programs to give you peace of mind. From financials to design to maintenance, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income so you can sit back and relax—it’s that simple.

If you have questions, our team is here to help. Why not partner with the best vacation rental management company to unlock your property’s full value? Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over five years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.

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