Short-Term Rentals

By on Apr 10, 2024 in News

Short-term rentals have become a popular secondary income source for many, whether you are renting out a room above your garage or a family cabin in the nearby National Forest. Here’s a quick guide to how to get started as a rental provider.

Understanding platforms. Understand the different platforms for short-term rentals. Airbnb is the most well-known. The advantage of Airbnb is that it will get the listing in front of more views than any other platform. Airbnb does not charge for listings but will take a percentage of the commission.

Vrbo, caters to more families or those traveling with pets since it allows them to list the entire home, not just spare rooms. Vrbo lets you choose to pay per booking or as an annual subscription. will get the most exposure and is the largest travel booking website in the world, but it comes with a 15 percent fee for all reservations. Expedia is like, but costs can be lower than those of competitors. Vacasa is a full-service property management firm, meaning it handles cleaning and routine maintenance, but charges 25-35 percent of bookings. allows owners to rent out a room or two and charge a little less and accepts barter instead of money.

Remember not to limit yourself to just one short-term rental site. Utilize a few so you can make the most money.

Research trends. Keeping up with trends is vital when starting in the STR market. Read the latest news and real estate predictions at Yardi Matrix.

Adjust Pricing. Consider manually reviewing and adjusting pricing to ensure it reflects the property’s unique features and current demand in the area. Finding the right balance between automation and manual intervention can lead to more competitive rates and increased revenue for STRs.

Stellar Online Listings. A stellar online listing is an essential tool. Use websites, blogs or social media channels to publish listings that demonstrate core amenities. Be as specific as possible on the listing detailing the descriptions. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of the property. Real estate photographers can highlight the charm and appeal of the space to attract more potential guests and increase bookings.

Maintenance. It’s vital to maintain a clean property for guests. Hire a cleaning service after each guest checks out before the subsequent check-in. Yard upkeep is just as necessary, as well as ensuring all appliances are working and no lights are burned out. Perform routine inspections of the property. A leaky faucet may not seem like a big issue, but it could cause significant water damage over time.

Create House Rules. Establish a comprehensive set of house rules for the property. These rules should cover essential aspects like check-in/check-out procedures, toiletry provisions, parking instructions, quiet hours, smoking policies and any specific guidelines related to the property and neighborhood. Once these rules are in place, communicate them clearly to guests before booking and upon arrival. Providing this clarity not only helps guests understand expectations but also ensures a smoother, more enjoyable stay.

Guest Communication. Communication is key. Make it a practice to maintain open communication with guests throughout their stay. It does not have to be intrusive, but a simple message to check if everything is going smoothly or if any help is needed can go a long way. By staying attentive and connected, you can promptly address any concerns and ensure a positive guest experience, often leading to better reviews and repeat bookings.

Reviews Matter. Online reputation plays a crucial role in the success of property management. Positive reviews attract new guests and instill trust and confidence in services. Remember, you are only as good as the lowest-performing property. Practice proactive reputation management. Look at survey responses and stay consistent with them. Encourage guests to provide reviews after positive interactions. Send follow-up emails thanking guests for their feedback on their experience. Implementing these strategies will boost reviews and enhance overall business success.