In the US, more than 35% of vacation rentals are managed by private owners. This means that they're responsible for managing bookings and reservations.
You can easily be overwhelmed if you're unorganized and need a proper system. This can leave you feeling frazzled, making owning a vacation rental tedious and unenjoyable. Instead, you want it to be a smooth sailing operation.
Luckily, this article is here to help you get your reservation system under control. Keep reading to learn five excellent tips to get you started.
1. Use Vacation Rental Management Software
Using technology is one of the first ways to make managing your bookings and reservations easier as a vacation rental owner. Nowadays, there are several options for vacation rental management software available.
Aside from helping you manage your reservations, this management booking software can also help you avoid mishaps like double bookings. If you have too many double bookings, it can result in negative reviews against your business.
2. Have an Availability Calendar
Depending on what platform you're using to manage your bookings, you may have the option to include an availability calendar. This calendar is displayed on your website or online platform 24/7, marking the days your rental is unavailable. This way, guests know which dates they can book, and you'll spend less time helping them find an available date for their vacation.
3. Automated Check-Ins and Outs
Another way to reduce your responsibilities when owning a vacation home is to take advantage of automated check-ins and check-outs. This way, you don't have to avail yourself whenever a guest needs to check in or out of your rental.
Contactless check-ins typically work by sending guests an email with pre-check-in instructions several days before their expected arrival date. On the day of arrival, guests will be issued a unique check-in code, which gives them access to the smart lock or a lockbox with the keys to the property. You can change this code can be adjusted for every new check-in.
4. Use Online Platforms
If you don't have your own website, another way you can make your life easier is to use OTA (online travel agency) platforms. These are websites where you can advertise your vacation property and through which guests can make bookings.
Typically, the OTA earns money by taking a commission on every booking. The rate will vary between platforms but can be between 3% - 25%.
5. Hire a Short-Term Rental Booking Management Company
Finally, if you want to avoid managing your vacation rental yourself, that's okay. You can hire a short-term rental booking management company to manage your bookings and reservations. These companies will take over listing your rental on OTA platforms, pricing each rental, adjusting pricing for specific calendar dates, and more.
Start Managing Bookings and Reservations Like a Pro
As you can see, many ways of managing bookings and reservations exist. By using technology and having an availability calendar, taking advantage of automated check-ins and check-outs, and using online platforms, you can make the process easier and more efficient. Additionally, if that's too much work, you can hire a short-term rental booking management company.
Contact us today if that sounds like the best idea for your situation. We are a full-service, short-term management in St. Augustine, Florida. Our experts are waiting to take over managing your bookings and reservations.