If you currently own a vacation rental or perhaps considering listing your own property, it’s natural to have so many questions concerning the variety of options you have when listing your home. “What is the best price to list my rental at? What are the necessities that need to be revamped in my home? Do I have the time to meet with the guest when they check in? What are the amenities I need to have for my guest? How will I market my property so I am actually making a revenue? How will I keep up with the maintenance of the property? What maintenance is even needed?” The list goes on and on and I am sure you still have a few questions in your head that did not make it onto this list.
This isn’t meant to scare you away from such an amazing industry. If you are just starting off or in the early stages of your vacation rental journey, we want to reassure you that it does not have to be so daunting. You are at the forefront of making a consistent income, you just need to choose which path to success you want to embark on.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Just like a white snow covered yard on Christmas morning or waking up at 5 AM bright eyed and bushy tailed, this sounds too good to be true, right?
Wrong! Let’s take it a step further.
When you are thinking of listing your home as a vacation rental, you have a few options. That first option being, you can do everything yourself. From onsite management to growth and revenue, marketing and guest support, you can have control of the entire process, and people do it that way all the time! Secondly, You can hire a Co-host. This is someone who is close to you, such as a trusted neighbor, a good friend or a willing family member that is open to helping you out with the smaller day to day tasks of running your vacation rental. When life gets a little busy and you need to unload some weight off of your shoulder, they are your go-to right-hand man to perhaps check in a guest, or some cleanup and home maintenance. And lastly, you have the option of hiring a property management company. Property management companies are in charge of generating revenue for your rental, create effective marketing campaigns, take care of all onsite management and provide 24/7 guest support; allowing you to do the things that are most important to you such as spending time with family or taking the dream vacation to Hawaii.
Okay… so this is still a lot of information. We get it. Let’s break it down even further.
There are four main pillars that need to be taken into consideration when listing your vacation rental which are On-site management, guest support, revenue growth, and marketing. Let’s break it down one by one to help figure out which is the most authentic path for you to go on in this journey.
What is the difference between co-hosting and brand management?
1: On-site Management:
This includes: Cleaning and laundry service, home maintenance, inventory and supply restocking
- Alone: All of the on-site services such as cleaning and laundry to restocking the shelves and toiletries will be for the owner of the house to do on their own.
- Hiring a Co-host: A co-host can help facilitate the hiring of housekeeping, or, in some cases, the co-host completes the responsibilities of on-site management.
- Hiring a Property Mangement Company: All included.
2: 24/7 Guest Support:
This includes: Calendar synch across the large channels such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Leads or inquiries management, bookings management, call center, listing creation or coaching.
- Alone: Checking in the guest, managing calendars can be a little difficult without using ICalendar connection between Airbnb & VRBO. ICal sync’s calendars every 6-8 hours, so it’s possible to double book a guest unless you watch it closely. Also, managing leads and inquires listing creation is to be done by the owner.
- Hiring a Co-host: A co-host can create your listing profile, connect your calendars between channels and facilitate inquiry and lead booking management systems to free up your time.
- Hiring a Property Mangement Company: All included with 24/7 call centers, recorded calls, and experienced staff.
3: Revenue Growth:
This includes: Property listing on management company website, 50+ booking websites, Kigo, taxes and accounting, propriety revenue management tool, guest app and upsell feature, featured property on the website for 90 days, brand recognition and direct booking revenue
- Alone: Revenue growth is a challenge on your own. Airbnb encourages the host to reduce their revenue via “price tool” which sacrifices revenue to improve occupancy. Don’t get fooled by this savvy strategy. Airbnb will however hold and remit tax, but all other channels such as VRBO will not collect and remit taxes to the city, so you may need an accountant or in some cases a payment processor to handle this portion if you’re listing on your own)
- Hiring a Co-host: It can get expensive to invest in Revenue Management software, guest apps, and Upselling features. Generally, most co-hosts lack the experience to market your property for additional revenue. An experienced co-host may do an excellent job answering calls, responding to tedious inquiries, and handling onsite housekeeping duties, but Revenue Growth isn’t typically included in their services.
- Hiring a Property Management Company: All included.
This includes: Youtube videos, SEO strategy, Google AdWords, Facebook ads manager, custom property campaign, MailChimp
- Alone: Airbnb has its own brand marketing strategies, but as saturation grows, it’s best to create your own strategies via your own website or campaigns to stand out from the crowd. Unless you’re a marketing expert, this can be challenging & time-consuming for most.
- Hiring a Co-host: Most co-hosts do not offer these services.
- Hiring a Property Mangement Company: All included.
There are so many ways to go about managing your vacation rental when just starting out. Feel free to shoot us quick message to learn if co-hosting or brand management could be a good fit for you!