The short term rental market is booming in Vail, and it’s become a very profitable industry. But there are two things that make it tricky to get started. First, there’s a local agent requirement. Each property needs a designated person who lives within 60 minutes of the property and is available 24/7 to address complaints within an hour—or within half an hour if the complaint happens between 11pm and 7am. Secondly, there’s the general difficulty of running a short term rental. Unlike the landlord business, which is mostly (though not entirely) passive, short term rentals are closer to running a hotel. Do you have systems in place for housekeeping? Restocking coffee filters? Handing off the keys to each new guest? Managing inquiries and bookings across multiple platforms?
Here’s a brief overview of our systems and best practices for short term rental management. Feel free to build your own systems modeled after ours, or give us a call and we’ll do it for you.
Step one is cleaning, furnishing, and arranging the property in a way that will be usable and attractive to the largest number of people. Here’s where the guest comes first. If you want to live part time at the property, lock away your own possessions in the least convenient storage spaces. Make sure your carpets are washable and stay away from delicate dry-clean-only bed coverings.
Do you have WiFi enabled cameras for the safety of your guests or web accessible smart locks? Is there a small safe for valuables?
At a minimum, find yourself a reliable cleaning person and a reliable backup. Have supplies in a central area and a plan for laundry and a thorough checklist for cleaning. We’ve set up more advanced options like the ability to pre-stock a fridge and pantry, supply breakfasts, set up ski and board waxing, or furnish an airport pickup or rental car…but we’d recommend you start small and grow.
Photo and Video
Good lighting, good resolution, and some skill with a camera is necessary. Hiring a professional (like us) is probably worth your while because short term rentals have become cutthroat in terms of slick branding.
“Less is more” is a slogan for lazy writers. More is more. You’re selling a one-of-a-kind experience, not a sack of feed corn! But break it down like the successful players—split your writing into sections, cover the important details in the subheadings, and only drill down into the
I’d say our secret weapon is Guesty. But no, our secret weapon is Guesty and knowing how to use it (there is a learning curve!) Just plan on buckling down and learning this system. If you want to juggle bookings on multiple sites (VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway, for example), you are going to need some software help. The booking sites are competitors and they don’t make it easy on you to list across multiple platforms. Away Agents are truly experts at multi-platorm management if you need help!