Investing in multiple properties can be very rewarding in terms of cash flow and profit, yet at the same time, it can be very challenging. If you’re new to the business and are eager to expand your portfolio to multiple locations, you’re often encouraged to get help from a professional property manager. However, you might be still interested in not putting your eggs in one basket, but want to handle all the challenges of managing multi-location short term rentals yourself.
To achieve your goals as a vacation rental manager/owner, you have to be organised and savvy, whether you’re an expert or not. Property managers wear many hats to run their business successfully. But when it comes to managing multiple properties, you should multiply your hats as well!
Here’s a list of the points you should bear in mind in order to be able to reduce the risk of investing your money in properties in more than one place.
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Keeping Multiple Properties in a Good Condition
One of the benefits of short term rentals over their long term rivals is the possibility to keep track of the maintenance of your property more regularly and in a better way. As a property manager, you want to use this opportunity and make sure your rentals are in good shape after each check-out. When you’re running one short term rental, it’s pretty easy, but what will you do when you increase the number of your properties, especially if one or more of them are located overseas?
You cannot do this without the help of an efficient system that enables you to make sure all the needed repairs and maintenance issues are identified and taken care of immediately. That’s why you need access to resources like a good plumber, an air conditioning company, an electrician, a painter, etc.
If you’re using property management software, be careful that it has a feature that allows your housekeepers to report any maintenance issues and also let you assign your staff to take care of them. The more automated this process is, the more time you have to devote to working on strategies to increase your profit and grow your business.
Providing Detailed Reports to Analyse Your Business Performance
If you’re managing properties for landlords or investors, you must know how sensitive they are when it comes to transparency. They want you to be fully transparent about the financial aspect of their business and any detail related to guests’ bookings.
If you’re a well-organsied manager, you’re able to provide them with Excel spreadsheets filled with accurate information about the income produced from bookings and all the related expenses.
Again, for one property, this might not be too complicated, but imagine the time you have to spend on each and every one of these reports. And if one single error occurs, it’ll result in your investors losing their trust in you.
So, what you need is to automate this process as much as possible. You need a system that is able to create reports at any time – be it finances, occupancy or operations. There are many tools out there you can use that pave the way for you. Here’s a solution you can take a deeper look into as it’s hassle-free and does everything automatically, which will result in a huge reduction of human errors and give you a clear overview of your performance.
Avoid Overbookings with a Sufficient Channel Manager
Managing multiple properties means having to fill up more rooms. You need to boost your exposure, and we all know that the main tool to increase your rentals’ visibility, at least in the beginning, are the OTAs. Higher occupancy rates bring you better income, but at the same time you need to put more time into your business to make sure your rates and availability are kept up to date and no overbooking occurs.
Overbooking can drag your good name through the mud and destroy your reputation over time. This is where a channel manager comes to your rescue. A good channel manager:
· helps with synchronising rates;
· brings you more availability;
· increases your exposure;
· reduces the risk of overbookings.
Keep this in mind that channel managers come in different shapes and forms. Some of them offer native 2-way API integrations, while other channel managers allow syncing using iCals.
Before choosing a channel manager, you should do your research and pick the one that fits your business’s needs better than the others.
Enhance Your Guest Experience
Managing multiple properties means dealing with more guests with different needs and tastes who want to stay in your rental for various reasons. Each of your properties might attract a particular target market. Guest experience is all about delivering a service to meet or even exceed the expectations of all these groups.
There are some vital trigger points at which you have to communicate with your guests and give them a certain amount of information. For instance, you have to make sure if your guest has already received the necessary information before their arrival, during their stay and after they check out.
We suggest that you find a system that enables you to set these trigger points, create special templates for every piece of information and send them out at the right time.
Come up with a System to Manage Your Staff
As you multiply and diversify your portfolio, you have no choice but to hire more staff members since the operations that need to be handled increase. Having said that, if you’re managing your own properties, it may be better to hire a property management company to take care of all the aspects of your business.
And if you own a property management company, there will be times when you feel it’s necessary to hire more people. Even though you have to lose some of your income as their salary, in the long run, more staff can release your stress by taking weights off your shoulders and even help you financially.
However, sometimes human resource management requires more time than managing the properties. But if you benefit from software that gives real-time access to staff members to the information they need, the whole management process will be much streamlined. Moreover, don’t forget to evaluate your staff performance from time to time.
Find a Way to Manage All Communications
We know that good communication is key to being a successful property manager. When you deal with multiple properties, this aspect of your business gets more significant as well since there are more issues to pay attention to and more people to communicate with.
So, first of all, you need to be accessible 24/7! And add the time differences to this if you manage properties overseas.
Sometimes one person is responsible for replying to a request, but it is vital for the rest of the team to be informed. For obvious reasons, you need a hassle-free system that enables your team members and guests to communicate with each other. So, before doing anything, consider this carefully, plan your communication strategy and also search the market for available tools which will come handy for communication purposes.
Ultimate Solution: A Multiple-location Property Management System
We’ve talked enough about looking for adequate tools in the market, but what helps you to get ahead of your competitors is an online all-in-one property management software that offers solutions for every possible challenge managing multiple properties brings about.
Zeevou’s multi-location PMS allows you to manage all your properties throughout the world from one central login and offers you a multi-location calendar that enables you to efficiently manage your properties as you scale your business. Here’s a detailed description of this feature. Remember, growing your business shouldn’t have to be a nightmare; it can turn into a dream come true if you pick the right tools!