Lockdowns and new normals have proved working remotely is an alternative to conventional work arrangements. However, remote property management has always been there among vacation rental owners and managers. You might have inherited a house in a city far from yours, leading you to think of remote property management. In yet another scenario, you might have expanded your vacation rental business and have multiple remote properties spread across the country or even different continents. I know a property owner who lives in South East Asia, running her vacation rental in France and teaching vacation rental courses from there!
Remote property management has been looked at more closely lately because it is bringing more efficiency and new normals to our lives.
We are going to discuss some aspects of Remote Property Management as follows:
The Challenges of Remote Property Management
More Operational Management
Managing multiple properties in different locations means multiplying efforts to do operational tasks and handling them all day and night. “How to Deal with Multiple Properties” is an article that explains operating multiple-location vacation rentals.
The Cost of Remote Property Management
If you do not operate your vacation rentals in person, you have to pay a property manager to do it on your behalf. Apart from the commissions you need to pay to a property manager, you will also be billed for maintenance costs that may rise well above the average of your competitors’ in your vicinity. Such challenges may be a reality for many owners and investors as not all property managers care about the costs, income, and upkeep of a property as they should or the owner would!
People Might Take Advantage of Your Absence
Remotely managing your properties means you are not directly supervising the cleaners, maintenance staff, guests, etc. It will naturally increase the risk of losing track of issues and even incurring damages to your property.
A Few Solutions For Remote Property Management
Hiring a Vacation Rental Manager
Property management is not limited to long term lease agreements. It is a routine part of a vacation rental business to get help from a professional property manager. If you live in a place with a different time zone from your property, having a person in place is an advantage, if not a must!
Automating Booking Process
The automation of the booking confirmation process means thinking of key exchange solutions, communicating with guests remotely, secure online payment solutions, etc. If you automate the booking process and check-ins and check-outs, you do not need to think of concierge or check-in staff in place.
Implementing E-signature Solutions
Being more strict is a rule of thumb as you are far from your guests. You probably have thought of writing a thorough Terms and Conditions document that you need to get signed by guests. E-signature software get an electronic signature from your guests, clarifying the consequences of any damage they may cause.
Getting Help From the Cleaners
Even if you automate most of your vacation rental’s operational tasks, the properties cannot be cleaned virtually or remotely. You need trustworthy people to access the property and clean it before and after each reservation.
Make cleaners your representatives. Provide them with the facilities to report any maintenance issues or any damage done to the property.
Due to the nature of the short term rental business, prospective guests might not be that patient and cooperative to reply to all your requests for documents. “All You Need to Know About Tenant Screening” is an article that explains how to check your potential guests without deterring them.
Provide Quality Security
A secure property safeguards your property from thieves and also fraud guests. Equip your properties with security systems such as CCTV, smart locks, safe openings, and also carbon monoxide detectors.
Even if you live in another continent, give the guests a way to communicate with a representative of you in the same time zone of the property. Communication is of massive importance in guest experience.
Start Looking for A Reliable PMS
Property management systems are there to automate vacation rental operations. Although some are limited to managing only Airbnb reservations, some solutions take care of bookings that arrive from your direct booking website and many OTAs and booking platforms. We believe that Zeevou is a property management solution empowering you to take care of remote property management tasks.
Megi Manages Vacation Rentals Remotely!
Megi, as the operations manager at Paymán Club, is directly involved in the remote management of 350+ units of vacation rentals and hotels across the UK and Europe. She believes that after starting using Zeevou, most of the property management tasks are now streamlined and automated.
“Housekeeping is the only part that you cannot do remotely. You need to get help from local people or a housekeeping team in place. With Zeevou, about 90% of the other tasks are automated. The Booking Confirmation Process feature sends automated emails to guests. After going through deposit collection and getting IDs, guests will get check-in information 2 to 3 hours before check-in. Key safe is our key collection solution. Only for the hotels that we operate, some people keep extra keys. People get the keys from an office or cafe that Key safe company sets. So you do not need check-in staff. If there is something wrong, the guests can always call our office. We have hired one person who goes through inspection sessions on-demand to check if everything is OK with the properties. For minor maintenance issues, we have the cleaners help, and with Zeevou app in their hand, they can report if there is any maintenance issue whenever they are working. Zeevou cleaning module let us check the cleaning process’s quality as the cleaners have to send new pictures from their checklist.”
How to Manage Your Short Term Rental Remotely?
When you are enjoying Thai beach, you have to run your vacation rental(s) either by hiring a property manager or getting help from a property management system (PMS). A well-developed and comprehensive PMS provides you with the necessary means and tools.
Market Your Properties
You need to display the best of your properties, and their amenities on different channels. Another important portal to get a booking is your direct booking website along with a booking engine. The PMS you select should be capable of optimising the content you create to market your property and show your ranking in Google search results. Tracking your traffic through tools such as Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics helps you understand if your content creation strategy is on the right track or not.
Automate Your Booking Process
Even when you are away, the booking requests should be handled. Automating most of the booking confirmation process unless the parts that need your confirmation for ID validation is a substantial help you can get from a comprehensive PMS.
Streamline Secure Payment
A property management system integrates with payment gateways. Thinking of a secure payment is PMS responsibility, which Zeevou does via a 3-D Secure link.
Sign Legally Binding Documents
You need to get documents signed by your guests. Signable is a UK-based e-signature software provider that helps you send legally binding and secure online documents straight to a clients’ inbox and get an electronic signature in response.
Remote Check-in and Check-out
KeyNest allows you to automate your operations and give your guests access to your rental no matter where you are. Guests get key collection details and pick up their keys at 24/7 local stores.
In order not to actively monitor your CCTV, we recommend using NoiseAware (use the coupon code “zeevou10” for a 10% discount).
Zeevou’s cleaning module is among the ones that automate almost the entire process. Except for the cleaning that cannot be done remotely, managing and controlling the rest is possible.
– Through the mobile app, you can keep track of housekeepers’ availability, and they can request leaves.
– Housekeepers can check the status, the timing, and any notes you may have left for them in their mobile app. The system captures their time and location at the start and end of every task.
– To check the quality of the clean you can require the cleaners to take photos for each task they complete.
– Housekeepers can also report maintenance issues through the mobile app.
Operate Multi-location Rentals from One Dashboard
The architecture of Zeevou allows you to manage multiple properties across different countries from a central login. Check out Zeevou’s multiple location PMS functionalities.