Managing one Airbnb or a handful of vacation rentals is one thing, but scaling up your assets into property portfolio management is a whole new ballgame.
You need to have staffing and systems setup to run clockwork, so you can focus on growing your portfolio of properties or clients.
And whenever you make an acquisition, you need to be able to quickly onboard new properties at the blink of an eye, so you don’t miss out on any potential revenue.
All of this can quickly become overwhelming!
Keep reading to learn how you can effectively run your property management business.
Growth and Property Acquisition
Acquiring new properties is essential for growing your property portfolio management business. But acquisitions come with growing pains. If you’re taking on an established vacation rental as a client, they already have steady income streams, channel partnerships and past guest relationships that you’ll need to migrate, absorb and manage. And if you’re acquiring a fresh-to-the-market vacation rental, you’ll need to start from the ground up to get connected.
Your time is valuable. If you’re stretched thin and overseeing a million things, it’s probably wise to spend a little more time understanding how best to onboard and configure new properties to prevent mistakes and future headaches.
Start by enlisting the help of your property management software. They’ll be familiar with the suite of capabilities and know whether they’re worth their salt. They’ll also offer expert white glove services that can get your new accounts set up and online in no time.
If you are capable of onboarding all of your new properties yourself, ensure you’re working smart. OTA listings can be time consuming and a hotbed for errors. A robust channel manager can make light work of heavy projects with automated onboarding and property cloning to consolidate your hard work.
Seamlessly Onboard New Properties
Above all – here are a few useful “onboarding” tips to keep your property portfolio management easy to manage.
- Establish key “model” properties as soon as possible. They will provide a strong best practice example to follow when adding similar units to your portfolio. All you need to do is replicate the baseline, and apply small tweaks when necessary. This makes updates easier on you, and even more critically, easier on your staff and suppliers. Model units set a standard for everyone and make communications a lot clearer, as properties can be grouped in “configuration categories”. This also includes photos. Good photography will do more for your sales and your bottom line than any technology. Make sure you have a competent photographer in your address book and build this into your acquisition plan.
- Implement the basics first. Avoid complicated pricing or promo schemes. Avoid exceptions unless absolutely necessary. The more you streamline the better, as timeliness is usually far more effective than complexity and sophistication. After all, the quicker you get online, the quicker you’ll make money.
- Work your brand, always, through everything you do and everything you display. This also includes nurturing good references from your guests and gaining the trust of local property owners. Focus on a specific area first, rather than spreading yourself too thin across many destinations. You should be able to recruit many property assets locally, establish a solid network of business partners or suppliers and really corner the market!
- You know what they say … location, location, location! Understand the product you want to offer (for example, luxury or budget accommodation, vacation or corporate rentals). Start in an area with high demand or high potential for your chosen type of product.
Smooth Operations for Property Portfolio Management
Every day is different, but there are a few core components that will require your focus: bookings, guest management and changeovers. You need to have your proverbial house in order with these foundations. Otherwise, you will be setting yourself up for errors, which can lead to costly mistakes for your property portfolio management company.
You should be able to understand your daily operations at a glance. Prepare to consistently be asking yourself the same questions:
- How are my properties pacing for the upcoming months?
- Who is checking in?
- What properties need to be cleaned?
- Have I built a reliable ecosystem of suppliers or partners? Do I have back-up ?
These top-level questions lead to understanding what ground level operations you need to have in place.
Check-in and meet & greet services are key to operating smoothly. Guests who return regularly are the most profitable type of business, so you want to make a good first impression.
Consider how best to balance the personal touch with cool self-service technologies like contactless check-in, easy access instructions and/or door codes. You may even provide well-placed documentation about the property, informing guests how to use key appliances.
Cleaning and changeovers have a lot of moving parts. These range from ensuring you have enough staff, to coordinating early check-ins so you make a great first on-site impression with your guests.
It’s easy to get distracted and let small handover details fall through the cracks. To prevent fumbles, make sure you have a coordinated effort in place for all of your staff. This will set up expectations for the tasks ahead.
Because this is such an important function, cleaning management and user controls should be included in top-performing property management software.
Meet Your Revenue Goals
We mentioned bookings in day-to-day operations, but since they’re the backbone of business, they warrant a deeper dive.
With a fleet of properties under your care, your property management group can drive quite a few bookings directly on your website. Be sure your website is optimized for showcasing multiple properties and utilizes a multi-property booking engine. This way guests are able to easily find their ideal property and book at the same time, showcasing the value of your brand.
Listing on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) enables you to reach new audiences, globally. They are proven to generate a very positive return on investment as one of the most cost effective advertising channels. You’ll need a channel manager to manage your data effectively on all these travel platforms. Make sure to look for a solution that syncs everything, not just rates and availability. Otherwise, you could end up wasting hours manually updating your listings with new photos, content, terms and policies.
Keep Stakeholders Happy
If you don’t own all the assets in your portfolio, you will have property owners. They want oversight on how their business is performing. And, of course, they also want to reap the benefits of having a vacation home.
Part of property portfolio management means keeping your owners happy. This relies on your clear communication and transparency, which instils confidence that their property is in great hands. Set up a regular cadence to provide them with itemized charges, clear reporting (so they can review key performance metrics) and easy access to book time at their property.