I have been a traditional property manager/owner for 15 years. But Short Term Rentals are a completely different game.
1) Educate yourself
You need to read everything you get your hands on. I spend at least a half-hour every day reading something new about this industry. Here are a couple of beneficial educational sites. One of my favorites YouTube Vlogs is Short Term Rental University. Formally known as Short Term Rental Secrets. Richard puts out three Vlogs a week with free advice on a variety of topics pertaining to your short term rental. Go to YouTube to find this vlog.
2) Warning this one cost money: Airbnb Secretes
You can find this yourself on your search engine. The guy’s name is Danny, and he does a great job for newbies on how to help you set up your Airbnb account, Understand how Airbnb works and what to do to optimize your rental. When I bought the course, it cost $197. I thought “Ouch” at the time, but it gave me a jump start on getting the thing going and understanding the pitfalls. He offers novice to professional courses. The price covers/includes all courses. The courses are broken down into about 10-minute chucks. You will find everything you need to get started.
3) Airbnb Help Center
They have most of the answers to what you are looking for, but most of us, in the beginning, don’t know the right questions to ask. Mr. Google helped me find most of the answers I was looking for, which happen to be in the Airbnb Help Center.
4) Find a Mentor
STR(Short Term Rental) buddy. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who’s been doing this for three years and now owns four Airbnb rentals. I chewed my buddies ear off, but he helped me see the reality and see through my fears.
5) Remove Emotions from Rental
This is a hard one, but you need to remove all emotion from your rental. Your rental is a money engine. You need to treat it like a car (I know some of you love your cars too.) You do what you need to do to keep the engine running in top condition. If it gets dirty, clean it. If it gets damaged, fix it. Just like car insurance, when something happens, your insurance will pay you, but now what you think you should receive. Remember that no one will treat your place like you do. They just don’t. When something goes wrong (and it will), just fix it as fast as possible, learn whatever lesson you need to learn and move on.
6) Never Take a Review Personally
Use it as an opportunity to learn and improve your craft. Some of the best things I’ve done to improve my rental revenue came out of negative reviews. Don’t forget that some people just like to be negative for any reason. Those people try to appease the best you can and move on.
7) Call AirBnB First
No matter what happens, when something goes wrong, call Airbnb first. You may not like what they have to say, but if you don’t, you will get shut down. I’ve found that they have been most helpful. Remember, they are trying to make both the guest and the host happy. That is a challenging position to be in. Usually, both guest and host are not happy with the outcome.
8) Your Listing…
Never set it and forget it. I spend time each day checking out my competition, adjusting pricing, changing photos ,and tweaking descriptions. I update my calendar daily. All these things help you in moving your rental up in the rating.
I can go on forever. There is no such thing is a Passive Airbnb. You need to do something or have someone else do it for you. You have to be continually learning and keeping up the changes in the industry. This industry is very dynamic. Rules are changing all the time. Short term rentals are facing the same changes as Uber.
9) Lastly… Read…
Read every post on this page and the responses. Most of the replies are very good. Pay attention to the replies that start off like “when this happened to me” or “this is what I did”. Those are the people who have experienced the issue you are experiencing right now. Try to shy away from the “well this is what I would do” statements, that is usually the sign of someone who is giving you an opinion, not sharing an experience.
Remember that my advice is worth what you paid for it. The things above have worked well for me. I hope you revive this in the sharing spirit in which I give it.