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Top 6 Tips to Manage Your Rental Property Remotely

Traditional landlords and property management companies operate mostly in their local area, with properties listed in a physical storefront and viewings and contract signings done in person. But this is 2022, and times have changed. If you’re a vacation rental host looking to kickstart or upgrade a rental property business, you’re no longer limited to one location. Instead, you can manage your properties remotely with the right technologies.

By Jessica Day

Last updated: July 19, 2022

What Are the Advantages of Managing Properties Remotely?

The number of people working remotely skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that last year 1 in 4 Americans were working from home.

Increased flexibility for scheduling and no need for a commute have made remote work an appealing option for many people. But why is it so useful for rental property management, specifically? Simply put, it’s just more efficient.

Remote property management means that you spend less time driving around meeting tenants or maintenance workers in person so that those hours can go into improving your portfolio instead. Managing properties virtually also keeps every contract and inquiry in one convenient digital space.

Keep reading to learn our top 6 tips for managing rental properties remotely. Whether you’re managing short-term holiday lets, family homes, or apartments for college students, these tips will help you get the most out of your business and reduce any rental stress you may be experiencing.

1. Integrate Technology at Every Stage

Technology and the digital world can help at every step of the property management process. To run a successful remote business, every element needs to be optimized for that way of working. Having a fully remote system will create the most seamless experience for both you and your guests.

Listings

Property listings are probably the most well-established part of the remote renting process. Listing properties online opens up a much wider net of potential renters. On an online listing, make sure to include all essential information about the property: amenities, location, and pricing.

Great listing photos are key to advertising any kind of property. Working remotely means that you may not be able to go and take these photos yourself, so it’s a good idea to hire a local photographer.

Even the website domain you use plays a role in reaching potential tenants. For example, a .ae domain defined by its association with the United Arab Emirates would work best for a vacation rental in that region.

Viewings

You only get one chance to make a first impression. In real estate, this is the first property viewing. Modern listing websites now allow you to provide this crucial experience when both the guest and host are remote.

360° photos and video tours are both great ways to show guests around a property without them needing to travel at all. They also let guests view the property at their own pace and as many times as they want.

2. Keep a Digital Filing Cabinet

As a vacation rental business owner, you already know that it is impossible to be successful without also being well organized. This is especially true when running a business remotely.

Keep track of all bookings, expenses, income, and more in a digital filing cabinet. This could be on your computer hard drive, but we recommend using a cloud service instead. Cloud systems can be more secure than local storage and make your documents accessible from all your devices.

3. If It’s Broke, Fix It

Part of managing a remote business is also knowing when you actually need an on-site presence. With vacation rental properties, this will most likely be maintenance. Because even with the best internet connection in the world, there’s no way to fix a leaking pipe over Zoom.

Connect with contractors in the local area around your properties and keep their contacts in that digital filing cabinet we talked about earlier. Use a text messaging service for business communications with these local maintenance teams. This will allow you to check in on their progress and discuss any issues.

4. Communicate Clearly

The majority of vacation rental guests cite good communication with hosts as a critical trait of a successful stay. So, communication is something you’ll definitely want to get right.

Here are just a few different methods to communicate with guests:

  • Online travel agencies’ messaging capabilities
  • Text
  • Email
  • A channel manager’s unified inbox

Try a few different ones and find which option works best for you.

5. Consider Working With a Property Management Company

You can still be the primary management for a property, but it may be a good idea to connect with an agent near where your property is actually located. This keeps a safety net in place for any emergencies where you can’t be there in person.

If this is your first time managing properties in an area, a separate property management company can also offer tips and insight into the location. Networking is always a great way to pool resources together and can benefit all parties.

Look into the best VoIP provider for small businesses to help you communicate with all the different people in this network.

6. Never Stop Improving

No business model will ever be completely flawless. The only way to keep managing your remote properties as well as possible is by tackling any issues as soon as you can.

For example, identify common customer pain points: Where do guests usually come across issues or have complaints? This will give you specific areas to target.

You can also use software such as TestRail to check that any new websites or apps that you’re using for property management are functioning properly. Spotting these early means they won’t become a future complaint from guests.

In today’s digital world, it is easier than ever to manage properties remotely. With the right technology, you can organize every step from listings to maintenance without even being in the same zip code as the property.

We hope that you found these tips useful and apply them to your own remote vacation rental business.


This blog was written by Jessica Day – Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that specializes in the features of conference call on Dialpad that takes every kind of conversation to the next level — turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. She has also written for sites such as Myraah and DesignLike. Here is her LinkedIn.

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