While it might seem like a life of leisure to everyone outside of the vacation rental management industry, insiders know running a vacation rental business is no day at the beach.
In fact, many of us who run vacation rental businesses see less of the beach than our guests because we’re too busy managing all of the complexities associated with the business. Not only do many of us wear several hats, we also have to deal with the differences that come with each unique property from marketing to payments.
Whether it’s an overhead issue or an overseeing issue, many owners and operators refuse to relinquish the reins. Some don’t want to spend the money doing something they can do themselves. It just doesn’t make fiscal sense to them. There is also a trust issue. Giving someone else a job to do means depending on someone else to do the job right. This leaves most of us stuck in the same rut of working extended hours in a 24/7 business. Hardly a life of leisure.
With technology, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to reduce time and stress. Here are four ways smart technology can improve vacation rental management.
1. Booking calendars are the ultimate time savers
Booking calendars offer a plethora of benefits, from helping guest book easier to keeping your staff on point. They allow you to save time normally spent digging through multiple inboxes to find out what guests are coming and when. Booking calendars can also reduce time spent entering manual reservations.
A good booking software program has an availability calendar that shows inquiries, filters room preferences and even books the guest’s stay, showing you results in real-time. Some booking calendars can be shared with staff as well, helping them stay proactive when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
2. eSignatures are trusted and easy
eSignatures could be the single greatest invention for vacation rental owners since, well, the signature. The idea of booking via phone call or handshake is a thing of the past. Fortunately, services like DocuSign® have made it easy for you and your guests to send, sign, and securely store documents and rental agreements using eSignature, the most trusted name in document management systems.
3. Automated communication means better service
Are you missing out on business opportunities by neglecting to answer inquiries? This can be remedied through automated responses. You can create personalized messages created specifically for the questions you get asked over and over, every day. Readily-prepared emails and templates are professional and reflect your service-oriented approach, while saving you time. A good system will also allow you to import customer data and create a better quality email list to market your properties.
4. Reporting means no more throwing darts
Your monthly cash flow shouldn’t be the only factor you use to measure business success — you need a solid reporting tool that easily integrate with your booking and payment systems. The right tool helps save hours of time you would spend collecting data manually, and allows you to automate vacation rental reports on a regular basis. From there you’ll be able to reconcile and settle accounts and bills, track your cash flow and check your history.
All of this vacation rental management technology is readily available to you through Kigo. Get a demo to see how our solutions can work for you.