Property managers know that there is no guarantee in this business. For many, it’s a dream job that entailed a lot of sacrifices and a loss of security to achieve. So, if anything does start to go wrong it can feel like a lot to deal with. From a burst pipe in another country or just a slow summer season, small disasters can be fairly common. So, what can you do when things go wrong and you’re under pressure? Today we’re talking about four of the things that keep vacation rental managers up at night and how to turn disaster to your advantage.
Pressure gauge at the Steam Museum in Kew, London
As someone who has holidayed frequently in the North of England, I can testify that the weather is not the be all and end all of a great holiday. Rain and other bad weather can always strike and even the best property managers can’t control this. Have suggestions of rainy day activities for you guests such as local museums, indoor shopping centers or other places of interest in your guest handbook. Sending a quick message if the weather is bad to mention these activities is a nice touch that shows you care about the enjoyment of your guests’ trips and understand that they may be looking for something to do. A selection of books, films or games are another good way for your guests to pass a couple of hours in a downpour.
Law and Order
We’ve spoken before about how some cities are in the process of introducing regulation for short term rentals. Some of these regulations can have a real impact on your business potential overnight, being one of the most stressful things to befall a property manager. The best way to cope with regulation is to make sure you know exactly what is happening and that you properties comply with the rules. Having to make adjustments to your business will always be less stressful, and less costly, than falling foul of the local authorities.
Once you have done everything you can to meet the new laws you can concentrate your efforts on changing these laws. It can and has been done before and there is a growing weight of opinion that support the rights of vacation rental managers.
This is something that keeps any property managers worrying because it’s just so hard to plan for. Thankfully, a real nightmare guest is a very rare occurrence. Having comprehensive insurance will give you peace of mind from the worry of any damage. Having clear guidelines of what your guests can expect from you and your property should also help reduce misunderstandings. If all else fails, stick to the standards you set as a property manager and remain professional. If you do get complaints then you always have chance to respond and be professional.
Popularity and Competition
As a business, there is no sacred land of having ‘cracked’ success. If you do manage to enjoy popularity with your vacation rentals then the secret is to never assume that it is going to last forever. Popularity can fade as tastes change and new competition enters the market. How to deal with a slump in popularity is to continue evolving and offering the best service and product in your area. If a once popular property has seen a slide in bookings have a look in your area, see what the competition are doing. Check to see if it could use an update, tastes change quickly and skipping updates can start to lose you bookings alarmingly quickly. Competition is good as it shows there is a healthy market for your product, what you need to do is to make sure that you remain your customers’ first choice.
Unfortunately, pressure is part of managing rentals, you can never be able to avoid it altogether. The secret is to manage it and to use it to try to achieve more. And, of course, one of the best ways to avoid high-pressure situations is to have a property management system that takes away the pressure and allows you to concentrate on what really matters.