Vacation rental management is not for the faint of heart. On any given day, the average property manager is a marketer, a customer service representative, the head of a repair and cleaning crew, and the administrator of an office staff.
Vacation rental managers rarely get through their first cup of coffee before they are inundated with tasks.
Vacation Rental Management Duties 101: Marketing and Guest Satisfaction
Even in the off season, there is plenty of work to be done. As VRMA's "Drum Up More Business in Your Off Season" shows, vacation rental managers stay busy in off and shoulder seasons by ramping up their marketing efforts with content marketing, email campaigns that reach out to former guests, and community events that showcase their properties.
Not to be forgotten is the role that a vacation rental manager plays in training his staff. VRMA's "Never Try to Prove Guests Wrong, Even When They Are" observes that managers must not only set the example in providing superior service to guests, but must also train their entire organization to respond to guest complaints and problems in a positive way that reinforces the brand message the company wants to convey.
Walking in a Vacation Rental Property Manager's Shoes for a Day
All of these tasks take place in the scope of a regular business day for vacation rental managers. That is why it is so important for vacation rental management companies to use tools that help keep things organized, efficient, and automated where possible.
The Vacation Rental Property Manager Pre-Breakfast Challenge
Take for example a day in the life of Pete, a vacation rental manager with a portfolio of 30 properties in a popular tourist destination. Pete wakes up this morning and, as is his habit, immediately starts responding to emails and checking reservations from a wide variety of sources.
He does this, of course, because he knows that answering all email inquiries quickly and ensuring that his availability calendar is up-to-date helps increase bookings. Before Pete realizes it, he has spent three hours just handling email correspondence and reservations, and somehow he missed breakfast in the process!
Had Pete used Kigo's solution, he could have had his breakfast and eaten it too. With Kigo's reservation management system, all Pete's inquiries and reservations would have been funneled into his Kigo inbox, providing him with a quick way to stay organized, save time, and never miss a message.
Additionally, Pete's future guests would have gotten that warm and fuzzy feeling of being acknowledged and appreciated quickly because the Kigo reservation system enables automatic email responses and lets property managers manage all their bookings from one place.
Does Kigo really save that much time for vacation rental managers? Kristen Sake of RealJoy Vacations says:
"You have taken what used to take me 6 hours each day, and now it takes me 6 minutes."
Coffee, What Coffee?
Finally finished with his morning emails, Pete decides to snag a quick cup of coffee. Then what happens? You guessed it. Before he can get that last sip of coffee, Pete realizes that there is an issue with the landscaping at one of his properties. Worse yet, it will be turn day for that property tomorrow, and the landscaping will take at least a day to do. Pete rummages around to find the contact information for the landscaping crew leader so that he can get that job in the works immediately.
That triggers his memory about something else that needs to be handled. The whirlpool in Unit 7 is not working properly, and Pete has been meaning to get that issue resolved all week, since a guest has reserved Unit 7 for next week. He breathes a sigh of relief that this problem did not slip his mind entirely.
How could Kigo help out in this case? As for the landscaping issue, Kigo Operations Manager would have let Pete assign a task to a vendor or staff member quickly, even paging them for urgent matters. Using the property manager's dashboard in Kigo Operations Manager, Pete would have been reminded of the open whirlpool issue until it was resolved completely, helping to ensure that the incoming guest would have the best experience possible and that Pete would stay on top of any issues without having to worry about forgetting something important.
Time for Vacation Rental Guest Check-Ins
It is almost noon now, which Pete can tell because of the rumbling in his stomach from that missed breakfast earlier. He cannot leave for lunch, since he is expecting three check-ins around noon, and he hates to keep guests waiting. So, being the good property manager he is, he takes the time to check with the cleaning crew to see if everything is ready for his guests.
The crew does not respond right away, so Pete cools his heels for a few minutes, checking his emails again and trying not to get sucked into the vortex of email correspondence like he did this morning. Finally, the crew calls him back, confirming that everything at the properties is done. That is just in time, too, since Pete sees the first guest pulling up into the office parking lot.
Had Pete been using Kigo's solution, he could have avoided the last minute rush to check with his crew. With Kigo's smart scheduling features, Pete could have easily coordinated with his crew and made sure that the rooms and properties were ready well ahead of guest check-in time.
Miles to Go before He Sleeps
The rest of Pete's day is spent greeting guests at check-in, soldiering through his email correspondence, and updating his availability calendar. Oh, and there is also that office staff meeting and that training session with his newest employee, whom he had to hire because the administrative burden is getting to be more than he can manage.
Finally, Pete falls into bed, exhausted from his day. But even though he is bone-tired, he cannot sleep because he is worried about the phone ringing at the office and the reservations he will likely miss because there is no one there to answer the calls.
Kigo can help Pete here as well. In fact, with the Kigo Contact Center, Pete would never miss an after-hours call again. While he sleeps, professionally trained Contact Center staffers can be answering his booking calls and emails, and making reservations for his properties on the spot.
What real-life results has the Kigo Contact Center produced? Micah Berg, a vacation rental owner, says:
"I can sleep at night KNOWING that things got done!"
See What's New in Vacation Rental Software
You owe it to your career in property management and your sanity to spend less than three minutes to watch this brief video: