You don’t have to live in the same city as your rental property. You just need to figure out how to manage it remotely. Here are our tips on streamlining this process for you and your guests’ benefit.
Hire a Property Manager
A property manager will help you handle your rental, including managing listings, communicating with guests, and taking care of maintenance issues. However, this convenience isn’t cheap. Property managers charge around 25-30% of the rental cost. Some charge as much as 50%, so you’ll have to decide if this service is worth it.
Another option is property management software. These tools simplify bookings, guest communication, payments, and cleaning services/maintenance requests. Younger people, in particular, prefer this digital method of connection, especially when booking a vacation stay.
When you’re managing properties remotely, you’ll need a team of local contractors on the ground to help you. Establish a good relationship with a handyperson for maintenance and repairs. When something breaks, the faster you can get it repaired, the faster you can rent your property again.
You’ll also want an HVAC repair service, plumber, electrician, and cleaning service. If your property has a yard, hire a lawn care company to handle the tasks of mowing, trimming, and pruning.
A sound security system brings peace of mind for you and your renters. A prospective guest may choose your listing because of this extra level of protection. A security system can help prevent break-ins and damage when your property is vacant.
Make it clear in the contract that you have a security system in place, the rules on access codes, etc. You can install cameras outside the property and in public areas like hallways in communal buildings. You cannot install them indoors where guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Airbnb and Vrbo in particular have strict policies forbidding surveillance cameras anywhere except in common areas.
An alert system will let you know if your guests are breaking the rules of your rental agreement. Our WYND Sentry lets you know if guests smoke or party too loudly. It detects cigarette, marijuana, or vape smoke. It also monitors excessive noise and notifies you before neighbors file a complaint.
End the hassle of physical keys with a keyless entry system. Some “smart locks” are app-controlled. Others have a keypad and code. For vacation rentals, your guests can check in and out without handing over a key. You don’t have to deal with lost keys or change the locks each time someone checks out. You just change the code for each new occupant.
Spell out the contract terms, including what happens if the renter violates your agreement (smoking, property damage, etc.). Also, make it clear how you’d like to communicate. Do you prefer in-person communication with you or your property manager? Or would you rather get in touch by phone, text, email, or messaging app? Some property management software systems include a portal to handle communication.
Use these suggestions to eliminate the headaches of managing a rental property remotely. By setting up effective strategies, you’ll make your life less complicated. You’ll also have happier renters and plenty of rave reviews.
Laura Hatch is a television and radio journalist who’s covered everything from presidential debates to home and garden shows. Her favorite pastime is working on her own home improvement projects.