Category : Hosting Tips

vacation rental property

Booking Sites: How They Benefit Your Vacation Rental Property

Maximize your vacation rental property

A vacation rental property can be a great financial investment and can grow your wealth significantly. Like any business though, your profits will depend heavily on your ability to keep your rental property booked. Booking sites benefit your vacation rental property by allowing you to reach a larger audience and automating the booking process. You can have your property listed on every booking site online by listing your property with Effortless Rental Group. We harness the power of every booking site from Airbnb to Expedia to maximize your vacation rental property.

Put your property in front of millions of users.

The popularity of booking sites for short-term rentals has grown increasingly over the past few years. Sites like Expedia and Airbnb allow millions of hosts and guests connect now easier than ever. According to iPropertyManagement, there are over 150 million Airbnb users worldwide. VRBO/HomeAway boast 40 million monthly users, and Expedia boasts 37 million rewards members worldwide. Effortless Rental Group places your site on those and more to ensure that your property is seen.

Automate the renting process

Apart from advertising your property to millions of users, booking sites benefit your vacation rental property by automating the process of booking guests and receiving payments. The time you save by not having to micromanage your property allows you to spend time growing your business in other ways.

Booking sites have cornered the market on vacation rental properties. The return on investment from posting your property on booking sites exceeds the ROI from traditional listing sites like the local paper or Craigslist. Your listing reaches millions of users and automates many of the administrative processes. Anything that saves you time and money will benefit your vacation rental property. Effortless Rental Group can maximize your vacation rental property

Is Airbnb or VRBO better for vacation properties?

Airbnb, VRBO, and Homeaway, oh my! What’s the difference, and why be on all of them?

The last decade has really seen a boom in the “share” community with companies that really facilitate the way that homeowners can rent out their spare bedroom or home to potential guests. Companies like Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway have made it easier than ever to take your getaway to the next level of comfort. You can literally stay in a Home Away From Home! It’s also made keeping your investment properties and spare bedrooms booked easier than ever because there are over a hundred million users worldwide.  But what’s the difference? Is Airbnb or VRBO better for vacation properties? What about for guests? Well, when you list your short-term rental property with Effortless Rental Group your properties automatically gets listed to to both Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway as well as on every single one of our partners which include some of the largest booking sites in the world like Expedia and Booking.com, but let’s break them down.

Airbnb

Since their inception in 2008, Airbnb has become a household name for both travelers and hosts seeking to make a profit by providing that “home away from home” experience. Airbnb generally charges a Host fee of 3% of the subtotal. This depends on how strict your cancelation policy is or if you live in Italy. Airbnb charges guests anywhere between 0% and 20% depending on the subtotal, cleaning fees, and length of the stay.

Airbnb has an extensive network of users all around the world and has really sought to create the entire end-to-end travel experience in a single, easy to use app. Airbnb acquired HotelTonight in April which signals that they are interested in growing and have the means to do so. In addition to booking everything from shared rooms to entire mansions and everything in between, Airbnb provides guests with option to book experiences such as classes, workshops, and dinners all from the app. Through partnerships they even put on some once-in-a-lifetime experiences like letting guests stay the night in the Louvre.

VRBO/HomeAway

VRBO has been around longer than Airbnb, created in 1995, and was acquired by HomeAway in 2006. The HomeAway network is also extensive and this is good for Hosts because their properties are shown to millions of potential guests. One of the main differences between VRBO and Airbnb is that VRBO doesn’t rent out the smaller listings (shared bedrooms, spare bedrooms, home’s where the host resides, etc.). Instead, VRBO focuses on larger properties entire homes, condos, and apartments. It makes for a more conventional stay. While there can be a certain charm to trips where you can crash with strangers like a Hostel, it is really nice to have privacy when you vacation.

The fees on VRBO are a little different than Airbnb in that there are two packages for hosts to choose from: a $499 fee paid annually (recommended for hosts who rent year-round) or a 5% booking fee. Guests can expect to pay between 5% and 15%.

So which should you choose to list your property on? Trick question, the answer is both and then some! With Effortless Rental Group, we show your rental property on Airbnb, VRBO, and a slew of other booking sites. We’ve even harnessed the power of Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, Obitz, TripAdvisor, and many more to ensure that you you’re getting the most out of your short-term rental property.

Short-Term Management Strategies: Considering Your Options

Managing a short-term rental property is a lot of work to do on your own. From booking to cleaning to troubleshooting issues with guests, it’s nice to have some help along the way. Many homeowners are now deciding to partner with a rental management company.

But the decisions don’t end there—when choosing between rental companies, you have a lot of options. It’s important to look at each company’s strategy and consider what that means for you, your property, and your guests. We’ve outlined the three main rental management strategies below.

 

FIXED

Best for: homeowners who want consistent monthly income.

The fixed strategy allows the rental company to promise the homeowner a certain amount of revenue per month, no matter the number of bookings that month. The rental company pays you this set amount, then takes the rest. This means that you’ll make the same amount in the slower off-season as you will during more popular months. Overall, homeowners don’t maximize their monthly revenue with this strategy because they don’t receive the benefits of major spikes during the on-season. The scope of services provided by rental companies using the fixed strategy varies, but in general it is not comprehensive. The homeowner is often required to take care of services like guest correspondence and solving problems during a guest’s stay.

COMMISSION

Best for: homeowners who want their monthly revenue to reflect booking trends.

The commission-based strategy involves the rental company taking a certain percentage of every booking. This amount depends on the company and location, but typically falls between 20-50%. Using this strategy, the rental company and the homeowner experience highs and lows as a team. When there are more bookings for a certain month, everyone benefits. If you decide to go with a rental company that utilizes this strategy, it’s likely that a greater range of services will be covered than with the fixed strategy. However, you may still be expected to coordinate services such as cleaning, maintenance, and restocking the property between bookings.

TURNKEY

Best for: homeowners who want to maximize their revenue and minimize their workload.

The turnkey strategy is for homeowners who want their rental company to handle all of the tasks that come with maintaining a short-term rental property. Sometimes used in conjunction with the commission-based strategy, the turnkey approach covers all aspects of a booking, from answering initial inquiries to check-in to troubleshooting to turnover. Many homeowners who live out of state or frequently travel abroad choose this method while they’re away. Others live down the street and want a more hands-off approach to hosting. Although this strategy can be more expensive, the additional monthly revenue gained and the peace of mind that everything is covered makes it well worth it.


We handle every detail of your rental so you don’t have to. Click here to see the full list of services offered by Effortless Rental Group.

How to Make Your Listing Stand Out and Earn More 5-Star Reviews

The short-term rental industry is booming worldwide, and Colorado homeowners are enjoying the profits. Airbnb hosts in Colorado made $183 million in 2017 alone, a 68% increase from the year before, according to The Denver Post’s recent article.

More properties are listed on Airbnb and other popular rental sites like HomeAway and VRBO every day. But with more properties comes more competition, which makes it crucial that your home stands out. Take a look at our list of amenities to add to your home to make your listing shine and enhance your guests’ experience—meaning more 5-star reviews for you.

 

1. Recreational items appropriate to your area

If you live across the street from a park, include some Frisbees or a croquet set in your home. If you’re close to a river, kayaks or inner tubes are great additions. Guests will choose your property over others because of nearby sites and attractions, and will appreciate that they don’t have to buy or rent equipment to enjoy these areas.

2. Modes of transportation (or information about how to get around)

Many of your guests will arrive without a car, especially if your home is in an urban area. Having bikes on hand will allow your guests to easily roam. Cheap bikes from Walmart or Target will do the job. If you can’t buy bikes, at least provide some details about how to get around in your area. Check out our article on exploring Denver without a car for some ideas.

3. A stocked kitchen

This goes beyond simply having dishes and utensils. Make sure that your kitchen is stocked with other essentials like olive oil, spices, and balsamic vinegar. Add a box of pasta and your guests will have everything to make a quick meal—especially useful for those who arrive late at night. If there’s a food item that’s local to your area, it’s a nice touch to include that, as well.

4. Ways to access attractions nearby

To go above and beyond, leave some tickets or passes that allow your guests to visit spots in your area for free. This could simply be a library card for renting books and DVDs, or something a bit more extravagant like free tickets to a museum or an access card for a rec center. This is a great way to use the free guest passes that come with many monthly memberships.

 

If you have any of the above amenities in your rental property, be sure to list them in your property listing. These items will not only attract prospective guests, but will also make their stay in your home the best it can be (great for them) and inspire them to write you a 5-star review (great for you). You’ll have that Superhost rating in no time.

Positive Reviews

Make Your Listing Pop with Positive Reviews

Good feedback is essential in the short term rental management industry. A potential guest will often pay more attention to reviews than any other part of a listing, including photos or descriptions. Travelers trust other travelers when it comes to a property’s cleanliness, amenities, and proximity to dining, nightlife, and family-friendly activities. Your listing will get more views—and more bookings—if it features positive feedback from guests.

Guests are more likely to leave you a positive review if your place is clean and well-maintained, correspondence is quick and helpful, and you’ve gone out of your way to make their stay the best it can be, like providing a list of nearby restaurants and coffee shops. Not only will positive reviews help your listing gain attention, but the guests who have written them are also likely to recommend your home to others in the future.

short term rental mistakes

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Short-Term Hosts Make

It takes practice to be a successful short-term host, from creating eye-catching property listings and making the most of your space, to interacting with guests from booking to check-out. Take a look at our list below for some common mistakes made by hosts, especially those just starting out in the short-term rental world. With some experience, you’ll be on your way to stellar host status in no time.

#1. Having limited ability.

Many first-time hosts devote only part of the day, like before leaving for work, to addressing guests’ issues, questions, or requests. But a maintenance problem or other issue can happen anytime, day or night, and delays in responding to these requests (especially in cases of emergency, like a pipe bursting or roof leaking) can lead to a bad review and potentially a dangerous situation. Guest Experience Coordinators at ERG are available 24/7 to help address anything that comes up during your guests’ stay. Whether a guest reaches out about needing fresh towels or something more serious, we respond quickly to get things back on track.

#2. Not optimizing your space.

You don’t need a lot of space, but you should efficiently use the space that you do have. Make use of spare rooms and empty areas by giving them a purpose: install drawers in the space under the stairs for more storage, or turn the corner of the living room into a cozy reading nook. Have a large backyard that goes mostly unused? Get some benches and turn part of it into a fire pit area. Small touches like these will make your listing stand out from the rest, which will get you more views, bookings, and positive reviews.

#3. Representing your property incorrectly.

Your listing is the key to attracting guests, so it’s important that you optimize it to include relevant descriptions about your home and high-quality photographs that feature its best qualities. Try to showcase the details that make your home unique, like a deck with skyline views or a game room in the basement that’s perfect for entertaining. One of the benefits of a partnership with ERG is a fully optimized property listing. Our professional photographers, interior designers, and writers are dedicated to presenting your home at its best.

#4. Not keeping up to date with local regulations.

This common oversight can cost you in the long run. Cities change their regulations for short-term rentals all the time, and it’s important to stay updated—or risk a steep fine and possibly your ability to rent in the future. Your city should have a short-term rental page on its government website with all of the info you need to apply for permits and learn about guest allowances, taxes, and more. Pay close attention to the information your city requires you to post on your listing, like your Business File Number (BFN), to remain a valid host.

#5. Underpricing or overpricing your property.

Most hosts on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are incorrectly setting their nightly prices, and therefore sacrificing number of bookings, monthly revenue, or both. It can be tricky to correctly price your property while taking into account important variables like local events, hotel occupancies, and travel trends. ERG’s analytical pricing matrix considers these and many other variables to set rates that get you more bookings over multiple platforms, including our own exclusive platforms. We use a flexible pricing approach—not a static one—so the prices we set change based on day of the week, seasonality, weather conditions, and more.

#6. Not understanding the ups and downs of short-term rentals.

Every investment property makes more money during certain times of the year and less during others. Maybe there’s a summer festival in your town that attracts a lot of travelers, and the rest of the year is relatively quiet. Or if your home is in a region that sees sunny skies only a few months of the year, you’re likely to have a surge of guests at that time. It’s important to recognize that these fluctuations are normal and not get discouraged. Focus on ways to attract guests in the slower months, like a lesser-known event nearby or renovation projects that will make your home stand out year-round.

#7. Cleaning and maintenance slip-ups.

Two of the main reasons for negative reviews are oversights in the cleanliness of the property and delay or failure to fix something that’s broken. It’s crucial that you have cleaning and maintenance experts who you can trust to prepare your property before every booking. ERG’s professional cleaning company keeps your property looking immaculate after every check-out. If any repairs are needed, our maintenance team resolves the issue quickly and efficiently. We make sure that everything is in pristine condition when your guests arrive—every single time.

A partnership with Effortless Rental Group means 24/7 support by our team of short term rental management experts who are dedicated to your success. We’d love to help you navigate these and other common experiences of first-time hosts.

Airbnb and Resy

Airbnb and Resy Simplify Dining Away from Home

With their new partnership, Airbnb and dining reservations app Resy make it easier than ever to get a taste of a new city.

“When you’re traveling,” says the video in the Airbnb blog post announcing the partnership, “all those unfamiliar options can make it hard to choose. That’s why Airbnb teamed up with Resy to handpick some of the best spots around, from local favorites to award winners.”

Now it’s possible to book a reservation at almost 650 restaurants in over 15 major U.S. cities, including Denver, San Francisco, Austin, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Through the Airbnb website or app, guests can choose the type of food they’re craving—from Indian cuisine to Japanese tapas and everything in between—and desired location. All of the restaurants on offer through Resy have been curated for their quality of food and service, so guests know they’re in for a good experience.

With Airbnb guests spending over $6.5 billion on dining in the last year (included in Airbnb’s restaurant report), it’s likely to be a lucrative partnership.

Looking toward the future, Airbnb plans to extend this service to international cities—and that’s not all. “We’re looking into allowing for even more dining options,” writes Airbnb in their blog post, “like exclusive tables for our users or social dining experiences where guests can share a meal and meet their fellow Airbnb travelers.”

Rental company vs doing it alone

The ERG Difference: Partnering with a
Rental Company vs. Doing It Alone

 

There’s a lot to think about as a short-term rental host, especially when you’re first starting out. You’ll consider pricing, interior design elements, details you want to include in your listing, and much more. But even with all of these decisions ahead, the most important choice you’ll make now is to either team up with a short-term rental management company or go at it alone.

Effortless Rental Group maximizes our clients’ revenue by setting nightly prices using our analytical pricing matrix, which accounts for variables like local events, hotel occupancy rates, and travel trends. We optimize your listing and post it on a variety of booking platforms, including our own exclusive platforms, Nightly Renter, Nightly Vacation Rental, and Best Family Vacation Rentals. More viewing platforms mean more bookings—and more money in your pocket.

Increasing your monthly earning potential is just the beginning. Effortless stands out from other rental management companies because we provide a turnkey service for our clients. This means that we take care of everything—from competitive pricing to bookings and guest correspondence to cleaning and maintenance. Our professional cleaning company and re-stocking team will give you the peace of mind that everything is ready when your guests arrive. Many of our clients travel abroad for part of the year or even live out of state. They trust us to manage every single aspect of their rental properties.

Another important benefit of a partnership with Effortless Rental Group is that you’ll be supported by a team of short-term rental experts who are dedicated to maximizing your monthly revenue and assisting you in any other way. Day or night, we’re always available for you and your guests.

Owners who want to maximize their revenue, give guests the best possible rental experience, and live without worrying about the upkeep of their investment property choose to partner with Effortless Rental Group. Whether you’re seeking management services for a complete holiday rental or flexible seasonal bookings, contact us today for an evaluation free of cost and obligation. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Effortless Rental Group

720.475.1486