Beyond the Basics: Advanced Growth Strategies for Vacation Rental Pros

Anyone in the vacation rental business is likely aware that the past two years have seen record-breaking growth in their industry. Demand, revenue and supply reached all-time highs as the industry took over as the fastest growing accommodations sector. For those looking to take advantage of this boom by increasing property inventory, there are a plethora of strategies to try. Here, we’ve rounded up advanced tips that may help professional managers gain the traction they’re looking for in 2024. 

  1. Tighten Up Your Messaging
  2. Use Efficient Technology
  3. Maintain Brand Consistency
  4. Adopt CRM
  5. Tap Into Realtor Networks 

Tighten Up Your Messaging

No doubt you’ll be approaching homeowners either directly or through various marketing channels, so get your pitch down pat. Refine your unique selling proposition (USP);  back it up with proof from testimonials and social media posts; include a desirable offer, if possible; and don’t forget your call to action.

In essence, you want to express to potential homeowners why they should work with you over your competitors. Think about what you bring to the table and how you can maximize the potential of a homeowner’s investment. This should all come through in any printed collateral, but more importantly on a visually compelling website that’s designed with SEO in mind.  

A Property Manager Doing a Marketing Brainstorm

Use Efficient Technology

Remember: homeowners get into the short-term rental market with the goal to make money. So, show them that you run a tight ship that’s structured to attract and retain guests with efficiency. Today’s technology is definitely your friend in this respect. Here are just a few proptech examples and how they drive efficiencies and more revenue. 

Property Management Software (PMS) 

A solid PMS solution helps simplify the management of your rentals and shows prospective owners that you’re serious about running a successful business. Typically, PMS is designed as a suite of tools or programs that make it easier to manage a large volume of properties, often by automating repetitive, manual tasks. For example: 

Property Manager Using PMS

  • A unified inbox makes it easy to communicate at-scale. Manage all your emails, texts, chats and even direct messaging from platforms like Airbnb all from once central area. 
  • Analytics allow you to dive into your properties’ performance and get actionable insights to identify areas for improvement or review historical data and market trends to optimize pricing strategies.
  • Automations eliminate routine tasks from your to-do list like adjusting pricing, collecting payments, requesting guest reviews and more. 

Smart Access

Smart locks have proliferated in the marketplace over the past several years, and short-term rentals are an obvious fit for these modern-day wonders. Property owners and managers eliminate all the time-consuming hassles of physical keys like hand-offs, key boxes and rekeying. 

When smart locks are paired with cloud-based access control software like RemoteLock, the benefits really multiply. Because RemoteLock integrates with popular booking platforms like Airbnb, unique access codes are automatically generated for each guest upon approved booking and expire at the end of the stay. The software takes care of it without users needing to do a thing!

Best of all, homeowners and guests love these modern wonders equally. Homeowners value the safety and efficiency that digital locks bring, while guests prefer their convenience. 

A Vacation Rental Guest Uses Smart Lock for Access

Guest Communication

There are countless times throughout the day that property managers field guest questions, many of them the same. Again, software helps to automate responses and facilitate better guest experiences. For example, some PMS or a specific guest-communication solution like GuestTalk or Akia (both integrate with RemoteLock) allows you to automate common responses to guest messages. Advanced features can include functions to capture security deposits and IDs, and even register guests ahead of arrival. 

Maintain Brand Consistency

A flower placed on a stack of hotels at a rental.

Ensuring your product (read “property appearance standards”) is consistent across your entire portfolio is one of the most obvious ways to maintain your brand and impress prospective homeowners. And it’s often overlooked when property managers scale their businesses. Just remember: how everything looks—right down to each perfectly fluffed throw pillow—is a big part of the impression guests take away. And by the way, these guests appreciate the local feel that comes with short-term rentals. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want hotel-like amenities and presentation.

So, be sure to deploy a Standard Property Appearance (SPA) document or checklist that’s maintained in each property. This will likely include finer details like how the curtain or shades should be set and how the beds should be made. But be sure to check out the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Association’s resources for more practical cleaning guidelines, too. There are also software solutions to help maintain your SPA. Turno, another of RemoteLock’s integration partners, lets cleaners upload images of completed tasks to their assigned checklist for hosts to see, an easy way to assure quality with every clean. 

Lastly, if you’re thinking about smart locks and other smart technology for your properties, make this a consistent amenity, too. More and more guests are coming to expect these amenities, especially smart locks that ensure their getaways get started right away at the front door without having to wait at a check-in desk. 

Adopt CRM

Sales Rep Calls a Customer

Having customer relationship management (CRM) software  allows you to digitally track leads. And if growth is on your agenda, tracking this via pen and paper isn’t sustainable or efficient. Instead, CRM takes care of all this with digital efficiency. Look for a solution like Streamline that has marketing automation to continue a constant drip of marketing touches to these prospects including automated email responses. Plus, you can easily make notations on upcoming stays about anniversaries or birthdays, or the inclusion of a portable crib or baby gate that all your team members can see. Bonus: CRM works for homeowner acquisition, too. Popular PMS often has a different module for this purpose, so you can easily keep track of these leads through every stage, automate communications to these prospects or flag for in-person follow-up. 

Tap Into Realtor Networks

When you include Realtors in your marketing, you tap into professionals who see dozens of real estate deals every year. They normally have an extensive knowledge of the local market and current property values, and can point you in the direction of homeowners who are open to renting their properties short-term. Ask for guidance at your local chamber of commerce or through the local affiliates of industry associations.

Take Strategic Steps Toward Growth

Once upon a time, it might have been as simple as leaving flyers for homeowners to stumble upon. But in today’s landscape, acquiring new homeowners requires not only standing apart from a seriously saturated market, but demonstrating proficiency in the digital way of doing business. Show your prospective owners that you have strong brand messaging, plus the latest technology in place to drive efficiencies as well as automations. You’ll be demonstrating that you’re a serious player by consistently working on your business, not in it every day. 

One last thing: the biggest mistake many property owners and managers make when it comes to growth is inaction. Make 2024 the year you decide to grow and take the necessary steps to accomplish it. And don’t forget to reach out to our experts to get started with a market-leading access control solution.   

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Molly Worth

Senior Writer

Molly Worth is RemoteLock’s senior writer and editor, and is enthusiastic about making tech topics relatable and enjoyable. Prior to joining RemoteLock, she worked at several Denver ad agencies, and was instrumental in creating and fine-tuning brand voices for both national and local clients. Infused with her belief in the power of technology to simplify everyday living, Molly’s writing helps highlight the human benefit of technology for novices, experts, and everyone in-between.