The Chronicles of Hosting: The Peacock, Helicopter and Miser

Let’s face it. Your homeowners got into the business of short-term renting for one all-consuming reason—money. They want to make more of it, and vacation rental managers are the catalyst for making that happen. Now, for one of the tricky parts: How do you tactfully address mistakes homeowners are making, the kind that can prevent them from securing reservations as well as return guests? Here, we offer some homeowner personality types that you’ve undoubtedly run into, the issues they present, and most importantly, how to deal with them without offending anyone. 

The Proud Peacock Homeowner Image

The Proud-As-A-Peacock Homeowner

There’s nothing wrong with a homeowner taking pride in a real estate investment. But there are different rules when it comes to making a property desirable for short-term renting. For those homeowners who proudly display walls of family photos and memorabilia, or their collection of ceramic clowns, you’ll have to let them down gently. Point out that guests want to feel like they’re staying in a real home. Just not one that so obviously belongs to someone else. 

Solution: Tell the Property’s Story

Swap out family photos with this affordable art. Tell the history of the property in photos, a framed narrative or small book. These peacocks can share with guests how long they’ve owned the property, who uses it most often and add details on any remodeling done over the years. Take it a step further and add some history about the neighborhood or area. Now, guests have something to talk about and feel like they’re getting the authentic, local scoop. 

Helicopter Homeowner Image

Helicopter Homeowner 

As a property manager, you may have crossed paths with those homeowners who want to make friends with guests and keep tabs on everything that’s going on at their properties. This is a red flag for short-term rental guests, who often choose this type of accommodation because they value their privacy. 

Solution: Add Convenience, Safety With RemoteLock

There are ways to passively monitor your properties without guests feeling like Big Brother is always watching. Give homeowners some peace of mind with smart locks and access control software like RemoteLock that allows them to see when guests arrive and depart.  Tell your homeowner that today’s guests expect the ease of electronic access. Their unique access codes—valid only during reservations windows—arrive in welcome emails with other pertinent details including how and whom to reach out to with questions. Now, guests can get their getaways started immediately and independently upon arrival, and homeowners are assured of their properties’ security (i.e., no loose keys floating around). 

More Tips

There are other things overly involved homeowners may get tripped up on. Nip these in the bud, so guests feel safe and easy during their stays and are more likely to return. 

  • Don’t lay down the law: Nothing says “you’re NOT welcome” like posting rules all over the place. Gently discourage this and remind owners that you have plenty of space for rules in digital assets like a guestbook or house manual.
  • Just stop with the cameras: Now that surveillance cameras are so affordable, homeowners might be tempted to install them everywhere. Legally, you have to disclose these devices to guests. Most online travel agencies (OTAs) have rules about only allowing them in common spaces that are clearly identified and disclosed ahead of the reservation. But let’s just be clear that cameras are likely to turn off most guests. (Bonus tip: RemoteLock users love how they can easily glance at a dashboard to track entries in real-time. A virtual and non-invasive way to keep tabs on properties.:)
  • Let them know about the unusual: If there is something out of the ordinary at the property, explain it beforehand and don’t leave it for guests to figure out. For instance, there’s a stairwell to the entrance of the property that’s also used by commercial tenants or there’s a particularly noisy pipe that clangs on the first use of a shower. Just let them know if there’s anything that may raise concern. 
Meager Miser Homeowner

The Meager Miser Homeowner 

It’s a universal truth that homeowners want to make money through short-term renting. But there are also some who don’t want to spend any, too. Here, we’re talking about investing in the extra touches that really don’t cost much. Guests love these extra amenities and are likely to mention them in positive reviews. 

Solution: Demonstrate How Extra Touches Add Value.

Encourage your miserly homeowners to invest in a few of the following and see how a few bucks can pay off in return visits. 

Some Affordable Examples
  • Luggage racks: Place one in each bedroom to anticipate your travelers’ needs. 
  • Flashlights: These are handy conveniences for guests who aren’t used to all the ins and outs of your home and yard. 
  • Fresh flowers or herbs or veggies from the garden: Place them on the kitchen table with a note that they’ve just been picked today for the guest. 
  • Ping pong table, cornhole or board games: Guests are on vacation and they may be looking for fun ways to bond with children and friends. Just beware of darts! Even with a full backer behind the dart board, you’ll likely find dart holes all over the place. 
  • Outside heaters: Expand their getaways to your outdoor spaces even when temps are cooler. 

Help Your Owners Up Their Game

The average number of short-term rentals on the market reached nearly 1.3 million in 2022, up by roughly 19% from the previous year, according to AirDNA. That’s a lot of competition! Help your homeowners keep their properties top-of-mind with future and past guests by correcting the missteps above.  

molly lr headshot

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.