How to Keep Your Property Looking and Feeling Like New
Managing a short-term rental property is a great way to earn additional income. But it’s also a major investment in time and money. You have to buy a property, outfit it, create a listing and host renters, all while keeping it looking like a 5-star hotel.
As time goes by, if you’re not careful, the property can degrade. With so many strangers checking in and out, you’re going to have accidents—dishes break, paint chips and carpets get spilled on…a lot.
In order to maintain your property and continue earning top dollar from guests, you need to focus on upkeep. This will ensure a steady stream of bookings and positive guest reviews. To keep your property looking fresh and new, follow these tips:
Voice your expectations
Before a guest even steps through your door, they should be well-versed in your house rules. This is how you set guidelines for behavior and control how your property is treated. Be proactive by sharing your expectations on your listing. This way, when a guest is booking your property, the two of you are on the same page, i.e. no pets, no parties, and no unregistered guests. To ensure these expectations are followed, have the guest sign a legally binding document agreeing to your house rules.
When voicing your expectations, a distinction needs to be drawn between accidents and negligent behavior. Guests shouldn’t be penalized for spilling wine on your carpet or cracking a mug. These kinds of accidents happen and should be built into the costs of operating. What your house rules should deter is guests throwing all-night parties or purposely damaging property. To avoid disrespectful and negligent guests, make sure your expectations are clear from the get-go.
Use guest screening
To save your property from possible damages, get to know the guests you’re hosting. By allowing instant bookings, you can increase occupancy and revenue. But at the same time, you risk being targeted by criminals and fraudsters. To manage this risk, screen your guests in a legal, non-discriminatory way. This allows you to make informed decisions about who enters your property.
To screen your guests, review information like the phone number, IP address and credit card attached to the reservation. As a part of your screening process, have the guest send you a copy of their ID. Compare the ID to their credit card to ensure the information matches. If something feels off about the booking, get the guest on the phone and ask about their trip details. If the guest is vague with their answers or the booking seems suspicious, don’t be afraid to cancel it.
Unfortunately, taking the steps to screen every guest can be extremely time-consuming. As a solution, consider using a guest-screening software like Autohost to streamline the process.
Perform regular maintenance inspections
While it may not be feasible to do a walkthrough of your properties after every checkout, it’s important to perform regular maintenance inspections. Set aside an hour each month to stop in and assess the state of your properties.
While performing the assessment, check for things like broken furniture, cracked windows and clogged sinks. Minor issues, like small scuffs on the wall or a speck of peeled paint, aren’t emergencies and can be followed up on. A bed with a broken frame, however, needs to be fixed right away. If you leave it, you risk injured guests and poor reviews.
If you can’t make it into the property at least once a month, hire an on-the-ground operations team that can alert you if anything needs touching up or fixing. Alternatively, hire a team of cleaners who can keep you in the loop.
Use a cleaning service
Cleanliness is the key to a property’s longevity. Dirt and dust build up over time, making your property look and feel grungy and dated. If left unchecked, this can have a major impact on bookings. No guest wants to check into a dirty suite.
Performing routine cleanings after each checkout, however, is a huge time commitment, especially if your property’s fully booked. Instead, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your property sparkling. They can perform a deep clean after each guest, scouring every corner and crevice of the property. After a thorough cleaning, the property will not only be ready for the next guest, but it will continue to have that fresh, new aesthetic.
This post was written by Autohost, a guest-screening system for hospitality providers. The intelligent software verifies guests to protect properties, owners and communities in the short-term rental space.