Is there a formula to success in the short-term letting business?

By Paul Smith

Oct 20

I think so. In fact, I know so.

Earlier this year I delivered a speech on the subject at the 2017 RealWorld conference in the US, where Kigo were in attendance, along with other big players in Serviced Accommodation.

They've shown me an article they wrote following my presentation. I thought it was brilliant, so today I'd like to share with you the three secrets to success in short-term rental management...

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If you don’t look after your real-estate business, who else will?

Paul Smith, a best-selling author, speaker, real estate investor, and co-founder of Diamond Serviced Apartments and Touchstone Education, posed this question at the 2017 RealWorld conference at the Wynn Las Vegas.

However, looking after your business doesn’t require you to work around the clock. Paul’s definition of a successful business is a profitable enterprise that works even when you aren’t available.

Here are three tips from Paul on building a successful and sustainable business, all while saving time.

1/ Develop a Strong Plan

Paul recommends starting with a defined goal and timeline. What level of profit do you want to achieve, by what time? A clear vision is instrumental if you want to be successful in short-term rental management. Doing research into your market, along with local legislation and regulations, will help you establish key performance indicators (KPIs).

Once you have determined what you want to achieve, Paul recommends analysing your KPIs by property and by month. How is each performing? From there, what adjustments do you need to make?

‘Just because you’re measuring doesn’t mean you’re managing’ warns Paul.

‘You have to do something with the information.’

2/ Secure the Right Systems

Repeatability is key. Can you successfully duplicate your efforts property by property, month after month?

Paul’s company Diamond Serviced Apartments leverages Kigo revenue management software to consistently achieve maximum occupancy and increase revenue, with very little effort.

Staying up to date with market trends is imperative in short-term rental management. With revenue management software, this work is done for you, and rates are automatically updated based on real-time changes.

Paul also emphasised the importance of a company’s marketing efforts and great-looking, functional website for vacation bookings and management.

‘If your website isn't mobile friendly, you're missing out on two out of three potential bookings.’

Additionally, the average time a prospective guest spends on a listing is two seconds. You only have a moment to make a great impression.

3/ Hire Great Staff and Vendors

Anyone in short-term rental management knows there are myriad tasks that need to be completed for the business to stay afloat. There are communications to be sent, repairs to be made, guests to let in, and other day-to-day operations that need attention.

Instead of hiring full-time employees to manage all of these responsibilities, Paul recommends outsourcing where possible, in order to conserve resources.

Choose vendors who are trustworthy and credible. From there, hire office staff to handle the more critical pieces of your business. These people should be enthusiastic, passionate, and represent your business well.

By creating a plan, implementing great systems and hiring the right individuals, you can achieve a winning combination for success in short-term rental management.

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I thought Kigo's article perfectly summed up the three core pillars to developing a successful, sustainable and scalable Serviced Accommodation business. But as always, there's so much more to success in this industry than ticking three boxes. And for those tools and knowledge, we have a range of immersive, extensive events and programmes available. You can also find out more and book over the phone, just call our office on 01302 897131.

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