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Lachlan Kraemer By Lachlan Kraemer • September 8, 2017

Working with a short-term rental property manager: what are the benefits?

It is obvious that there are many benefits associated with working with a dedicated short-term rental property manager as an entire industry of short-term property managers has sprung up surrounding the Airbnb boom. This raises the question: what are these benefits? When it comes to managing a successful short-term rental property, there is more time and effort involved in it than many people realise, especially if you want to be able to deliver the sort of guest experience that will blow them away and get you consistent 5-star reviews.

The way we see it, there are three primary areas of concern:

1. Hassle and time required of managing short-term rentals

As we said, managing a successful short-term rental listing takes up more time than a lot of people realise. First and foremost there is the issue of guest enquiries. On a global platform such as Airbnb, guest enquiries can come in at any time from anywhere in the world. Given how many tourists visit Australia every year and the variety of countries they hail from, someone could potentially be looking at your listing at any time.  This means that guest enquiries could come in at all hours of the day or night, and if they don't get a response quickly enough, it could cost you a booking.

Second of all is the issue of key exchange. You need to be there to collect the keys when a guest checks out and you need to be there to give the keys to the next guest when they arrive. This can be especially time-consuming if you have guests leaving and new guests arriving on the same day because you need to be there twice. It can become even more of an issue if a guest loses a key and needs a replacement, or leaves the key inside and locks themselves out. It happens. Check out the possibility of fitting a smart lock such as the one in the picture to get around this issue.

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Finally there is the issue of housekeeping. Cleaning the property between each guest's stay is absolutely essential. Not only is not cleaning the property a hygeine issue, but a guest will notice immediately upon walking in that the property is not clean. If the towels and sheets look even a little threadbare or have even the smallest stains on them, it undermines the whole experience and makes the property feel cheap. 

The role of a property manager:

These issues may not seem like they would be impossible to overcome, but think about how much harder it would be to coordinate all of this if you were at work all day or you were away travelling. This is where a propety manager can solve these problems for you. At MadeComfy, we have a dedicated team for handling all guest communications, including booking requests and all communications leading up to and during a guest's stay. Our guests have access to 24/7 support, so they never have to wait for too long to get a response to their question.

We have also handled the issue of lost or misplaced keys by fitting all of our properties with lock-boxes or smart locks so the guest either does not need to take the key with them, or the lock is a combination lock so there is no key! Finally, we have a dedicated housekeeping team as well. They clean each property and restock the amenities after the conclusion of every guest's stay. Our dedicated teams mean that you do not have to spend all of your time handling these issues.

2. Getting 5-star guest reviews

Delivering a 5-star experience for your guests is an essential part of managing a successful short-term rental listing. Not only will it make the same guest more likely to book with you again should they ever return, but it gets you more new bookings as well.

madecomfy bathroom amenities

Delivering a 5-star experience involves a lot of different components. The property needs to be showcased well on the listing platform so it gets people's attention, but at the same time it needs to be able to live up to the expectations that the listing sets. Making a good first impression is more than just a clean property. How the property smells is a surprisingly powerful component of that first impression. Another effective component is taking care of the small details that either make their stay that little bit more comfortable or surprise them by exceeding their expectations. Functioning Wi-Fi is an expectation from guests these days, but providing them with a Netflix connection is going above and beyond to look after them and they will thank you for it!

Getting 5-star reviews is not only a nice way to prove that you gave your guests a good experience, but it has other benefits for your listing too. The vast majority of potential guests looking at a listing look at the photos and reviews before deciding whether to book. If your property has good reviews to back up the photos and the price, this will seal the deal and get you the booking. You can see in the image below the number of different aspects of the listing which get reviewed and the number of things you need to take care of to secure those 5 stars.

madecomfy 5-star reviews

The role of a property manager:

At MadeComfy, we understand the importance of getting 5-star reviews and we do everything we can to ensure that we get them for your property. It starts as early as the property styling - we do this with the aim of making the property a unique and distinctive place to stay. We also supply top-quality linen, pillows and towels to all of our properties and restock amenities between every guest stay. We also advise our property owners on what little extras they can provide to go above and beyond to really wow their guests.

 3. Maximising rental returns

Everything we have talked about up to this point - professional styling and photography, managing guest enquiries promptly, providing for them during their stay and getting good reviews from them - is all about maximising your rental returns. Making good money from Airbnb doesn't just happen.

This is MadeComfy's speciality - maximising rental returns is what we do best. Our study shows that MadeComfy-managed properties deliver returns 40% higher than self-managed short-term rental properties on average. How?

First of all, we use our booking data and trends to set the nightly rate of our properties right in the sweet spot - high enough that it maximises the owner's returns, but not so high that it hurts the occupancy rate. This varies by season as well as the location of properties and we factor these in to our pricing. Using this data and a reasonable example property (a 2-bedroom apartment in Darlinghurst), we have created this graph to show visually the difference that we can make.

madecomfy maximise returns graph

Second of all, we list all of our properties across multiple platforms: Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Travelmob. People look on all of these platforms for short-term rental properties, so it maximises your chances of getting a booking if they can find you on all of them. Our calendars are all synchronised automatically - when a property is booked on one platform, its availability is updated across all of them - so you are never at risk of overbooking!

As mentioned, we have a great deal of expertise in what it takes to manage a successful short-term rental listing, and best of all we do it all for you. If you have any questions or you want to get started and find out how much your property could earn, give us a call on 1800 526 133 or send us a message!

madecomfy pricing analysis