AIRBNB / STR systems that have helped you

15 Replies

Hey ya'll,

I close on a mutlifamily in two weeks. It consists of two studios and two 2/1's. And a huge yard this is divided into little private patios for each unit. I plan to use them as AIRBNBs/VRBO/other forms STRs. This is my first property ever, so I was hoping someone can share any systems or strategies that you have found works for you. Thanks in advance!

Originally posted by @Indiana Eugenia Castillo :

Hey ya'll,

I close on a mutlifamily in two weeks. It consists of two studios and two 2/1's. And a huge yard this is divided into little private patios for each unit. I plan to use them as AIRBNBs/VRBO/other forms STRs. This is my first property ever, so I was hoping someone can share any systems or strategies that they have found works for them. Thanks in advance!

Have you checked to verify STR is allowed at this location? Are you familiar with City/County/State laws and taxes regarding STR?

My #1 recommendation is that you hire a property manager to get started. That will help you learn the STR process quickly. You could even use a property manager for one unit and then manage the other three yourself to see how you do compared to the manager.

@Indiana Eugenia Castillo no property manager needed assuming you can find a house keeper that understands what you’re trying to do. 

Good pics 

Housekeeper 

Airbnb app 

Vrbo app 

Igms or smartbnb 

30 day free trial of beyond pricing 

Decent phone

That's about it! I've got 5 SFH I spend maybe 10 minutes per week on each.

Hi @Indiana Eugenia Castillo ! Sounds like a neat place! A couple of things before you get rolling. Where is it located? Did you check to see if STR's are legal in that area? What kind of restrictions?

Will you be self managing? You can do much better if you self manage the units.

You need to find a great cleaner who will be your boots on the ground and a good handyperson to handle issue that will crop up.

I only have one vacation home so I don't use any automated tools to sync calendars etc. There are others who have more that can answer that.

Have you given much thought to how to furnish the units? That will take some capital.

How about the market in general? Assuming STR's are hunky dory, what do your competitors look like? What is their nightly rate? How do their calendars look on AirBNB and VRBO/HomeAway?

Get me the location of the place and I can help with some of the stats.

Thanks for the tips! I am aware of the laws in my area and I have the green light! The property is near the airport/cruise port/beaches/downtown. The plan is to self manage unless there are those days where the units will need to be turned over before I can get to them. I work full time. 

@Indiana Eugenia Castillo self managing does not mean cleaning your properties. Ask yourself one simple question..... do you want to be a housekeeper? Or a real estate investor? Do you want to unclog toilets? Or be a real estate investor? 

I haven’t spoken to my housekeeper in a month. She has the schedules. She’ll call me when she needs new sheets. That’s about it. 

Get other people to do your necessary work, unless you or someone you know can do it themselves.  I do maintenance and repairs on my 23 STRs in my town.  There is a lady I know that does the cleaning and stocking in between rentals.  She does it for free.  I also get to sleep with her.

Must haves for me are definitely a channel manager tool that can manage and send scheduled template emails.  Bonus points if it can help you manage cleaning tasks for any staff you have.

Also after one or two properties you'll want to find a way to automate the setup and deletion of Smart Lock codes.  I use Samsung smart things/Rboys rental lock automater/any zwave lock but I've heard there are other less technical ways options out there.

Finding a house cleaner that is affordable is tough. Our Airbnb's take about 20- 30 minutes to clean since they are cleaned every 2-4 days and maintained so well along with having guests that want that 5 star rating and leave things really nice. Is anyone finding a house cleaner that will take that into acct but still make it worth their time?

Gosh, my airbnb takes 2 people around 4 hours, or one person 8 hours to do laundry, clean and make the beds.  We're getting faster, but...

@Debra Arrants   20-30 minutes to clean?  My smallest places take one person at least 4 hours.  I have a 3 story house too, that one takes 3 days.

@Indiana Eugenia Castillo

@Lucas Carl sums ur up well. A few other thoughts:

1. Your cleaner will make or break your STR. Invest the time to interview and have an auditable turnover checklist. Everyone forgets things and guests aren't always forgiving. Clean it yourself only so liking as it takes you to build your checklist.

2. Hire a photographer because most of us as owners cannot see our rentals through the eyes of a potential guest and many guests will skip our descriptions and book on pictures alone.

3. Know your market. Some are basic hotel accommodations. Others more high end. Use tools like AirDNA, BeyondPricing, PriceLabs, etc to pull comps and figure out what the top dogs in your area are doing. Then do something more.

4. Go overboard to get feedback and reviews in the first 6 months. Starting out don’t know what you’re doing well or poorly. You need help. Build a better stay *with* your guests‘ feedback and reviews. You’ll quickly find out what matters most to them. Consider offering an “analog” guest book for guests to fill out for those not comfortable sharing input online. Many will be more candid of they don’t fear some form of retaliation on the form of the modern double blind review systems of Airbnb and others.

Hope this helps and congratulations on your strong start! Be sure to share back to community here as you learn what works and doesn't in your STR journey.

Great suggestions so far. Hope you're up and going possibly. It can be daunting when first getting started. I can personally attest to using www.igms.com for automated messaging using templates, in addition to managing the calendars for all listings in one place. You can also add team members, like your cleaners so they are in the loop. In addition to cutting down on all the questions that guest invariably ask check out hostfully.com for their digital guidebooks. Can personalize all your recommendations of all the place you like to send people to eat, drink, and be merry.