Vacation rental platforms like Airbnb have disrupted the traditional hospitality industry. What started as a small tech startup in San Francisco has become a global phenomenon, with over 4 million hosts and 1.4 billion guest arrivals in nearly every country worldwide.
The rise of Airbnb’s popularity is driven by a shift in consumer preferences, with many travelers seeking more unique and personalized experiences when they travel. Additionally, the pandemic was a catalyst that further propelled Airbnb’s growth as people looked for safe and socially distanced vacation options.
If Airbnb’s surge in popularity has got you toying with the idea of becoming an Airbnb property manager, here is everything you need to know about it — from what an Airbnb property manager does to all the steps you’ll need to take to become one.
What Does An Airbnb Property Manager Do?
The role of an Airbnb property manager is to oversee the daily operations and routine tasks necessary to maintain and manage an Airbnb property. Whether operating within a larger Airbnb property management enterprise or as an independent entity, a property manager’s responsibilities include:
- Managing property listings and coordinating bookings
- Facilitating guest communication and ensuring a positive guest experience throughout their stay
- Handling check-in and check-out processes
- Cultivating relationships with property owners to foster strong, ongoing partnerships
- Scheduling and tracking cleaning and maintenance activities to keep the property in top condition
- Undertaking marketing efforts to attract guests and maintain a high occupancy rate
Do I Need A Real Estate License?
Since local laws and regulations in the U.S. vary widely from state to state, it’s wise to do your research to confirm whether you might need one. However, keep in mind that at some point down the road, you may want to expand your services to manage short- and long-term rentals. And, if your property owner decides to convert their short-term rental into a long-term rental, will you want to continue managing it? If you do, you’ll definitely need a property management license.
Learn more: How to Get Into Property Management
Familiarize Yourself With The Hospitality And Rental Industry
Understanding the hospitality and short-term rental industry is crucial to becoming a successful Airbnb property manager. A good place to start is by conducting thorough research and reading industry publications, attending industry events and conferences, and subscribing to relevant newsletters and blogs. Consider seeking out mentors or networking with other professionals in the industry.
It’s also helpful to stay up-to-date with industry trends and emerging technologies, such as new software tools, to streamline operations and enhance guests’ experiences. By staying informed and continuously learning, you can establish yourself as an expert in the hospitality and short-term rental industry while simultaneously providing exceptional value to your clients and guests.
If you want to really learn the ins and outs of the industry, there are several different course options and certification programs you can choose from:
- Vacation Rental University
- Vacation Rental Management Association
- VR Mastered Boot Camp
- STR Certification
Be on the lookout for co-hosting opportunities and contact property owners who want a co-host or need property management services. Some methods you can use include:
- Tapping into your social and professional circle: Go beyond your social network and reach out to others you may know who may be interested in the opportunity.
- Take your search online: Alternatively, look for clients or other property owners through social media sites. Posting ads on websites like CoHost Market may also help you gain more traction.
- Get in touch with other Airbnb hosts: If you’ve ever been a guest at an Airbnb, consider contacting your hosts. They may need a property manager; if not, they might know someone who does.
Prove Your Worth
After you’ve found hosts to work with, show them why working with you will be worthwhile. Mention your previous experience and why you stand out from other property managers. If you have any reviews you can share with them, it can further solidify your pitch. However, if this is your first time being a property manager, it might be a little harder to convince them to hire you — but not impossible. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a positive outlook, you can gain their trust.
Develop A Business Strategy
Having a rental strategy is paramount. For a property owner to truly trust you, you must have a plan in place. Be prepared to answer:
- What’s your plan for scaling operations?
- Will you manage maintenance and cleaning on your own?
- If not, will you have a third-party take care of it?
- What will you do to streamline the check-in and check-out processes?
- How will you market listings?
- How do you plan on communicating with guests?
- What will you do to increase occupancy rates?
Determine Your Fees
As an Airbnb property manager, you must be upfront with homeowners about your fees. Although it can vary widely based on location and the services you plan on providing, the average property owner charges between 10% and 50% of a homeowner’s earnings. You’ll need to be cautious when setting your rates, though. Charging too much may be a turn-off for property owners, while charging too little may give off the impression that your services are not up to par.
Learn Everything About The Airbnb Platform
If you don’t already know your way around the Airbnb platform, it’s time to get familiar with it. Create your own Airbnb account, browse listings in your area, and learn about the available features to hosts and guests. You should also review the terms and conditions of the platform, including the fees charged by Airbnb and the regulations that hosts must follow.
Start Building Your Portfolio
To become an Airbnb property manager, you’ll need to start building your portfolio of properties. You can reach out to property owners in your area and offer your services. When you’re starting out, you may need to take on smaller properties or offer your services at a discounted rate to build your reputation and gain experience.
Lean Into Automation Software
When you speak to potential property owners, discuss implementing automation software to show them that you’re serious about getting work done efficiently. If they don’t support the implementation of it, you may want to think twice about working together with them. Managing Airbnb rentals can be time-consuming, but having a good automation software can help you:
- Save time by eliminating repetitive tasks
- Stay organized
- Streamline guest communications
- Manage smart locks so your guests can come and go as they wish without relying on you for access
- Sync availability and rates in real time through channel distribution features
The Bottom Line
Becoming an Airbnb property manager is a profession that can be rewarding and fulfilling. It offers you the opportunity to meet new people worldwide, is a great way to generate additional income, and can even become a full-time career. If you’re passionate about real estate and hospitality and would like to positively impact the travel experience of others, becoming an Airbnb property manager just might be the right choice.
Are you going to add to Rentec to allow airbnb rentals/services/tracking?
Hi Gena, We have clients who use Rentec Direct for short-term rental management. One of the challenges with short-term rental management, like Airbnb is the need to integrate with a calendar and booking system. As well as coordinating with a quick turnover cleaning services. While I don’t think this is on our radar for development this year, that doesn’t mean it will never happen. I will bring it up during our next meeting with the development department, thank you for the idea!