Airbnb management Service for
STr and Vacation rental owners

Airbnb property management is an easy way to get started in vacation rentals. When it comes to short-term rental investment properties, Airbnb has changed the game by lowering the barrier to entry for owners and investors to get started with self-management. 

However, while Airbnb management is a good starting point, it should certainly not be the only strategy you're using to rent your property. In fact, Airbnb is just a single tool in the vacation rental toolbox. If you want to maximize the earning potential of your investment property, you'll want to extend your operation across more than one platform. 

What is AirBnB?

Airbnb is a marketplace for short-term stays and local experiences. With small beginnings in San Francisco, California, the company is now a world-renowned platform with presence in dozens of countries.  

Airbnb = Vacation Rental

As brand presence expands across the globe, more and more people use the term "Airbnb" in place of "vacation rental." 

Airbnb has increasingly become synonymous with vacation rentals in the same way that Kleenex is synonymous with tissues.  In the mind of unknowing travelers, a vacation rental is an Airbnb.

But just because a square is a rectangle doesn't mean a rectangle is also a square.

Vacation rentals are not Airbnbs, they are merely advertised on Airbnb. In the same way Kleenex is just a brand (and not all tissues are branded as such), not all vacation rentals are listed on Airbnb. 

This language is a key indication of someone who is not familiar with the vacation rental business. Therefore, when someone is looking for Airbnb management services, we first start by clarifying these small but important shifts in mindset.

Airbnb is a travel agency.

Airbnb sources both the customers and the suppliers. Whereas the travelers are the customers, the independent hosts and professional management companies act as the suppliers. 

In this capacity, Airbnb serves as an "OTA" which stands for Online Travel Agency. In the travel and hospitality industry, OTAs are "channels" through which business transactions occur. These companies are the intermediaries, the middle men that marry demand and supply. 

The foundation of an OTA's business model is trust. The more trust they establish in the market, the more viable their platform becomes. And Airbnb is a highly-trusted partner of travelers all over the world. 

Airbnb is a marketplace.

Airbnb is essentially a marketing platform. And because their DNA is that of a tech company, they've done an extremely effective job at succeeding as an online marketplace. 

The platform is like a storefront...

When you go to a grocery store, the main product being sold is food. Similarly, Airbnb is like the grocery store but instead of selling food it sells vacation homes. And they've got different "aisles" with different types of products: unique homes, studio apartments, cabins, villas, etc.

Airbnb has garnered a lot of trust with travelers despite some bad things happening. People "shop" travel at Airbnb the same way they would shop for groceries at Whole Foods.  

Airbnb is a tech company. 

First and foremost, Airbnb is a tech company. And a public one at that, which means they have a lot of strings attached to their strategic decisions. 

Airbnb's bread and butter is brand-building through elegant design and effective user experience.

They made it easy to rent out a spare bedroom or even an entire house. And they made it even easier to book that bedroom or house. 

Yet, homesharing and renting isn't a novel concept. Platforms like Vrbo and even Couchsurfing were offering this in the 90's well before the first line of code was written for the Airbnb website. So what was the key difference?

The difference was the software. 

If you take a look at some of Airbnb's IP, it becomes evident that much of the proprietary value of the company is tied to how they market; how it helps people find what they're looking.

Because of the software product they built, and the way they dressed it up, millions of people have come adore the company and use the platform regularly for their travel needs. 

AirBnB Property Management 

Airbnb property management is like a part-time job. That is, if you want to do it right and do it well. As with everything in life, you'll get out what you put into it. And if you only have a few hours a week to put into your investment property, then you'll be leaving a lot of money on the table... 

But the good thing about Airbnb property management is that it's easy to get started. In just a few hours, you can go from no listing to booking your first reservation. This is one of the upsides to Airbnb's platform: accessibility

However, you'll quickly learn that advertising your home is different than running it on a day-to-day basis.

How much time do you want to spend managing your vacation rental property?

There are many variables to consider when managing a vacation rental. If you don't know what to expect, or if you're not prepared to take on the workload, the management aspect can end up being stressful and time-consuming. 

Why? 

Because Airbnb's brand has created an expectation of high-quality stays, regardless of who the host or operator is. When travelers book an Airbnb, they expect hotel-style amenities, unique, personal touches throughout the home, professional service, and 24-hour support throughout their stay. 

And these are just the baseline expectations. The nicer your property, the higher the bar will be. Granted, this also means you can charge more but you still have to deliver or you won't be in business very long.  

Unless you're ready for part-time job, you might struggle to live up to these expectations. That's where a great Airbnb management service can help.

An Airbnb rental management company will assist in the day-to-day activities of running your vacation rental so that you don't have to be glued to your phone all day.

It's important to note, however, that Airbnb management isn't typically as comprehensive as full-service property management. Let's take a look at what Airbnb management service includes and how that compares to the full-service management option...  

Other things to know about Airbnb property management 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Listing your vacation rental on Airbnb definitely has its upsides. As mentioned, some of the perks include lower barrier to entry, ease of use, and access to a global network of travelers.

However, if you're only listed on Airbnb, you're putting your investment at risk by creating a dependency on a third-party over which you have no control. At any moment in time, Airbnb can decide to freeze your listing, your payouts, and your entire rental operation without notice, cause, or explanation. 

This leaves you in a pretty vulnerable position as a homeowner, especially if something happens to your account while guests are on site. 

PLATFORM POLICIES

On that same token, operating in and on the platform is not a democracy, it's a dictatorship. Which means the company (or its representatives) have the final say in all matters, regardless the scope. 

It could be something as drastic as a sudden account freeze as mentioned above, or something as simple as trying to collect money for incidentals after a guest's stay. 

Ultimately, if you play on Airbnb, you play by their rules. 

The example we often give to new STR owners is about Airbnb's pet policy with respect to service animals. Per the company's rules, when it comes to service animals and emotional support animals, you as a host are not allowed to discriminate (aka choose not to host) against someone who wants to book your home. Further, guests don't even have to tell you that they're bringing an animal! 

Abiding by Airbnb's policies is a minor tradeoff and you can develop workarounds as needed but it's not something you want to overlook. 

Airbnb vs Property Management

The difference between Airbnb vs property management is mainly that of work scope. Airbnb management is often the "minimum effective dose" of vacation rental management. In other words, it means doing the bare minimum to start earning income from your vacation home. 

Simply list the vacation home on Airbnb, turn smart-pricing on, and open up the calendar. Indeed, this is very easy to do but it's not going to unleash the full potential of the short-term rental property. 

Full-service property management, on the other hand, uses Airbnb as one of many marketing channels through which the vacation rental is advertised. A lot more work is done on the backend to make sure the home generates as much money as possible.  

In general, Airbnb property management primarily consists of two pieces:  Airbnb calendar management and Airbnb operations management. 

Airbnb Calendar Management

The first is calendar management which, for the most part, includes everything tied to the calendar. These things can often be done remotely and some of them can even be automated to save time and avoid doing repetitive tasks. 

Some of the tasks involved with Airbnb calendar management include:

  • Managing rates to maximize rental revenue
  • Managing availability to optimize occupancy  
  • Writing and updating listing copy to effectively brand the vacation rental
  • Posting and updating professional photos to communicate the product
  • Communicating with guests; answering inquiries and negotiating rent

The scope of work emulates that of a front desk clerk at a hotel or a reservations agent at a call center. But since most of the work is information-dependent, you really just need an internet connection and a strong knowledge base to cover this part of management. 

Airbnb Operations Management

The second piece is Airbnb operations management, which primarily includes all the on-the-ground aspects of managing the vacation rental. These tasks require local presence and a coordinated effort with the work mentioned above (for example, when a reservation is booked, you need to schedule a cleaning the day of checkout). 

Some of the tasks involved with Airbnb operations management include:

  • Scheduling regular housekeeping and deep cleanings 
  • Coordinating on-site repairs as needed
  • Engaging in routine and preventative maintenance tasks 
  • Meeting guests on-site, either for tours or troubleshooting 
  • Meeting vendors on-site, for example for deliveries or installations  

The scope of work included in Airbnb operations management is much more hands on; it's often physical in nature. The cleaner needs to do the laundry, the handyman needs to tighten the cabinets, the host needs to restock the kitchen, etc... 

AirBnB Property Management Fees

Airbnb property management fees typically consist of a percentage of rental revenue. This means if the vacation home generates $10,000 in a month and your Airbnb management service costs 15%, you'll pay $1,500 in service fees. 

Some Airbnb rental management companies also offer this service for a fixed monthly fee. It all depends on their business model and what work their services include. 

To some owners, these fees are worth it because they don't have to worry about certain aspects of property management. Other owners will opt to do the work themselves and "save" money.

What's important to consider, however, is whether the person (or people) providing the service are really working to maximize the value of the property. Hiring a friend or family member, for example, might get the job done but a professional vacation home rental agency will likely do better which results in a bigger paycheck for you. 

Separately, regardless of who you hire for Airbnb management service, you'll want to clarify the financial component of their work...

How are they accounting for nightly revenue, cleaning fees, and other surcharges?

Are they collecting taxes and remitting them to the city for you? 

Who pays for incidental costs when something get damaged? 

Is their service fee inclusive or exclusive of Airbnb's service fee? 

These are all questions you'll want to ask to make sure you have a thorough understanding of their Airbnb property management fees. For a detailed breakdown on vacation rental property management fees in general, click here

Other Costs Associated with Airbnb Management Service 

SERVICE FEES

Airbnb charges a service fee in the ballpark of 13-15% (and sometimes more) depending on the location of your vacation home. Some of this fee is paid by guests and some of it is paid by you.

There's also an account setting you can adjust to incur the entire fee, the idea being that your listing is more appealing because there is no "service fee" listed on the guest's invoice when they check out. 

Airbnb plays a big role in the booking process, so they deserve their fair share. After all, their software is a marketing platform. You'll find similar fees for every OTA you list your vacation rental on, though the amount and structure may vary for each. 

LODGING + SALES TAXES

Again, depending on the location of your vacation rental, certain taxes will be required by government entities. These can be due to the city, county, or even state department. 

Airbnb provides some info about taxes on their website but ultimately leaves it to hosts to make sure they are in compliance with vacation rental regulations. For some markets, like San Francisco, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the tax for you so you don't have to do anything there. 

In any case, you'll want to make sure you stay compliant so you don't have to bite the bullet on the backend if and when you get audited. In stricter jurisdictions, you could even face fines if you're not abiding by vacation rental regulations. 

Savvy's AirBnB Management Service

Here at Savvy we understand that different owners have different needs. We also realize that each property is unique and that's why we offer an Airbnb management service custom-tailored to your vacation rental. 

With Savvy's Airbnb management service, we help fill the role of a reservations agent, taking care of pretty much everything up to the point when the guest arrives at the property. 

Here's what's included in our Airbnb management service:

Vacation Rental Marketing

Savvy VRM Offers Vacation Rental Marketing Services in Palm Springs, CA

Cleaner Scheduling

Savvy VRM Offers Professional Vacation Rental Cleaning Services in Palm Springs, CA

Dynamic Pricing

Savvy's Palm Springs AirBnB Management Services Include Dynamic Pricing on a Daily Basis

Multi-Channel Management

Savvy's Palm Springs AirBnB Management Services Include Advertising Your Vacation Home on All the Major Booking Websites

Guest Screening

Savvy VRM Screens Renters To Ensure No One is Staying in Your Vacation Home That Shouldn't Be

24/7 Guest Communications

Savvy VRM Offers 24/7 Guest Concierge Services for AirBnB Properties in Palm Springs, CA

Guest Incidentals Report

Savvy VRM Offers Interior Design Services for AirBnB Properties in Palm Springs, CA

Maintenance Reports

Savvy VRM Offers Handyman Services for to Take Care of Repairs and Maintenance Needs for AirBnB Properties in Palm Springs, CA

Furniture and Supplies Ordering

Savvy VRM Offers Procurement Services for AirBnB Properties in Palm Springs, CA

Financial Reporting

Savvy's Palm Springs AirBnB Management Services Include Detailed Financial Reporting on a Monthly Basis

In this capacity, we are taking care of the Airbnb calendar management and complete all tasks remotely in order to get your calendar filled. Then you take care of the Airbnb operations management in handling everything on the ground. 

Is Airbnb Management Service Right for You?

Savvy's Airbnb management service is ideal for certain owners depending on their personal situation. 

LOCAL OR LIVE-IN OWNERS

The first is what we call "live-in" owners, who live on-site or nearby their short-term rental. Maybe you have an ADU out back, or a guest house of some sort. You want to be hands-on with your property to ensure it stays in good shape but you don't know how to take full advantage of all the online tools at your disposal. 

This service allows you to take advantage of our expertise in digital marketing, pricing strategies, and customer service so your vacation home gets booked more often and you earn more money each month.  

SELF-MANAGING OWNERS

The second type of owner this service is a great fit for is someone who has a trusted team on the ground but is still handling the digital component themselves.

Maybe you're tired of fielding questions from guests or you're not sure how to price your rental for maximum revenue. Or maybe you get stuck when tricky situations arise and feel like guests are taking advantage of you. Instead of facing all these headaches, you can partner with Savvy and you'll no longer have to deal with any of it. 

With this type of relationship, you let us do what we do best—maximize your rental revenue—and you take care of the property. 

Schedule a Free Consultation

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