short term rental property management FAQs

Savvy has been doing short term rental property management since 2015. Over the years, we've noticed that a lot of the same questions and concerns come up, especially for newer homeowners who have no experience with vacation rental management. 

We've done our best to compile and address these questions below. If there's a particular question on your mind that's not currently listed on this page, scroll to the bottom of the page to submit a new one and we'll reach out immediately with an answer. 

GENERAL SHORT-TERM RENTAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

PARTNERING WITH SAVVY VACATION RENTAL MANAGEMENT

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A SAVVY OWNER

This page is constantly evolving to help answer common questions for new short-term rental owners and investors. If you're curious about something that's not found on this page, please submit a new question by clicking the button below:

Submit a New Question

   


What is an STR? 

"STR" is an abbreviation for short-term rental, which is a property that accommodates overnight renters for a period of 30 days or less. Short-term rentals are also referred to as vacation rentals.

Short-term rentals consist of different types of real estate properties, from a standard single- or multi-family residence to a guest house or mother-in-law suite, to glamping tents and even custom-built accessory dwelling units (ADUs). 

An emerging trend in the short-term rental space is the 30- to 90-day market, in which travelers are looking to have flexible lodging options at affordable prices. What's interesting about this development is that it's not fully recognized as its own class of real estate quite yet. "Long-term" rental properties are leased for a year or more at a time, while "short-term" rental properties rent for less than a month. So until the classification of "mid-term" rentals grows roots in the industry, they are lumped in together with short term rentals. 

Back to Top

Who Rents Short-Term Rentals? 

Nowadays, the renters for short term rentals are just about everyone you can think of, but it wasn't always like that.

The vacation rental industry has blown up in the last few years and, especially after the pandemic, has been recognized as a class of its own that competes with legacy hotels for traveler accommodations. 

Here are a few types of renters that book short term rental properties:

  • Working professionals visiting for a temporary job assignment (traveling nurses, executives, consultants, etc.)
  • Families looking for a weekend getaway (or an extended vacation)
  • Couples who are celebrating a special occasion (anniversary)
  • Transplants who have recently moved to the city (or are thinking about it) and need a place to post up while they look for a new home
  • Friend groups (think: girls weekend, bachelor parties, annual golf trips, etc.)

Each short term rental property attracts a certain type of renter. And if you set yourself up for success from the start, you can design for profit and make sure that the vacation rental experience is uniquely tailored to these travelers.

Back to Top

What is Short-Term Rental Property Management?

Your only job as a homeowner is to pay the mortgage and make sure the lights stay on. We handle everything else. From marketing and advertising your vacation rental to communicating with guests, to cleaning and regular maintenance—we do it all. That means no late-night calls from guests, no dealing with contractors, and no waiting on hold for an hour to get help from technical support when software fails.

To sum it up, we're very hands-on so you can be very hands-off.

If you're comparing property management companies and the different services they offer, be sure to ask for a full list of what they provide because they don't all define "full-service management" the same way. 

Click here to learn more about Savvy's Full-Service Vacation Rental Management.

Back to Top

How Do I Get Started? 

The first step would be to contact us. After an initial meeting, we'll know if (and how) we can help manage your short term rental property.  

We don't enter into any relationships with homeowners or investors that we don't think will be mutually beneficial. If it's not a win for you, it's not a win for us. Sometimes, we actually advise people not to engage our services because we think another management strategy is better suited for the the property.

If everything looks, sounds, and feels good, we send you a management agreement and put dates on the calendar to start the onboarding process. Our main priority is to get your vacation rental up and running as quickly as possible. 

To learn more about our onboarding process and everything we do to set your property up for success, click here

Back to Top

How Much Are the Property Management Fees?

Our fees for full-service property management range from 20-30% depending on the location and type of property. Since we know that each property is unique, we take a personalized approach to pricing. 

The best part about this fee, though, is that there's no "s" at the end. That's right, it's not "Fees" plural, just "Fee". In other words, for one flat rate, your entire property will be managed from end to end. No nickel-and-diming. No gotchyas. Just simple, straightforward pricing that lets you rest easy at night knowing your short term rental property is well taken care of. 

Click one of the articles below to learn more: 

Back to Top

Why Choose Savvy? 

With Savvy by your side... 

  • You get your time back
  • You earn more money
  • Owning a short-term rental property becomes easy

We believe that you shouldn't have to pay for a vacation home. Instead, your vacation home should pay you. And our full-service property management solution makes it possible, without you ever having to lift a finger. 

Click here to learn about how we got started and why we do what we do.

Back to Top

How Often Can I Use My Home? 

As often as you'd like. 

If the calendar is open and there are no guest reservations, you can book your vacation home for yourself, your family, and your friends whenever you wish. 

Most of our owners like to stay in between reservations so they're not decreasing their income but can still enjoy their vacation rental. 

Booking a stay is simple, too! Just send a text or email, or do it right from your phone in a few clicks. 

Back to Top

Do I Have to Sign a Long-Term Contract?

If a property management company tells you to sign the dotted line for a year, run the other way. 

At Savvy, we aim for long-term relationships but we don't need a long-term contract to achieve that. Our terms are simple: give us 90 days to show you what we can do, then cancel anytime after that with 30 days' written notice.

If there are any guests arriving in the next 90 days, we'll do our best to relocate them but also ask that you honor there reservation if we aren't able to accommodate them elsewhere. If you prefer, we can also limit how far out your short-term rental property can be booked (i.e. 60 days).

Back to Top

Does Savvy Manage Airbnbs? 

Yes! And we manage them very well... in fact, we manage Airbnbs better than most people. Our Airbnb property management services consistently rank our homes in the top 80th percentile, outperforming market occupancy and commanding a higher rate than similar listings in the area. 

Airbnb graph showing how Savvy has a higher occupancy than competitor listings.Savvy's occupancy compared to similar listings
Airbnb graph showing how Savvy commands a higher nightly rate compared to similar listings, which leads to increased earnings for homeowners.Savvy's nightly rate compared to similar listings

The thing is, Airbnb is just the start... we do a lot more to make sure your property is one of the most successful in the market.

Back to Top

How Does Savvy Advertise My Home? 

We list your short term rental property on all the major vacation rental booking sites including Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and more. 

Additionally, depending on the type of property and what amenities it offers, we may list your home on niche booking sites that cater to very specific types of guests (for example, if your home is pet-friendly, we'll list your home on BringFido to advertise to travelers who are looking for pet-friendly vacation rentals). 

Besides these third-party marketplaces, we also promote your home to our ever-growing database of past and potential guests. 

Something else to consider (and what many owners don't realize) is that advertising starts before a single listing is ever created. The best advertising strategy begins with optimizing the product you're going to be selling. And yes, this even comes before taking professional photographs. 

For example, look at this guest's review in which she comments on the design and layout of the home: 

A review from an Airbnb guest noting how much she appreciated the home layout and design elements

Effective advertising is just as much about the guest experience as it is about digital marketing. If you want to maximize your earning potential, you not only have to ensure your vacation rental is found online but you also have to create a story so good that guests can't wait to book it!

Savvy helps you create a compelling offer and then puts that offer out into the world for travelers to see and buy. 

Back to Top

How Does Savvy Price My Home?

Pricing your home isn't just about getting the highest nightly rate you can get. Revenue management, as it's called in the industry, is about garnering the most rental revenue possible. 

Occupancy and Nightly Rates are great indicators of performance, but they aren't the end-all-be-all of your vacation rental's success. You could have the highest rates but not get booked. Or you could be at 100% occupancy but not be making any money. 

So our pricing strategy revolves around finding that balance. It's the art and science of juggling ranking algorithms, traveler demand, and competitive analysis, among many other factors...

There's a lot that plays into pricing (i.e. weather, local events, historical trends, etc.) but one thing we can tell you is that we're very good it. 

In fact, after more than doubling her rental income, here's what one of our owners had to say about our pricing strategy:

Back to Top

What if I Don't Want Pets in My Home? 

Ultimately, that's your decision and we'll respect it. However, we can't guarantee that all the guests staying at your short-term rental property will do the same:

A message from an Airbnb guest illustrating the complexities of pet policies in vacation rentalsRichard is honest about his pet, but not everyone is as forthcoming.

Here's one thing to consider: if guests can bring their pets without your permission anyways, why not turn it into your competitive advantage?

Pet-friendly homes typically attract higher-value bookings, repeat guests, and higher occupancy during low-demand periods which all contribute to a bigger bottom line for you.  

To learn more about pet policies and how we prefer to navigate this controversial topic, click here.

Back to Top

What Happens When Something Breaks?

When you partner with Savvy Vacation Rental Management, your property—and the things inside of it—are covered by damage protection insurance. When accidents happen, each booking is insured for up to $2,500 to help cover costs of repair or replacement. 

Most of the guests we host are responsible and very reasonable, often asking us to simply send them a bill so they can cover it. 

When a vacation rental guest damages something, sometimes they'll let you know (but not always)Our guests frequently offer to pay for replacements when accidents happen

But in the case they don't offer to pay for the damage, we can file a claim in about 90 seconds and get paid a few days later.

We also recommend that you upgrade your homeowner's insurance to a commercial policy to add another layer of protection. To learn more about vacation rental insurance for owners, click here.

Back to Top

Does Savvy Offer Vacation Rental Management Near Me?

Savvy offers short-term rental property management services in various markets across the United States including market(s) in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, California, Washington, and even Hawaii. 

And if we're not currently operating in your market, it doesn't mean we can't. Contact us today to see if we'd be a good fit for your home. Even if we're not a good fit for management, we're happy to help you get started on your short-term rental property management journey.

Back to Top

Want Savvy's Help with Short Term Rental Property Management? 

Savvy Vacation Rental Management (Savvy VRM) is a boutique vacation home rental agency known for its personal, professional, and profitable property management services.

If you're looking for a full-service management company that will help ease the burden of owning a vacation home, fill out the form below and we'll get back to you within 24 hours:

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.