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How to Automate Property Management for Vacation Rentals
It’s no secret that we’re currently living in a time of mind-blowing technological transformation and growth in the vacation rental industry.
The opportunities for property management companies are endless, especially when it comes to the surge of smart devices and software specializing in automation. Sadly, we’ve also seen an abundance of companies lose their competitive edge because they were unable to embrace new tools.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of automation and teach you how to automate your property management systems to increase your vacation rental profitability and scale your business.
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Avantio saves you time and hassle by automating your property management workflows and increasing revenue.
What is property management automation?
Property management automation is a process in which technology takes care of repetitive tasks without the need for constant human input. With advanced software like Avantio, operations that were once the duties of a property manager can now be done automatically.
In the short-term rental industry, property management software solutions can control a variety of time-consuming procedures ranging from guest communication to revenue management. While it’s never too late to start, a report by McKinsey in 2020 showed that companies that defined automation as a priority during their strategic planning process were four times more successful than those that didn’t.
Vacation rental statistics by Operto indicate that 85.9% of professionals in the hospitality industry believe that using technology to automate operations will be a priority for them in the next two years. Here’s our very first tip: don’t wait two years and get started now.
What tasks can be automated inside property management?
Automating your vacation rental property management systems is a must if you want to save time, reduce human error, and grow your business efficiently. Let’s take a look at 5 different property management tasks that you can start automating today.
If you have a property management company, chances are that you’re using several online travel agencies and direct booking websites to promote your rentals. With property management software, you can do everything from a single platform. Calendars and inquiries across different channels can be updated and synced in real-time, meaning that you’ll be able to spot vacancies and avoid double bookings. By setting up notifications, you’ll also be more likely to respond to potential tenants in a timely manner.
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Preparing local insights and recommendations is a sure way to enhance your guest’s holiday experience. With automation tools, you can use professional templates and schedule an authentic local area guide that will impress your visitors. You can also expand on your house rules and create a guidebook with instructions on how to use certain amenities within the property.
One of the most important areas to automate is revenue management. Whenever you’re dealing with a large amount of data or trends, it’s always safer to work with complex algorithms that will ensure positive results. Not only will you save a lot of time, but you’ll also base your decisions on facts instead of feelings.
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As the travel industry recovers from the pandemic, touchless and online check-ins continue to triumph over traditional methods. Online check-in is more convenient for both parties: property managers don’t have to drive to and from rentals for each booking and guests don’t have to endure awkward small talk after a long day of traveling. With automation tools and tenant screening, you can protect your properties from damage and theft.
Tracking payments and bookkeeping
If you find yourself frequently tracking online payments from portals or renters, this one’s for you! Automated property management systems allow you to schedule rent payments and keep an eye on anything that’s paid, due, or overdue.
How to automate property management?
If you’re not familiar with this technology, you might be wondering what the first steps are to set up your workflow automations.
Step 1: Brainstorm what tasks you’d like to automate
Now that you have a list of tasks that can be automated, it’s time to choose what you’d like to focus on. Eventually, you’ll be able to automate most processes but for now, you should stick to those that are most time-consuming. Some ideas include:
- The check-in/check-out process
- Guest messaging
- Synchronizing bookings across multiple platforms
- Responding to guest reviews
- Tracking KPIs
Do you spend hours syncing your bookings or rental listings from OTAs like Airbnb and Vrbo? Does your current check-in process take a huge chunk out of your day? Analyze what operations are affecting your workload the most and find a tool that specializes in that function.
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Step 2: Choose the right automation tool for your needs
There’s plenty of automation tools in the market that may or may not work for your specific property management company. In order to make the right decision, take a look at your long-term goals and objectives. Here are a few leading automation tools that are worth looking at:
- Avantio. This software includes a vacation rental management system and channel manager all in one. Integrated with over 60 portals worldwide, Avantio’s vacation rental channel manager is extremely useful for automated booking management.
- PriceLabs. If you’re looking for a tool for automated dynamic pricing, PriceLabs recommends rates by taking into account factors like seasonality and day of week trends.
- KeyData Dashboard. Track your progress with KeyData Dashboard, a tool that automatically gathers short-term rental data to create a custom report.
Here you can find all of our partners who bring you the best tools to manage your vacation rental business ➡️ https://marketplace.avantio.com/
Preview of Avantio
Step 3: Start customizing
Once you’ve found a platform that works for you, the next step is to start customizing different elements to suit your property management business.
Let’s take guest communication as an example. Say you’re using Avantio’s automated messaging system. To properly take advantage of this tool, you should create templates for every type of message that you’ll send to guests. Property managers typically send out messages for:
- Booking confirmations
- Property maintenance requests
- Welcoming guests
- Re-booking or extended stays
- Review requests
To make the most of automation, create a unique template that can be customized for each guest. Your guests will feel extremely cared for and will rate your customer service generously.
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5 Benefits of Property Automation
Property automation doesn’t improve just one component of your business—if done correctly, you can refine a range of operations and procedures. Here are 5 ways that you can benefit from property automation.
- Benefit 1: Standardized operations
Having standardized operations drastically reduces the possibility of missing key steps. Especially if you’re managing more than 20 vacation rentals or working with a team, the uniformity that comes with automation can improve the quality of your service significantly.
The beauty of automation is that you can juggle many unrelated processes at once and end up with even better results than before.
- Benefit 2: Fewer costs and more revenue
Doing things manually takes time and inevitably costs a lot. Investing in vacation rental software with automation tools kills two birds with one stone by helping you save money and receive more bookings all at once.
Automating your guest communication with Avantio can help save 40% of your monthly resources. What’s more, seeing as many operations can be completed with software, you can also save on training and employment costs.
Preview of Avantio
- Benefit 3: No more double bookings
It’s natural for humans to make mistakes but in the vacation rental industry, inaccuracies or misinterpretations can quickly lead to unhappy guests and negative reviews. With automated booking tools, you can rest easy knowing that your calendars and reservations are being handled.
- Benefit 4: Enhancing the guest experience
From the moment that your guests book your property to the weeks after they leave, automating your guest communication processes will take an enormous amount of work off your hands. Not only can you save yourself from constant phone calls, emails, and text messages, but you can also ensure a consistent level of quality every time a guest is contacted with an automated message.
- Benefit 5: High-quality performance reports and tracking
Thanks to automatically generated performance reports, you can make sure to never lose sight of your property management KPIs. Whether it be your business profitability or property owner payments, these metrics and financial reports will help keep your business on track.
Preview of Avantio
In such a fast-evolving industry, it’s necessary to always stay informed on technological advancements and quickly identify opportunities for your vacation rental business. It starts with finding the right software—one that you trust and believe in.
Avantio has been known for over 20 years for its dynamic and innovative approach to automation. The software is constantly evolving and is ideal for property management companies with up to 500 units that are looking to streamline their operations onto a single platform.