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The 3 Biggest Challenges of Vacation Rental and How to Overcome Them

Get Inspired 17.04.2019 | Angela de Monte

Your ad is online, your first guests have come to stay and have rated your flat. But the amount of organisational work you need to go through keeps growing. The following tips will help you save time and money.

Handing over keys & self check-in

If you don’t live near the accommodation or can’t be available on call, handing over the keys to your guests can turn into a nerve-wracking task. Fortunately, there are many options for automating the key handover.

If you’ve just started renting out your flat, we recommend you do at least five key handovers in person first. Receiving initial feedback from your guests can be very useful and can help you better meet their needs. Perhaps they had trouble finding the accommodation, or the apartment is still missing some bits and bobs your guests need for a carefree holiday. After five encounters, you should have gathered enough information from your guests to be able to switch to self check-in.

Many hosts choose to hide the key in a certain spot by the front door. Due to the obvious lack of security, we do not recommend this method. Alternatively, the keys can be given to trusted acquaintances or a company, who then pass the keys on to your guests. However, the use of electronic door locks, such as the Nuki Smart Lock, or a key safe is much more convenient.

Cleaning your accommodation

Especially if your holiday flat is solidly booked, cleaning can take up a large share of your spare time. Of course, your bank account will benefit from this option, but you might also consider investing your free time in other matters. For example, in optimising your ad.

If you don’t want to do the cleaning yourself, you can hire a cleaner. It’s important, but also difficult, to find someone who works up to your standards and can jump in for a longer time period at short notice if required.

The most expensive option is to hire a professional cleaning company. This would allow you to easily cover any shortages. However, employees at a professional cleaning company might not be able to meet your needs in the same way that a cleaner would who already knows the accommodation well.

Before you decide on an option, have a look at the cost-benefit ratio with respect to your personal needs. There’s a big difference between renting out one flat or 20.

Professional communication and dealing with complaints

During their stay, guests often appear satisfied and easy to please, but on occasion, you may be in for a nasty surprise afterwards. You may unexpectedly receive a rating that contains a lot of criticism that upsets and hurts you – after all, you spent a lot of time and effort setting up your accommodation to make sure your guests have an unforgettable stay.

To begin with, take a deep breath. Now, remind yourself that your reaction to a rating like this (or lack of a reaction) is public and can be read by potential future guests. After all, you can learn a lot from negative feedback. Criticism will help you improve the image of your accommodation.

If a rating is still making you livid a day later, the best you can do is politely apologise that their stay didn’t turn out as planned. On no account should you let yourself be dragged into an emotional discussion or resort to insults.

These tips should help you invest your time wisely and organise your rentals without a great amount of extra work.

This is part 3 of our 4-part blog post series “Smart Rental”. Here you’ll find post 1 and post 2.

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Angela de Monte
I got my first Smart Home gadget when I didn’t want to get out of bed earlier to heat up my espresso machine. Now all kinds of devices make my everyday life more convenient and even more secure. Why should I still bother my neighbor to look after my home when my Smart Home can take care of everything on its own when I’m away?