As rewarding as vacation rental management may be, it is also very time consuming. From guest management, availability calendars, housekeeping staff management to marketing, it seems a vacation rental manager’s task list is never truly completed. As the vacation rental market grows, the work load is only going to increase as more and more competitors enter the market forcing many of us to increase our marketing efforts even more.
However, the forecast is not all doom and gloom; there are fantastic ways in which vacation rental managers can save time from their day-to-day tasks:
1. Save Time Managing Inquiries with an Online Reservation System
Responding to inquiries, sending check-in/check-out/review reminder emails, managing the schedule of housekeeping staff, end-of-month reporting and utilizing dynamic pricing for seasonal changes can all be automated using an online reservation system. These valuable tools not only save a tremendous amount of time, but allow you to respond to guests around the clock, even when you are not working. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, and being the first to respond to a guest inquiry has a higher likelihood of turning the inquiry into a booking.
2. Save Time Managing Your SEO with Moz
If you have an independent vacation rental website to compliment your portal listings, you will most likely be spending time on search engine optimization (SEO). For those of us who are not tremendously tech-savvy, this can be a time consuming task to manage sitemaps, researching errors in titles, meta-data descriptions or whether we are effectively using the keywords in individual pages. This is where Moz comes into play (formely known as SEOMoz).
SEOMoz allows you to create a crawl diagnosis on your website, checks your landing pages and scores them based on your keyword usage, and also shows you what you should be doing next to improve your SEO.
3. Save Time Managing Your Phone Calls with Phone-Tag
Answering phone-calls and listening to endless voice-mails, can be a tedious task, especially when your to-do list is overflowing with other tasks. A great tool is Phone Tag. Instead of having to listen to your voice-mails you can have Phone Tag convert your messages to text and deliver them to you by email or text message.
4. Save Time with Content Creation with Online Readers
Content creation is a great way to target long-tail keyword searches and helps increase search engine ranking. Coming up with content ideas can surely be tricky when you are already busy with other tasks. A great way to get inspired is reading other vacation rental blogs to see the variety of topics that are available. Simply select to track any new articles that talk about vacation rentals, holiday tips, family vacation tips etc. With your reader you can view all these articles in one place, and get inspired by the ones that would be useful and relevant for your blog guests. For example maybe there is a blog post written about “the Best Family Activities in Miami”, you can write a blog post about “Best Family Activities in San Diego”.
There are a variety of great online reader tools available, Feedly is popular. And remember, the key is to be inspired, not to duplicate content (duplicate content hurts your search engine ranking).
5. Save Time Managing Availability Calendars with Channel Manager
Availability Calendar management is not only time consuming but a mistake can lead to a costly double-booking. If you have multiple listings available on multiple portals, a great tool to use would be a Channel Manager. Channel Managers help you to update availability calendars, pricing information and property information from one centralized point and then it automatically pushes it he updated information to all of your other listings.
Do you have any tools you would like to share that help save time managing vacation rentals? If you have any questions about the tools, feel free to ask in the comment section below.
This post was contributed by Francesca Nurlu. Francesca is the Digital Marketing Manager for Kigo Vacation Rental Software. Kigo provides all-in-one vacation rental software and channel management solutions for vacation rental managers. she creates a wide variety of educational articles and ebooks to help property managers increase their bookings.