August 17, 2020
By being proactive in your regular maintenance routine and investing in your maintenance programs, vacation rental managers can save on overall operating costs and reduce repair costs by 20%. For a more proactive approach get into the habit of inspecting your properties after each stay to look for damages and other issues, prioritize your maintenance needs, pay attention to the small details, jump on small fixes and catch issues early on, and of course, make sure your listings have updated photos and amenities across all channels. Here are some tips to get you started.
It’s in The Details
It’s the little things in life that count right? Regularly replace batteries in remotes, smoke detectors, and any other battery-operated appliance. Check your lamps and light fixtures to make sure there aren’t any blown out bulbs. Look into installing LED bulbs into your fixtures, they last 25 times longer than regular halogen bulbs. Regularly scheduled indoor and outdoor maintenance is key. Also, make sure you keep paper product stock for your guests in your rentals, no one ever wants to run out of the true necessities like toilet paper!
Sweat the Small Stuff
Simple fixes such as keeping a small stock of touch up paint for walls and fences will help you set the expectations with staff to maintain appearances. The longer you wait, the worse off it will be, thus adding cost and time to the project. Regularly inspect all appliances and have them serviced as needed. Get in the habit of checking for loose hardware, damaged cords, and general damage around your property in between guests, sweating the small stuff now will save you money later.
Have a regular HVAC contractor inspect and replace your air filter. Depending on air quality, rate of occupancy, and if you allow pets at your rental property, your filter may have to be changed more frequently. Guests need to have a heating and air system that is reliable and up to date to have a comfortable stay at your property.
Keep on top of housekeeping, the cleanliness of a vacation rental is even more important than it was Pre-COVID 19. A poorly maintained vacation rental will result in fewer guests and poor reviews. Consistent and thorough cleaning of your vacation rental shows your commitment to your guests and your property your house cleaning services, this will increase your guest numbers. Stock up on toiletries and make sure that you replace linens and towels regularly for your guests, necessities like towels and bedding can get worn out fast. Flip your mattresses every three months to prevent sagging, this will increase the overall life and comfort of your mattresses.
Keep Inventory Records Updated
Keep track of all indoor and outdoor maintenance, appliances, and electronics in your rental property. Record when you had the landscapers or the plumber visit. Keep an inventory of the make and model of all appliances and electronics you have at your property, this way it will be easy to keep track of your items warranties and when they are serviced. When it comes to repairs and inspections, there is no time to procrastinate. Mark high priority items such as fire and electrical inspections at the top of your list.
Update Your Listing
Did you update appliances? Make sure your online listings are up to date with new amenities and appliances listed. Take new images when you update something so guests know what their rental is going to look like. This can help guests in their decision-making process to choosing your rental over your competitors. When a guest has a complaint about damage or an inconvenience due to lack of upkeep or the listing isn’t accurate, this could be detrimental to your business and could result in a lost customer and a bad review. Properties that are well cared for and appear as they are advertised result in happy guests, which means repeat business and trust in your brand.
The best way to focus on being proactive with your vacation rental property maintenance is to step into the vacationer’s shoes. Often when we are in the travel industry we forget to take a step back and remember all of the little things that make guests feel like they are on vacation, the fresh and fluffy towels, the clean kitchen, the dust-free living room, doors and windows that are clean and lock properly. Focus on the small details that guests look for when they are staying in a rental, make them feel like your rental is their home away from home and you have thought of everything. Anticipate their needs. Routinely inspect your properties after each stay and stay organized by keeping a good record of inventory and repairs. This way your guests will leave your rental property feeling refreshed, with the impression that your vacation rental property was everything they hoped for and more.