Running a Vacation Rental Business Like a Pro: How to Keep the Occupancy Rate Above 90%

tips for running a good short term rental

The vacation rental industry is ruthless. If you’d like to increase your occupancy rate, only relying on your property’s looks and amenities will no longer cut it. 

As the digital community is progressing, new methods and techniques are being introduced that can make or break your listing’s popularity. Successfully running a vacation rental business consists of a lot of micro activities that have a massive influence on your overall ratings. 

Although having an occupancy rate that’s above 90% might seem like an impossible task, we’re here to prove you wrong. Here’s what you need to do to.

1. Optimize Your Listing and Use Professional Photos

Applying SEO principles, such as including popular keywords, will ensure that your vacation rental property is always on your guests’ radar. These keywords should be incorporated into your title and description, so when the customer types in these words in the search box, your listing will be among the top search results. 

Another important vacation rental management tip is to consider hiring a professional photographer. They will ensure that the photos have great lighting, great frames, and great editing. In fact, Airbnb has revealed that the listings with high-quality images are 2.5 times more likely to be booked, according to FastCompany.

2. Screen Your Listing for Outdated Information

Running a vacation rental business is a long-term commitment that requires patience, diligence, and entrepreneurial spirit. 

As a diligent property owner, you should regularly update your listing to ensure that all information is correct and up-to-date. That means that your property description needs to be comprehensive and include every change you make to the property. 

If you introduce a new amenity, be sure to include it in the list of amenities; if you change the interior design, be sure to photograph it and update the gallery, etc.

3. Update Your Listings Frequently and Use Automation

Airbnb and other listing sites have search algorithms that were created to promote vacation properties that are frequently updated. It reassures the system that the vacation rental owner is active and offers accurate information. 

Luckily, thanks to automation software, running a vacation rental business has never been easier and more accessible. By using these smart, digital tools, you can automate different processes, such as calendar updates and customer service, which are very important for ranking higher and attracting more bookings.

4. Turn on Instant Book

Instant book is a very cool option that helps with getting more reservations. Although it might seem a bit irresponsible to accept guests without any screening, the chances are that nothing bad will happen. 

Moreover, because Airbnb is so competitive, guests are often impatient and want to ensure that they can book their favorite property on the spot. In fact, a lot of travelers limit their search results to properties that can be instantly booked.

5. Automate Reviews and Communication

Besides automating calendar updates, you can also use vacation rental software to automate reviews and communication. Automation is a great way to make property management easier and more convenient. Plus, the property owner’s response rate directly impacts their Superhost status and search placement. 

By automating these processes, you will be able to run your business more smoothly and have time to focus on other important tasks. Automation software will allow you to create review and message templates, schedule messages, and schedule review posting as well.

6. Increase Your Review Count

Having a lot of positive reviews is very important when it comes to ranking and visibility. Guests always look through reviews before finalizing a booking, to see other people’s experiences and thoughts. 

If you use automation to leave reviews for guests, you are more likely to receive a review in return. You can schedule message templates that ask customers for critical feedback upon checkout. If they have good things to say, then you can send them an official Airbnb feedback and ask for one in return. If their response is lengthy and critical, use it to improve the quality of your service and thank them for the feedback. 

7. Consider Long-Term Vacation Rentals for Low Season and Plan Ahead for Peak Season

Successfully running a vacation rental business means that you know how to take advantage of every situation. You should know how to assess the customers’ needs at every given moment. 

During low seasons, you are more likely to score bookings and keep your occupancy rates high by offering long-term accommodation. In contrast, during peak seasons, customers require short-term accommodation, which is precisely what you should be able to provide them with. 

However, be sure to plan ahead and coordinate your long-term and short-term stays to avoid having to reject bookings.

 8. Take Every Opportunity to Market Your Vacation Rental Property

The vacation rental industry is becoming relentless and extremely saturated, says AirDNA. That makes things much harder for hosts, especially when it comes to marketing their properties. 

If you’re running a vacation rental that is extraordinary, perhaps you should consider renting it out for music videos or photoshoots. Or, you can work with travel influencers and have them promote your listing on their social media pages. You can offer them free short stays in return. Taking advantage of such opportunities is important because it makes the listing much more appealing to the audience.

 All hosts know that running a vacation rental business is a serious commitment. If you’re thinking about starting a vacation rental business, don’t be discouraged. Just follow our tips on how to promote your listing, and you’ll be on your way to success. 

You’re lucky, though, because only a couple of years ago, hosts didn’t have access to smart digital tools such as holiday rental automation software. So, be sure to take advantage of these privileges, stay motivated, and your hard work will pay off.



Ashley Macdonald
Ashley has recently joined the FeedsPortal content writing team and brings with her a wealth of journalistic experience, which we believe our readers will find extremely useful.

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