Five Ways Property Management Companies Can Use Tech To Achieve Organizational Efficiency
This is a guest post by Alon Eitan, Director of Strategy and Business Development at short-term property management platform Guesty.
There are several key components that go into running an efficient property management company - pandemic or no pandemic. Whether it's responding to guest inquiries in a timely fashion, managing your team’s tasks remotely or introducing new cleaning protocols, these day-to-day responsibilities can quickly pile up.
That’s why I’m sharing five tips on how property management companies can use technology to supplement lean teams, enhance their offering and achieve peak productivity.
Automate Guest Communication to Provide Top-Notch Guest Experiences
While guest inquiries pre-COVID may have involved check-in instructions or recommendations for local activities, travelers are now also asking about the measures that have been taken to ensure their health and safety. Communicating proactively is the best way to build trust with guests in this new climate. However, handling all guest communication - especially around the clock - is time-consuming and tedious.
Property management companies can rely on automation tools to send messages automatically, saving time on the most repetitive aspects of the job, while speeding up response rate, enhancing guest experience, and improving host rating.
Custom templates and saved replies can be used to send automatic confirmation emails, highlight the amenities you are offering, introduce any changes you have made regarding cancellation policies or share relevant information about the steps taken to prioritize cleanliness.
Automated messaging can also support contact-free guest experiences, such as providing self check-in instructions or a keyless entry code 24 hours prior to check-in. Post-stay, an automated messaging flow can be utilized to send out discounts or coupons for future stays to incentivize guests to leave reviews.
Digitize Operations to Streamline Your Business
With most companies currently operating remotely, it may be challenging to manage your cleaning staff’s tasks, maintenance visits and everything else in between.
Digitize your operations to make sure that your team’s to-dos are completed on schedule. Real-time notifications can help you assign and monitor tasks, flag inefficiencies and optimize your team’s productivity - all at a safe distance.
Property management companies can also utilize tech to coordinate quality and cleanliness standards across rentals. Technology to manage cleaning staff remotely gives you the ability to review cleanings through verification photos and real-time reports. This will make sure your operations run efficiently and save you time, which is crucial as you focus on what matters most: growth.
Perfect Your Pre-Stay Flow to Personalize Guest Experience and Limit Fraudulent Activity
Last-minute trips are trending right now, with many travelers making reservations closer to check-in. In fact, when looking back on September, Guesty’s data collected from all major booking channels, including Airbnb and Booking.com, shows that 15% of reservations were made the same day and over 40% of reservations were made within 7 days of the reservation itself.
With an influx of last-minute bookings, it might be easy to lose sight of the critically important tasks between booking and check-in. Using technology to collect all relevant information from guests before each stay will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. You can even automatically send guests personalized agreements with your terms and conditions to sign digitally - reducing your vulnerability to fraud, helping you fight false chargeback claims, while also limiting unwanted guest behavior.
Generate Analytics Reports to Make Decisions Based On Real-Time Data
Interpreting data about your properties is critical to the success of your business, but many property management companies don’t have the time nor resources to sit down and crunch numbers.
Analytics tools can help you turn business data into actionable insights. Quantify your performance through a variety of lenses to understand the bigger picture, from earned revenue to occupancy rates, commission vs. net income and more. Then make informed decisions for your business.
Analytics can also be used to improve internal operations and break down larger, more time-consuming tasks. And data about the number of people per booking, age, or origin can help you determine the amount of time it will take to properly clean a home - for example, a domestic business traveler versus a family of four from out of state.
Invest In Your Direct Booking Channel
Direct bookings are a very realistic and profitable strategy to utilize during COVID-19 and as we look towards recovery, since it gives property management companies another avenue to distribute listings, increase brand recognition and draw in customers sans channel fees.
In fact, we have seen more than a 150% uptick in the use of our Direct Booking Website Tool from January until today. This data highlights that to navigate the pandemic, professional hosts worldwide relied on their own direct booking channels (rather than only third-party online booking channels) more than usual to diversify their marketing channels.
In order to achieve maximum distribution and visibility with potential guests, it’s ideal for property management companies and hosts to list properties on both booking channels as well as their own SEO-optimized booking websites. Direct sites are great tools for brand-building and can be a nice suggestion of where to book for return visitors that are familiar with the host/property management company.
Rely On Tech For Smooth Operations
The daily operational needs of a property management company today are complex. From understanding new travel restrictions to catering to fluctuating guest expectations to experimenting with new marketing strategies, these responsibilities can have a major impact on your business’s performance.
In order to operate efficiently while preparing for the return of travel, property management companies can rely on technology to automate as many tasks as possible, saving them time and ultimately boosting their bottom line.
For more information on managing your short-term rental business amid the new normal, visit Guesty’s Coronavirus Infocenter.