Short-term rental spreadsheet to track business performance [TEMPLATE]

Discover the formulas, metrics, and key areas needed for an efficient short-term rental spreadsheet, and download our ready-made version.
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May 16, 2024
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Short-term rental spreadsheet to track business performance [TEMPLATE]

No matter what your business is or what industry you’re in, tracking your cash flow and keeping on top of your finances is non-negotiable.

In the short-term rental industry, you have a couple of options to do this—either by investing in a PMS (property management system), or, by getting  very familiar with a Spreadsheet software. Spreadsheets are the most accessible means of tracking finances, however, if you’re unfamiliar with what to include and the formulas needed, the task can feel daunting. 

Despite this, it’s important not to put off tracking your finances, and we’re here to help you build out your very own spreadsheet. Complete with the essential areas, the formulas you need, and the metrics to track. 

Read on to discover how to expertly track your business finances and operations with an efficient, intuitive spreadsheet. We’ve even provided a template for you to download and get started with immediately. 

Main areas of a short-term rental spreadsheet

A well-structured spreadsheet is a cornerstone of efficient and informed decision-making in the short-term rental business. By meticulously tracking financial data, owners can gain valuable insights into their cash flow, financial health, and overall profitability.

Financial management

Regular financial tracking assists in understanding and improving the business’s cash flow and financial health. It involves:

Tracking income and expenses

  • Outlining various income streams such as rental fees, cleaning fees, and add-on services (upsells). Categorizing these streams helps in assessing revenue sources accurately.
  • Classifying expenses like maintenance/cleaning and staffing. This categorization aids in understanding expenditure patterns and optimizing costs.
  • Tracking billables such as maintenance and cleaning costs that should be billed to the homeowner. It ensures transparent financial transactions and proper reimbursement.

Simplifying Tax Preparation and Compliance:

  • Organizing and retrieving tax-related documents easily, facilitating smooth tax filing processes.
  • Recording deductible expenses correctly to maximize tax benefits. Accurate documentation ensures you claim all eligible deductions, reducing tax liabilities.
  • Monitoring adherence to local tax laws and regulations, helping to avoid penalties and legal issues.
  • Simplifying potential tax audits by providing comprehensive and organized financial records, demonstrating compliance with tax laws.

Creating profit and loss statements per property:

  • Defining revenue generated from rental fees, add-on services, etc., and subtracting expenses like maintenance, cleaning, and staffing costs to calculate net income.
  • Creating individual Profit and Loss (P&L) statements for each property to analyze profitability and identify areas for improvement.
  • Recommending regular evaluations to track financial trends and make informed management decisions. Monitoring P&L statements helps in understanding property performance over time and adjusting strategies accordingly.

Booking management

If you’ve invested in a PMS, you may already have streamlined your booking management. However, if you’re yet to do so, a structured spreadsheet can make a good replacement by tracking the following:

Managing reservations and cancellations:

Record reservation details, including guest information, booking dates, and payment status. Tracking cancellations alongside reservations allows for the analysis of patterns, such as peak cancellation periods or reasons for cancellations.

Understanding these patterns enables strategic decision-making, so you can adjust cancellation policies or implement measures to reduce cancellations during certain periods.

Tracking booking trends:

Track booking trends and gain insights into seasonal variations, popular booking periods, and occupancy patterns. This information helps property managers know when to offer promotional deals during low occupancy periods or adjust pricing to maximize revenue. 

While automated pricing tools can replace some functions of spreadsheet analysis, spreadsheets offer flexibility and customization in analyzing booking trends according to specific business needs.

Tracking occupancy rates

As a property manager, you can record and analyze occupancy rates over different time frames so you can demonstrate your property’s performance to prospective homeowners. 

Consistently high occupancy rates, documented in spreadsheets, can be a compelling marketing tool to attract more homeowners and expand inventory. By displaying strong occupancy rates, property managers build trust and credibility, ultimately leading to business growth.

Operations management

Task and staff management:

  • Manage daily tasks and scheduling for staff, such as cleaning and maintenance personnel. You can create detailed schedules outlining tasks for each day, assign responsibilities to specific staff members, and set deadlines. You can use the list to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner to maintain the property's cleanliness and functionality.
  • Create real-time tracking and updates of task assignments. Staff can log their progress, mark tasks as completed, and make notes on any issues or delays encountered. The transparency ensures that responsibilities are clearly defined and monitored, reducing the likelihood of tasks falling through the cracks or overlapping.

Inventory control:

  • Manage inventory levels of essential supplies like toiletries, linens, and kitchen items. By maintaining a detailed inventory spreadsheet, you can track the quantity of each item in stock, monitor usage rates, and set up automatic reorder alerts when supplies run low. With an inventory spreadsheet, you will always have an adequate supply of essential items on hand to meet guest needs and avoid stockouts.

Guest communication logs:

  • Maintain guest communication logs, where you track guest preferences, issues raised during their stay, and any feedback provided. Logs serve as a valuable resource for understanding guest preferences, identifying recurring issues, and tracking the resolution of guest complaints. By analyzing this data, you can make informed improvements to enhance guest satisfaction and loyalty.

7 key metrics for STR management

A well-structured spreadsheet, gathers and analyzes essential data points that directly impact the performance of your rental property. 

These metrics not only help you make informed decisions but also allow you to effectively communicate the property's performance to homeowners, fostering transparency and trust in your management approach.

Here are 7 metrics you need to keep a close eye on.

1. Occupancy Rate

Occupancy rate measures the percentage of time your rental property is occupied over a specified period, typically calculated monthly or annually.  It is a fundamental metric for assessing the property's demand and use. 

To calculate the occupancy rate, divide the number of booked nights by the total number of available nights, then multiply by 100. 

A higher occupancy rate indicates greater demand and revenue potential. This metric influences strategic decisions related to pricing and marketing by helping you identify peak demand periods to maximize rates and optimize marketing efforts to fill vacant periods.

2. Average Daily Rate (ADR)

Average daily rate (ADR) represents the average revenue earned per occupied night and is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of occupied nights

A higher ADR indicates that you are generating more revenue per booking. Monitoring ADR allows you to gauge the property's pricing competitiveness and adjust rates accordingly to maximize revenue without sacrificing occupancy. 

By analyzing ADR alongside occupancy rate, you can strike a balance between pricing and occupancy to optimize overall revenue.

3. Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR)

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) measures the property's revenue generated per available room, taking into account both occupancy rate and ADR. It is calculated by multiplying occupancy rate by ADR. 

RevPAR provides a comprehensive view of the property's revenue performance, accounting for both occupancy levels and pricing strategies. This metric influences strategic decisions by guiding pricing adjustments and marketing initiatives to enhance overall revenue generation.

4. Guest Satisfaction Scores

Guest satisfaction scores quantify the level of satisfaction among guests during their stay, typically measured through post-stay surveys or online reviews. These scores reflect the guest experience and overall perception of the property's quality and service. 

Monitoring guest satisfaction scores allows you to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance guest experience, leading to positive reviews and repeat bookings. Decisions regarding property management, staffing, and guest amenities can be better informed by analyzing guest satisfaction data.

5. Booking Lead Time

Booking lead time measures the duration between the date of booking and the date of arrival for guests. It provides insights into booking patterns and allows you to anticipate demand fluctuations. 

Calculating the average booking lead time helps in setting pricing strategies and adjusting efforts to target guests booking far in advance or those making last-minute reservations. 

By understanding booking lead time, you can optimize revenue by offering attractive deals during periods of low demand or implementing minimum stay requirements during peak seasons.

6. Cancellation Rate

Cancellation rate indicates the percentage of bookings that are canceled by guests before their scheduled arrival date. High cancellation rates can impact revenue and occupancy levels, especially if cancellations occur close to the arrival date, leaving little time to rebook the property. 

To calculate the cancellation rate, divide the number of canceled bookings by the total number of bookings, then multiply by 100. 

Analyzing cancellation rates helps in implementing policies to minimize cancellations, such as flexible cancellation policies or requiring deposits, and adjusting pricing strategies to mitigate revenue loss.

7. Length of Stay

Length of stay measures the average number of nights guests spend at your rental property per booking. It provides insights into guest behavior and preferences, helping you tailor marketing strategies and pricing incentives to encourage longer stays. 

To calculate the length of stay, divide the total number of occupied nights by the total number of bookings. Understanding the length of stay allows you to optimize revenue by offering discounts for extended stays or adjusting minimum stay requirements to attract guests seeking longer-term accommodations.

How to structure a spreadsheet for STR financial management

1. Define financial categories

Before setting up your spreadsheet for tracking key financial data, it's essential to define clear financial categories. These categories categorize transactions into income, expenses, or billable items, providing structure to your financial records. 

Common categories include:

  • Rental income
  • Cleaning fees
  • Maintenance expenses
  • Utilities

Plus , any other relevant expenses or revenue streams specific to your short-term rental business. By defining financial categories upfront, you ensure consistency and accuracy in tracking and analyzing financial data.

2. Set up columns for key financial data

To organize your financial data effectively, set up columns in your spreadsheet to capture essential information for each transaction. 

For example:

  • Date: The date of the transaction.
  • Category: Whether the transaction represents income, expense, or a billable item.
  • Description: A brief description of the transaction, such as cleaning fees, type of upsell, or specific expense details.
  • Amount: The monetary value of the transaction.

3. Apply conditional formatting for visual clarity

Conditional formatting enhances the visual clarity of your spreadsheet by automatically applying formatting rules based on specified criteria. 

You can use conditional formatting to highlight important information, identify trends, or flag potential issues. For example, you can set up rules to highlight negative values in red to draw attention to expenses, or use color-coding to differentiate between different types of transactions

By applying conditional formatting, you can quickly identify key insights and trends within your financial data, improving readability and analysis.

4. Implement formulas for real-time calculations

Using spreadsheet formulas to perform real-time calculations and automate data analysis is the quickest way to build an accurate, reliable spreadsheet. For example, you can use SUM functions to calculate total income or expenses for a specific period, or calculate averages, percentages, and other metrics to analyze financial performance. Additionally, you can use IF statements to categorize transactions based on predefined criteria or perform conditional calculations. 

In our next section we’ll share the most important formulas for an STR spreadsheet. 

5 essential STR spreadsheet formulas

1. SUM

SUM calculates the total sum of a range of numbers, crucial for aggregating financials.

  • Usage: =SUM(range)


AVERAGE determines the average value of a set of numbers, useful for analyzing performance metrics.

  • Usage: =AVERAGE(range)


Counts cells in a range that meet a specified condition.

  • Usage: =COUNTIF(range, criteria)

4. IF

Performs different actions based on specified criteria.

Usage: =IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)


Searches for a value in the first column of a table and returns a corresponding value from another column.

Usage: =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

Mastering these formulas allows for efficient data analysis and informed decision-making to boost your rental business's performance and profitability.

Your vacation rental spreadsheet template

Ready to get started with your vacation rental spreadsheet? We’ve created a template to help you get started.

Download my STR spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are the most efficient, cost-effective way to manage your finances

Using a spreadsheet to track your short-term renta finances is not only efficient, it’s also the most cost effective way for those who don’t want to invest in a more comprehensive system liek a PMS. With the right areas, formulas and metrics, you can ensure your books are balanced and your cash flow is accurately tracked to help make more informed decisions.

If you’re looking to optimize your spending even further, Minut helps over 50,000 property managers around the world protect their property with noise and occupancy monitoring, cigarette smoke detection and temperature control. Book a demo to find out how our customers save thousands on property damage.