21st July 2022
Canterburied: How Short Term Property Owners Can Make the Most of Their Business
With the cost of living skyrocketing in New Zealand, Airbnbs are quickly becoming a cheaper, safer alternative for many Kiwis interested in alternative accomodation. But with the enhanced risks in the host/guest relationships, how can workers in short term rental management stay safe against more unruly guests?
- Decide If Property Management Is Right for You
These days, being an Airbnb host is all about having thick skin. In depth Canterbury research has found that being an Airbnb host has both significantly improved, and drastically declined, people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether short term or long term, rental property management in New Zealand is being constantly impacted by the living conditions set by traditional rental properties; this includes a skyrocketing rent price, poor management, and substandard building conditions. Kiwis are screaming for better.
This is where Airbnb comes in, but at a cost. As with any other career, workers in rental management have to decide whether it is the job for them, and how to prepare themselves against clients and customers that might be a little less grateful.
If you’re someone who has a strong backbone, sets clear and respectful boundaries for the property and yourself, and is direct and honest, then you should be set to own your own Airbnb.
Most importantly, you should have the ability to work well with people. Many short term rental managers agree that this is the most important quality of all; having a positive and friendly attitude and generally being interested in who is booking your property sets you up a long way.
Not only will you appear personable and friendly, you will be able to get a feel for the kind of people who are booking your bach or resort: making it feel less like a background check and more of an open, two way conversation.
Specifically focusing on your clients’ needs, as well as how to ensure they’re getting the most value from your service, will also diminish the chances of conflict, issues and dissatisfaction between you and your guests.
- Setting Clear Boundaries
As mentioned before, short term rental management suffers when property owners don’t set clear and honest boundaries with their customers. While some reports conclude that Airbnb has suffered negative consequences for its owners, particularly with reported thefts, messes and damages to the property, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Start by providing training to Airbnb hosts to avoid mismanagement, boost managerial skillsets and affirm realistic expectations of their guests and their consequences if the agreement is breached.
Not only will this allow managers to get a little breathing room, your customers will see you as more professional, increasing the social and economic benefits to your wellbeing and your business.
Remember to have a clear idea of why you’re getting involved in the role as well. Becoming an Airbnb host has its benefits, but going into it with a strong idea of why and how will allow budding rental owners to reap these benefits more soundly than if they fly in blind.
Before you open up your first Airbnb, get comfortable with your expectations. Ask yourself what your budget is, what your expected profits are, and what you are and are not comfortable with out of your guests.
This will not only help you establish some clear boundaries in the beginning of your short term rental career, but also give you some rules and guidelines to stick to when the guests do start arriving.
You want to appear friendly and approachable (which I’m sure you naturally are!), but you also want to promote good business ethics and take your hospitality seriously. Setting boundaries in the beginning for guests, staff and yourself will ensure that everyone’s needs are met, and conflicts are settled before they arise.
- Housing Affordability: At a Cost
For any short term property owner, housing affordability is a clear issue. With strains further impacting New Zealand’s already fragile housing market, it is little wonder that domestic travellers (“staycationers”) are sourcing Airbnbs for the cheaper alternative.
The economic benefits for you, as an Airbnb owner, could not be written more plainly. Local economies stand to gain a huge boost in profit owing to more variety as well as cheaper listings. Though the “Airbnb effect”, as it’s been dubbed, has been criticised as a form of gentrification, the counteroffer to expensive rentals and accommodation has seen a steadier income stream, happier customers, and an impressive boom in security and wellbeing for renters and rentees alike.
For anyone looking to get their foot in the door, now would be your ideal opportunity. As the cost of living climbs steadily higher in our unsure world, the tipping point for the alternative accommodation industry is clearly tipped in your favour.
However, you should be wary of the increased demand of landlords broadening their strategies for short term capitalisation on the Airbnb platform: the short term rental demand means a broadening of their portfolios, which could sully your business and cause guests and potential recurring customers to jump ship.
In a rapidly growing emerging market, this is to be expected. If you’re experienced in real estate and know the ins and outs of property management, then counterstrategy should be swift and effective. This can start by improving the safety and security of your platform, your business and of course, your Airbnb properties.
Delivering a consistent guest experience is also another must, because it means more potential for customer and client satisfaction, and of course a broadening of your consumer market.
Focusing on potential changes, thinking up solutions for potential problems, and conferring with guests about their experience is another way to make them feel included and broaden your business model.
With demand for Airbnbs set to expand by 2024, following these surefire steps will give you an edge in the real estate world. Shaking things up with these clever business practices will allow you to set up your property manager business in record time.