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Maximizing Success in the Short-Term Rental Industry: A Guide to Automation

Hey there, fellow entrepreneurs and short-term rental aficionados! Justin Reid here, your go-to guy for all things STR. Today, I want to talk about something that has revolutionized my business and could do the same for yours: automation.

Running a short-term rental business is like being on a rollercoaster ride—exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes, a little bit dizzying. With guests constantly coming and going, the demands on your time and resources can feel never-ending. But fear not, my friends, because automation is here to save the day!

The Power of Delegation

As someone who's been knee-deep in the short-term rental game for nearly a decade, I know firsthand the challenges that come with managing multiple properties. Like many entrepreneurs, I used to think that I had to do it all myself to ensure perfection. But oh, how wrong I was!

Once I embraced the idea of delegation, my life changed for the better. I realized that I didn't have to be the one completing every task. Instead, I could lean on software and tools to handle the heavy lifting for me. And let me tell you, it's been a game-changer.

Automating Messaging

First things first: let's talk about communication. As any seasoned host knows, being

responsive to guests is key to success in the short-term rental world. But who has the time to craft personalized messages for every booking?

In the early days of Key Source Properties, I had an alarm set for 9 am and 6 pm. This is when I would manually send check out and check in messages. As we grew, this became cumbersome, and I had to find a more efficient way to do this. Enter Tokeet, my trusty sidekick in the world of automated messaging. For a nominal fee, Tokeet integrates seamlessly with major booking platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, taking care of all my communication needs. From booking confirmations to check-in instructions, Tokeet has it covered, saving me precious time and energy. Tokeet, is the program that we used for quite a few years, but now there are so many offerings out there. And AirBnb now offers automated messages as well!

Dynamic Pricing Done Right

When I first started listing properties on Airbnb, I would sit down once every Monday, pull up my calendar, and assess the pricing of each listing. I would slash prices for dates that had not been booked and increase prices for weekends that I thought would do better.

Well, gone are the days of manually adjusting prices based on gut instinct. With dynamic pricing tools like Guesty, I can rest easy knowing that my listings are always competitively priced. By analyzing market demand and adjusting prices accordingly, Guesty helps my properties rank higher in search results and maximize revenue potential. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

The Digital Guidebook Advantage

Last but certainly not least, let's talk about enhancing the guest experience. Last Fall when Jonathan and I went to Europe, we rented AirBnb's in Milan and Paris. Each of our hosts sent us a link to 4 days worth of activities. We absolutely loved this, and I wanted to see how I could apply that to the STR business. I asked myself, “How can I become my guest’s travel agent without spending too much money, and can I automate the whole process?” A digital guidebook is a link you can send your guest that provides information and a short itinerary of things to do in your market. I suggest finding 3-4 attractions and making a daily schedule around them. When your guest checks in, you can have this sent automatically.

For instance, Louisville, Kentucky, is known for bourbon, the horse track (Churchill Downs), and

restaurants. I have three separate days that are planned around those things.

AirBnb actually makes it easy for hosts now and offers this feature. That is the digital guidebook we use, but there are a ton of other platforms you can use. I recommend having a digital book compared to a printed one you leave at the property for many reasons, including easier access for a guest, ease of updating, and the ability to keep it all automated. Plus, who wants to touch a guidebook that hundreds of others have touched? It's not something you can really sanitize like the rest of the house.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, folks: the power of automation in the short-term rental industry. By leveraging tools like Tokeet, Guesty, and digital guidebooks, you can streamline your operations, delight your guests, and take your business to new heights. Sure, it might be hard to let go of control at first, but trust me when I say that the benefits far outweigh any initial hesitation.

So go ahead, embrace the future of hospitality, and watch as automation transforms your business for the better. Your future self will thank you!

If you would like to learn more about automation and delegation, book a consultation with me. I'd love to help your business grow and evolve. Book here:

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