Most Common Mistakes New Short-Term Rental Hosts Make

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Starting a short-term rental can be a lucrative venture, but it's important to avoid common mistakes that many new hosts make. These mistakes can cost you money and waste your time. In this blog post, we'll discuss ten of the most common mistakes new short-term rental hosts make and how to avoid them.

  1. Cleaning the rental yourself: As a short-term rental host, your time is valuable. Cleaning the rental yourself can take up a lot of your time, and it's not possible to scale and own lots of units while cleaning them all yourself. You also can't manage remotely if you self-clean. Instead, hire a local, reliable cleaner to take care of the cleaning, laundry, and property management for you.
  2. Using amateur cell phone photos: Professional photos can make a big difference in attracting guests to your rental, and cost only a few hundred dollars. Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality, visually appealing photos of your rental.
  3. Providing snacks and bottled water: While it's nice to provide extra amenities for guests, restocking and managing these items can be time-consuming, and don't make a big difference to guest experience. Instead, provide a basic coffee bar and let guests bring their own snacks.
  4. Not having enough linens: To make laundry and turnover easier, have at least three sets of all linens. This makes same-day turnovers much easier. If linens become stained or ruined, we recommend ordering new ones right away.
  5. Not protecting your mattresses and pillows: Protect your investment by covering your mattresses and pillows in bed bug-proof and water-proof protectors.
  6. Allowing anyone to instant book: To avoid potential problems, only allow guests with good prior reviews and recommendations from other hosts to book instantly.
  7. Not having cameras or smart locks: Having cameras and smart locks can provide added security for your property and guests. Smart locks make check ins a breeze, and lets guests come and go as they please. It also makes it easy to remotely change the code between guests. 
  8. Not using a price management software: Using a software like Pricelabs can help you price your rental competitively based on market data.
  9. Sending out all messages manually: Automate your messaging to save time and ensure guests receive all the information they need.
  10. Getting too excited about a potential booking to screen guests: Screening guests, especially those without prior reviews, can help you avoid potential problems and ensure you're getting the best guests. Some bookings aren't worth the money. 

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can run a more profitable and efficient short-term rental business. If you'd like assistance with managing your short term rental, check out our co-hosting service