Running a vacation rental isn’t easy, it takes lots of time and energy. But the complications are fewer if your rentals are local, you’re at hand to deal with your clients and eventual problems. Not located in a tourist destination? Looking to invest in a property abroad? The task to manage a vacation rental from abroad is NOT impossible, you basically have 2 ways: do the marketing and sales yourself and outsource operations, or get someone to do everything for you. This article is packed with tips on how to set up both options. Now all you need is that dream villa abroad!

1.Get someone to manage your vacation rental for you

If you want complete peace of mind you should consider a property manager. A property manager deals with the many issues that you will not be able to handle from abroad. When you decide to work with a property manager, all day-to-day responsibilities of your property will be taken care of, making it much easier to manage a vacation rental from abroad. A Property Manager is responsible for:

  • Finding and dealing with guests
  • Check in- check out
  • Setting, collecting and adjusting prices
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Cleaning service
  • Managing the budget

Hiring a property manager will clearly save you lots of time and headaches. But how do you find a good, experienced and professional PM?

  • Google “vacation rental” in your language together with the name of the area your property is located in
  • Put a message up on the Vacation Rentals Professionals Group on LinkedIn
  • HomeAway shows the names of the managers on the rental pages, search for your area and read the reviews.
  • In the US, try, a wholesale marketplace for property mangers which helps homeowners find the right property manager for their second homes.

2.Manage marketing & sales yourself, outsource operational

Many owners today choose to take care of the marketing and sales themselves. To do this efficiently and to avoid mistakes you should look into using technology:

When it comes to check-in/check-out you have various possibilities:

  • Smart locks: Smart locks enables guests to unlock the door with a temporarily code that you generate with an app. The great thing is that you can control and monitor these key locks from anywhere, meaning that you can lock the door with your smartphone from any place in the world. Try Igloohome or RentingLock for example.
  • Key safes: In certain destinations there are key safes companies that will store your keys in a central location where your guests can pick them pick up and drop them off again.
  • Check-in / Check-out companies: They’re not property managers, but they have your keys and they deal with greeting your guests and sometimes cleaning too.

For maintenance and cleaning:

  • Cleaning: Finding a reliable cleaner that is available to come when needed is difficult. You should have at least two cleaners – maybe recommended by a neighbour – and you will need to manage them by phone. Then there are innovative service companies that allow you to book specialised vacation rental cleaners, try in the United States, London, Canada or the start-up Doinn located in Portugal.
  • Maintenance: Clearly something breaking or not working while your guests are on-site can be a right headache and a sure recipe for a bad review. Unless you have one or better two handymen’s phone numbers, you can try Taskrabbit, a website that connects you with same-day help.
  • More service companies to help you outsource in the Who’s Who of the Vacation Rentals Industry!

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