How to Run an Airbnb Remotely - Short Term Rental Distance Management

Managing Airbnb Remotely in 2023

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Many new hosts might wonder how they are going to make money by starting an Airbnb business in an area that is not a hot market for short term rentals. Luckily they don’t have to. We have run all of our short-term vacation rentals remotely from over two hours away for the past three years. Is managing Airbnb remotely a difficult task? Not if you put in time building relationships with local vendors and businesses that will be willing to help you!

Ways to Manage Airbnb Remotely

Start by finding an area that’s not too difficult to drive to once or twice a month. It’s not critical, but it is typically a good idea to check in on your investment from time to time and make sure that you can continue to trust the people you are working with.

Automation is key for remote Airbnb hosts

We wouldn’t be able to know what’s going on at our listings and assist guests remotely without relying heavily on smart home devices for Airbnb. We use Airbnb compatible smart locks, cloud recording smart security cameras, and smart thermostats to ensure our listing is comfortable and secure for guests. While managing Airbnb remotely, we can make sure our house rules are being followed, we aren’t over our max occupancy, and that we don’t have any squatters. These devices impress guests and have a big impact on our 5-star reviews too.

We also use a vacation rental management software to allow us to view all our reservations in one place. By doing this, we don’t have to spend time logging into each platform we list on. Automating our messages and reviews allows us to save a ton of time. Using an automated pricing tool allows us to ensure we are priced competitively and maximize our profits.

Stay away from Airbnb management services.

There are Airbnb management companies that will handle every aspect of managing your short term rental for you. Companies such as Evolve, Vacasa, and TurnKey will provide full service management, but at outrageous commissions that are usually in excess of 30%! This will quickly eat away at your profits. You can manage Airbnb remotely and retain all your earnings!

It starts with a cleaning company.

Your cleaning company will be your most important asset when it comes to managing Airbnb remotely. When finding a cleaning company, be sure to let them know the nature of your business, short term rentals, and ask them if they will be able to help resupply the listing with essentials. Ask them if they would be able to alert you to any damages or missing inventory and provide photos quickly.

You need a good handyman to manage Airbnb remotely.

It’s definitely a wise idea to ask around for a good handyman. Your realtor or home inspector will be very useful when it comes to picking a reliable, yet well-priced handyman. It’s also worth comparing estimates from a referral service such as Thumbtack. Ask this potential handyman if he has any experience with short term rentals such as Airbnb.

For Airbnb remote host help, consider a local co-host.

Sometimes you are just too busy to manage every aspect of your short term rental. Maybe you need someone to handle the messaging. Consider automating the messaging first, but you can also find an independent manager to be your Co-host on Airbnb. Co-hosts can be found directly on the Airbnb platform, and can help with specific tasks you can’t handle while managing Airbnb remotely. It is much easier to negotiate lower rates with a co-host than it will be with an Airbnb management service.

Make sure your check-in process is fool proof!

The last thing you want to happen when you manage Airbnb remotely remotely is for your key exchange method to fail. If your guest can’t get in and you have to make an emergency 2-hour drive, no one wins in that situation. When you use a lockbox system, make sure to have backup lockboxes in the event a guest forgets to return the keys. If you use a smart lock, it’s a good idea to have a physical key backup somewhere in the event the battery dies or the code doesn’t get updated correctly.

About the Author Kevin Kelsey

Originally from Connecticut, Kevin moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked his way up to becoming an editor on award-winning reality TV shows. Kevin owns 4 short term rentals in Southern California and founded AirHost Academy to help other hosts improve their business.