As a short-term rental owner and manager, there’s nothing more fun than interacting with happy guests, planning how you’ll incorporate the amenities you’ve always dreamed of or scouting for your next investment. That being said, those sexy to-dos mean nothing if you’re not on top of the nitty gritty, less exciting administrative tasks.
Fear not. Our team not only understands the ins and outs of the many admin tasks that STR owners and managers need to keep a pulse on – but also how to streamline and automate them as much as possible. Let’s break down a few of the admin tasks most often neglected and how you can stay ahead of them:
Short-term rental tax laws and regulations. There are a ton of rules surrounding the short-term rental industry. Now, these can vary greatly based on location, which adds to the complexity, but doing your research ahead of time can save you time and money. For example, NYC recently enacted a law that requires hosts to register their short-term rentals in a city database to provide proof that they themselves live there and are not out-of-town investors. To stay ahead of ever changing legislation, set up a local news alert on your phone for any press on the short-term rental industry in your area. Separately, you might consider joining a local STR networking group to learn from other local in-the-know professionals.
Property expenses and inventory. Keep detailed expense & inventory sheets. Any hotshot short-term rental manager knows the devil’s in the details. Logging expenses associated with your properties and keeping track of the status of items in your rentals might not be enthralling in the moment, but feels great when it equates to more money in your pocket later on. Maintaining a clear record of all of your expenses (think: utilities, repairs, marketing, etc.) makes it easier for you to budget for buying your next STR as well as reduces the risk of tax filing mistakes. On the other hand, an inventory sheet gives you a clear picture of when you might need to consider maintenance or upgrades. It also allows you to keep track of what to bill guests for missing or damaged items.
Day-to-day property maintenance. The short answer? Outsource wherever possible. Certain dirty day-to-day tasks are a pain to manage solo, especially as you expand your short-term rental portfolio. By properly budgeting like we talked about above, it’s likely that you’ll more easily find the funds to outsource administrative duties that eat up too much of you or your team’s time. For example, instead of hauling guest’s trash to the curb (or asking them to do it themselves which is a major yikes), you might consider partnering with a trash removal partner that specializes in short-term rentals to automate the process. You can apply this to any time-consuming task related to your properties whether that’s outsourcing your accounting, lawn care or advertising to a professional.
All in all, mastering short-term rental admin tasks like a pro is all about being proactive. While it might take some time up front to set up systems and identify time-saving partners, the headache and financial savings you’ll see from prioritizing preparedness are priceless. Questions? Our inbox is open: firstname.lastname@example.org