If you’ve been an Airbnb host for a while and you’ve had success at it, you may be thinking about adding more vacation rental properties to your portfolio. You may even be considering offering property management services, and managing other people’s properties.

Becoming an Airbnb property manager can be a fulfilling career path – and you can also make a lot of money with it. The short-term rental industry is forever growing: now is as good a time as any to take the next step and set up a property management business. It’s a relatively low-risk, low-investment venture that can turn out to be extremely lucrative.

But where should you start?

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming an Airbnb property manager, from finding clients to using vacation rental software to scale your business.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today!

What Does an Airbnb Property Manager Do?

Before you decide to switch careers, you should be aware of the responsibilities that a property manager has.

While it can be a highly rewarding and lucrative career path, it’s definitely not a cakewalk. You should expect to work hard, especially as you start to grow.

The responsibilities of an Airbnb property manager include:

  • Cultivating relationships with homeowners.
  • Confirming bookings and communicating with guests.
  • Scheduling and managing cleanings and maintenance work.
  • Taking care of check-ins and check-outs.
  • Distributing listings on Airbnb and other rental platforms.

How Do I Become an Airbnb Property Manager?

Now that you know what the role entails, here are four steps to becoming an Airbnb property manager:

1. Find co-hosting opportunities

The first thing you need to do as an aspiring Airbnb property manager is find clients. In other words, you need to find homeowners who need help with hosting and are looking for co-hosts or property management services.

There are several ways to go about finding these hosts:

  • Tap into your network. If you’re an Airbnb host, there’s a chance you have other hosts in your social and professional circle. Start by asking them if they’re interested in co-hosting or hiring you as a vacation rental property manager.
  • Find clients online. Go beyond the people you already know and look for homeowners who may be seeking an Airbnb property manager online. You can ask the members of your local Facebook group for Airbnb hosts. Or post an ad on a specialized website like CoHostMarket which aims to connect property owners with managers.
  • Talk to hosts you stay with. If you use Airbnb as a guest from time to time, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t strike up a conversation with your hosts and ask them if they need help with property management. Even if they don’t, they might be able to connect you with someone who does.

2. Convince homeowners to hire you

Once you’ve managed to track down a few hosts who seem interested in the property management services you offer, you’ll need to prove why you’re the best choice.

There are lots of large property management companies out there with decades of experience managing hundreds of vacation rentals. Why should owners trust you to manage their properties over them?

Having previous experience as an Airbnb host is an advantage. After all, a big part of your job as a vacation rental manager will be to provide an outstanding guest experience – which individual hosts need to do, too.

So when pitching to potential clients, don’t forget to show them some of the raving reviews you’ve received. There’s no better way to prove that you’re a great host than to let your Airbnb guests speak for you. If you’re an Airbnb Superhost, make sure to mention that, too.

On the other hand, if you don’t have experience as an Airbnb host, you may have a tougher time convincing new clients to trust you. It’s not impossible – a positive attitude and an entrepreneurial mindset can get you far.

But you’ll also need to brush up on your vacation rental industry knowledge and prove that you’re qualified for the job. For example, you can do this by completing a course in property management. We’ll talk more about online courses you can take below.

Initially, you may have to lower your rates to get the first couple of gigs, but don’t let that deter you. As soon as you have some real-world experience, you’ll start getting referrals and you’ll be able to start charging higher rates, too.

3. Create a business plan

Starting an Airbnb property management business is just like starting any other company. You need to have a plan.

So, before you go all in, take some time to really think about how you’re going to manage other people’s properties – and how you’re going to scale your operations, which is arguably the most difficult part to figure out. Then write it all down in the form of a business plan.

Your Airbnb property management business plan should include:

  • How will you manage cleaning and maintenance tasks? Will you take care of them yourself, or outsource them to a third-party provider? Have you looked into tools that can help you automate Airbnb cleanings?
  • How will you do check-ins? Will you do in-person meet-and-greets yourself or outsource them? How can you convince homeowners that aren’t already using Airbnb self-check-in to install smart locks?
  • How are you going to market your homeowners’ listings? How can you increase bookings and maximize occupancy for your clients so they’ll stick with you and recommend you to their friends?
  • How will you communicate with guests? What tools and Airbnb message templates will you use to save time?
  • How much commission are you going to charge your owners?
    • Airbnb property management companies can charge anywhere between 10% to 50% per booking, depending on what’s included in their services.

4. Automate your tasks using vacation rental software

As you scale your Airbnb property management business, you’ll learn that automation is the key to efficiency. Once you start to manage other people’s properties, not just your own, you’ll have an even greater need to save time by automating repetitive tasks.

Basically, you need to find a way to automate the most time-consuming aspects of vacation rental property management, including guest messaging, adjusting rates, and updating channel calendars.

Host Tools is an all-in-one automation tool and channel manager that’s perfect for property managers who are just starting out.

It allows you to save time and increase your efficiency by:

  • Automating your pricing. You can set up smart prices with the help of a rule-based Airbnb pricing tool and push them to all the channels you advertise on.
  • Automating your guest communication. You can create automated messages using message templates and Host Tools will automatically send them to your guests and cleaners.
  • Automating your smart locks. Host Tools sends automatically generated, unique access codes to your guests so they can unlock the door to your homeowner’s property.
  • Automating your channel distribution. Host Tools integrates with Airbnb, Vrbo, and Houfy, allowing you to sync your rates and availability in real-time.

If you’re planning to add properties to your portfolio, you need a tool with simple, transparent pricing. Host Tools begins at $8.00 per month per listing, so you don’t have to worry about costs getting out of hand.

Example of Host Tools pricing calendar for airbnb property managers with multiple listingsHow to set up a new pricing rule in Host ToolsHow to set up a new pricing rule in Host Tools

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Property Manager?

You don’t need any formal education or degree to become a property manager. However, you do need to have a deep understanding of the vacation rental industry and the challenges involved in hospitality operations.

If you don’t have experience as an Airbnb host, do some research. There are lots of online resources and blogs that can help you prepare. You can even take an online course like the VRMA Vacation Rental Management Certificate Program. Once you complete it, you can use the certificate to demonstrate your expertise to property owners.

Do You Need a Real Estate License to Manage Airbnb?

This is a tough question because it depends on your local laws and regulations. In the US, these vary greatly by state. In some states, a real estate license may be required to manage other people’s short-term rental properties. In other states, you only need to be a licensed realtor to manage long-term rentals.

However, you might want to leave that window open. During the COVID-19 crisis, many short-term rental owners decided to start advertising their properties as long-term rentals to ensure some revenue. If you want to be able to keep managing your owners’ homes when they decide to convert them to long-term rentals, you may need to apply for an RE (Real Estate) license.

How Much do Airbnb Property Managers Make?

This largely depends on the fees you decide to set for your homeowner clients. As we mentioned before, property management companies can charge anywhere between 10% to 50% of a homeowner’s earnings. It greatly varies by location and services provided.

According to research by Online Degree, an Airbnb property manager’s potential average salary is around $58,000 (1). However, you could be earning more or less than this, depending on your business.

How to Become an Airbnb Property Manager: Next Steps

All in all, becoming an Airbnb property manager can be a great choice for someone who has an interest in the vacation rental industry, wants to pursue a potentially lucrative career path, and prefers to work on their own terms.

If you’re considering becoming an Airbnb property manager, you need to find co-hosting opportunities, convince homeowners to hire you, create a business plan, and use vacation rental software to automate repetitive tasks.

The last bit is very important because it’s what will allow you to work efficiently and scale your business. A powerful automation tool like Host Tools can help you cover all the bases, from pricing to guest communication and channel management.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today!

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