How to Manage Airbnb Remotely: 5 Tips From Seasoned Remote Hosts
Have you ever dreamed about becoming location-independent and working online while you travel the world?
Many of us get tired of sitting in the same office for years, stuck in a nine-to-five. There’s something undeniably alluring about a digital nomad lifestyle. But it’s only feasible if you find a way to make money online.
Managing Airbnb properties remotely is a great way to free yourself from the shackles of a location-based job. You can travel while you work, and work while you travel.
As a matter of fact, my wife and I have been managing Airbnb remotely for years. All five of our properties – spread across Austin, TX, Oakland, CA, and Hawaii – have been remote at one time or another, since we travel so frequently.
It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Today, I wanted to share with you some of my most effective tips for managing Airbnb remotely, so you can call the world your home, too.
You’ll notice a common thread in all my advice: automation. Automation is absolutely essential for managing Airbnb remotely. In fact, it’s the reason why I built Host Tools – to simplify remote hosting for myself and for others.
Host Tools is an all-in-one automation tool that makes managing Airbnb properties remotely easy. Try it now – it’s free for 30 days.
Practical hosting tips in your inbox. Every week.
How to manage Airbnb remotely: The only advice you’ll ever need
1. Find cleaners you can trust
Anyone who’s ever tried managing an Airbnb remotely will tell you that finding the right cleaners is the single most important thing. I’ll venture as far as to say that your cleaners will make or break your listing.
Cleaners are your most crucial on-the-ground staff since they need to take care of routine turnover and housekeeping tasks. They make sure your vacation rental is always ready for new guests. It’s essential to have cleaners you can trust, who are willing to run to your property to flip the breakers or handle other emergencies.
In Austin, we used to use GuestPrep, but since they’re no longer active there, we now have cleaners who were recommended by a friend. The cleaners in Hawaii also come from a recommendation from a local.
As you can see, it’s quite a mix. There are several ways to find good cleaners or a cleaning company. The same goes for maintenance providers like handymen, plumbers, and electricians. You can find trustworthy ones through referrals or online. If you have properties in Nashville, TN, or Palm Springs, CA, Mendbnb is a good option.
Next to hiring the right professional cleaning service, you also need to find an efficient way to manage your cleanings. Keeping track of housekeeping tasks and scheduling turnovers manually takes an insane amount of time and leaves a lot of room for error.
That’s why we use Host Tools to automate our Airbnb cleanings. Whenever we receive a new booking, Host Tools sends an automated message to our cleaners to let them know. Then, it automatically reminds them about the cleaning as the date approaches. It’s all very smooth and we don’t even have to think about it.
2. Stock up on supplies
When you’re managing an Airbnb remotely, it can be tricky to make sure that you’re always fully stocked on supplies.
Since you won’t be there to go on emergency supply runs, it’s important to set up a system that works for you. Here are some tricks that you can use:
- Order supplies online. Amazon is a great place to find things like coffee and guest toiletries that need to be replenished often. There are also suppliers like aBundle that offer free shipping and discounts when ordering in bulk. Schedule the delivery so your cleaners can collect it when they’re at your property.
- Ask your cleaners to notify you when something runs out. You can try to guesstimate when you’ll run out of toilet paper, but it’s safer to ask your cleaners to check up on your stock now and again.
Check out our printable Airbnb host checklist for essential supplies and extra amenities that you can purchase to impress your guests.
3. Install smart locks
I wish we’d installed smart locks on the front doors of our Airbnb rentals at the very beginning.
We learned it the hard way when someone went back to our apartment in Austin and stole everything from the TV to the curtains. At the time, we weren’t in Austin – there was nothing we could do and we never found out who did it.
Since we started using WiFi smart locks for all our rentals, we know that this won’t happen again. We use Host Tools to generate unique access codes for each guest based on the last four digits of their phone number. The code gets sent to the guest automatically. As a result, we can be sure that Airbnb guests can only access the rental during the time of their stay, and no one can enter unauthorized.
Not only are smart locks the best option when it comes to security but they also allow you to trade in-person meet-and-greets for self check-in. This way, no one has to be present when your guests arrive at the property – they can let themselves in and you can be anywhere you want in the world. This saves time and gives you the freedom to travel without having to worry about check-ins.
Consequently, smart locks that allow you to automate the check-in process are essential for anyone who wants to manage an Airbnb remotely - we couldn’t imagine hosting without them.
4. Set up an automated message flow
When you’re managing Airbnb remotely, all your guest interactions will happen online. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t establish a relationship with your guests. You can still inspire trust, prove that you are an attentive and professional host, and impress your guests so they’ll book with you again next time.
The key to achieving this is setting up a flawless automated message flow. Using a tool like Host Tools, you can create personalized, automated messages that get sent to the guest at just the right time, without you even having to think about them.
We send 8 Airbnb messages to every guest:
Booking confirmation message
Review reminder message
Price reduction message
This ensures that our guests always feel cared for, without us having to spend a lot of time on guest communication.
In Host Tools, you can define your own message rules, set up triggers, and insert tags to personalize your message templates. The setup process is quick and straightforward, and you only have to do it once before you can start blasting guest messages automatically.
One of the most important messages in your Airbnb message flow is your Airbnb welcome letter or pre-check-in message. This is what contains detailed check-in instructions and everything your guests need to know about their stay. You can even add a link to your Airbnb house manual. Make sure you take time to perfect your welcome letter – it’s an essential tool, especially if you’re a remote short-term rental property manager.
5. Make your house rules clear
Last but not least, it’s crucial to make your Airbnb house rules clear and make sure your guests follow them. This can help you prevent also sorts of damages and disputes with neighbors that would be pretty hard to deal with as a remote host.
Add your house rules to your Airbnb listing and print them out so you can display a physical copy in your rental. Should one of your guests damage your Airbnb, having your house rules laid out will help keep them accountable.
Managing Airbnb remotely: automate as much as you can
I hope this blog post helped you understand the most important pillars of managing Airbnb remotely.
My wife and I find that remote hosting is a highly rewarding experience, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
The key is to automate as much as you can. Host Tools can help you take a hands-off approach to everything, from smart locks to guest messages, review reminders, cleaner messages, and even pricing and channel management.
The more property management tasks you put on autopilot, the more freedom you will have to live a location-independent lifestyle while keeping your Airbnb rental business running smoothly.
Host Tools is an all-in-one automation tool that makes managing Airbnb properties remotely easy.
Try it now – it’s free for 30 days.