UpperKey Blog

How to Make Managing AirBnB Properties Easier

People often underestimate how much work goes into managing an Airbnb property. They forget that they will be dealing with humans, and people can get very unpredictable sometimes. They also forget that they are in the hospitality business and that they can’t afford to make too many mistakes, or it will hurt their reputation and brand image.


If you own one or multiple Airbnbs and you feel like you're in over your head right now, don't worry. There's a strong chance you're not using all the tools and resources you could be, or that you need to be updated on certain management tactics. Let's look at how you can make managing Airbnb properties easier.


Outsource Whatever You Can

One of the keys to managing Airbnb properties is to delegate as much as you can. Trying to do everything on your own is a bad idea for many reasons. Not only will you end up spreading yourself too thin, but you'll never be as efficient as the professionals. Especially professionals who are specialised in Airbnb’s.


One thing you should never handle unless you only manage a room or a small house, is cleaning. This demands way too much work and there’s a good chance that you won’t get professional results. It takes a lot of time too which could be spent on things that truly matter.


There are tons of different Airbnb cleaning services out there, so we suggest you speak with a few if you're handling the work yourself. Good Airbnb cleaning services know the standards guests demand and will get things right every time. They'll also be able to provide services quickly and on short notice, which is extremely important.


Luxury bedroom with a city view
Working with an Airbnb Management Company like UpperKey can make a host's life easier.

Work with a Property Management Company

If you want to deal with as little stress as possible, then it would be a good idea to work with a property management company that manages Airbnb properties. They will not only keep everything in order, but they also know industry standards more than anyone and can boost your image as a host.


Do I need an Airbnb manager? This will depend on how many properties you own and how savvy you are. If you're not used to running multiple properties and struggle to keep up with maintenance and expenses, then it would be a good idea to hire an Airbnb manager. It would also be a good idea if you're constantly getting negative reviews and don't understand why.


UpperKey will make sure that your guests have the best experience and will give you a clear view of your finances. We’ll also help with enquiries from prospective guests and help you project a professional image.


How much does Airbnb property management cost? It depends on the company, but you can expect to pay around 20% of your rental revenue in fees. It will be up to you to see how much margin you can give up while still being comfortable. Note that there will usually be fixed fees for every reservation, but these fees could be passed down to guests.


Learn How to Become an Actual Manager

If you'd rather manage your properties on your own, then you could learn how to be a manager yourself. There are some courses like the VRMA Rental Management Certificate Program that will teach you how to be an Airbnb manager even though it's geared toward regular vacation rentals.


You'll learn how to manage your Airbnb like a business, and how to promote it as well. Taking an actual course will also introduce you to different management tools and methodologies and teach you how to use them properly. This could help if you're currently managing using excel spreadsheets or pen and paper.


Another thing we would suggest is that you get some sort of formal business education. Knowing about things like bookkeeping, business management, and accounting will go a long way. You could go for a MOOC or take a few modules at a community college. This will be more than enough to give you a foundation and will make managing Airbnb property much easier.


Learn How to Use Vacation Rental Accounting Tools

One of the main reasons why so many new Airbnb owners fail is because they don’t know how to manage their money properly. They then end up struggling with cash flow and might end up in tax trouble. A lot of new owners also aren’t properly prepared for emergency expenses or disruption.


Therefore, you should start learning about different accounting tools for vacation rentals right now. What are the best accounting tools for Airbnb owners? FreshBooks, Topnotepad, or QuickBooks are all great options for managing cash flow, expenses, and for tax reporting for Airbnb, and they all have gentle learning curves. If you still feel like these tools are too complex for you, then you could always hire a bookkeeper or an accountant to manage your rental property income. This will cost you, but it will also save you a lot of headaches as calculating how much you can actually earn with Airbnb can be complicated.


These are all things UpperKey could handle for you, however, so that’s one more reason to consider handing your Airbnb listing over to a third party or Airbnb concierge.


Keep Your Finances Separate

You shouldn't let your personal finances get mixed up with Airbnb revenue and expenses. This will make management much more difficult. You should have a bank account for your Airbnb only and use a dedicated credit card or debit card to make all payments related to Airbnb activities.


We also suggest that you set up an LLC for your Airbnb. This will ensure that your personal assets are safe in case anything happens, but it will make your business more legitimate as well. There will be some tax benefits to running as an LLC too and it will make it easier to get a partner, financing, or investors.


Managing an Airbnb demands a lot of work, dedication, and discipline. Equip yourself with the right tools, surround yourself with the right people, and always be ready to learn if you want to be successful in this business.