Archives November 2019

Your Porter just announced some exciting news!

Yesterday morning I woke up to great news in my inbox.

If you’ve read much of anything I’ve written over the last few years, you know that I’m a big fan girl of Your Porter.

Your Porter is my recommended messaging management tool for all of my Airbnb listings. They are constantly evolving and adding new features, and I just think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. At this point they do much more than simple message management, and they have quickly become the only tool in my business that I simply could not do without.

Well apparently I’m not the only person who loves the Your Porter / Airbnb marriage.

Yesterday morning Your Porter just announced that they’ve become an official software partner of Airbnb.

This means an even tighter connection than they’ve had before, ensuring faster calendar and pricing syncing and even fewer double bookings across platforms. (Although I’ve actually never had a double booking before, even with the old connection. One of the many reasons I love Your Porter….it’s just so reliable!)

According to Your Porter, this new integration with Airbnb will ensure:

  • No more unlinked Airbnb accounts, even if you change your password
  • No interruptions of syncing reservations and sending automated messages
  • Real-time push notifications for incoming messages
  • Faster onboarding process of the newly added listings
  • More stable calendar relying on the native connection

Now I know that much of this might be press conference hype. And I’m sure there will be some bugs and kinks to work out. But I still believe that this announcement will pave the way for an even better Your Porter product and smoother integration with Airbnb in the future. This, of course, will translate into easier management and happier guests and clients. Wins all around!

To check out Your Porter for yourself, follow this link. New accounts get $20 off of their first bill!

How to ensure consistent cleanings every time

As I’ve written about before, one of the hardest things about running a short-term rental is standardizing the cleanings. 

Of course it helps to have a good cleaner – and if you’ve found one, make sure you do everything you can to hold onto her! But the nature of this business is that sometimes you’re going to have to use alternate or backup cleaners. 

So how do you ensure that you get the same level of cleaning every time, no matter who is doing the work?

Two words: cleaning checklists. 

There are many ways to do this. 

You can print out a stack of paper checklists and have the cleaner leave it behind when she leaves, so the guest also knows what’s been done. Many guests like this extra touch that reassures them the house has been properly cleaned before their arrival. 

You could share a Trello board or Wunderlist list. These are both free and very simple. However, the old adage you get what you pay for is very true, so they both come with their own limitations. Make sure you test these tools out before you commit to them. 

Both of the main paid turnover management systems out there, Properly and TurnoverBnB, also support cleaning lists. Properly’s interface is very slick, allowing you to basically do a full photo walkthrough of everything you want done in your property. 

However, I personally find Properly a little too flashy. I prefer Turnover. Turnover also allows you to attach a photo to a checklist item if need be, although it’s not quite as slick as Properly. 

But what I really like about Turnover is that you can highlight certain items on your checklist. This is great because most properties will be mostly the same, but they’ll also all have their own unique quirks. Turnover allows you to highlight those little differences in your checklists. That way your cleaner can know exactly what’s special about this particular property and not miss it while they’re cleaning. 

It’s a marvelous tool that has saved me a lot of headaches over the course of my hosting career!

Whatever tool you choose to go with, just make sure of 2 things. First, that your cleaners all sign off on being willing to use it. And second, that you actually use it! Set up a checklist, update it as needed, and send it to every single cleaner you work with. 

It will make you, your cleaners, and your guests all so much happier. 

What tips do you have for making your cleanings go smoothly every time? Let me know in the comments! 

How to find new STR clients

If you’ve been an Airbnb property manager for any length of time, you know that one of the biggest challenges you face is finding good, quality clients to work with.

With many problems, after you figure out a way to solve the issue once you don’t need to deal with it again. It’s one and done.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with this particular problem.

If you have any desire to continue to expand your management portfolio, you’re going to have to constantly be on the lookout for new clients. This is actually true even if you don’t want to expand, but simply want to stay constant – there will always be some amount of turnover in your clients, and you’ll need to be on the lookout for great partners to replace them with after they move on.

So how to find new STR clients without sounding sleazy or salesy?

For many people (myself included) networking is hard.

Perhaps I should clarify. It’s not hard to talk about what I do, or even to sell myself – I love what I do and could talk about that all day. What’s hard is finding the right people to listen to you, the sort of people who could actually connect you with quality leads and long-term client relationships.

Enter BNI.

BNI (Business Networking International) is a global networking organization whose aim is to connect professionals with each other in meaningful ways and increase annual revenue for all of their members through regular referrals, 1-on-1 meetings, and other similar events.

I just joined my local chapter 2 weeks ago and I’m astounded by the results I’ve already seen.

In that short amount of time, I’ve already gotten 2 quality referrals – the same amount as I’ve gotten the rest of this entire year! I’ve also been connected with professionals in other industries that I need help in, which has also been a huge asset for me.

I have no doubt that the connections I’ll make in this group will be a HUGE boon to me and my business in the coming months and years. I’m so excited to dive in!

So, if you’re a STR property manager and are struggling to find more clients, my advice is this: connect with a networking group of some kind.

BNI is great and has chapters all over the world, but they’re not the only one out there. Do your research, visit a few, and then join the one that’s right for you. But once you join, COMMIT. Plug into the group in as many meaningful ways as you can. You will be amazed at the results you’ll see!