How to Manage Your Vacation Rental and Keep Your Guests Happy

When you enter the vacation rental business, the first distinction is to understand that you are in the hospitality business and not just the rental business. This means you are responsible for the minutiae of your guest’s stay, from when they book online to when they leave. A vacation rental has more responsibilities than a hotel because you have to be responsible for more than just a bed and bathroom. The kitchen, living room, and all household supplies fall under your purview. Here are some essential tips to ensure your vacation rental remains fully booked and well reviewed.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Crew and a Maintenance Manager

Your cleaning crew is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of a vacation rental business. Cleanliness and sanitation have always been essential, but after Covid, this is more important than ever. Hiring a professional cleaning crew and a dedicated manager to oversee them should be the first thing you do when you start your vacation rental business. One bad review regarding the cleanliness of your home is disastrous for your bookings.

Install a Digital Keypad to Automate the Check-in and Check-Out Process

Having autonomy without unnecessary face-to-face interaction ensures the smooth running of your business. Giving guests the passcode before they arrive and changing it after they have gone — all remotely — also safeguards the security of the premises.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Adjusting the temperature remotely ensures uniform energy bills. It also lets your guests know that you are aware of their needs.

Compile a Comprehensive Digital Guestbook

A guest book is like an instruction manual for the home, describing where everything is and how it works — from the home’s energy systems to kitchen appliances. It’s an essential guide for guests, and an e-mailed copy ensures they have a digital copy while staying in your home.

Communicate Regularly With Your Guests or Hire a Management Company That Will

Communication is the key to keeping guests happy and making them feel they are being catered to. Taking someone’s money and not responding to their concerns is a surefire way to garner bad reviews. The requests might be simple, but showing that you care and are responsive goes a long way.

Ensure that the Rental is Stocked With Working Kitchen Appliances, Snacks, Toiletries, etc.

A working coffee-maker, kettle, a surplus of towels, cute toiletries, drinks, and snacks make your guests feel respected and cared for. This is a chance for you to go a little over the top and add flair to your welcome gifts to make your home stand out.

Market Your Property on Major Rental Platforms With Plenty of Photos

Being on a major rental site with professional photos and well-written descriptions is vitally important. It goes a long way towards building confidence in your potential guests and making them feel they are getting a top-notch rental. Make sure the reality lives up to the expectations you have set.

Hire Reliable Contractors to Work In Between Bookings

You don’t want to ruin a tenant’s stay by having a contractor show up during their visit. Having a reliable crew/handyman/woman you can schedule at short notice will keep your home in excellent shape. Your guests will be none the wiser that there was anything wrong. If on the off chance, something does go wrong during a guest’s stay, you’ll also need a handyman/woman to come out a short notice to fix the problem.

Invest in High-Speed Internet and a Workstation

This is another major must-do. These days with remote working, more people are taking to the road and enjoying a unique travel experience while being able to work remotely. Make sure your WiFi is lightning fast, and there is a dedicated workstation with convenient outlets for your guests.

Invest in a TV With Major Streaming Platforms

Netflix and chill? That’s precisely what some guests want to do while in a vacation rental. Adding premium streaming channels gives them options for romantic nights inside or a cozy refuge from inclement weather.

Add a Touch of Luxury and Whimsy to go Above and Beyond

A whimsical piece of art that brings a smile to your guest’s faces, comfy throws, pillows, and rugs establishes your home as more than a cookie-cutter rental. Adding a specific theme (glamor, movies, or sports teams) will get your rental on social media and keep it fully rented. Other helpful touches include:

  • Having access to a washer and dryer
  • Free Parking
  • Having a pool or jacuzzi
  • EV charging facilities

Invest in Safety and Security Measures

Another important aspect of owning a vacation rental is safety and security. Ensure your guests feel secure in your vacation home by regularly inspecting your C02 and smoke and fire alarms. Adding exterior lighting, visual doorbells, a first aid kit, fire extinguishers, and house alarms is also a good touch.


Implementing the above checklist might seem a little overwhelming to a first-time rental vacation owner. The key is implementing an automated system, just as if you were running any business. Keeping your guests happy by being prepared for any eventuality and exceeding expectations with a touch of luxury will help garner great reviews and keep your rental fully booked.

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