Short-term rentals can be tricky. From their high turn-over rates to all the paperwork, laws, and maintenance; running it on your own is hard.
But, when a short-term rental is run correctly, it can generate a huge amount of profit. At PMI Utah, we’ve reviewed some of our best tips on how you can take the stress out of your short-term rental.
Know the Laws
Also known as ‘Renter Nation’, this country currently has more than 100 million households renting (according to Census ACS data). That’s a lot of renters!
But, a major issue that we see with property owners is that they don’t know the laws. Depending on where you live, there are a number of federal, state, and local by-laws that outline short-term rentals.
Even Julie Rees, a property management professional at PMI Utah (who has managed more than 250 properties, says) “Even with continuing education classes, and years of experience, I still need to talk with PMI Utah’s legal counsel about specific property management questions.”
In addition to the laws, you are also expected to know the tax requirements. Most short-term rentals are required to register and collect occupancy taxes. This system is similar to hotels. Failing to collect can leave you with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.
Of course, these taxes will depend on your area and what the laws surround short-term rentals. So, its best y to read up on the laws and know what you have to do.
Hire a Property Management Company
If you’re not already working with a property management company, we highly suggest getting in touch with one. Like us at PMI, we will help you understand all your local and federal laws. That way you don’t have to do the hard research yourself!
Plus, we can even set up an automated system where rental tax is paid by the renter and given to the right city, county or state agency on your behalf.
We will also act as your ears and eyes around the premise. Our professional staff is always available to quickly answer questions or deal with issues in the home.
Having the help of trained experts is needed especially if something goes wrong that needs immediate attention (such as a plumbing issue). Not only can we communicate with the renter, issue notices, and schedule trades, but we can do it quickly to prevent more damage.
Automate Rental Tasks
With such a high turnover of guests, keeping track of all the applications, bookings, documents, and payments can be hard. But, it doesn’t need to be!
There are a number of things that can be automated to streamline the process. If you are not the most tech-savvy owner, don’t fret. A property management company, like us at PMI, can help you with it.
Certain things like contracts can now be uploaded, stored and signed remotely. This prevents added paperwork and manual storage (which can get lost and damaged).
Plus, payments can also be done online. This allows for an easy paper-trail and tracking system.
Finally, you should also consider automating things in the home. For example, consider installing a keyless entry system. This prevents wasted time and money from having to change the locks after every tenant. Instead, you can simply program it to a new code for each new tenant.
Marketing is Key
The final step to make your short-term rental stress-free is to invest in marketing. Marketing is a key factor in how desirable a unit seems. And, the more desirable it looks, the higher the turnover, and the higher the rate you can charge.
With everything moving online for bookings and rentals, we suggest investing in a few key areas to make the property look as luxurious and spacious as possible. We suggest having the unit professionally cleaned and cleared of any clutter and having it staged to really highlight all of its features.
Finally, invest in a good photographer to attract potential renters to the photo. Not only will this help to highlight your unit (and get it to stand out online), but it can attract a higher-quality renter.
If you’re a property owner that has a question or needs just a bit of industry info, please Call Us at 801.228.0124 or click the link to Chat with Us 24/7/365.