a professional blog for vacation rental managers

Friday, May 24, 2013

How to manage multiple letting properties (the no overbooking approach)

Holiday lettings - or vacation rentals as they are known in the US - are quickly becoming an important sector within the hospitality industry. The recent economic downturn in the Western world has motivated real estate owners to seek better returns on their investments. Long lets was always a relatively easy way of generating a passive income from immovable property, however short lets and holiday stays can produce much more income.

The advent of peer-to-peer holiday letting sites such as AirBnB and HouseTrip has not only introduced many to this new business, but has also inspired bigger players such as HolidayLettings.co.uk to change their business model. This has created multiple opportunities for property owners who wanted to explore the holiday letting sector, but it also created a new dilemma.

With multiple channels of distribution layered on a portfolio of properties that the owners have to offer, the traditional notebook or diary approach was no longer going to work. It simply does not handle all the bookings, checkins, checkouts, housekeeping, maintenance and airport pickups!

Looking at how hotels and guesthouses work, it is evident that the industry has already tackled this problem and it is relatively impossible nowadays to find a hotel without a Property Management System (PMS) that assists the reservations and operations departments. This is the tool that the industry has adopted to manage multiple units within their property. It is also the tool that could help holiday letting managers handle their multiple properties.

The PMS that hotels use are complex software, targeted at managing the units and the amenities offered in the property. These are not only way too complex for the requirements of villas, cottages, or apartments, but also too expensive.

Thanks to the experience pooled in by holiday letting owners and managers operating in the sector, coupled with access to internet technologies such as the cloud, a team of developers is working on a Property Management System for the Holiday Letting Sector. The app is already available in Beta and may be accessed from your desktop, tablet or smartphone. It features core functionalities to add bookings, view availability, manage and housekeeping. Additionally, the app gives insights on revenue and occupancy - very important for the managers who wish to maximize the return on their business.

The app is called OccupancyLevel.com and property owners who enroll for the beta version are being promised the app for free, for ever.



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