As property managers, we are frequently presented with difficult situations. Dealing with our clients in a professional yet assertive manner can be especially challenging. One common issue that arises is the concept of restricting owners’ use of their properties. Many can’t help but wonder: to restrict or not to restrict? 
In the vacation rental industry, we often can be quick to offer a full or partial refund to guests when an issue arises, just to stop the pain of the complaint and do whatever it takes to avoid the dreaded negative review. However, refunding guests when there is an issue creates a major profit loss for your business and the property owner — creating more pain in the long term as you damage that relationship. Often, you can avoid giving a refund while also avoiding a poor review by offering to fix the issue with great service, a good attitude and alternative forms of compensation. Ultimately, the goal for your vacation rental business should be to provide great service, keep guests happy, and maintain high profit margins. At Vacation Rental University we have dozens of strategies to help you accomplish all 3 of these goals, even when things go wrong. Here are a few to get you started. 
What’s the best way to kill your success in the vacation rental business? Bad reviews. Put yourself in the shoes of a traveler for a moment. You go onto your OTA of choice, you look at the properties and find a gorgeous property that fits in your budget and is available for your travel dates. This property has flawless photos, a great description, you are so excited, so you decide to book. But wait!! Just before booking you see a 1-star review from someone warning you that this is all too good to be true. The property was dirty, or not as described, or the owners were rude. Back to the search … Looks like a similar property just down the road is available. Maybe you won’t be booking this perfect property after all. Vacation rental reviews can make or break you in this industry. Monitoring guest feedback, providing good service, and fixing what’s wrong will create happy guests who you can confidently request reviews from. This is essential if you want to see your vacation rental business succeed. 
Take a moment to imagine that instead of a vacation rental manager you are the owner of a brick and mortar store before the internet took over and most industries only existed in physical places, instead of on the web. If you could choose between an aesthetic storefront that is appealing to look at, has a big sign, and overlooks a busy street, versus a store with one door that has no sign and is tucked away behind a building, which would you choose? Hopefully, you said the store with the big sign on the busy street. When you think about your online presence as a vacation rental business, think of it in this context. In the vacation rental industry, most communication happens online, but the same principle can be applied. You need to make it easy for travelers to find your business, and you want to make it appealing to stay once they walk in the door. A clean, easy to find, and simple to navigate website with professional photos and property descriptions is a crucial element to a successful vacation rental business. If you want direct bookings, you have no choice but to get this right! Here is how you can drive traffic to your vacation rental site and boost conversion rates: 
Marketing broadly is key to running an efficient vacation rental business. Generating traffic to your vacation rental website through pay-per-click ads, SEO, blogging, social, and referral and repeat marketing is important for your vacation rental business because this generates direct bookings, which are the most high-profit bookings. However, creating a successful marketing campaign and website can take years, and relying on only direct bookings can hurt your business and profits tremendously. Using online travel agents (OTAs) like Airbnb,, or HomeAway is an effective way to supplement your direct bookings and increase your profits. If you’re just getting started, OTAs are a great way to earn quick profits — over time, think of them as insurance to make sure you always hit your revenue targets. At Vacation Rental University, we provide detailed lessons and tools to help you master the marketing of your vacation rental properties on OTAs, but here is a quick overview of our favorite OTAs that you can use to improve your business today. 
If you are thinking about getting started in the vacation rental industry, there has never been a better time than now. Whether you are trying to figure out how to manage one vacation rental property or to grow your vacation rental business into something much larger, these 5 tips will help you to improve your business today and give you a launchpad for success in this industry. 
A vacation rental management business can only be successful if your company has properties to manage, but sometimes finding property owners can seem challenging. You cannot always expect that owners will seek you out, and often you will need to approach them and offer your services if you want to build your property management portfolio. At Vacation Rental University, we have put together a series of lessons (over 16 hours’ worth) of tried and tested owner acquisition strategies that will help you add new properties to your portfolio. Listed here are just 3 things you can do today to help your vacation rental business grow. Remember — if you’re not growing … you’re dying. 
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of vacation rental management this could not be more accurate. People don’t like to spend a lot of time reading, especially about their upcoming vacation. Pictures tell a story about your vacation rental very quickly — they are the first thing a future guest sees during their search, and ultimately it is the photos of your property that will determine whether that guest keeps scrolling down the list or clicks to the next property. A single photo will capture attention, but it is the written description of the property and its amenities that will ultimately turn that initial inquiry into a booking. Creating a quality written description of your property, therefore, is extremely important. Here are the top 3 rules to follow when creating a quality property description for your vacation rental. 
Whether you are looking for information on how to start a business or you need tools to improve your current property management strategies, Vacation Rental University can provide you with business tools, education and training to help you succeed in the vacation rental industry. Vacation Rental University was designed by some of the top leaders in the vacation rental industry who draw from their decades of success to provide students with the exact methods they need to improve their vacation rental businesses. Here are just 3 of the ways that Vacation Rental University can help you improve your business so you can start making more money right away!