Updated: Apr 24, 2022
What does it take to run a short term rental (STR) on AirBnB and VRBO? Who do you need on speed dial? Who is just in your contacts in case of a rainy day? Well we just brought two STRs live this spring, so I can give you the 411 (does anyone say that anymore?).
1. The Cleaner
By far the most important member of your team - this person does a lot more than clean the bathroom and kitchen. They are your lifeline to the house, and the person who has most control over your guest experience - even more than yourself! And you'll likely be texting, emailing, and calling this person multiple times a month, so it's an important relationship. What your cleaner does for you:
Makes sure the property is as clean as a 5-star hotel
Leaves out any consumable items between stays - whether that's fancy chocolates or just an extra roll of toilet paper
Let's you know when the guest causes problems between stays. This is crucial for making sure the next guest is not affected by the troublemakers.
You know from the start that your property is going to need work at some point - whether it's a clogged toilet, a broken fixture, or any of the other thousands of things that happen to houses. Hotels have maintenance on staff for this kind of stuff, and you need contacts as well. Our recommendation:
Have phone numbers for at least 2 reliable handy-people, and a Facebook group for your area where you can ask for more recommendations in a pinch.
3. Pest Control
Story time! One time I was staying in a hotel in Charlotte for work. I was on a business trip setting up a remote campus for the University where I worked, and I felt like a boss business woman rolling into the nice hotel room...until I saw the huge cockroach run under the radiator!!! I called guest services and they sent someone up that wasn't able to find the huge beast, which made me feel even worse. And there were no extra rooms because there was a big conference in town!! I still feel triggered when I think about that night, feeling phantom roaches crawling up and down my legs.
Don't be like that.
You need to set up regular pest treatments for your property to make sure your guests get the hotel-quality stay, without feeling disgusted by the creepy-crawlies.
4. Landscaper and Snow Removal
Not needed for every property, but absolutely essential if your property has any grass or plants that need to be cut back regularly. And of course, if your area has snow, you don't want the guests pulling up to a driveway with a 3 foot snowbank!
Two of the most common systems that fail in a house are heating and cooling. That's why it's so important to have your systems serviced every single year. So many people skip this and it results in debris build-up, leaks, inefficient systems, and component failures.
Don't be the place where heat gives out in the middle of the night, or AC fails in 95 degree weather! Have an HVAC person.
6. Plumber, Electrician, and Other Contractors
Most other contractors won't be needed very often, but when you do need them, you need them right now. A good handy-person can do a lot, but for some things you need a specialist. You should have a list of contacts that you use for the various problems a house can have, and a Facebook group where you can go to get recommendations in a pinch.
Don't skimp on these team members, do your research and reach out as early as possible!