Running a Rental Business

Managing Your Vacation Rental as a Side Hustle

If you are looking for a potential side hustle, renting out your property to travelers for short periods can be a good option. It can be a great way to earn extra income on top of your full-time job, even if you don't have much extra time. In this post, we'll share some tips and strategies for managing your vacation rental as a side hustle without trading much of your time for money.

By Hospitable

Last updated: February 27, 2024

It’s Easy to Get Started as a First-Timer

If you have no business experience, the easiest way to start with your first vacation rental is to list your unoccupied property on major booking sites. Each OTA has its advantages and disadvantages, so listing your vacation rental on multiple platforms is always better. This way, you can easily reach more travelers who can become your potential guests.

Although learning how to make money with vacation rentals takes some time and effort, if you organize everything right, you can successfully manage your property in your spare time and ensure a steady flow of income.

Can you make good money from your vacation rental? It depends on many factors, but the short answer is yes. If you own a home or apartment in an area that attracts many tourists and offers plenty of opportunities for leisure activities, using it as a short-term rental can generate serious money.

Operating a vacation rental can be both rewarding and profitable if you are willing to put in the required work to set up solid business processes. It can be an ideal side hustle that fits perfectly into your life if you’re already working full-time.

How to Manage Your Vacation Rental as a Side Hustle

When managing your vacation rental, the most important thing is ensuring all your guests get everything they expect when staying at your place. You also need to ensure that your guests enjoy their stay and check out satisfied with their experience (and, hopefully, willing to come back in the future).

Some property owners hire a property manager to help them with hosting and ensure everything runs smoothly. But you can also self-manage your property and use technology to streamline operational tasks.

Hire Someone to Help You

Managing a short-term rental can be rather effort-intensive for a property owner, especially during a high season, and requires consistent work. One of the possible solutions to avoid the constant hassle and create a work-life balance is to hire someone to manage your vacation rental for you.

A property manager will handle all the day-to-day tasks of running a vacation rental, including setting competitive rates, keeping your booking calendar up-to-date, communicating with guests, cleaning, maintenance, and other responsibilities. It’s up to you to decide what tasks you want to delegate to them.

A good property manager can make running a short-term rental much easier and free up your time so you can focus on your career or your family. But you’ll need to pay for their services, and this can significantly reduce the profitability of your vacation rental property.

Another disadvantage of entrusting someone to handle everything for you is that you may feel you’re losing control over your vacation rental, which can be risky. Some property management companies may provide excellent service, while others may not live up to your expectations.

If you hire a bad one, they can create more problems than they solve. That’s why if you hire a property manager, ensure they have experience in your market, and you are comfortable with them as a person.

airbnb property manager looking at checklist in notebook as cleaning crew works in the background

Automate as much as you can

If you don’t think hiring a property manager is the right choice for you, you can manage your vacation rental on your own and outsource the tasks you don’t have time for while balancing a full-time job.

Managing your own property will allow you to avoid management fees, have full control over the process, and add a personal touch to a positive customer experience. In this case, automation and tech are crucial to help you run your side business in the long run. Automating and outsourcing different aspects of running a short-term rental will earn you more money by doing less work.

Using advanced software tools, you can make your side business flourish with minimal effort and take care of your daily tasks when convenient. You won’t have to pioneer this approach. For example, 67% of Hospitable hosts manage their vacation rentals on the go, accessing their accounts using smartphones or tablets versus desktops.

Automate Cleaning and Maintenance

Wherever they go, guests expect to stay in a welcoming and comfortable space that is clean and well-maintained. That’s why it makes sense to outsource and automate cleaning and maintenance. You should partner with reliable vacation rental cleaners who can efficiently handle the turnover process and ensure your home is as pristine as possible after every guest’s stay.

Turnover software can help you automate the cleaning process between guests. For example, with Turno, you can easily find trusted local cleaners. If you enter details about your property, such as square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc., you can compare bids from top-rated cleaners in your area and communicate with them using Turno Chat.

After you sync your booking calendar with Turno, the platform will automatically schedule cleaning projects based on check-in and check-out dates and share them with your cleaners, sending instant notifications. You can create cleaning checklists and share them with your cleaners to show them what they should focus on. Cleaners can upload photos of completed tasks to their assigned checklist for hosts to see.

The platform will allow you to automate payments to your cleaners and save over 40 hours of your precious time each year. It can also help you keep track of your inventory and get notifications when specific essentials are out of stock or running low and need to be refilled. Cleaners can send hosts reports about property damage and other problems in real-time so that hosts can address the issues and coordinate repairs.

Hospitable in app dashboard

Use Software to Manage Your Primary Hosting Responsibilities

There are other aspects of running a short-term rental that you may want to automate using technology and software tools to reduce your workload and address specific problems. Your tech stack should include vacation rental software with comprehensive, advanced features.

It’s a cost-effective alternative to hiring an external team of property managers to help manage your short-term rental. Vacation rental management software can help you automate many routine tasks to make your life easier:

●       Manage multiple listings on different platforms in one place

●       Synchronize your calendars across multiple platforms so you can get instant protection from double bookings

●       Ensure fast and clear communication with your guests via automated messages

●       Manage guest reviews

●       Smartly adjust your prices through integrations with dynamic pricing tools

●       Ensure a smooth self-check-in process for your guests through integrations with smart locks

●       Develop a direct booking website that will appear in Google Vacation Rentals and bring you an extra flow of leads without high third-party fees.

Running a short-term rental can be a lucrative side hustle. Although it requires active, regular effort, vacation rental software tools can help you do all your tasks more efficiently and conveniently. They can remove the hassle from every part of the process and put your vacation rental management on autopilot.

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Hospitable , Hospitable provides Airbnb,, and Vrbo hosts with the ultimate property management solution that centralizes all properties in one convenient dashboard.