By The Hospitable Team
Managing an Airbnb or two can be a great source of income, but it can also be complex, with lots of moving parts.
Especially if you don’t live close to the property, you’re exhausted from managing everything yourself, or you’re constantly worried that something will go wrong and you’ll have to panic-call someone to help at 3 AM.
But it’s easier than you think to successfully manage a property remotely. With a little setup and clever use of technology, you can manage an excellent, five-star Airbnb with minimal fuss, risk, and cost.
Automate the admin, and rest easy in the knowledge your Airbnb is running like a well-oiled, guest-pleasing machine—without you having to lift a finger.
Read on to discover:
✔ If remote hosting is the solution for you
✔ Airbnb hosts’ secrets to success when managing remotely
✔ How to set up automation to make remote management a breeze
Why remote hosting could be just the solution you’re looking for
Travel or be somewhere else
You have an empty property (or several), you want guests to enjoy it, and it’s all set up to welcome people—the only problem is, you can’t be there to coordinate it. Enter remote hosting.
Whether you love to travel, you’re away with work, you have no extra time, or you’re just too far away to visit the property regularly (if at all), remote hosting could be your perfect solution.
Because it enables you to book guests, give everyone access, and coordinate cleaning and maintenance at a distance—while still maintaining control—you can rent your space effectively and efficiently, without the hassle or logistical difficulties of day-to-day management.
Beat burnout, fatigue, and resentment
Remote hosting with automation can also cut through the burnout that property owners so often face when managing short-term rentals. Even if you do live close to the property, or you started out doing everything manually yourself, constant turnarounds get tiring for even the most dedicated host.
Answering the same questions over and over, low-level anxiety that you forgot to let the guest know something important, stress over locked-out or lost keys, messages at midnight, or last-minute panics over short-notice bookings—managing everything manually is a one-way ticket to resentment and burnout.
Remote hosting with automation can beat hosting fatigue and remove the stress of boring, repetitive admin, so you get your life back and remember why you started hosting in the first place.
Boost revenue + bookings
Because automation helps you manage everything automatically, without human error or dealing with fatigue, it can actually help boost your bookings and revenue, too.
Automatic messaging, for example, enables you to “reply” to guests while you sleep.
Fast, automated communication, online bookings and payments, and digital service saves you from being “online” 24/7 and builds trust with potential guests. It also makes you appear friendlier and more professional.
The end result is increased bookings, happier stays, and better reviews—and ultimately you’ll be able to charge more per night, boosting your revenue further.
Improve your guest experience and service
Automated communication and service don’t just give a better impression of your rental. It also opens the door (literally!) to a friendlier, improved stay for your guests.
Automating the repetitive stuff that burns you out means that you’re no longer tired and resentful, or pressed for time. This means that you have more energy and headspace to be more friendly and helpful, and speak to your guests like a real human, rather than an exhausted robot.
Paradoxically, not being there, and automating the boring stuff means you can offer a better, more friendly service.
You can add to the automation when it suits you, with the time to coordinate personalized gifts, tailored messages, and warm service throughout their stay, safe in the knowledge that the mundane logistics have already been taken care of.
Hosting Airbnb remotely: The 8 keys to success, according to hosts
While it can seem daunting at first, remote hosting with automation gets easier the more you do it, and experienced hosts quickly learn what can make or break your whole operation.
Here are the secrets to successful remote hosting, from the people who’ve done it.
1. Smart, quick communication, even overnight
Give a great first impression of your rental by replying to common questions quickly and automatically, even if the message comes in while you’re busy or asleep. This means potential guests get their questions answered quickly, making them more likely to book and feel cared for.
Platforms such as Hospitable.com enable you to personalize messages, and are powered by AI that’s smart enough to detect common guest questions and give an appropriate response that sounds like a real person replying (rather than a bot). You’ll sound like you’re awake and ready to help at all times, even when you’re not.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
As one host told us: “This is a big time-saver that provides a professional and consistent level of service. Imagine not needing to reply to customers messaging you from across the globe at different time zones!
“It’s also the efficiency of sending the most suitable message to a guest based on when they are coming, how many people, or whether they have children.”
2. Avoid human error mistakes
Automation means you can send guests all the information they need ahead of time, with clear and detailed directions for every stage of their stay, avoiding errors and misunderstandings.
Write the perfect message once (only updating it when something changes), and automatically send it to each new guest exactly when they need it.
Not only does this mean you don’t have to type the same thing over and over, but there’s also no chance you’ll forget to give them must-have information before they arrive.
They’ll feel taken care of, and check-in and check-out will be a breeze, even when there’s no one there to welcome them in person.
As another host and Hospitable.com user told us: “We sometimes used to forget to remind guests to take the trash out before they left, and sometimes it happened that the next guest would show up and it would smell bad. With automated messages, we never forget.”
3. Prioritize friendly guest communication
Guests expect prompt and helpful replies from their hosts when they’re staying at the rental, and using automated guest communication helps you do it better.
Firstly, automation sends replies to all the repetitive, most-common questions, so there’s never a chance your guest will be left frustrated and unheard if they catch you at a busy moment.
Secondly, now that you’re less stressed by the usual admin, when you do get a moment, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to send helpful and friendly messages to guests yourself. Perhaps you’ll wish them a happy birthday or anniversary, or send them a personal recommendation for your favorite local vegan restaurant or coffee shop.
Prioritizing guest messaging means you don’t have to be on-site to give guests a great stay.
As another host told us: “The smart automatic messaging saves us literally hours every week, while giving guests information right away. Guests rave about how much we communicate too.”
4. Put tried-and-tested processes in place
When you’re not there to do everything yourself, processes are everything.
From establishing a set order for the way you message guests, to the checklist you need your cleaners to follow, and the way you ask for reviews; turning your hosting into a well-oiled operation makes things far easier to coordinate from a distance.
Automation helps you do this, including managing tasks and providing a centralized inbox so nothing gets missed, and you can rest safe in the knowledge that it’s all being done without you having to get involved.
One host told us that they “use Hospitable.com instead of hiring an assistant”.
She said: “I use it to automatically send messages at certain times throughout the booking process, but I also use it to send myself a text alert in the morning that tells me who is checking in that day, in case I want to say hello and call them by name.”
5. Digitize check-in and access
Ensuring everyone who needs to can get access to your rental is one of the key (pun intended!) issues for remote hosts.
Making sure everyone has a key at the right time, that guests hand theirs back and don’t accidentally (or on purpose?!) walk off with them or lock them inside, that cleaners or contractors can get in too (and that your property is safe and secure at all times despite this), can be a major headache—especially if you’re still using old-fashioned, “normal” keys.
Automating and digitizing Airbnb self check-in helps solve these problems, by eliminating the stress of lost or stolen keys overnight, and enabling you to grant (or bar) anyone access via a simple app.
Installing a digital smart lock that connects to your phone, and that enables you to give out keycodes to whoever needs one, means that your property will only grant access to the right people, and stays secure throughout—even without anyone being on-site in real life.
One host, who runs several properties for owners using Hospitable.com, explained how the automated guest messaging helps her to streamline check-in digitally and remotely
She said: “I love the automated guest functions such as pre-check in. I’ve never had an issue with guest communication. It’s been flawless for me.”
6. Automate your pricing
For all this talk of guests, rental hosting is, after all, a business. We want to make money with our rentals, and doing so means finding a delicate balance between competitiveness and affordability.
You want to make sure you’re making good money without alienating guests, and that your property’s nightly rate reflects current trends or events in the area, even if you’re not there.
That’s why automating pricing makes a lot of sense—and ensures it’s 100% consistent and competitive across platforms. Hospitable.com also integrates with dynamic pricing tools that help you do this even more effectively (such as the popular PriceLabs).
What’s more, setting it up automatically means it happens in the background while you work, travel, or sleep, boosting bookings and revenue from afar.
“I love the solid pricing and calendar syncing (along with the flawless guest and staff messaging),” one host told us. “I couldn’t run my business without it.”
7. Build a trusted on-the-ground team
Being remote is great, but when we’re dealing with physical bricks-and-mortar and in-person guests, it’s inevitable that someone will need to visit IRL at some point.
Even beyond the regular cleaning and refilling of coffee and clean towels, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll one day get a call telling you that the shower’s broken, the toilet’s leaking, or the light bulbs have gone (or worse, eek).
If you can’t be there to help, make sure you leave guests a list of emergency contacts they can call if need be (as well as the usual emergency services), such as an overnight plumber, electrician, or locksmith.
On top of that, as a host, you’ll want to have a reliable contractor or team you can call on in-between guests, who you trust to do a good job at your property whenever something needs fixing.
Depending on your location, platforms such as Taskrabbit or Handy can help you find all-round workers with good ratings.
Websites such as CheckATrade.com or HomeAdvisor.com can help you hire well-reviewed, verified contractors, and platforms such as Handy or Cleanzy can help you find trusted Airbnb-specialist cleaners.
Automating and setting up your team on a single platform not only makes things easier for you as a remote host, but it pleases the actual cleaners and contractors too.
“Our cleaner loves that we use this for our short-term rental,” one host told us. “She wants all her clients to use it!”
8. Have a ‘backup plan’
You know what they say about the best-laid plans. As a host, it’s up to you to make sure everything happens as it should – even if you’re not there to make it happen in person.
And if the worst happens, such as guests not getting a message they should have, getting stuck outside your property-or worse- making sure you have a reply or backup option ready to go is a necessary evil when you’re a remote host.
Whether that’s having more spare keys than you think you’ll ever need; asking a trusted friend, neighbor, or contractor nearby who can help in case of an accident or emergency; or having a support team on-hand to quickly answer technical issues, you’ll want to have a plan in case it all goes wrong.
“I learned the hard way that you need to have more keys than you think,” one host said. “I had one guest that locked the keys inside, and there were no more spares.
“We had to call a locksmith at the last minute, which cost a ton of money. After that, we went digital and also kept extra emergency keys with the neighbors. Lesson learned.”
How can automation tools help you become a remote Airbnb host?
So now you know why you need automation, but you may still be a little unclear on how to make it happen, and what exactly it does.
The first step is to find an automation platform that plugs into your Airbnb listing, such as Hospitable.com.
All your STR business in one convenient window
Start now with a 14-day free trial.
Designed especially for short-term rental hosts using platforms such as Airbnb, it has all the automation tools you need, and no extra complications that you don’t – and there’s no need to spend thousands on super-complicated software, or tear your hair out trying to become a tech wizard overnight.
Set it up once, and then leave it to work efficiently in the background, automating those important-yet-repetitive tasks that you would previously have done manually (and maybe even some you might never have had time for).
Here’s how Hospitable.com works to help you manage your rental remotely, with minimum fuss.
It can be a nightmare coordinating your listings across websites to guard against accidental double booking, and making sure your pricing is as competitive as possible at all times.
Keep your listings updated across time zones, and let bookings roll in no matter where you are.
That’s why Hospitable.com has:
- A channel manager – Keep your calendars updated automatically across multiple platforms, without losing time doing it individually.
- Double-booking protection – Ensures no accidental double bookings (or subsequent unhappy guests and cancellations) from across platforms.
- Pricing updates – Make sure you show the correct pricing for your rental by changing one single location, saving time on updating multiple pages individually. Enable smart pricing via top integrations, to ensure the most competitive rates and boost revenue.
- Manual reservations tool – Add any manual, direct booking to your wider calendar and ensure it still benefits from your usual automated tools and notifications.
- Financial & operational metrics – Export financial and operational data automatically so you can get better insights for each property, without having to be a numbers whizz.
Great guest communication
Fast, friendly, and helpful communication can be the difference between a guest booking or moving on to the next host. When guests are keen to book ASAP, even taking a few hours to reply can turn them off, and give an unreliable, less professional impression of your rental.
And when guests are staying, impress them with helpful, quick replies to common questions, making it way more likely that they’ll feel well-cared for, and leave you a positive review.
Set up Hospitable.com’s communication tools for:
- Automated replies – Reply to the most common questions automatically. Personalize and tailor messages using AI, so your replies sound like a real person. Answer in less than a minute for fuss-free information and happy guests.
- Centralized inbox – Ensure you never miss messages and enable your team to reply when you can’t. Make sure messages are answered quickly, and avoid duplicate replies.
- Guest experience messaging – Save “canned responses” that can be tailored before you press send, or write fresh and friendly texts whenever you have a moment, to combine automated sending with real-life messages, for useful, human communication.
- Review management – Never forget to request a review again, and ask guests at the exact right time with automated, customizable review templates. Manage less-than-positive reviews automatically, and reply to guests manually when you need to.
Fast and reliable team management and cleaning turnarounds
One of the most exhausting, most anxiety-inducing parts of being a remote host is wondering how on earth you’ll coordinate cleaning and key handovers of your property, and ensure that your rental is safe, secure, clean, tidy and ready for the next guest at any moment.
You want to make sure cleaners are ready when you need them, that they do a good job, and avoid the nightmare of a guest showing up after a long journey and not being able to find the keys, or finding a dirty place.
Hospitable.com avoids this with:
- Team collaboration – Assign each member of your team roles (such as owner, check-in, cleaning, laundry, maintenance), so they can work independently-but-together, for a super-efficient operation.
- Task management – Share calendars between your team so everyone can see what’s happening when. Notify staff of new jobs via text and email. Set up automated processes for tasks (such as rental cleaning) and let it schedule automatically – even in the event of a last-minute turnover.
The bottom line: Automate, automate, automate to manage your Airbnb remotely
Whatever your reason for wanting to take a “hands-off” approach to your Airbnb—whether you’re traveling, live far away, or are just completely exhausted—automation is the way forward.
You can set it and (almost) forget it, enabling it to improve and streamline everything from communication, first impressions, guest experience, bookings, revenue, teamwork, and more.
Let an automation platform such as Hospitable.com do the draining behind-the-scenes admin, so you can focus on giving guests a great time, and get back to why you started hosting in the first place.
Airbnb automation can help remove the stress from the equation of managing your STR business and give you more free time to focus on providing exceptional guest experience and increasing profits or spend this time on things you care about.
Providing your Airbnb guests with a great experience from start to finish is essential, so first of all, you should ensure a smooth check-in process. The best solution is to offer them self-check-in when guests can access your property using a key lockbox, smart lock, or keypad. Let’s see how to set up the self-check-in process.
When starting your STR business you have to decide on pricing strategy. In the back of your mind, you realize this could have a huge impact on how much money you make. But where do you start?
Start right here! This blog post will lay out how to set up a great pricing strategy that will make you the most money you can and give you peace of mind that you’re doing perfectly.