How to manage a vacation rental remotely

How to run an Airbnb from a distance


Running a vacation rental long-distance isn’t just possible, it’s commonplace. Many vacation home owners are just like you—they invested in a property out of state based on its profit potential or because it was simply a favorite vacation spot. Whether you live down the street or across the country, your responsibilities remain the same—take care of your guests (and your home) and deliver a 5-star experience.

If you reside in Maine and rent out a vacation home in Maui (or vice versa), here are top ways to manage your vacation rental remotely with ease.

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Automate your guest messages

Create ready-to-go email templates so you can easily communicate with your Airbnb and Vrbo guests before, during, and after their stay. Even though you’re not in the area, this type of streamlined communication shows guests you are attentive and available to assist. Plus, this gives you a chance to provide answers to questions they’ll likely have, like how to get into your home, where to park, and how to turn on the TV (eliminating the need to field those questions later on).

At Vacasa, we automatically send pre- and post-stay emails to guests providing all the information they’ll need for a seamless arrival, stay, and departure. For instance, we’ll share what weather to expect during their visit, provide the WiFi password, and give them any smart lock codes. After they check out, we’ll prompt them to leave a great review and even email them a year later to suggest staying again.

Install smart locks for contactless check-in and check-out

Before smart locks (and even lockboxes), homeowners had to wait idly for guests to arrive to hand off keys. Thanks to today’s technology, smart locks allow you to give a custom code to each guest that is only valid during their stay. Most smartphone apps will even notify you when guests arrive and punch in the code for the first time. Not only is this simpler for you, it’s stress free for guests. Installing a smart lock also allows you to reissue codes right from your smartphone in case guests have any trouble getting in.

Bonus: You can also give your house cleaners a code designated just for them.

Stock your vacation home with the necessities

Providing all the right vacation rental essentials upfront can help cut back on guest requests. After all, you wouldn’t want guests asking for extra pillows or a baking sheet while you’re miles away.

You can even set up a regular schedule to purchase household supplies online—such as laundry detergent and paper towels—and have them delivered to your home (ask your housekeepers to bring them in and store them in a locked closet). You might also want to purchase multiple linen sets so your cleaners don’t have to wait for fresh linens before preparing the rooms for the next guests.

Modern vacation rental management.

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Lean on smart home technology

Today, you no longer have to be there to control many aspects of your home. One of the keys to managing your vacation remotely is to rely on smart technology whenever you can. In addition to installing smart locks, getting smart thermostats and smart lights allows you to turn down temperatures or switch off lights once guests are gone, which can save on electricity costs.

Vacasa is taking smart home technology into our own hands. Since you’re miles away, you won’t know if guests are throwing noisy parties until a neighbor calls to complain. Noise monitoring devices are non-invasive and measure overall noise levels at your property, which can help tip you off to any noisy gatherings. Vacasa's branded Wifi routers will also monitor the number of devices connected to your network at any one time, which can help your local team weed out issues before they arise.

Establish a team of local contractors

Like the saying goes, “It takes a village.” Something is bound to happen while you’re away: a roof will leak, a pipe will burst, an appliance will break. What’s even better than you being there to fix it all? Having a list of local maintenance and repair professionals ready to jump in and save the day (and the guest’s stay).

People you should have on speed dial include plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and repairmen. Have 2 or 3 backups too, since not everyone can be available last minute.

Homeowners who work with Vacasa enjoy the built-in benefit of our team of maintenance techs—and, for bigger jobs, trusted vendors in the area who we already know and love. We also handle scheduling and coordinating any maintenance and repairs on their behalf.

Line up trusted house cleaners

Don’t skimp on professional house cleaning. An immaculate vacation home is essential to today’s travelers. It tells guests that your vacation rental is not just sanitized, but safe. Cleanliness is also a top thing that guests will notice and be quick to review you on. To make sure your home is left as pristine as possible after every check-out, ask your cleaners to follow a vacation rental cleaning checklist.

Vacasa directly employs housekeepers, who clean all our homes with extra care according to our Vacasa Premium Clean program.

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Provide a robust guest book

Guest books (whether digital or printed) generally answer questions guests are bound to ask. This can include house rules, WiFi instructions, and troubleshooting tips. Destination tips are also helpful, such as:

  • Restaurant recommendations
  • Activities in the area, like viewpoints, points of interest, hiking trails, beaches, and museums
  • Nearby essentials, including supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Public transit information

Leave a local emergency contact

Guests want to know that you—or someone else—is available if they experience any problems. Besides letting them know you’re available by email, phone, or text, consider leaving a local emergency contact. This can be a friend, nearby family member, or neighbor.

With Vacasa, your guests are taken care of all day long. We offer 24/7 on-call guest support, plus a local property manager who can stop in if needed.

Hire a local vacation rental manager

Whether you’re near or far, there will always be guests to help, repairs to be made, rooms to clean, and so much more. Instead of being tied to your phone, a smarter option would be to hire an expert (or an entire team) to handle it all for you.

Full-service vacation rental managers like Vacasa will take all of that off your plate. Even better, they’ll go beyond just taking care of your guests and your home. Vacasa can increase your income by bringing exposure to your rental, replying to reviews, adjusting rates based on demand and other factors, and so much more.

Getting automated systems in place and building (or hiring) a local team are some of the best ways to successfully manage your vacation rental from afar. Use these tips to streamline your process as much as possible, while also caring for your home and your guests.

two chairs sitting on a patio overlooking the pacific ocean on kauai

Remote vacation rental management FAQ

Yes, you can hire someone to manage your Airbnb, Vrbo, and other vacation rentals. That person or company is called a vacation rental manager. Some will offer only a la carte services, such as marketing and booking services. Meanwhile, full-service vacation rental managers like Vacasa will handle it all—marketing, cleaning, 24/7 guest service, rate setting, coordinating maintenance and repairs, and more.

Compare self-managing and full-service management >

It can be difficult to run an Airbnb by yourself. Homeowners often compare running their vacation rental to a 24/7 job. That’s because the work never ends. You need to bring constant visibility to your vacation home (marketing can be a full-time job in itself), communicate with potential guests, juggle your bookings and calendars, figure out rates, and coordinate cleaning, maintenance, and repairs—all while delivering 5-star service to your current guests.

Many vacation home owners turn to vacation rental management companies—such as Vacasa—to handle all these responsibilities for them.

Learn how to run your vacation rental like a business >

The costs for vacation rental property management can vary. Full-service managers can charge flat rates or management fees that range from 20% to 50%—all depending on your location, your type of home, and other factors. Companies that offer only a la carte services (such as only marketing, channel management, or cleaning) will charge less.

When you work with Vacasa, we’ll handle everything you need for a smooth-running vacation rental. Homeowners pay us a single straightforward fee (tailored specifically to their home) for our full-service offerings.

You can connect with a Vacasa property management team member by calling 888-711-0781 or providing your contact information via our Connect form.

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Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.