How to run an Airbnb remotely – this is one of the questions I have recently had to ask myself! (And figure out HOW). I have been running my Airbnb startup business for about a year and a half now. Up until a few months ago, I lived right down the street from my Airbnb. This brought me comfort knowing that in case of an emergency, I would be right there to address it.
Want a free checklist for managing your Airbnb remotely? Scroll to the bottom of this post for the download.
With a new adventure on the horizon, I was going to be spending the summer up in Boston and away from my Airbnb baby. So many questions started coming up. How will I manage my Airbnb from another state? Do I need to hire a management company? What will happen when essential supplies run out? What else am I not thinking of to run this vacation rental virtually?
I have learned a lot in just a few short months of running a vacation rental virtually. If you are thinking about starting an Airbnb and possibly managing it from another state, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I am going to share everything I know and have learned about how to run an Airbnb remotely.
There is a lot that goes into running an Airbnb business. Adding the complexity of not physically being there will bring another set of challenges. But it can be done! In this post, I am sharing everything I have learned about running my Airbnb virtually. From dealing with guest issues to making sure that no one is throwing a huge party at my house! There are several tools and guides you can use to run an Airbnb remotely and make it a success.
How do guests get in if I’m not there to hand over the keys?
This one is simple – a keyless entry system for your Airbnb! Even if you are right down the street from your vacation rental, getting a smart lock allows for guests to get in the home without a physical key. It’s a game changer and a must have for your rental.
I started my Airbnb using a regular lockbox with a physical key. Don’t do this! Getting a smart lock is 100000% worth it.
A smart lock gives you the ability to grant guests (and cleaners or a handyman) to your home. Without physically being there.
What do I do if something breaks in the house during a guests stay and I’m not there?
In my opinion, one of the most import aspects of running an Airbnb business is having a solid handyman that you can trust. If I were there, yes maybe I would go over there myself to take a look. But 9 times out of 10, I would need to call someone anyway. By being remote, I’m probably going to take the same action as if I were down the street.
Call your handyman that you trust and schedule him or her to go investigate the situation. This is normally my first course of action unless I know the problem will require a specific skill set – like a plumber.
A reliable plumber that you’ve used before should also be on your list. I would recommend having at least 2 plumbing contractors that you can call in the event there is something wrong with the toilet, shower, or water at your house. Since these are some of the vital appliances that guests will you, you always want to make sure they are working.
If you are one of those Airbnb owners that can also act as a plumber or handyman, that is awesome! But that is not the norm. Especially if you are running your Airbnb from a different town or different state.
How do I know guests aren’t going to burn out my A/C?
If your vacation rental is in the warmer climate like mine (Lake Worth Beach, Florida) – guests may sometimes continuously run the AC superrrr low. This can lead to high electric bills and a lot of ware and tear on your HVAC system. This can definitely still happen if you live down the street from your property – but at least you can go over there every now and again to check on it.
If you’re not there at all, you are relying on guests to turn the AC off when they leave. Or you’re relying on the cleaners to reset the temperature. Or you can get a Smart Thermostat!
If you want to be able to check on the temperature setting through an app, check out this Honeywell Smart Thermostat.
There is an easy to use app that allows you to set and monitor the temperature settings. It also provides you with a monthly energy report and ways to conserve energy in the future!
Find cleaners that you trust (and have a backup)
Having a reliable cleaner or cleaning company that you really trust is more important than you think. They are really like your first line of defense. They will be the first people in there right after guests check out. Make sure the cleaner will notify you of anything that is out of place ASAP.
Have a plan for re-stocking essentials
My cleaning company lets me know when supplies are running low on all of the essentials. I have a check list for re-stocking the essentials. When I’m home in Florida and living down the street, I just run to the store and drop off the goods. Now that I am living across the country (in Boston for the summers), how can I restock everything??
This is one of those things I had to learn when figuring out how to run an Airbnb remotely. I talked with my cleaning company before I left and made them aware of my situation.
Set up automated messages on your Airbnb listing
The ability to send automated messages on Airbnb is a new feature within the last ~12 months (end of 2020). I always wondered why this wasn’t available and I’m so glad it was added! Instead of using a third party, you can automatically send certain messages at certain times to each guest.
The 3 automated messages I have set up are….
First, a “Thank you for booking for stay with us” message. This one gets sent 10 minutes after a confirmed booking.
Next, a “Here are your check in instructions” message. This one gives the address of the home, keyless entry smart lock code for entering the home, and a few other details I want them to be aware of before checking int.
TIP: If you have a Wifi smart lock, there are third party systems that will integrate with your Airbnb messages. This can allow you to generate a new key code for each new guest with a start and end date.
Lastly, a “Hope you had a great stay, here are your check out instructions” message. I re-iterate our check out instructions like taking out the trash, stripping the beds, etc, so that hopefully guests do at least 90% of it.
Top 5 things to know on how to run an Airbnb remotely + a FREE CHECKLIST
Download the checklist here!
- Keyless entry with a smart lock
- Automated messaging on Airbnb
- Reliable handyman and plumber
- Cleaners you can trust
- Plan for restocking essential supplies
Thursday 23rd of February 2023
My Airbnb is in Connecticut, a state that favors tenants over homeowners, so for my protection, I require a signed rental agreement with my Airbnb guests.
Do you have any thoughts on this?
Tuesday 28th of February 2023
Hi Robert! That's a good idea if it's something guests are willing to do each time. Have you had success with this? I always keep my house rules on Airbnb so they have to agree to them before confirming their booking.
Thursday 1st of December 2022
So I live in Lake worth and was wanting to run an airbnb but I called the city and they dont allow short term rentals? Help :)
Friday 2nd of December 2022
Hi Jessica! I got your email and responded there! I live in Lake Worth too :) Would love to help you get started!
Friday 2nd of September 2022
What about stripping beds Doing the washing Remaking beds Does your cleaner do all of this? Management companies that do this are exorbitant!!
Monday 5th of September 2022
My cleaners do all of this! You definitely want to find a cleaning company that has experience with short term rentals. Talk to them about your expectations for washing all of the bedding, towels, blankets, etc. You can have extras and backups in case things get stained while you are remote.
Sunday 1st of May 2022
Hi Amanda. I have an Airbnb at my house in Laguna Beach, CA. I've been a host now for over two years. I might be moving out of state for a new job and I want to keep up the Airbnb. These are all great tips, some of which I already have setup, like a smart lock. One thing I was curious about is third party apps or services that connect your lock to your Airbnb account. Do you have recommendations I can look into? Thank you!
Thursday 5th of May 2022
Hi Amanda! Thanks for the comment. Yes, I am actually about to test out Hospitable. They have a smart lock integration feature that will set the code automatically based on the last 4 digits of the guests phone number. Check it out here: https://hospitable.com/str-automation/#smart_locks
I'll update this post once I've tested it to see how it works :)
Friday 11th of March 2022
Hi Amanda! Since running your Airbnb remotely, have you had any urgent issues come up? I’m also curious how to make sure your guests are being respectful of neighbors (not too loud). Thanks!!
Tuesday 15th of March 2022
Hi! I make sure that my neighbors have my information in case there is a noise problem. There's also a service called NoiseAware (I don't have this yet... maybe in the future) which is a device that monitors the noise level. If it gets too high, it alerts you! https://noiseaware.com/