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Navigating Owner Holds: Strategies for Vacation Rental Property Managers

Gather Vacations
| Vacation Rental Property Manager Guide

A successful vacation rental property manager understands that homeowners have different goals for their rental property. Some may prioritize maximizing rental income, while others may value personal use and enjoyment of their vacation home. Regardless of their goals, the common thread is that property managers must support homeowners in achieving them. 

One critical aspect of this support is managing owner holds when homeowners block off time on the booking calendar for the personal use of their vacation rental. In this blog, we’ll share tips on how vacation rental property managers can balance owner holds to ensure the success of both the homeowner and the rental property.

Set Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations with homeowners is crucial for vacation rental property managers to manage owner holds effectively. This helps ensure the homeowner’s goals align with the property’s overall performance. 

Before the homeowner books their own time, it’s essential to discuss the impact that owner holds can have on the property’s revenue and occupancy rate. Property managers should provide guidance on how to block off time on the booking calendar effectively to maximize revenue and minimize any negative impact on the property’s performance.

By setting expectations upfront, you can avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications down the line. Property managers can also consider creating a clear policy for owner-holds that outlines how often and when they can be taken and any restrictions or guidelines that must be followed. This can help homeowners understand the impact of owner holds on the property’s performance and plan their vacations accordingly.

In addition to setting expectations, property managers should also regularly communicate with homeowners about the property’s performance and how owner holds impact revenue and occupancy rates. This can help homeowners understand the importance of strategic planning for owner-holds and the impact on the property’s overall success.

Develop a Communication Plan

As a vacation rental property manager, maintaining open communication with homeowners is critical to managing owner holds successfully. It is essential to establish a regular check-in schedule with homeowners to discuss upcoming reservations and ensure that the property is well-maintained during their personal stays. This plan can help prevent any potential conflicts arising from using the property for personal reasons.

Setting clear expectations and establishing a communication plan is crucial to balancing owner holds successfully. By developing a solid relationship with homeowners and maintaining open communication, property managers can create a mutually beneficial partnership that supports the homeowner’s goals and the vacation rental’s overall performance.

Be Strategic with Booking Channels

Maintaining a high occupancy rate is crucial for vacation rental properties to maximize their revenue and profitability. However, homeowner holds can significantly impact the property’s performance on booking channels, resulting in a lower occupancy rate and decreased revenue. Therefore, educating homeowners about the impact of blocking off too much time on the booking calendar is essential to ensure that they understand how it can affect their property’s performance.

One way to address this is by being strategic about blocking off time. Instead of allowing homeowners to block off large chunks of time, consider limiting the number of days they can hold. This ensures the property remains visible on booking channels and reduces the risk of lower occupancy rates.

Additionally, keeping a certain percentage of the booking calendar open for last-minute reservations or shorter stays can also be beneficial. This allows the property to remain visible on booking channels, even during peak season when longer stays are more common.

By communicating these strategies with homeowners, you can help them make informed decisions about owner holds and improve the property’s overall performance on booking channels. This, in turn, can lead to higher revenue and increased profitability for both the homeowner and the property manager.

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives can effectively encourage homeowners to limit their owner holds and prioritize the property’s overall performance. One way to do this is by offering discounted management fees to homeowners who limit their use of owner holds. This can motivate homeowners to make their property available for guests more often, increasing occupancy rates and revenue. By doing so, homeowners can see the financial benefits of prioritizing the property’s overall performance and making it available to guests more frequently.

However, it’s essential to ensure that any incentives offered to homeowners align with the overall goals of the property management company and don’t negatively impact the business’s profitability. Therefore, property managers should carefully consider the costs and benefits of offering incentives and ensure they are sustainable in the long run.

Offering incentives can be a powerful tool for encouraging homeowners to prioritize the property’s overall performance while still allowing for personal use. By finding the right balance, property managers can help to maximize revenue and profitability for themselves and their clients.

Plan Ahead

Planning is crucial when managing owner holds in vacation rental properties. Property managers should create a comprehensive management plan with strategies for handling owner holds. This plan should be developed well in advance and consider the property’s overall performance goals and the homeowners’ desires for personal use.

To ensure successful vacation rental property management, having a clear policy in place for managing owner holds is crucial. This policy should be communicated to homeowners, along with an understanding of the impact their holds may have on the property’s overall performance. 

Planning can help property managers avoid last-minute conflicts and ensure the property remains profitable and successful. In addition, by including a policy for owner holds in the overall management plan, property managers can properly set expectations and maintain open communication with homeowners while maximizing occupancy rates.

Another important aspect of planning is to keep an eye on booking trends and data. Property managers should regularly monitor occupancy rates, booking lead times, and other performance metrics. This data can help identify patterns and trends in guest bookings, informing owner-hold policies and strategies.

Furthermore, monitoring booking trends is crucial for property managers to stay proactive and adjust their management plans and marketing strategies as necessary to optimize the property’s overall performance. Planning is fundamental to successfully managing owner holds in vacation rental properties. 

Property managers must create a comprehensive management plan that includes a well-defined policy for owner holds, consistent communication with homeowners, and monitoring of performance metrics. By implementing a well-planned strategy, property managers can minimize the impact of owner-use on the property’s overall performance, resulting in positive experiences for both homeowners and guests.

The Gather Difference

In conclusion, managing owner holds can be daunting for vacation rental property managers, but it doesn’t have to be. By implementing the tips and strategies outlined in this blog, property managers can strike a balance between the personal use of the property and maximizing its revenue potential. In addition, open communication, planning, and staying on top of booking trends are essential to ensure a successful vacation rental business.

At Gather, we understand the unique challenges of managing vacation rental properties, including owner-holds. Our dedicated team of professionals and industry experts is dedicated to helping property managers thrive and take their businesses to the next level. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your vacation rental property management needs and help you succeed in this competitive market.

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