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Airbnb and HomeAway boast a combined 2.24 million properties, indicative of the insatiable demand for vacation rentals worldwide. And as a host, you can list your home online and generate a significant income. Sometimes, though, things aren’t as simple as they seem. From grumpy guests to lost keys, short term rentals can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth. Here, however, are six common vacation rental fails and how you can fix them with the latest technology – making your life as a host, simpler.

1. Key Exchange and Lock-outs

Fail: Collectively, Americans lose 20 million keys every year. As a host, dealing with locked-out guests can be a nightmare. You might need to replace the locks on your property, order new keys, or maybe you have to leave whatever you’re doing to let them back in. All of which becomes an even larger challenge if you’re not nearby your rental.

Solution: A digital smart locking system lets you create virtual keys for your guests, providing instant remote access to your home when you’re away from the property. Additionally, you’ll now be able to offer 24-hour check-in and you won’t have to wait around for late visitors to arrive.

Pillow has partnered with August Home, and utilizes their August Smart Lock. The result? You control who can access your home with unique key codes for each guest, reducing the need for key exchange. With remote lock and unlock capabilities, August prevents guest lockouts and provides property access via an iOS and Android app.

2. Your House Manual

Fail: Supplying guests with an outdated manual and no guidebook is a major fail in providing top-notch customer service. These resources provide guests with need-to-know information about your home and the local area, including check-in information, contact details, and recommended bars and restaurants. We understand, though, constantly updating a paper manual can be a challenge, especially if you want to make minor changes to your property policies and procedures or add in the delicious new pizza joint down the street.

Solution: Creating a digital house manual makes a lot more sense. You won’t have any of the printing costs associated with a paper guidebook, and you can update information without any fuss.

Once guests have confirmed their reservation, Pillow will send out a link to our Guest App, which includes check-in instructions, property guidance and answers to frequently asked questions about your home. As a result, guests are less likely to leave a bad rating on your Airbnb or HomeAway profile because of incorrect information in your house manual.

Also, Pearlshare, a British-based company, lets you create a personalized travel guide for your guests, which could dramatically improve your guests’ travel experience while staying in your home. Go ahead and create an authentic local experience for your visitors by showcasing the best bars, restaurants, museums and local landmarks with the touch of a finger. And simply update it whenever you’d like!

3. Listing Inquiries

Fail: Guests often crave more information about your property before they make a reservation. If you have a home in a desirable location with lots of interest, you could face a backlog of questions from prospective visitors – something that could jeopardize your search result rankings on Airbnb or HomeAway. Vacation rental users might ask you about the size of your rooms, the location of the sleeping surfaces, and the amenities you have.

Solution: An online tool like RoomSketcher or HomeStyler reduces the amount of outreach on rental booking platforms. All the information guests covet about your property – the layout of your home, the sleeping surface clarification – is in one place, saving you lots of hassle. With these free online tools, you can create a 2D or 3D floor plan of your house so guests can perform a virtual walk-through before they even arrive.

4. In-home Entertainment

Fail: The average TV viewer spends two weeks of their lifetime looking for a lost remote. On the flip side, having too many remotes can be a headache for your guests and could even result in a negative rating on your rental profile. Other TV troubles include unreliable connections and pricey subscriptions.

Solution: A universal remote provides you with a quick resolution and guests can use it to control multiple devices. Also, consider including subscription services like Apple TV and Netflix to provide even more options at a fraction of the cost.

5. Yard Maintenance

Fail: Overgrown, neglected gardens could be an eye sore to your guests. A well-kempt garden, however, could attract more visitors to your property and increase your booking rates. If you don’t have time to look after your yard, you could be losing out on additional rental income.

Solution: Edyn’s smart garden system enables you to control your garden remotely. Insert an Edyn garden sensor in your yard and let the technology water your plants. You’ll receive insights about the condition of your garden through the Edyn app, too.

6. Time

Fail: The average full-time host spends 30-50 hours a month managing reservations and guests. You might not have time to handle all the responsibilities that come with being a vacation rental host, especially when the pressure of providing a superb local and unique experience is increasing. The time commitment, too, is compounded if you live far away from your property (the average vacation home owner lives 322 miles from their property) or have work or family commitments.

Solution: Pillow provides you with hassle-free hosting right from the start. Our unique take on vacation rental management takes the pain out of hosting a property: You can still generate a lucrative income but won’t have to manage the day-to-day responsibilities that come with the job. From Airbnb listing optimization to guest support and expert housekeeping services, Pillow has your back so you can rest easy.

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