A Vacation Rental Property Management Checklist to Streamline Your Process

If you’re a vacation rental property owner, then you know that keeping up with the day-to-day tasks can be a challenge. There are so many things to remember! That’s why we’ve put together this Vacation Rental Property Management Checklist. This checklist will help you to streamline your process and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Why You Need a Vacation Rental Property Management Checklist

As a vacation property owner (or manager), you have a lot on your plate. Between managing bookings, cleaning the house, preparing for guests, hiring employees, and more- it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive vacation rental property management checklist to drastically reduce your stress levels and help you feel on top of that large to-do list.

Ultimately, staying organized is crucial for a profitable business that keeps guests happy and your vacation rental booked.

How to Create the Perfect Checklist

A good checklist includes the following:

  • Attention to every detail
  • Easy to read and follow so that tasks can be delegated
  • Creates a streamlined process that focuses on excellence between each booking
  • A focus on customer satisfaction
  • It should give a concrete pathway for reducing the time and effort you are personally putting into your vacation rental property business
  • Allows you to connect all of your systems digitally
  • Makes it easier for you to monitor your vacation rental remotely (which means more vacation and quality time with loved ones for you)

Overall, a good checklist is setting you up for success and profit. That way you can gradually reduce your efforts and hire an appropriate management team, whether that means finding a full property management team like Skye Management or hiring someone to manage the parts of the business you don’t enjoy.

What Should Be Included in a Property Management Checklist?

Here’s a look at what should be included in your property management checklist, by category:

  • Direct property management (cleaning, stocking, prepping, guest services)
  • Finances
  • Marketing

Direct Property Management Checklist

Now, let’s dive into the day-to-day tasks that are required to run a safe and clean rental while keeping your customers satisfied.

Pre-Arrival Tasks

  • Confirm guest contact information
  • Send your guests a welcome letter with check-in details, a property guide, a local guide (if applicable), and house rules
  • Inquire about any questions, special requests, or needs
  • Prepare the property for their arrival (see prepping category below)
  • Ensure that all amenities are stocked and ready to go (see prepping category below)

Prepping the Rental for Arrival

  • Prepare paper copies of the welcome letter, house rules, local guide, and property guide and place them in a visible location
  • Ensure that the Wi-Fi password is easily accessible
  • Clean all surfaces (see full cleaning list below)
  • Stock the fridge with groceries (if requested or applicable)
  • Put out fresh towels

A full cleaning checklist:

  • Kitchen: Load the dishwasher and washing machine, ensuring all dishes and silverware are clean and dry (do this first so you can return to it at the end). Put everything away in its rightful place when done.
  • Food: Before you grocery shop, get rid of anything in your fridge, freezer, or cupboards that’s past its expiration date. Also, give the surfaces a good wipe-down.
  • Vacuum for dust and debris: Make sure to check every room in the house, no matter if it has carpet or not. This includes the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living room(s), and/or dining room(s). Don’t forget to look under any mats or rugs and even couch cushions.
  • Cushions: Freshen the cushion to look plump and inviting.
  • Plants: Change the water in your houseplants. Check their health and remove any dead blooms or leaves, as well as arrange them to appear new.
  • Bedroom: Remove dirty sheets and linens. Check for any stains or spills, clean them up, and make the bed with fresh linens. Then, tidy surfaces, mirrors, and rugs.
  • Bathroom: Replace old towels with fresh ones, and be sure to remove any used towels. Mats should also be replaced between guests. Clean the shower pan and toilet bowl. The shower curtain, glass surfaces, and mirrors should be washed on a regular basis as well (between each guest is preferred). Finally, ensure that the shower is functioning properly as well as the flush and faucets.
  • Trash: Remove all debris, and replace the trash bags as needed. Leave some backups available.
  • Sanitize: After you have wiped down surfaces, be sure to disinfect or sanitize all areas—especially high-traffic, high-touch items and spaces.
  • Floors: All non-carpet floors should be mopped and dried.
  • Outdoor spaces: If you have a patio or backyard, complete yard maintenance such as mowing, sweeping, tree pruning, etc.
  • Parking spaces and sidewalks: Keep the area clear and free of debris, snow, etc.
  • Organize: No one likes a cluttered rental. Tidy up and put things back in their place- both indoors and outdoors.

For Airbnb cleaning protocols, look here.

Double check customer safety:

  • Accessible fire extinguisher and first aid kid
  • Access to your info (or relevant info) in the case of an emergency
  • Working smoke and carbon monoxide detector
  • Details related to pet and child safety (no exposed cords, baby gates, locks, etc.)
  • Double check that your insurance is up to date

Make sure that all appliances and electronics are working, including:

  • Smart locks (if applicable)
  • Security systems (if applicable)
  • Coffee pot or kettle
  • Plugins/smart plugins
  • Wi-Fi router
  • AC and thermostat
  • And more… 

A review of supplies to provide to enhance your customers’ stay:

  • Toiletries such as shampoo and soap
  • Access to extra clean towels, tea towels, pillows, blankets, and sheets
  • Extra hand soap and toilet paper in the bathrooms
  • Extra paper towels, surface wipes, and trash bags in the kitchen
  • Clothes hangers in the closets or wardrobe ready for use
  • Tea, coffee, milk, sugar, water, or any other item you typically provide is fresh (not expired) and ready for use
  • Access to basic cooking supplies like oil, salt, pepper, and spices
  • Ensure all kitchen items are still in good condition and in working order
  • Leave any other thoughtful items for your rental’s location (i.e. umbrellas and beach toys if you are near the beach are a nice touch)

Arrival Tasks

  • A few hours prior, turn lights on and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature or crack windows for fresh air flow (if possible)
  • Greet the guests upon arrival or send them their keyless entry code
  • Show them around the property (if applicable)
  • Make sure they have everything they need (in person or via text)

Departure Tasks

  • Inspect the property for any damage
  • Restock any items that may have been used during their stay (see supply list above)
  • Clean the house in preparation for the next guests (see cleaning list above)

Maintenance and Repair Tasks

  • Regularly inspect the property for any maintenance or repair needs
  • Schedule and complete any necessary repairs

Financial Tasks

  • Prepare monthly financial reports
  • Track rental income and expenses
  • Hire an accountant to help with appropriate tracking and headache-free tax returns

Keeping track of monthly/annual expenses with a spreadsheet or app:

  • Cost of repairs
  • Software costs
  • Purchase of new appliances, supplies, etc.
  • Employee costs (if applicable)
  • Marketing costs
  • Taxes and fees
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Mortgage payments (if applicable)

Marketing Tasks

  • Decide which platforms to list your property on
  • Utilize booking software to streamline the booking process
  • Provide customer service chats to quickly answer any property questions (this can be a game changer)
  • Regularly update your vacation rental listing to match the season or current events/trends
  • Promote your property on social media and other platforms
  • Network with other locals in the tourism industry- create partnerships when relevant
  • If you have a website for your property(properties)- build your email list by offering a useful local guide to the area (if applicable) and create consistent SEO-friendly blog articles

Want more useful checklists? See our checklist for achieving Airbnb Plus status.

Streamline Your Rental Property to Reduce Stress and Maximize Cash Flow

By utilizing a vacation rental property management checklist, you can help to streamline your process, reduce stress, and maximize cash flow. You now have access to a list that can help you achieve that. 

We hope this checklist article has helped you feel more organized. If you need more guidance or want help covering all your bases, we can help with all the essentials of property management. Contact our Skye Management team any time, we are happy to help!

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