Chances are, you have a toolbox at home. It’s full of tools, some loose screws, and maybe even safety glasses for when things get a little crazy. At first glance, your trusty toolbox may not appear to be a cohesive assembly of items, but you know it has everything you need for quick DIY projects or larger, more urgent fixes.
Your vacation property management business also has a box of tools you need to keep on hand. This toolbox includes all the technology you use in your day-to-day operations, some of which you use regularly (like a hammer or screwdriver) and some that are a little more specialized (like a stud finder or putty knife). Both regular and specialized tools contribute to the success of your business, and, if you have the right tools for the job, they help you keep things running smoothly.
What Tools Go In Your Toolbox?
The must-have, everyday tools you use to run your business are the ones you couldn’t get by without. As a vacation rental manager, your basic tech toolbox includes a robust property management system that integrates with your website and distribution partners to take online bookings. Your toolbox also needs solutions for managing leads, planning and adjusting rates in bulk, and handling complex accounting. The more integrated these solutions are, the more efficiently your business will run.
Can you imagine running your business without property management software? It would be like trying to hang a picture without a hammer and nail or drill and screws; you could probably find a way to hang it, but it would most likely fall down. And if the picture is heavy enough—or your property management business is large enough—it may crash to the floor as soon as you turn your back.
The specialized technology tools you use to run your business are ones that perform very specific functions but are still invaluable to smooth operations. These solutions help you differentiate your company and rise above your competition. In your tech toolbox, specialized tools could include smart-home technology, website platforms, blogging tools, email marketing software, electronic contract solutions, reporting tools and dashboards, and inventory management.
Building Your Toolbox
A complete toolbox should include both everyday and specialized technologies that work together efficiently, saving you time and money.
But what’s the best way to curate and select the right solutions that will work together efficiently and effectively? A bare-bones software with a hodgepodge of different systems may save on costs but will likely cause headaches in the long term as you try to scale your business.
It’s best to look first for core functionality when building your toolbox. Does this technology solution already include the most critical features for your business? Will it continue to perform as your company grows? Does the company have a highly rated support team in case you don’t know all the answers?
Then, think about how your core technology will integrate with reliable companies you may want to work with in the future, such as smart-home technology providers, website platforms and blogging tools, and mobile guest management apps. Even if you don’t think these integrations are immediate needs, they’ll become increasingly critical as your business grows and you need tools to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
Replacing Old Tools
If your technology isn’t working to help you smooth your operations, make a change. It’s possible that you need to replace an old tool or even add in a new one. It could be that your business has outgrown a current technology solution, and you may need one that offers more functionality, or you may need a solution that will scale as you expand your business.
The goal of strategically planning your technology toolbox is to simplify processes and make sure you’re spending money on tools that actually contribute to your success while making it easier for your team to deliver great guest experiences.
When you use the right tools and everything is running smoothly, all the hard work looks easy. Your guests don’t see all the moving parts behind the scenes; they just see their great vacations. Your owners don’t see all the work that goes into renting out their properties; they just see their statements, checks, and glowing property reviews.
When was the last time you reorganized your toolbox?