How to Manage Airbnbs - 5 Key Success Tasks 

Services such as Airbnb and VRBO are the cornerstone of the short-term rental market. These platforms allow property owners and investors to seamlessly set-up, market and rent their investment properties to travellers and other guests in what can feel like no time at all – but how much time does it truly take to manage Airbnbs and other short-term investments? 

Unlike long-term rentals which offer much more room for hands-off investing, short-term rental properties require a much more active approach due to the high volume of people coming in and out of the property each month. 

So, in order to help you plan for your short-term rental investments, let’s take a look at how long it takes to property manage Airbnbs and maintain your short-term rental properties.

First, what you need in order to manage Airbnbs is to get a clear picture of your financing so that you can confidently focus on everything else. Just remember, some lenders do not want to manage Airbnbs in their portfolios so you need a lender that is willing to finance these properties.

That is why we would like to offer you a free strategy call at the link below to ensure you get the right lender for your short-term investments.

When Do You Need to Spend Time To Manage Airbnbs? 

Before you start calculating how much time you need to spend on your short-term rental properties, it is important to note that you will not be able to do everything all at once consistently. So instead of looking at a property and saying it takes ‘ten hours of work per week’ to maintain, you need to acknowledge that that time is going to be broken up into multiple segments. 

There are five main situations that will require your time and attention to manage Airbnbs successfully. These are: 

  • Setting Up the Property 
  • Preparing for Check-In 
  • Mid-Stay Communications
  • Check-Out
  • Emergencies and Sudden Maintenance 

While some of these may not be consistent concerns, it is important to ensure that you have the time and flexibility for all of these events. 

Discover How To Rent A Property With This Step By Step Guide

What Tasks Are Required In Order to Manage Airbnbs? 

Across all of the different periods where you will need to be available for your short-term rental investments, there are a variety of tasks you will need to be prepared for – each taking their own distinct amounts of time. While it is not possible to provide more than an estimate for each of these tasks, they should provide you with some perspective. 

Preparing the Property 

When you first buy a property with the intention of using it as a short-term rental property, you will need to take the time to set it up. This includes any immediate maintenance tasks, furnishing and decorating the property, and doing an initial stock of any supplies you intend to include for your guests. 

This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the needs of the property. So, it is important to plan for this time where you will be working on the property without any income coming back from it. 

Listing and Marketing 

When you are getting ready to list and market your property, take the time to have professional photos taken to show the rental from all angles. This will take between one and three hours to shoot, select and edit all of the best shots you need. 

After that, take the time to factor how much you will need to list the property for per-night in order to turn a profit and create sustainable positive cash flow. This will take research and calculations that will take on average at least five hours or more. 

Then, you will need to write a detailed listing for the property that highlights all of the included amenities and features. This will take another hour or two. 

Cleaning and Restocking 

Before and after each guest stay, you will need to make sure the property is fully cleaned and stocked with everything you have included in the listing. This typically can be done in two hours. However, things such as laundry may take longer depending on how many sheets and towels need to be cleaned.

In order to get the property ready for guests even faster, you may want to keep extra sets of sheets and other linens so that you can have your laundry done during stays instead of rushing to have it all done between stays. After all, sometimes you may have a guest check out at 11 A.M. and another guest coming at 4 P.M. and you will need the extra time – especially if there are any extra concerns during turnover. 

Manage Airbnb Guests 

While you have guests staying in your property, you need to be available to respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner. This means being able to answer calls or messages right away or getting back to them within a few hours so that they are not stuck waiting for you. In order to achieve this, set aside two to three hours a day where you are actively checking for messages while doing other things so that you do not miss them. 

However, if a guest attempts to notify you about an emergency, you will need to be able to respond quickly, so do not fool yourself into thinking that you can ignore your messages outside of your planned hours. 

Updates and Maintenance 

Occasionally, your property will need updates or maintenance to be performed. The amount of time this will take may vary greatly depending on the type and severity of the work that is needed to be done. 

Managing Time with a Property Manager 

It is a lot of work to manage Airbnbs. So, most investors turn to property managers in order to better manage their own time while still succeeding in their investments. Typically, in exchange for a commission between eight and twelve per cent of the property’s income, you can find a property manager who will do the majority of the heavy lifting for you in terms of managing the property. This way you can dedicate more time to your career, your other investments or tackling the major concerns. 

Meanwhile, if you are looking to grow your investment portfolio or refinance an existing investment, we have everything you need to get the best available mortgage here at LendCity. If you are ready to get started today, visit us online at or give us a call at 519-960-0370. Alternatively, you can book a free strategy call with us at the link below.

What You Need To Know Before Running A Short Term Rental, With Scott Dillingham