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Why Turn Your Long-Term Into Short-Term Rental in Tel Aviv, Israel

Why Turn Your Long-Term Into Short-Term Rental in Tel Aviv, Israel

Should you or should you not turn your long-term rental into a short-term rental in Tel Aviv, Israel? It turns out you should and here’s why!

When a property owner has a property that they want to make a passive income through their rental management strategy they are presented with a crucial decision, which is:

What is better long-term or short-term rental in Tel Aviv, Israel?

This can be a conflicting decision for many reasons. But at this point there has never been a better moment in your life to address those reasons.

Long-Term or Short-Term Rental in Tel Aviv

The key to analysing this is the location in which your property rental is based.

If you are lucky enough to have your property in a great location in the heart of Tel Aviv, or perhaps a sea front property that very much points you in the direction of the short-term rental market.

The short-term rental market is generally much more lucrative than the long-term market. It is common for you to double, triple of even quadruple your earnings when compared to the long-term rental market.

Understanding you are in a prime location in a highly sought after area is key in your decision making here.

The long-term market may seem safer. It may give you a lot less work to do. But that is why you need to assess the risk factor when committing to the short-term rental market.

Assessing the Risk Factor

The best way for you to enter the short-term rental market, capitalise on the rewards and mitigate on the risk is to work with a property management company in Tel Aviv.

You can learn about some of the benefits of working with a property management company. Check out my article – 10 Great Advantages of Working with a Property Management Company.

A professional property management company will take 99% of the risk out of the equation for you.

Playing it Safe in the Long-Term Rental Market

There are of course advantages to committing your property to the long-term rental market. The biggest advantage is increased consistency and no seasonality.

Seasonality is a big factor in the short-term rental market. You must consider this or suffer the consequences.

If however you have a vacation rental property in Tel Aviv, seasonally is not a big issue.

Of course Israel does experience peaks and lows, but the market never really switches off completely. There is literally good earnings to be made all year round.

The COVID-19 Effect

Even COVID-19 couldn’t kill the Israeli short-term rental market. Earnings dropped as they did for many businesses across many industries. But there was still a local market for short-term rentals in Tel Aviv.

As a property management company, we switched our efforts. Going from being primarily aimed at the international market to being aimed at the domestic market.

The market is adaptable and can thrive in adverse conditions. This makes it one of the most robust industries in existence today.

If you are entering the short-term rental market for the first time and you are doing it solo, you may seriously want to reconsider. It may be better to go with the long-term rental market, even if you happy to have a property in a great city like Tel Aviv in Israel.

The investment is greater for the short-term rental market. In terms of time, energy and expertise, but the rewards are much greater.

An Individual Decision

Really it’s down to you as an individual. What you are willing to put in, who you are willing to parent with and where your property in located.

With the long-term rental market in Tel Aviv, the idea is that you put the tenant in and forget about it. Taking a consistent, but relatively small income each month.

This may suit you and if it does go for it.

If not, my advice is to seek out a property management company in Tel Aviv. They will be ready to manage your property on your behalf.

For advice on choosing a property management company don’t miss my article. 10 Things to Ask Before Signing with a Property Management Company.

The bottom line is that this should be business decision for you. Look at what you can earn and make a decision accordingly. The market is clear for both the long-tern and the short-term marketing. A professional property management company should be able to give you some indication of what you can earn.

They can do this by referencing other properties that they manage which are similar to yours.

For some of the properties we manage make sure you check out our website at Sea N’ Rent

Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?

Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.



Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.

3 Rental Management Strategies in Israel

3 Rental Management Strategies in Israel

Today I’m going to show you 3 rental management strategies in Israel. You’ll be able to decide what’s right for you and your property.

What compels people to rent out their property is the term we hear a lot of on the internet, which is “passive income”.

Passive income is the idea that you can start something up and let it run itself. Bringing you in an endless stream of revenue.

Of course, this is ideal. So many people explore options for opportunities that fit into this business model. One of these opportunities is property rental. You get your tenant and the money comes in continuously.

It seems like a no-brainer. However, to make good money you generally need more than one property in the long term market and in the short term market of rentals, you need excellent property and guest management.

With that said, let’s say you’ve decided to go for it and rent out your property. You’re going to need a rental management strategy.

In the following text, we are going to look at 3 rental management strategies in Israel. These will help you decide what is the best way for you to rent out your property and make that passive income.

3 Rental Management Strategies

1. Self Management

Self-management is appealing to the novice property owner. You don’t have to give up any of your revenue. You’re in complete control and have a say over every aspect of the business that is the renting out of your property.

However, the issues are that it’s really all on you to get this right. If your goal is passive income than you being on top of everything is not what you want.

While things are running smoothly you may be able to manage things well. However, as soon as more of your time and resources are required you will begin to understand the full extent of the job that you took on in managing your property rental.

Self management may work perfectly for you, but there are many reasons why it won’t. Such as:

  • Issues with guests
  • Getting guests
  • money management
  • rental management
  • property maintenance
  • building repairs
  • issues with nearby tenents
  • legal issues

You will find soon enough that as far as rental management strategies go, that this is the equivalent of setting up a small business.

You may love it, or it could drive you crazy to the point of just wanting to sell the property and be done with it.

2. Co-Hosted Property

Some OTAs (Online Travel Agents) such as Airbnb run schemes so that you can share the responsibility of managing your property with another individual who will act as a co-host.

This may be a great idea, if you can find the right co-host to share the responsibility with. Of course there would likely be some sort of monetary compensation for the co-host for taking care of the reservation for you.

The idea is that the workload and responsibilities are shared, so there is less pressure on you to make sure you are on top of everything.

The major issue with this is that a co-host may not treat your property or guests with the level of professionalism that you want.

Because they are individuals with other responsibilities it’s hard to treat a co-host like they are your staff, which is what you really need in order for them to do the job well.

While co-hosting may be the perfect solution for you, it can be messy in terms of how things work in your online OTA dashboard and when it comes to the payouts and how payments are divided.

Of course because there are no two of you involved there is a greater opportunity for miscommunication which ultimately will lead to a poor guest experience. This has significant ramifications when it comes to your property getting more and more reservations.

3. Property Management Company

There are a lot of advantages when it comes to the strategy of partnering with a property management company, which you can read about in my other article – 10 Great Advantages of Working with a Property Management Company.

The biggest disadvantage, however, is that property management companies come at a price. However, it’s not really a disadvantage, when you consider all the advantages you are going to get. It’s more of an exchange of resources that will ultimately result in you maximizing your property’s earning potential.

But at Happy Owner, we encourage all property owners to be cautious when selecting a property management company, which is why we published this article – 10 Things to Ask Before Signing with a Property Management Company.

When managing our Sea N’ Rent Israel properties we have a full operation from A to Z which guarantees success when it comes to the guests of your property and the upkeep of your property.

Working with a property management company really does play into the idea of passive income. You basically have to hand over the keys and watch the money come into your bank account.

Working with a property management company is really for people who don’t want to spend the time it takes to manage a property like a business and yet still want all the benefits of additional revenue.

Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?

Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.


Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.

What is a Channel Manager and Why do You Need One?

What is a Channel Manager and Why do You Need One?

What is a channel manager? If you’re new to the world of property management you may not know. Learn what they are why you might need one.

Managing one property is a whole different game to managing multiple properties. As your inventory grows so does the complexity of your operation. As the complexity increases you need solutions to give you back control on your vacation rental business.

Happy Owner manages many properties in Israel, Italy and Cyprus and without a reliable channel manager it just wouldn’t work.

So, What is a Channel Manager?

A channel manager is an online software that manages your pricing and availability for all your inventory. It syncs them simultaneously to multiple online travel agents.

You can read more about online travel agents in our article The Best Websites to List Your Property on if You want to Get Bookings.

We’ve tried many channel managers through the years and are very happy with the one we are working with today.

Our channel manager is better than most because it offers the homeowners their own login portal. This gives the homeowners we work with access to their reservations. It also allows them to block dates for themselves as well as seeing other interesting statistics.

Not all channel managers offer this service. It’s one of the aspects of our Israel property management service that gives us added value as vacation rental managers.

Channel manager software often goes hand in hand with another major piece of software in the vacation rental industry. This is known as a property management system or PMS for short. We’ll go more into that in another article.

What Are The Benefits of a Channel Manager?

A channel manager centralizes your data from all your reservations. This gives you structure and organization. Having everything centralized will put you in the driving seat of your property management operation.

This increases your efficiency, makes it easier to leverage optimization, and becomes your go-to resource for answering many guest questions in relation to their reservation.

However one of the most important aspects of a channel manager is that it helps prevent double bookings. This is when you get two different guests booking the same dates from different platforms. This can be a nightmare for property managers which is why a channel manager is an essential piece of software.

Having a good channel manager is one of those tools that separates the amateurs from the professionals.

While double bookings can be resolved, they can also be a headaches and lead to bad reviews. Bad reviews lead to fewer bookings. This means without good backend management of your rates and availability you are unlikely to make as much money with your property as you possibly could.

This is something to keep in mind when you are considering the benefits of working with a property management company.

There are many channel managers on the market, and essentially for 90% of what they do, you can be sure they all pretty much do the same thing. However, over the years, a new business model has emerged. Let me explain.


There are two primary channel manager business models:


1. Ones that charge per property per month for using them. Let’s say $10 USD per month per property.
2. Then there are ones that charge a commission for any reservation you get.

As well this, you may have a mix of the two and you may have onboarding fees so it is good to shop around. A lot of these companies will be happy to book a free demo with you, so you can always take advantage of that.

But here’s a little secret. What makes a channel manager good and I mean the best is not the software. It’s the person operating it. The same as what makes a car drive well – the driver.

The Big Sell

What channel managers will do, is they will make big claims, that they can connect you to all these different online travel agents. That appears to be a beautiful thing.

The thing is you realise very fast connecting to all these channels is way more work than you anticipated and even after you connect there can often be a lot troubleshooting to do to get the connection between the channel manager and the online travel agent set up right.

Before you know it you are not a property manager anymore, but instead, you are a technician and working on these connections on a full-time basis.

When things go wrong with the connections (which will happen) your level of expertise will be tested. Unless you have the time and resources to dedicate to implement and leverage the functionality of a channel manager, you are best staying away from them and keeping your operation as simple as possible.

Of course, that does mean that you will always lack the ability to scale up your operation. This may be a reason you decide to partner with a property management company because they take care of all those technical details for you.

Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?

Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.

Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.

The Best Websites to List Your Property on if You want to Get Bookings

The Best Websites to List Your Property on if You want to Get Bookings

We all want bookings. Otherwise, what’s the point? Let’s take a look at the best websites to list your property on to get more bookings today.

If you’re new to the world of vacation rental property management it’s likely you have your eyes set on one of the following websites and it’s most likely that will be either Airbnb, Booking.com, or VRBO/HomeAway (acquired by Expedia Group in December 2015).

The more you dive into the weird and wonderful world of vacation rentals the more you will realize that a lot of these platforms are owned by big corporations. This means the diversity in the platforms is not really as it seems.

Many of these different platforms are more or less an exercise in marketing. Different platforms appeal to different audiences, but essentially they all pretty much do the same thing, just disguised differently.

Airbnb does have a simplistic user experience that seems to work for a lot of newbies.

It certainly doesn’t mean it’s the best, but it has become a common household name globally, and listing your property there is perhaps the easiest out of all these platforms. This means it has mass appeal.

However diversification is key to your sustainability in the world of vacation rentals.

That old saying

We’ve all heard the expression – “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This is a particularly true statement for people involved in vacation rentals.

Focusing all your efforts on one website, or booking channel can essentially mean that you can lose a steady flow of reservations almost overnight because you are always at the mercy of the people that operate that website.

With policies, operations, and search algorithms changing regularly, your listing may fall out of favor with the website and your sales will plummet.

Listing on multiple websites increases the complexity of your operation.

There will be certain pitfalls you want to avoid and this may be a reason you end up teaming up with a property management company so that you can diversify where your bookings come from and enhance your foothold in the market.

List Your Property Like a Pro

The following websites are used regularly by Sea N’ Rent – property management in Israel and Oteego as part of their daily operations.

Quick Links

Websites to List Your Property

Booking.com

Booking.com is perhaps the most popular website in the world for short-term holiday lettings. This website has an average visitor count of over 57 million visitors per month. There is no doubt about it – your audience is on booking.com.

Personally, it’s not the most beautiful platform and seems strongly set up for hotels however vacation rentals do well there as well and booking.com have certainly adapted their approach and attitude to cater for vacation rental property managers.

Booking.com regularly submits speakers for vacation rental summits and invites property managers to webinars and online communities.


Expedia

Expedia attracts a lot of business guests due to the fact it creates package deals with flights. This is convenient for business travellers as Expedia acts as a one stop shop for their needs.

The major downfall of Expedia is that it takes away a lot of control and flexibility from the property manager and I would not recommend Expedia for a newbie to the vacation rental world. It really comes across as a platform aimed at professionals in the vacation rental and hotel industries.


Hotels.com

Hotels.com is owned by Expedia and is one of the lesser-known booking websites. The fact is if you are on Expedia you will be automatically on Hotels.com. There is no clear advantage of this platform other than the fact it’s another way for guests to get to you.

You may not even choose to be listed on hotels.com but the fact you are listing on Expedia means you will be listed there by default.

You’ll find the more you list with these online booking engines the more likely you will find yourself listed on channels you didn’t even know about.

There is really not much you can do about this. It’s how this world operates and honestly, it does no harm to be listed in multiple online locations.

Essentially it’s about one conglomerate increasing its market share in an attempt to monopolize the industry. A lovely story we can all be part of.


Plum Guide

Plum Guide is a dark horse in the world of vacation rentals. They are one of the smaller online booking engines but they are creating waves with their quality over quantity approach. Which is refreshing.

The good people at Plum Guide insist on scaling up quality assurance and ensuring their hosts reach a certain standard before listing with them.

It’s exciting to watch Plum Guide grow as they have carved out a niche within the vacation rental online booking market.

Instead of competing, they have created their own category. One could say they are the Brew Dog of the vacation rental world.

Brew Dog is a brewery and pub chain based in Ellon, Scotland with an annual turnover of more than 55 million GBP. Instead of competing with other mainstream breweries, they created their own unique category and as a result, they have excelled and taken the world by storm. Let’s hope Plum Guide do the same.

Airbnb

Everyone knows Airbnb from a guest’s point of view and from the point of view of the property manager. However, despite their friendly image, Airbnb can be tough and ruthless when it comes to how they handle their property managers and private hosts.

The platform clearly favors the guests over it’s hosts and is not shy about making that very clear to you. However they do their best to hide their attitude towards hosts behind corporate smiles and PC language.

With that said, Airbnb owns such a monstrous market share that if you are new to the business, they can almost become the oxygen that gets your vacation rental efforts off to a positive start.

Hosts can and do work very successfully with Airbnb. Their power in the industry cannot be ignored. They are heavy weight contenders that built their image based on appealling to home owners that want to make some extra cash on the side.

However, as Airbnb has grown exponentially, they have become increasingly corporate and have essentially lost their image as a friendly option for generating passive income.

They are now in the realms of the other giants of the online short-term letting world and serve hotels and every other type of vendor you can imagine.

Airbnb have lost what made them unique, but are perhaps too big to fail at this point.


TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a company that was hugely trending at one point, but recently they have fallen into oblivion.

Should you list there? Yes, you should, as you have no reason not to. They are still a well-known name and carry with them a degree of credibility as people do seem to trust their reviews.

If you ask me, TripAdvisor has suffered a major identity problem. If Airbnb aren’t careful they will suffer a similar fate.

A possible reason for the fall of TripAdvisor is the fact it is owned by Expedia and it appears obvious Expedia have one thing on their mind and that is to eat up the competition and increase market share. In this case at the expense of TripAdvisor’s identity.

I see a reemergence of TripAdvisor however and that’s why I think it’s important to be there.

TripAdvisor will become the alternative option and it will have it’s day again. It needs new leadership and a clear vision.

As of now, you could be on TripAdvisor to book a room or find a local vegan restaurant demonstrating a clear lack of focus.


Agoda

The vacation rental world is waking up to the ambition of Chinese people to travel more. Agoda give you access to this market.

The problem with Agoda is that you are positioning yourself in a market you most likely know nothing about. Pushing your properties with the same attitude that you use on other websites like booking.com and Airbnb.

This is naive and it’s likely your property will just sit somewhere in obscurity on the online world that is Agoda.

Agoda is a platform to be understood and not a platform to be passively used in the hope you get some bookings.

The issue is Agoda don’t have the resources to support you on your journey, so this is very much up to the host or property manager to uncover Agoda’s secrets.


MisterBandB

MisterBandB is a gay friendly online space for gay people looking for hosts that embrace and completely accept that they are gay guests.

Sure I’d like to live in a world where this attitude is just the norm but the fact is that there are enough gay people out there that feel more comfortable booking through a gay-friendly platform.

It would be a challenge to host a property that is not gay-friendly but the fact you as a host are on a gay-themed platform shows that you are actively reaching out to them and this is the appeal of it.

I’m delighted MisterBandB exists and is pursuing it’s mission to create a more inclusive world though the world of vacation rentals.

MisterBandB does particularly well with vacation rentals in Tel Aviv especially in the summer when Tel Aviv host their Gay Pride parade.


VRBO

VRBO or HomeAway, much like TripAdvisor this is another company experiencing an identity crisis. However they do focus on vacation rentals, they just don’t know if they are based in the UK or the USA or if they are called VRBO or HomeAway.

I don’t mean to be a critic, but whoever is in charge of their branding should be fired. Honestly how hard can it be to get that right?!? Just pick a side people.

If you have being paying attention to the article, it will be of no surprise to you that VRBO is owned by…. you guessed it Expedia.

Expedia like taking over companies and destroying their brand apparently.

VRBO is however an excellent example of how different online platforms suit different countries.

For instance, VRBO is great at getting guests for Italy and less great at getting guests for Israel. It’s good to know and encourages us all to diversify.


Marriott Homes & Villas

You may not have heard about Marriott Homes & Villas and that’s ok. This platform is not accessible to the public in terms of hosting your property. Unlike the other popular platforms, you must be selected to work with Marriott Homes & Villas.

Happy Owner through its parent company Sea N’ Rent is one company that has been selected.

Marriott Home & Villas is more like Plum Guide but on steroids. The level of detail you have to go through as a property manager to get approved by Marriott Homes & Villas is mind-blowing.

However this is why if you see a company that has properties approved by Marriott Homes & Villas you can take it as a massive positive indicator in you choosing to work with them.

See one of our Marriott Home & Villa’s property rental listings in Tel Aviv.

Trips.com

As with Agoda Trip.com (formally called cTrip) is an online booking platform based in China meaning it is the go to website if you want to attract more Chinese tourists.

This website is basically the Chinese equivalent of Booking.com. It’s not for newbies. To be listed here you’d really want to be working with a property management company.

In the near future, we will see more and more companies hosting their properties directly with Trips.com because the Chinese enthusiasm for international travel is forever increasing it makes sense to take the time to invest in understanding this platform.


Bonus Listing

If you get anything from this article, please take this gem with you. The single best place for you to list your property is your own website, whereby you develop your own brand.

Your website is what will differentiate you from your competition. It will enable people to book with you directly (meaning you earn more) and it will increase the likelihood of you getting repeat business.

Now if you wanted to be listed everywhere most likely you will need to work with a credible property management company.

You would want to do this because property management companies such as Happy Owner have the backend software to coordinate the operation so that there are no double bookings and pricing and availability are syncing and managed across all websites simultaneously.

This is a complex operation that requires vacation rental career professionals and industry-specific software. It’s a full-time job with many moving parts.

There are many advantages of working with a property management company, certainly being listed across the biggest listing websites in the world for vacation rentals is one of them.

If you want to read about other advantages of working with a property management company go to this article 10 Great Advantages of Working with a Property Management Company

Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?

Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.

Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.

10 Things to Ask Before Signing with a Property Management Company

10 Things to Ask Before Signing with a Property Management Company

What should you consider before signing with a property management company? This article addresses that so you make a better decision.

In my experience the best teachers never tell you what to think, but instead show you the possibilities of how to think.

This method puts you in the driving seat and encourages you to be a critical thinker so that you know you are making the best decision for you and in this case for your property.

This article will present you with things for you to consider so that you make an excellent decision and choose a property management company that exceeds your needs.

Here are 10 things to ask yourself before signing with a property management company. Whether it’s property management in Tel Aviv, Italy or anywhere else in the world, these questions apply to everyone that wants to outsource the management of their property.

Signing with a Property Management Company

1. Do they offer 24/7 customer service?

24/7 customer support may seem like a luxury, but if you are going to pay for a service, you should make sure it’s part of the overall service when it comes to the company managing your property.

24/7 customer supports ensures the following:

  1. – a quick response rate to inquiries
  2. – making sure there is someone there to talk to guests
  3. – overseeing the check-ins and check-outs

While these may seem like small details, they are in fact essential to making sure guests are kept happy. This means better reviews and better reviews mean more bookings. And we all know what that means.

2. How do they process your revenue?

When it comes to the money your property earns as a result of being managed you want to ensure you know all the ins and outs of it. Otherwise you’re going to have to ask a lot more questions than necessary which is going to frustrate you as much as anybody else.

Know what date you can expect payment. How your payment is calculated and how and when you will be issued reports.

These are all essential details for you gaining the level of transparency you will need to have an effective working relationship together.

3. What is their social media presence like?

Social media is an easy one to overlook, but you shouldn’t. A company’s social media page will show you how they represent themselves. The language they speak as well as acting as an innovative channel to gain leads which may turn into reservations for your property.

Many average property management companies rely on all the same sources of reservations. Having an active social media presence gives them another source for guests, meaning they may have an edge over their competition. So always be on the look out for a healthy social media presence.

4. How is their website – high quality or outdated?

As companies are busy getting things done, many of them are guilty of ignoring their online presence and having an outdated website. Which you may see an indication that they may be neglecting other aspects of their business as well.

Seeing a high end, well maintained website, may in fact be a good indicator as to how they do business and how they will look after your property.

Attention to detail matters, no matter where the focus is.

5. What is the average contract length?

Make sure to inquire about two factors as regards your contract.

  1. – Understand what it will take for you to get out of the contract. Life is complex and things change all the time. As a homeowner, you don’t want to find yourself tied down to an over-restrictive contract.

  1. – See how long their average homeowner stays in contract with them. If they can showcase the fact they have worked with the same homeowners for several years, this is an excellent sign for you as someone who wants to outsource the management of your property.

6. How do their public online reviews look?

Go to credible, independent sources for their company reviews, such as Google, Airbnb, or booking.com. Look at the number of their reviews and weigh it up against their average review rating.

You may see bad reviews mixed in with many great reviews hopefully. The thing about bad reviews is that they can often tell you more about a company than good reviews.

A bad review is an excellent opportunity to see how they respond and conduct themselves in such a situation. Read both aspects of the review (the review itself and the response). Get the full picture and gain insight into just what type of property management company you are dealing with.

Now of course the vast majority of the reviews should be excellent, so always look for an average rating between 4.5 to 4.9.

Below 4.5 is a red flag and above 4.9 is also a red flag, because it may mean that many of the reviews are fake. Look for that sweet spot.

7. Have they been recommended to you by another homeowner?

Often you’ll want to be referred to a property management company via a referral by someone you trust. However this may not always happen, so you may want to seek out other homeowners under the management of the company and talk to them on eye level and understand their assessment and experience with a particular company.

You are giving the keys of your asset to someone you don’t know personally. Taking these precautions will give you peace of mind and ensure your professional relationship gets off to the right start.

8. What is the logic behind their pricing strategy?

It’s important to assess the logic the company is using to mange the pricing of your property. This ensures two things:

  1. – You will be priced competitively
  2. – Your properties earning potential will always be maximized

While you don’t need to understand it fully. It is important you are aware of just how in-depth they go to get you your results. Without this pricing logic, any gains you make will be short-lived. When what you are really looking for is scalable, consistent, and continually improving results.

9. Are they willing to tailor their service to suit you?

At the end of the day we are all individuals. We all have needs. And you may need an agreement that suits you above all else. Ensure that the property management company you work with are adaptable and willing to bend to accommodate you.

Perhaps you need your money transferred in a certain currency on a particular date. Perhaps you need the flexibility to block dates and unblock them as you feel like it. There are many variables that may come up to ensure you get an agreement you are happy with.

10. How are they using technology?

The vacation rental industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world when it comes to technology. You can expect that the leading property management companies will be up to speed with the best technology out there. This in turn will make sure your property stays competitive in the market.

Sea N’ Rent, based in Tel Aviv, uses 3D visualization technology called MatterPort. This allows potential guests to have a digital walk-through of the property before booking.

However behind the scenes as well, there will be a lot of technology you as a homeowner are not aware of. This includes software such as channel managers and property management systems.

One of the most important aspects of technology that you will want is an online portal for you to access so that you can log in anytime to know how your property is performing when it’s booked and how much you are getting. So make sure the company you choose has this feature in place for you.

There are of course many more questions to ask. However above all else, what you are looking for is a property management company that you can build a trusting and professional relationship with.

Building this relationship is based on one thing. That’s transparency.

Whatever questions you ask, make sure the property management company you are signing with, goes above and beyond to be fully transparent with you no matter what details you are asking about.

Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?

Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.

Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.

How to Achieve Guest Happiness – An Interview with Lior Nassi

How to Achieve Guest Happiness – An Interview with Lior Nassi

Lior Nassi is the co-founder of Sea N’ Rent. With over 10 years of experience with vacation rentals, we ask about how to keep guests happy.

When it comes to the vacation rental market Lior’s experience goes beyond Israel property management. Lior has also taken on projects in Italy, Cyprus, Romanian, United States and is currently assessing the Portuguese market.

Mr. Nassi has created methods that are transferrable on an international scale, making his advice all the more important to listen to.

With that said let’s get cracking with these questions on what keeps guests happy.

How to Achieve Guest Happiness

How to Achieve Guest Happiness

We sit down with Lior in his Villa in Portugal. Over an espresso in his rustic farmhouse kitchen with a view overlooking the ocean. We dive straight in.

Scott: Hello Lior, how are you?

Lior: Shalom, I’m good Scott, thanks for asking. Happy to have you here today and what beautiful weather we are having.

Scott: Lior I know you’re busy and I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so let’s just start.

Lior: Sounds like a plan, let’s start

Scott: Ok then here’s question 1: At what point does good customer service start in the guest journey?

The guest journey starts the moment the guest decides on what type of accommodation they want to stay in, for example in an apartment or in a hotel. Once the guest has decided what type they will then decide on which platform that they want to book.

They may decide to go through a third-party website like Boooking.com Expedia, Airbnb and so on or they may decide to book directly with the host of the property whether it be an individual or a property management company like Sea N Rent.

This splits the guest into two different entry points for where customer service begins.

If the guest goes through a third party, the experience is greatly automated, whereas if the guest books directly hosts often value that and so the customer service journey starts much earlier.

That initial interaction is key to showing the guest that as a host or property manager that when they book directly they will get that high level of customer service, even before they commit to their reservation.

Scott: What are you looking for in guest feedback to know that you’ve succeeded in keeping your guest happy?

In the feedback and the review, I’m not looking for anything specific. Because I know many of our happy guests don’t go down to details when leaving a review. It’s very rare that a guest takes the time to give back detailed feedback.

Together with this, I notice that guests that had a less than perfect experience were still giving us those top reviews so I’m not looking for the feedback in the review but I’m constantly looking and striving to give the guest the highest level of service we can offer.

This means going down to the very, very small details. Even details that will not affect the review, but will definitely affect the experience of the guest.

Scott: How can technology aid the customer experience?

Technology aids the customer experience as long as you still have complete control and awareness over the technology. With so much automation the guest should always still know that they always have someone to communicate with.

There are not many things that are more frustrating than a guest that is struggling to get in touch with a real person.

Scott: Has customer service in the vacation rental market generally improved or gotten worse in the last decade. Explain your thoughts

To my experience and knowledge, it has improved dramatically and it’s still improving. To the point right now that many of the guests are just choosing to stay in vacation rental properties instead of staying in old-fashioned serviced hotels.

The people really really got the knowledge. It’s evolving although it’s a very young niche within the short term rental market.

If you like take a look at the film picture industry and the digital picture industry.

The digital picture industry improved dramatically the experience of the user in the way that they have instant access to what they are doing but on the other side of the picture film industry, you have greater experience and deeper knowledge which reflects that of the hotels.

The vacation rental industry is still so young and disruptive. Much standardization has to take place.

The film industry still produces better quality pictures but the digital industry is defiantly going there and doing so rapidly.

Scott: When you stay at a vacation rental, what three things are a must for you as the guest?

For me funny as it may seem it’s very important for me to know who I am booking with. Which company, which host/individual, who am I dealing with.

Secondly It’s very important for me to arrive to a place that I see is not like a cold place without a heart. It’s very important that the place has heart and soul and a feeling of coziness.

The third thing that it is important for me to feel that I am the owner of the place and that I have the privacy and freedom in this place to do whatever I want and put my character into it.

Scott: With that said can you highlight three things as a guest that major red flags?

Seeing the owner very frequently, if the owner is too needy and has many comments and too many rules, what to do and what not to do and who I can bring and who I can’t bring, those kinds of things. This is a red flag for me.

A second red flag for me would be a host that is not responsive. And not taking care of issues in the place, because there are always issues.

And thirdly, since I like to stay in place for a long time, it’s important for me that the host adapts and prices accordingly. A host that does not apply a smart pricing system in honor of a loyal guest highlights another red flag for me.

Scott: In your experience what’s the best example you’ve seen of someone going above and beyond to keep a guest happy?

Actually, I see it in my own company. Recently one of the members of the team really had to take it upon himself to comfort a guest while the guest was experiencing personal issues.

This for me is above and beyond. If a member of the team sees an opportunity to care and show compassion, this goes beyond their job description yet it’s what gives their actions impact and meaning.

Scott: What do you think the future has in store for enhancing the guest experience?

I think the industry in general needs to evolve more and to go down to the details even more. Look at the hotel industry, for some time it looks like the industry is going from nice to have to the must-have.

It’s clear that in this young industry of vacation rentals a lot of people are getting away with things that are nice to have. But as the market grows and becomes more competitive, the things that are nice to have slowly become things that you must have in order to survive.

So I see the general standardization of the industry being raised significantly, whereby it increasingly becomes more professional and the novices simply will die out.

The only places that will survive are the ones that give added value as a standard practice and not because they are special.

Eventually these nice to have things will become expectations of the average guest.

Scott: How can property managers offer a better guest experience than a standard yet reputable hotel chain?

Again we are going to the heart and soul of the place. For example, you can enter the place and feel like someone prepared it and cleaned it as a standard practice. Or you can enter a place and feel like someone took control of the space and made a unique guest experience just for you.

With vacation rentals, you have a real opportunity to give personalization and make a real soulful connection with your guests. Hotels generally don’t have this opportunity. They run more of a production line when it comes to processing their guests.

The soul is a tangible quality and it can be projected into the space of a property rental.

Scott: What is your guiding philosophy when it comes to keeping guests happy?

I wouldn’t say I have a guiding philosophy that includes the guest. My philosophy is more down to the operation of my team for the guest. Making sure we give the guest all the tools and all the options to be happy.

What I am talking about is staging the apartment in a way that everything is in the right place and that the apartment is staged. As it would be for an actor performing in a movie entering into an idealistic scene where every detail has been taken care of.

How to Achieve Guest Happiness

To enjoy the space to feel at home, that they will get a clean place and at that point its very important that in a way we leave the guest alone.

It’s like a coach of a football team. For me, the good coaches were those that always sat back, stayed quiet, and allowed the team to get on with the game.

They are not screaming in the match because they know their players came ready for the match. The good coaches see how the players are implementing what they have been thought in the game.

Once the guest arrives, if everyone did their hob, I just need to relax.

Scott: Wow Lior, my minds’ blown this has been such a terrific experience. I’ve learned so much.

Lior: Thank you, Scott. It was my pleasure. Until next time.

It’s not every day you get to sit down with someone with such a rich experience and in-depth professional knowledge and really pick their mind like this.

Lior has proven himself domestically and internationally in the world of vacation rentals. His wealth of experience hasn’t just kept guests happy but many homeowners happy as well.

I feel what’s most important about Lior’s insights into the guest experience and customer care is that he’s always turning his words into actions. Lior undoubtedly follows through on what matters and it shows.

Perhaps we’ll see Lior on stage at the next Vacation Rental World Summit.

Scott D. Renwick

Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.