Scaling Lean for STRsCompany
As the short-term rental (STR) market continues to expand, many operators find themselves struggling to scale and keep up with demand. Running a top-tier, automated hospitality business today is not only costly and time-consuming, but it’s also a formidable task. First, you need to put the right systems & processes in place that will allow you to automate as much as possible, and then you also need the personnel in place that will execute your vision.
The challenges that scaling STR operators face are two-fold, first on the systems & processes and then also on the personnel side.
Systems & Processes
Building the perfect system for your STR business is not easy. There are many great Property Management Systems (PMS) on the market, but unfortunately, they only address a fraction of the needs that modern STR operators have. They usually offer integrations that help with common needs such as guest communications, guest apps, pricing & revenue management, cleaning & maintenance applications, and a whole bevy of home automation solutions (smart door locks, smart thermostats, Ring doorbells, etc.).
There are many problems with this model, but perhaps the most glaring issue is that the result is usually an inefficient piecemealed system that ultimately fails to provide a seamless workflow and guest experience. Not to mention that it is very costly, as each vendor/provider that you integrate with will want their piece of the pie.
On the personnel side, the challenges don’t get any easier, unfortunately. Hiring is never cheap or easy, and if you’re trying to scale while remaining lean, more headcount means more overhead.
With that in mind, there is also the issue of experience. If you want to hire someone that knows what they are doing, there will be a very real tangible cost. On the other hand, if you’re going to hire someone less experienced, you need to be ready to invest significant hours of your time into this person to train them properly and ensure that your vision & guest experience is always top-of-mind. Either way, you’ll also need to have a strategy for retaining top talent or risk losing your investment to greener pastures.
Traditional Ways to Scale
Traditionally there have only been two ways for STR operators to scale. The first way is to build a system & process yourself. This method is costly, time-consuming, and often ends up failing as companies scale. The needs of an operator can vary greatly depending on how many properties are being managed. For example, the needs of a host with 40 properties are not the same as the needs of an operator with 400 properties or 4,000 properties. That may seem like a wide margin, but with the right systems and processes in place, scaling from 40 to 400, or even to 4,000, can be a very realistic goal.
The second option for STR operators to scale is to hire people, such as professional consultants and/or revenue managers. The fewer automation solutions and processes in place, the more personnel you will need as you grow, which is exponentially more costly and much less scalable. I mentioned the cost of hiring earlier, but with consultants and specialists, you should expect to pay a premium for their services. Not to mention that you will still need to put some systems and processes in place, albeit with the guidance and buy-in of the people that you hire.
How to Scale Lean
Overall we can see a common trend for STR operators that may be looking to scale their business as the market continues to boom heading into 2022. No matter how you slice it, scaling an STR operation has traditionally been very costly & time-consuming. Until now.
This is where Jurny Virtual comes into play. Jurny Virtual is a truly all-in-one system that takes all the guesswork out of the nitty-gritty back-office tasks like pricing & revenue management, reviews management, guest communications, listing optimization, accounting, reporting, and reconciliation so that you can focus on the important things, like growing and managing your business. Such a vertically integrated system for both software and hardware allows hosts to streamline their on-ground operations and guest experience with fully automated access control & code generation, guest app, cleaning & management app, task management, and much more.
The best part is that it’s already built for you without the need for integrations, 3rd party vendors, lengthy and costly onboardings, or steep learning curves for complex systems. The entire turn-key solution is available for a simple flat fee with no upfront cost.
Jurny Virtual is the first and only solution on the market, and we plan to continue leading by providing the highest quality service and cutting-edge technology.
Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.