Rental Property Maintenance Mistakes

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10 Property Maintenance Mistakes Successful Airbnb Hosts Need to Avoid

Regular property maintenance is an investment with a lot of benefits. Make hosting enjoyable, get 5-star reviews, and earn Superhost status.

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I'm Sabrina, an Airbnb host coach who knows starting your own short-term rental biz can quickly get waaaay too complicated. But it doesn't have to be. I help first-time Airbnb hosts like you go from overwhelmed 
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As an Airbnb host, one thing that might surprise you is how much property maintenance you need.

And when you first visit your property, you might be shocked by how many issues guests haven’t told you about.

You’ll quickly realize how important it is to regularly visit the property yourself.

Because proactive property maintenance at your Airbnb can turn a potential disaster into a minor hiccup.

Regular property maintenance is certainly an investment, but it has a lot of benefits. It makes hosting more enjoyable, helps you get more 5-star reviews, and gets you closer to earning Airbnb Superhost status.

In this post, I’m walking you through 10 rental property maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.

10 Property Maintenace Mistakes Successful Airbnb Hosts Need to Avoid

Airbnb Host Tips
My Airbnb kitchen | The Realist

1. Not living at the property first

As a new Airbnb host, one of the most impactful things you can do is live at your rental property before your first guest.

When you do, you’ll be surprised at just how many things need your attention. You might find the brand-new bed squeaks. The toilets run. Or the dishwasher doesn’t drain.

Living at the property yourself gives you a chance to catch these issues before guests do.

Proactively finding and fixing issues will immediately lead to better reviews. (And your first reviews are by far the most important!)

If you’re new to hosting, you’ll definitely want to check out my comprehensive guide to rental property maintenance.

Recommended: The Best Room-By-Room Airbnb Checklist: 100+ Essential Items

2. Not doing regular property maintenance

Even if you catch a lot of issues before your first guest arrives – surprise! – there will still be many more issues that pop up.

Plan to visit your Airbnb for regular property maintenance checks at least every six months. (Go more often, if possible!)

Doing so will ensure that you’re addressing small issues before they become so big that they impact your business.

But, what exactly does regular property maintenance entail?

Get your step-by-step guide to rental property maintenance.

Airbnb Mistakes
My Airbnb living room | The Realist

3. Not treating your cleaning crew well

As an Airbnb host, the most important relationship you can protect is your relationship with your cleaning crew.

That’s because your cleaners have the biggest impact on guest first impressions.

Believe me when I say: cleanliness has a huge impact on guests. (“Very clean” is one of the most common pieces of feedback I consistently get in guest reviews!)

And great cleaning crews are hard to find.

So, be kind and thoughtful in all your communication with your cleaning crew. Tell them when they’ve done a great job. Give generous Christmas gifts.

And, check out my tips on how to successfully provide feedback to your cleaning crew.

4. Not having a backup key

Having a keyless entry at your Airbnb is crucial. Otherwise, you risk guests forgetting to leave your physical key when they checkout. Or accidentally locking themselves out altogether.

Additionally, a keyless entry lets you control who has access to your property and when. This gives you peace of mind and creates a more secure property for your guests.

That said, guests can get locked out, even if you do have a keyless entry. This typically happens when the keyless entry battery unexpectedly dies.

So, it’s vital that you have a backup physical key in a lockbox on your property.

Then, when your guest calls you at 3 AM saying they’re locked out (seriously, it happens) all you have to do is share the lockbox code with the physical key. Problem solved.

5. Not having a nearby handyman

Your keyless entry is one of many things that will unexpectedly stop working.
In my first six months as an Airbnb host:

  • My towel rod broke;
  • An interior door accidentally got locked (preventing guests from accessing the property); and
  • The door to one of my bathrooms broke

If you manage your Airbnb remotely (like I do), you can’t just stop by to fix these small issues when you hear about them (what I call “known” issues).

Instead, call a handyman.

Like your cleaning crew, a great handyman is hard to find.

Do your best to find and meet with a handyman before your first guest arrives. Build a relationship with them, pay them promptly, and treat them kindly so they keep coming back!

6. Not expecting things to go missing

Let’s face it – things will go missing from your Airbnb property.

For example, I used to provide two generous work-from-home setups for guests. We’re seeing a major increase in guests wanting to work remotely from their Airbnb. So, I wanted to provide my guests with an exceptional remote work setup.

But during my first property maintenance check, I found that a mouse, keyboard, and HDMI cable were all missing. (After only six months of hosting!)

My rule of thumb: don’t leave anything at your Airbnb that you wouldn’t be okay with losing.

Property Maintenance
Property maintenance is essential | The Realist

7. Not investing in impactful upgrades

Investing in high-impact items goes a long way with your guests. For example, a high-quality couch and memory foam mattresses (king size, when possible!)

And renovations like a fresh coat of white paint, recessed lighting, and durable flooring make your listing stand out among the crowd.

Investing in these high-impact upgrades will wow your guests. They’ll also help your property stay in great shape. It’s yet another way to ensure you get those 5-star reviews.

Take the guesswork out of what to invest in. Get all my tips on where to splurge and where to save.

Recommended: The Best Room-By-Room Airbnb Checklist: 100+ Essential Items

8. Not leaving cleaning supplies out

Have you ever been at an Airbnb and felt frustrated that you couldn’t find the dish soap?

Or accidentally spilled something and couldn’t find a towel?

Make sure your guests have access to basic cleaning supplies. Doing so will prevent damage and unnecessary cleaning fees.

Essential cleaning supplies to provide for guests: dish soap, Folex (upholstery cleaner), trash bags, paper towels, laundry detergent, bleach, and a lightweight vacuum. (Get the full downloadable checklist here!)

9. Not having enough storage

As a new Airbnb host, I’m sure you’ve thought about where you’ll store backup supplies.

Between extra comforters, pillows, shampoo, gift basket snacks….you’ll need a lot of space.

You’ve probably underestimated just how much.

I ran into this issue the first time I visited my Airbnb. Watch me find the issue in real-time and how I resolved it on my ‘Maintenance’ Instagram highlight.

Before your first guest arrives, make sure you have plenty of storage space. Make sure you can lock up ALL the Airbnb supplies you want your cleaning crew to have access to, but not your guests.

10. Not doing proactive plumbing maintenance

Last but certainly not least – do proactive plumbing maintenance!

It won’t be cheap, but it will be less expensive than having a major plumbing problem ruin a guests’ stay.

And, the peace of mind as an Airbnb host is priceless (let’s be real, us hosts need all the peace of mind we can get!)

So, while at your property, hire a plumber to do a thorough check.

And, read everything you need to know before your plumber stops by.

Takeaway

That’s it! All of the common property maintenance mistakes successful Airbnb hosts need to avoid.

Avoiding these mistakes will help you get more 5-star reviews, get you closer to earning Airbnb Superhost status, and maximize your revenue.

Recommended:

Considering buying your first Airbnb property?

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I made $85,000+ my first year Airbnb hosting. Now, I’m sharing all my Airbnb hosting tips so you can build your own insanely profitable business.

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