5 things to do as a real estate investor, property manager, host or cohost

Dec 14, 2023

As all-over-the place as my mind is, it is important for me to jot down and remember my goals of why we set out on the venture of owning property in real estate. 

To be perfectly honest, i had a BIG why. I had people in my life who lived a very limited life due to changes 2020 imposed, and the risk/reward spoke to me and my family heavily after that. We are in our early 30's, and most days I feel so far behind. But i try to remind myself real estate is a "get rich slow" type of situation. 

While there is much waiting to be had for get back on track with our goals for the future as the market shakes out, I want to share these few perpectives and things we do to keep our properties in tip top shape and our focus driven (even when income isnt maxed out).

1. Make a "busy" List 

If your properties are like mine, they most likely have a little bit of vacancy involved in the winter months of November - February, which is to be expected.

On the top of this list is

Meet with Cleaners.

Things we go over include inventory, organizing owners closet, getting any supplies they need to help clean, checklists, items we want done differnent next year, any complaints the guests brought up this past year, and so on. 

Do you want your towels laid out a different way, your toilet paper placed somewhere else, a new app you want to use and connect? The off-season is a great time to connect with cleaners.

Change & Update your Auto Messaging.

I think were all guilty of forgeting to adjust some important details that is sent to guests that can either be removed or changed depending on the season! Keep instructions fresh, seasonally relevant, and noting any changes in placement of items or must-do's.

We make recommendations for all of our guests both in the unit and ahead of time (1 week early) via Messaging on their booking platform. This allows the guests to plan ahead and stay connected to the area of visiting , NOT just your unit. That way it limits their complaints of memories that arent maximize (or just keeps them busy outside of your unit so they acutally enjoy your space as an escape).

Our two favorite platforms are Hospitable & Ownerrez. Hospitable took a world of stress off me sending message after message, 48 hours before, 24 hours before, day of, day after, day of check out, review plead....

Once I set up hospitable it was a game changer. I actually picked up a 3rd unit to manage after that. 

Seal Door Locks / Change Batteries

For our units, all of them, we use schlage encode. There are many out there.....many....BUT after going through a couple this past year we discovered our only issue with schlage was water / humidity leaking into the battery pack. After reading SEVERAL online reviews, watching videos, connecting with other users, I found there was truly a simple solution. Just silicone around the edge and that will, voila, solve it all. 

We were changing out batteries every 2-3 weeks, which was exhausting. And embarrasingly I even had to ask guests to do it occasionally. We were constantly having issues with our other locks with connection to internet, And 4 months in, our schlage locks are working beautiful. Plus if they dont, tried and true they WILL send you a fresh new one.

schlage short term rental door lock smart lock airbnb Vrbo door lock property management Schlage encode door lock LINK ONE WE USE HERE

2. Look Ahead at revenue goals

Our main sources of competitor lenses involve airdna & pricelabs. 


AIRDNA has definitely changed over the last year. I used to be able to only see insights for my surrounding area, and that was a $90 subscription each month. I signed up for the Pro plan that is now actually $25 / month, and it gets me access to this:

Pricing Rules/Overrides

For Sale Regulatory Data

Custom Map Layers

For Sale Buy Box

AirDNA is also a way I use competition leverage to have a clear visual of what the top properties are doing, and what i COULD be doing better. I am really not sure how people do it without softwares like these, but this is where a little bit of effort in the RIGHT areas goes a long way. I studied for month before we even purchased our first property on Airdna which led us to our first investment. As soon as we closed, I had a 3 week reno plan and knew EXACTLY what needed to be done to make it look more like the top properties while on a tight budget.



There is absolutely no doubt out of our list of 7 items on our tech stack, THIS one software is the most valuable. For full transparency, we pay $25 for one property, and $10 for the dynamic pricing. The dynamic pricing allows you to do one VERY IMPORTANT THING - and that is compare your property to the performance of properties around you. I use AIRDNA as mentioned above, and pricelabs in unison to ensure i am competing with the units bringing in the most revenue.

Makes sense, right? Seems simple, right? Just having this one software for one unit can make you thousands more than your neighbor. How?

Tell me when the wine festival is coming to your area, is Taylor Swift performing nearby? What date is that super popular summer concert? Oh and when do all of the baseball and softball tournaments play nearby?


But, Pricelabs' dynamic pricing has the most robust software integration of any rental property industry, rising as the places around you start to book, the prices increase. They know year over year the demand, how much more weekends should be, days out how low or high you should be, and that is a huge thing lifted off me as a property manager / competitive owner. I sleep VERY well knowing Pricelabs takes care of it. I am shocked more people dont even use it. 

If you want to try free for 30 days and get a $10 credit, click here 

3. Website & Marketing

This is on my list for January and is a big thing many owners dont do. Market. I plan to use Stayfi this upcoming season, as it will capture emails of ALL of my guests using wifi and has a system built to pour all of those contents into a message, snag a template, and GO!

Have not tried it yet but needless to say in this economy, it is VERY important to reach repeat guests now more than ever.

Mailchimp is what I am using for now and is also fairly easy to come up with templates! The free version is nice because it allows you to come up with cute designs or upload your own. Ill never forget years ago my call to a neighbor that does graphic design....."Hannah....help! I want to send out emails to 30 of my old guests....how do I blind copy them in at once?"....her response, "Um, you probably dont! Use mailchimp or something" (laughing at my innocent lack of knowledge, I laughed too....I was clueless!)

Durable is my (((obvious))) website of choice. Now....here I go....

I searched for no less than 5 MONTHS - trying to find the PERFECT ALL - IN - ONE EASY TO FORM & CREATE & INTEGRATE WEBSITE.

I failed.

And in the parking lot of my son's school, I yelled to a friend who has long-term rentals and owns a business. "Jennie, do you know any websites that are easy to use? I am stuck".

Ah YEAH....Actually! Let me send it to you....it is AI!

That night, before bed....I had a website. A week later, I had a fully functioning, all links included, beautiful website with photos and design and testimonials and so much pride.

4. Rest, Relax & Connect with Others in person

For me, when it is in season and I am doing all the things. Pricing updates, software obtimization, platform description changes, guest messaging, cleaner scheduling, maintenance calling, I become like a recluse. Being a very remote manager (because we all honestly should be able to run this hands off) sometimes can make us feel a little disconnected......even while we are VERY connected.

Plug into your community

Meet a friend not involved in real estate for coffee

Hit the gym and sign up for the zumba class!

Truly, plug IN and disconnect from the worry.

Management is not easy. Especially in the hospitality industry when making guests, resort personnel, maintenance, clients, cleaners, platforms, everyone's smoothness depends on you. Oh yeah, then there is family too. Take time for your self, in the off season, but during the season TOO.

5. Shop & Dream

I say these and list them together because....I am the most guilty person of treating this space as a second home and running around grabbing whatever, whenever, all the pretty things, all the extras. Justifying it by "I am staying competitive", "we ran out and needed more", "I wanted to do a little something extra for ___ it was a big booking".....

Stop it.

This IS an investment. It isnt a right now moment. It is a business, and all of the planning and ordering and supplies and pretty stuff should be balanced out with strategic, time and cost savings to optimize efficiency. 

I love design and decor, but if I ever want to redo and invest in another property, i have to remember to keep my right-now shopping to a minimum while dreaming about the future.

Typical Greek white and blue color house near beach in Lefkos village on Karpathos island, Greece

Host to Host, or Cohost to Cohost, I sincerely hope you felt connected, understood, and maybe even learned something new to use now or in the future. We hope to always provide value to others who "may not have heard" as we are all somewhere different along this journey.

Some of the links above