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Guest Post by Breezeway: An award-winning property operations and experience platform. Learn more about Breezeway.

The convergence of short-term rentals and multifamily units has become a growing trend within the rental industry. These two industries have started to collide as multifamily, apartment, and condo property managers are offering their units to guests as short-term rentals. 

There is a big difference between operating residential properties and short-term rentals. The main differences stem from the different needs of the long-term resident vs. short-term rental guest. Short-term rental management requires more frequent housekeeping turnovers, detailed and proactive guest communication, and hospitable services. Residential property management focuses more on sustaining the long-term maintenance, safety, and security of the building, amenities, units, and residents. 

Managing both of these guest types in the same multifamily building presents a big opportunity for property managers, but can be very challenging to operate both at a high level. In this article, we’ll share tips for how operators can manage both property types and keep both long-term residential residents and short-term rental guests happy. 

Why does this matter for operators?

Many operators will have to consider whether converging these rental types in their multifamily units is the right opportunity for them. This decision could have implications for their business, the industry, and resident and guest satisfaction. Here are some of the factors to consider.

Pros of Short-Term Rentals in Multifamily Units

Increase in profitability

Short-term rentals have the potential to be more profitable than long-term leases with higher average prices per night. 

Increase occupancy 

During low seasons or between rental periods, offering units as short-term rentals could be a quick solution to increase occupancy.

Ease of listing on OTAs

Sites like Airbnb and Vrbo do all the work for you in terms of marketing your property and collecting bookings.

Cons of Short-Term Rentals in Multifamily Units 

Long-term resident frustration 

Maintaining a consistent environment for long-term residents is a priority for multifamily property managers. This can become more complicated with new short-term rental guests coming and going from the property every week, which can raise resident concerns about noise, access, security, and sharing common spaces and amenities.

Potential negative impact on your brand and the rental industry

Failing to meet both guest and resident needs can garner negative reviews of your short-term rental business, increase issues and complaints from long-term residents, and create a negative sentiment around the rental industry.

Increased regulations

The short-term rental industry has seen an increase in regulations imposed by local governments across the U.S. Property managers should consider and become aware of the guidelines in their local area to ensure their operation is compliant with local laws. These regulations are ongoing so it is important to stay up-to-date on legislation and how this could affect your business in the long run.

6 Tips to manage both short-term rental and multifamily units

There’s no way around it, property management is hard, especially if you choose to operate two different types of rental units to two different guest types. But if you decide this is the right opportunity for you, it can be done, and technology can help you balance both. 

Keeping long-term residents happy

1. Reduce noise complaints with noise monitoring devices

Don’t wait for tenants to complain about noisy renters. Installing PointCentral noise monitoring devices in your short-term rental units can help alert you to potential issues when noise levels surpass a certain decibel level so you can triage them in real-time. Even including noise monitoring devices in your short-term rental listing can help prevent rowdy guests from booking. 

Breezeway Messaging integrates with noise monitoring devices to automatically text renters when noise levels have been surpassed. Breezeway sends the guests a gentle text message asking them to turn down the volume. If the elevated noise continues, they get a second, more urgent message. In 90% of cases, this message solves the noise issue in under 30 minutes—usually with just that first text. No management intervention, no late-night property visit, no added labor cost. 

2. Improve safety, access, and security with keyless locks 

With keyless smart locks from PointCentral, you can create custom access plans so long-term residents can be reassured that short-term guests only have access to their unit and certain areas of the property or amenities that you choose.

Keyless smart locks not only give residents peace of mind but also make the check-in process seamless for guests. With PointCentral’s integration with Breezeway Messaging, property managers can automate sending guests their unique arrival codes. 

“Breezeway’s connection with PointCentral has been amazing and has totally changed our approach to property care. It’s saved us time and has increased guest satisfaction. We’ve had nothing but good feedback.” – Eddie Gray, Manager, Newman Dailey Resort Properties 

3. Verify guest information

To further ensure the safety of all residents and guests, setting up a process to verify guest information is vital. Requiring guests to submit ID verification through Airbnb or 3rd party platforms also helps prevent guests with bad intentions from booking because they know they will be held accountable for their actions. 

Deliver 5-star short-term rental guest experiences

4. Deliver the right message at the right time with guest messaging 

Communication is key with short-term rental guests. This style of communication is very different from the typical transactional communication with residents. Short-term rental guests are looking for 5-star, hospitable, and proactive communication from property managers. 

Tools like Breezeway Messaging help property managers deliver an excellent service experience to guests with less work by automating messages to guests at the right time, such as pre-arrival, property readiness, stay satisfaction, and check-out reminders. This dashboard also gives managers visibility into all guest communication in one dashboard so if urgent issues or requests come up, nothing gets missed. 

5. Give guests access to important property information with a guidebook

A guest guidebook is a great way to proactively communicate with guests to provide everything they need to know about their stay. While residents are familiar with the property and local area, visiting guests will need more guidance to make the most of their short stay. 

With Breezeway Guide, you can send guests a customized digital welcome book outlining important property information for their specific stay. For short-term rental guests at a multifamily unit, this could include directions to access the property, check-in and check-out information, a unique door code, WiFi password, local recommendations, local rules and regulations, and any specific instructions about property appliances and amenities. This information not only gives guests a more seamless experience but also prevents any issues with current residents.

6. Simplify turnovers with cleaning and operations software

Managing frequent turnovers is one of the main differences between short-term and long-term property management and has a huge impact on the quality of the guests’ stay. Making sure each unit is cleaned and presented to your brand standards within a quick turnaround time before guests arrive is a major operational challenge.

With Breezeway’s Operations Platform, you can automatically schedule teams between reservations to ensure work is completed as efficiently as possible. Staff can also use the Breezeway mobile app in the field, which is equipped with digital checklists customized to each property and unit to ensure nothing is overlooked. This gives you visibility into property readiness in real time, reduces cleaner callbacks, and streamlines operational processes.

Weighing the options for operators  

While technology can help run any operation more efficiently, it can’t solve every problem. The hospitality industry will always require human interaction, and the convergence of short-term rentals in multifamily units will continue to require extra care in order to navigate both renter types. As both guest and resident expectations continue to rise in the rental industry, it’s even more important to consider whether the potential for increased occupancy and profitability is worth the potential risk to your brand and guest experience. The good news is that there are technology providers like Breezeway that give you tools to manage blended portfolios. 

About Breezeway

Breezeway’s award-winning property operations and experience platform helps coordinate, communicate, and verify detailed work at properties. Powering over 30M property care tasks, Breezeway helps thousands of short-term rental managers and hospitality operators increase operational efficiency, eliminate manual work, and boost service revenue.