Simplify New Property Onboarding

Koryn Okey
Koryn Okey

November 17, 2023

Adding a new home to your portfolio is always exciting, but the “best” way to do this can vary from market to market, company to company, and understanding how to streamline this can be complex and time-consuming.

With the right strategies and guidance, you can simplify the process and develop a successful long-term partnership. In our November ELEVATE webinar, we were joined by 3 industry experts who shared past lessons learned and how they’ve improved their processes since. 

Top 3 lessons learned on scaling your business efficiently

  • Paper may seem like a good idea, but it often leads to missed steps and crucial mistakes. Deb Furlong of Beach Getaways, reminisced about the color-coded system they adopted years ago to manage onboarding. Each responsible party had its own document, but most sat in vans with critical details being missed along the way.
  • Expectations are critical to set from the start. Bradie Beagley-Reiner of sojo recalled her time as a property manager where expectations weren’t aligned and homes that would not be successful on their program were being sold. This resulted in hours of lost work and frustration, both internally and externally. 
  • Teamwork really does make the dream work. Danna Kittell, who sold her company Starfish Vacation Rentals before joining VRM Advocate recalls taking on the burden of onboarding herself before delegating across her team, which resulted in bottlenecks and delays.

Each of these operators agreed that these lessons -  many of which exist simply because of the natural growth and maturation of their business - allowed them to improve as a business and forced them to create a scalable process.

Top 7 ways to simplify the onboarding process as you bring on new owners

  1. Ensure homeowner expectations align with your service offerings. They might have the nicest home on the block, but if they don’t understand how the rental industry works or want to stay in the property themselves for two months in the summer, it might not be the property for you. 
  2. Communicate with new owners throughout the onboarding process. Over-communicating during the onboarding process will help build a long-term partnership. There’s nothing worse than feeling left in the dark or making the wrong assumption.
  3. Be the Expert: Make it clear to owners that you’re in the driver's seat. Don’t allow them to set rates, bring their own cleaners, or influence marketing copy. 
  4. Stand strong on your brand standards because they are your reputation. Have a minimum requirement for what rental properties must have to be on your program, and stick to that. If an owner is unwilling to invest in their home when it starts renting, this may be a red flag for the future.  
  5. Involve multiple stakeholders from your team in the onboarding process. This increases the likelihood that onboarding will go more smoothly and also facilitates interaction between the owner and a wider segment of your team, enabling everyone to acquaint themselves with the property and the owner's requests.
  6. Do it right the first time. Don’t cut corners on the initial onboarding to get a home renting sooner. Once you’ve got guests in the home, it may be difficult to find time to get back into the home to do what should have been done before welcoming that first guest. Or worse, it potentially creates a poor review right out of the gate!
  7. Underpromise and overdeliver. No homeowner has ever been upset if their property is ready to rent sooner than expected, but the same cannot be said for unexpected delays - many of which are out of your control. There are dependencies outside of your control, so it’s important to give yourself some buffer on rental dates. 

At Breezeway, we’re committed to simplifying operations and understand that onboarding new properties to your rental program represents a significant challenge. Through tailored checklists that can be auto-assigned to specific team members and more, check out how to track onboarding new properties in Breezeway.