Checkmate Rentals

How to run an Airbnb (from a distance)

How to run an Airbnb remotely – this is one of the questions we had to ask ourselves! (And figure out HOW). Many new hosts might wonder how they are going to make money by starting an Airbnb business in an area that is not a hot market for short-term rentals. 

Luckily they don’t have to. 

We have run our short-term vacation rentals remotely from over two hours away for the past three years.

Without any further do, let’s read tips on how to manage Airbnb (from a distance) below.

10 Tips: How to run an Airbnb (from a distance)

1. Automate Guest Communication

Create ready-to-go email templates so you can easily communicate with your Airbnb and Vrbo guests before, during, and after their stay. Even though you’re not in the area, this streamlined communication shows guests you are attentive and available to assist. Plus, this gives you a chance to provide answers to questions they’ll likely have, e.i. on how to get into your home, where to park, and how to turn on the TV (eliminating the need to field those questions later on).

👑 At Checkmate Rentals, we automatically send pre- and post-stay emails to guests providing all the information they’ll need for a seamless arrival, stay, and departure. For instance, we’ll provide the WiFi password, give them any smart lock codes, etc. After they check out, we’ll prompt them to leave a great review and even email them a year later to suggest staying again.

2. Install smart locks for Self check-ins and Check-outs

Install Smart Locks For Self Check-Ins And Check-Outs

Before smart locks (and even lockboxes), homeowners had to wait for guests to arrive to hand off keys. Thanks to today’s technology, smart locks allow you to give a custom code to each guest that is only valid during their stay. Most smartphone apps will even notify you when guests arrive and punch in the code for the first time. Not only is this simpler for you, but it’s also stress-free for guests. 

Installing a smart lock also allows you to reissue codes from your smartphone in case guests have trouble getting in.

🚀TIP: You can also give your house cleaners a code designated just for them.

3. Have a plan for re-stocking essentials

Providing all the right vacation rental essentials upfront can help cut back on guest requests. After all, you wouldn’t want guests asking for extra pillows or a baking sheet while you’re miles away!

You can even set up a regular schedule to purchase household supplies online—such as laundry detergent and paper towels—and have them delivered to your home (ask your housekeepers to bring them in and store them in a locked closet). 

4. Used A Smart Home devices

Today, you no longer have to be there to control many aspects of your home. One of the keys to running your Airbnb ( from a distance) is to rely on smart home devices. In addition to installing smart locks, getting smart thermostats and smart lights allows you to turn down temperatures or switch off lights once guests have been check-out, which can save on electricity costs.

5. Find cleaners that you trust (and have a backup)

Having a reliable cleaner or cleaning company that you trust is more important than you think. They are really like your first line of defense. They will be the first people in there right after guests check out. Make sure the cleaner will notify you of anything that is out of place ASAP.

👑 At Checkmate Rentals, we have Coordination of Laundry services and all cleaning services (CDC Complaint) all over the US. Expect an immaculately clean home maintained by professional housekeepers with high standards after each stay.

Cleaning Services Short Term Vacation Rental Management

6. Establish a team of local contractors

As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” Something is bound to happen while you’re away: a roof will leak, a pipe will burst, and an appliance will break. What’s even better than you being there to fix it all? 

Have a list of local maintenance and repair professionals ready to jump in and save the day (and the guest’s stay).

🚀TIP: Make sure you have 2 or 3 backups since not everyone can be available last minute.

7. Provide a Guest book

How To Run An Airbnb_Provide A Guest Book

Guest books (whether digital or printed) generally answer questions guests are bound to ask. This can include WiFi instructions and troubleshooting tips. Destination tips are also helpful, such as:

  • Restaurant recommendations
  • Activities in the area, like viewpoints, points of interest, hiking trails, beaches, and museums
  • Nearby essentials, including supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Public transit information

8. Leave a local emergency contact

Guests want to know that you—or someone else—are available if they experience any problems. Besides letting them know you’re available by email, phone, or text, consider leaving a local emergency contact. This can be a friend, nearby family member, or neighbor.

With Checkmate rentals, your guests are taken care of all day long. We offer 24/7 Guest Communication from the booking process until after their stay, making sure your home is safe and guests are well taken care of. We make sure our guest leaves fully satisfied with their stay.

9. Make your house rules clear

It’s crucial to make your Airbnb / VRBO house rules clear so your guest can easily follow them. This can also prevent some sorts of damages and disputes with neighbors that would be pretty hard to deal with as a remote host.

Add your house rules to your Airbnb listing and print them out so you can display a physical copy in your rental. If one of your guests damages your Airbnb, having your house rules laid out will help keep them accountable.

10. Hire a local vacation rental management

Whether you’re near or far, there will always be guests to help, repairs to be made, rooms to clean, and so much more. Instead of being tied to your phone, the best option would be to hire an expert (or an entire team) to handle it all for you.

Full-service vacation rental management like Checkmate Rentals will take all of that off your plate. Even better, they’ll go beyond to take care of your guests and your home. 

Checkmate Rentals can increase your income by bringing exposure to your rental, replying to reviews, adjusting rates based on demand and other factors, and so much more.

Checkmate Rentals Is An Optimal Solution


Getting automated systems in place and building (or hiring) a local team are some of the best ways to manage your vacation rental from a distance. Use these tips to streamline your process as much as possible, while also caring for your home and your guests.

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