Vacation Rental Management: Avoiding Stress

Vacation rental management is a difficult job. But did you know that vacation rental managers are also taking on an unusual amount of mental strain?

Recent studies have shown that corporations more frequently expect their employees to be “always on” – available by phone or email even when they’re no longer at the office. Scientific American reported that this kind of round-the-clock availability translates to higher levels of cortisol and higher stress.

Vacation rental managers know the pain of being “always on” all too well. They have to be available to their guests all the time.

Vacation rental managers also experience a number of additional strains that make it particularly hard for them to experience a stress-free day. Here are just a few – plus a few helpful solutions to the stressful life of vacation rental management!

Why Vacation Rental Managers Can’t Relax

It’s not unreasonable for vacation rental managers to worry that something might go wrong. After all, it’s rare that a single guest checks in without at least asking a question that they expect to be answered promptly. If you miss the text, the guest might be inconvenienced, and you’ll be looking at a bad review.

It’s no wonder that vacation rental managers spend their time constantly looking at their phones or computers, checking to be sure nothing got missed.

Vacation rental managers aren’t able to turn off their awareness at any time. If there’s a guest in residence at any of their properties, they might have to step out of a dinner with friends or an anniversary with their spouse. Not knowing whether or not you’ll be interrupted means it’s hard to fully relax.

How Difficult Guests Affect Your Mood

You’re more likely to remember negative interactions than positive ones. This means it’s easy to remember the guests who were difficult, and harder to remember the ones who were no trouble at all.

Over time, your memories will be full of difficult guests you’ve had to deal with. Which means you’re likely to start anticipating that all guests will be difficult.

This attitude is pretty common. Check any of the forums or Facebook groups for vacation rental professionals, and you’ll see a lot of people who feel very cynical about their guests.

“Always assume the worst,” one commenter says. “That way, you’re always prepared.”

There’s just one problem: anticipating the negative all the time affects you. A negative attitude can affect your heart health and raise your risk of stroke. And it simply doesn’t feel good – no one likes to feel like the whole world is out to get them.

Why Uncertainty is Worse Than Bad News

For most jobs, everything you’re in charge of is located in one place. When you’re a vacation rental manager, your properties are scattered all over the place – and you can’t have eyes everywhere.

This means you’re relying heavily on other people to report to you about the status of your properties. Usually, those people will be your cleaners. You’ll rely on them to tell you when the property is ready and whether there were any issues from the previous guest.

What happens when your cleaner doesn’t respond when you ask a question? You have to worry about whether or not they’re on the job.

The stress of not knowing takes a huge toll. Studies have shown that we actually find uncertainty more stressful than knowing for sure that something bad has happened. When you don’t know if your cleaner is at the property or not, it’s much more stressful than when she sends you a text cancelling at the last minute.

Vacation rental managers live in a constant state of uncertainty. Probably, everything is okay. All the cleaners arrived on time, did their jobs, and the guests will be able to check in without any problem.

But maybe not.

And that uncertainty causes a lot of stress.

What Can Vacation Rental Managers Do to Reduce Stress?

Let’s go through the biggest stressors one by one.

“Always On”

If you’re starting to feel like you’re “always on”, try scheduling time to check in with your guests. If you know that your guests are arriving at 4 pm, take a moment to make sure they were able to access the property and answer any questions they had on arrival.

If you’re still finding you worry about possible problems, try Properly’s Remote Inspection service. Our team checks to make sure every task you gave your cleaner was taken care of – so you know for sure your guest won’t have any unexpected surprises. That’ll make you feel a lot better about taking a break from checking your messages!


If you’re starting to feel negatively about your guests in general, start proving your memory wrong. Put a chart on the wall to show how many guest stays went smoothly and how many had problems. It’s probably a lot less than you think!

You can also take time to write thank-yous to your good guests. With Airbnb reviews, you already have an incentive to write something nice about your guests, but it’s a good practice to teach your brain to remember the good as well as the difficult.


If you’re starting to fret that something might go wrong, you definitely should start using the Properly app to monitor your cleaners. It tells you when they arrive, when they start the job, and how many tasks they’ve completed, so you can always see in real time that every property is being taken care of. Uncertainty begone!

You can also make uncertainty less of a concern by having clear processes for every turnover. When you know that you’ve specifically put tasks in your cleaning checklists to avoid common problems – such as checking the Wifi speed to be sure the internet will work when the guest arrives – you’ll feel confident that the unexpected won’t occur.

Happy stress-free managing!

Want to know true peace of mind? Properly is a full property care solution that provides everything you need to ensure perfect turnovers – every time. Learn more about what we offer here