What Do I Need To Know To Be Successful In Serviced Accommodation

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If you are thinking of managing serviced accommodation yourself, then you may be asking questions like “what do you need to know to run a Serviced Accommodation property?”, or “how can I get started in serviced accommodation?” and “how can I be Successful In Serviced Accommodation?”.
Many think running serviced accommodation is simple – and on the surface it is. You list a property online, get a booking and the guest pays, they arrive, they leave and repeat.
Yet, it turns out there is quite a lot to know when you get into the detail! Here are nearly 100 things that you need to be successful in running serviced accommodation properties!


Property for SA 🏚️

  • Taking on the wrong type of property
  • Taking a property on in the wrong location
  • Using the wrong strategy on the property
  • Not knowing the local market demand
  • Not knowing the local market saturation or supply
  • Not knowing the local market guest types


Serviced Accommodation Set-up 🛏️

  • Spending too much money on a set-up
  • Spending too little money on a set-up
  • Buying things you don’t need
  • Missing things that you do need
  • Buying for the wrong guest type
  • Buying things you’d like for your own home
  • Not dressing and staging correctly
  • Not creating a product for your target audience
  • Having unrealistic timescales on set-ups



Serviced Accommodation Marketing 📻

  • Not knowing how to market directly
  • Not being able to take direct bookings
  • Not knowing how to optimise OTAs listings
  • Not understanding the OTA algorithms
  • Not building direct and business relationships
  • Incorrect information being listed
  • Targeting the wrong guest type
  • Not understanding your competition
  • Not having professional photography


Serviced Accommodation Pricing 💰

  • Having the wrong pricing strategy
  • Underpricing
  • Overpricing
  • Not adjusting for seasonality and demand
  • Not understanding how pricing differs between OTAs
  • Having the wrong rate plans
  • Not knowing BDC takes commission on total guest payment including cleaning
  • Not understanding how commission differs between OTAs
  • Using the wrong cancellation policy
  • Not utilising promotions
  • Not using the right types of promotions
  • Not know when to boost visibility
  • Not knowing break even point
  • Not knowing profitability levels
  • Not knowing occupancy levels


Payments 🏦

  • Not having the right payment processing in place
  • Not controlling your own cash flow
  • Not controlling your own payments
  • Not knowing what chargebacks are
  • Not knowing how to protect yourself from chargebacks
  • Not charging security deposits
  • Charging security deposits on the wrong settings
  • Charging the wrong cleaning costs
  • Handling refunds incorrectly

Bookings and Guest Management 😀

  • Poor guest experience
  • Poor guest management
  • Not protecting yourself from high risk bookings
  • Not being compliant on guest requirements
  • Receiving duplicate bookings
  • Having the wrong tax settings
  • Issuing incorrect invoices
  • Having an ineffective phone system
  • Not having out of hours availability
  • Not tracking enquiries and bookings effectively
  • Not responding to guests
  • Not responding to guest reviews


Channel Management 💻

  • Incorrect property and channel mapping
  • Channel manager integration being incorrect
  • Incorrect automation rules for guest communications
  • Using incorrect property and booking settings
  • Manually doing too many tasks
  • Not understanding channel integrations
  • Not knowing how settings differ between OTAs
  • Not updating listings regularly
  • Not optimising your listings
  • Not listing with accommodation agents

Housekeeping and Maintenance 🛠️

  • Not using the right housekeeping
  • Not scheduling housekeeping
  • Not using a housekeeping checklist
  • Housekeeping tasks not being actioned correctly (or checked)
  • Not having a reliable maintenance team in place
  • Not resolving issues immediately
  • Having unreliable utility and service providers
  • Not having regular checks in place
  • Not being proactive on maintenance and property freshness



Mindset 🧠

  • Thinking it is easy
  • Thinking it is not a business
  • Thinking it won’t take much time
  • Thinking it is like letting a property
  • Thinking it isn’t hospitality
  • Thinking that there won’t be issues
  • Thinking you won’t be called at night or weekends
  • Taking guest complaints personally
  • Having unrealistic expectations on bookings and profit
  • Having unrealistic timescales on return

What Do I Need To Know To Be Successful In Serviced Accommodation

So there we go! Wow! Quite a lot! This is even on top of basic business requirements such as systems, accounting, banking, CRM and alike. Compared to many other industries there is a level of complexity. Take channel management, from day one you’re pretty much forced to learn at least 3 platforms: Airbnb, Booking.com and whatever channel manager you decide to you. Each of these have hundreds of settings and any one of them can lose you money if you make the wrong selection. Very few businesses have that straight from day one.
There are also a lot of myths about serviced accommodation that rarely are true. One example is that a serviced accommodation manager is a cost – when in reality they add so much value (and profit) to you.
So what else do you think you need to be successful in running serviced accommodation properties?