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How Much Time Does Holiday Letting Require?

Understanding the Responsibilities of a Short-Let Host

Turning into a short-let host, whether on platforms like Airbnb or others, resembles taking on a full-time job. Before you embark on this journey, it’s crucial to grasp what to anticipate and comprehend the time commitments and limitations it entails.

As hosts for hundreds of holiday lets throughout the UK, we’ve dissected the most time-consuming tasks, so you can gain a clear understanding of what you’re getting into beforehand.

host time management

1. Set-Up Times

Setting up and getting started consumes a significant amount of time. While you can dive right in, it’s advisable to plan ahead in order to capitalize on Airbnb’s initial boost and secure some bookings before your listing drops lower in the rankings. Crafting an attractive listing is a time-consuming task, and you should also allocate time for seasonal adjustments. Crafting engaging descriptions, specifying your property’s house rules and amenities, and capturing high-quality photos all play a vital role in distinguishing your listing from the competition.

2. Guest Communication

Promptly responding to guest inquiries plays a vital role in securing bookings, and Airbnb also considers this when ranking your listing. In an ideal scenario, you should schedule dedicated times each day to check and respond to messages. We recommend setting multiple times throughout the day to avoid missing any messages and to be responsive to customers while they browse on the platform.

Additionally, it’s important to note that guest communication extends beyond the booking process. You must stay in contact throughout their stay, particularly before their arrival and during check-out, and even after their stay to encourage them to leave reviews.

3. Making an Appearance During Arrival

You can personally meet guests for check-in, and you should allocate time for this. Alternatively, you can also explore self-check-in options. Always ensure your availability in case any issues arise. The same principle applies to the check-out process.

4. Cleaning and Maintenance

You will usually schedule cleaners to come in and prepare the property for new guests between stays. Occasionally, you will also need to plan for deep cleaning. If you are personally overseeing the cleaning process, you will be responsible for changing linens, replenishing essential supplies, and maintaining a basic level of tidiness. Maintenance concerns should be promptly addressed and regularly checked to ensure that all appliances and devices are functioning correctly. In essence, you will always need to be available to handle any issues.

Even if you outsource the cleaning, you will still need to allocate time to arrange and oversee this task.

5. Dynamic Pricing Adjustments

Competent Airbnb managers will actively employ dynamic pricing, consistently monitor factors impacting demand, and modify your rates to outperform the competition.

6. Guest Support

Stay prepared to respond promptly to guest queries or issues throughout their stay. Maintaining quick and effective communication is crucial to providing exceptional hospitality.

7. Marketing and Property Promotion

You should primarily focus your time on Airbnb SEO for your listing and continue marketing efforts to promote your property outside the platform, be it through social media or a personal website. Additionally, you should regularly update your listing on various other booking platforms to maximize visibility.

Allocate time for conducting frequent marketing analysis to monitor similar listings in your area, assess their competitive pricing, and evaluate their amenities.

8. Legal and Regulatory Compliance Plus Taxes

Running a holiday let involves handling a substantial amount of administrative work, and one aspect of this administrative process is the regular monitoring of updates and changes in local regulations to ensure compliance with licensing and tax requirements.


It’s important to recognize that the time commitment can fluctuate depending on factors like your property’s size, your degree of involvement, and the level of automation you employ. While short-term hosting can offer rewards, it’s essential to comprehend and plan for the time it requires to ensure a successful and sustainable hosting experience.

If the demands of managing your holiday let seem overwhelming, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Keey. We’re here to simplify your hosting experience and provide you with the support you need. Reach out today to explore how we can assist you in achieving success with your short-term rental.

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