In the hospitality business it’s important to stay current with the latest thought leadership and innovative strategies to better serve your guests. In order to stay ahead of the competition, you should have a strong understanding of customer service, operations, business operations, design, and even the tax code.
One of the best ways to improve your knowledge is to read books written by experts in the field. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the books that all vacation rental professionals and business owners should have in their library. They include:
- Get Paid For Your Pad: How to Maximize Profit From Your Airbnb Listing by Jasper Ribbers
- Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute
- How To Rent Vacation Properties by Owner: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment (Third Edition) by Christine Hrib-Karpinski
- Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) by Marie Kondō
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
- Loopholes of Real Estate by Garrett Sutton
- Optimize YOUR Airbnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search by Daniel Rusteen
- The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Deborah Needleman
- Long-Distance Real Estate Investing: How to Buy, Rehab, and Manage Out-of-State Rental Properties by David Greene
- The Vacation Rental Goldmine: How to Maximize Your Rental Income With Great Guest Experiences by Chris DeBusk
- The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher
- The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits by Brandon Turner
In this article, we recommend 12 books to help you get inspired, increase your bookings, improve your customer service, and develop a stronger domain knowledge in hospitality and property management. Let’s get started!
Get Paid For Your Pad: How to Maximize Profit From Your Airbnb Listing | Jasper Ribbers
Get Paid For Your Pad is a step-by-step introduction to the business of vacation property rentals and considered one of the “Airbnb” bibles for aspiring Superhosts. Jasper shares his own personal experiences of running a successful vacation rental property business and how he went from making $24,000 to over $60,000 in his first year of renting his apartment on Airbnb.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including preparing your home like a 5-star bed & breakfast in a cost-effective manner, scientifically calculating an optimal rental price point for profit maximization, and setting up a polished Airbnb listing from start to finish. This book is a must-read for anyone trying to boost their vacation rental business.
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service | The Disney Institute
As the rental property market becomes more and more competitive, the ability to provide high-quality customer service and hospitality is quickly becoming a key differentiator for rental property owners and managers.
While not specifically real-estate-focused, Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service is Disney’s — yes you read right, that Disney — philosophy on creating long-lasting, meaningful experiences for your customers.
Through several detailed examples of Disney operating practices, hospitality professionals will learn how to apply the daily operations and customer service philosophy of Disney theme apply to their own businesses. An assigned text in Cornell’s prestigious hospitality management program, Be Our Guest is for anyone looking to elevate their ability to provide a top-notch, white-glove guest experience.
How To Rent Vacation Properties by Owner (Third Edition) | Christine Hrib-Karpinski
Vacation rental author and expert Christine Hrib-Karpinski created her guide after seeing tremendous success with her own vacation rental property business in Colorado. A complete primer on the vacation rental ownership experience, the book includes topics like how to locate and finance a rental property to tips on how to find last-minute renters to fill cancellations.
The book also devotes a large section to leveraging technology to simplify operations and reduce the operational costs of running a vacation rental business. A must have for anyone trying to modernize their business!
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up | Marie Kondō
Any vacation rental owner or property manager knows the importance of maintaining a tidy, clean property. Japanese decluttering guru and Netflix star Marie Kondo helps homeowners brighten up their room, create organization in the household, and discard unnecessary items to improve the energy and enhance the aura of their homes.
Her declutter philosophy is not applicable to your home but your personal life as well. The book teaches readers how to let go, shut out noise and distractions, and creating meaning in simplicity. Check out the book if you want to boost your business (and your personal life!).
Loopholes of Real Estate | Garrett Sutton
Running a successful property management business is more than providing a 5-star guest experience and creating innovative marketing strategies for your rental, it’s also about leveraging the law to maximize your profits.
In Loopholes of Real Estate, Garrett Sutton teaches readers how to maximize the tax and legal advantages of real estate. He explains difficult, complex subjects like tax minimization, asset protection, and cash flow maximization in bit-size modules so even the most finance averse hospitality professional can understand how to use the tax code to boost their real estate business. An important book for any property owner or property manager looking to optimize all aspects of their real estate business.
Optimize YOUR Airbnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search | Daniel Rusteen
Daniel Rusteen “lives, eats, breathes, and dreams” Airbnb. Dubbing himself “The Airbnb Pro”, Optimize YOUR Airbnb helps vacation rental property managers increase their bookings from an insider who worked at Airbnb in its early days.
Focusing on best listing practices for Airbnb, the book covers everything from how to create a catchy title to updating your description to ensuring the appropriate amenities are marked. You can check out an excerpt of the book here.
The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well | Deborah Needleman
Creating a “vibe” in a rental property, particularly for short-term rentals, is an important factor for guest experience. Deborah Needleman, an industry leading interior designer and former lifestyle editor of the Wall Street Journal, created The Perfectly Imperfect Home as real, practical advice on home decorating that helps everyday homeowners improve the decoration in their house without breaking the bank.
Featuring tons of illustrations and watercolor sketches, the style book explains the elements that work together to give you the home you want. For anyone looking for inspiration for their next remodel or interior design rehaul, The Perfectly Imperfect Home is the perfect guide to help add a touch of flair to your own property.
The Vacation Rental Goldmine: How to Maximize Your Rental Income With Great Guest Experiences | Chris DeBusk
Where most vacation rental property “how to” guides are fairly general and include wide-ranging topics, Chris DesBusks Vacation Rental Goldmine focuses solely on how to provide a 5-star guest experience for your customers.
In his book, Chris provides a very detailed plan on pre- to post-guest communication, recommendations on what features to upgrade, and even detailed recommendations on how to create the perfect welcome package for your guests. For anyone that is looking to increase bookings by providing a high quality, personalized guest experience, this guide is your answer.
The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy | Leigh Gallagher
An immersive page-turner, The Airbnb Story is an interesting read for anyone that works in the hospitality industry or wants to learn more about how a small startup turned into a vacation rental juggernaut.
Demonstrating her journalistic chops, Leigh provides a detailed account into the rise of the company, issues around the “sharing economy”, and stories of opposition from hospitality’s biggest players. If you are looking for a read that is both informative and entertaining, the Airbnb Story is the perfect book to satisfy your cravings.
The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants | Brandon Turner
As the host of the BiggerPockets real estate podcast and author of five rental property books, Brandon Turner is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the rental property business. Managing Rental Properties is a guide targeted towards the long-term rental property manager, and includes nuanced strategies like sources for listing your for rentals, negotiation tips, and how important school districts and nearby amenities are to rental properties.
If you are looking to develop an understanding of the complete end-to-end process of owning a long-term real estate rental property, this book will give you an in-depth background of all the nuts and bolts needed to be a successful multi-property landlord.
Long-Distance Real Estate Investing: How to Buy, Rehab, and Manage Out-of-State Rental Properties | David Greene
Experienced investor and real estate agent David Greene shares his in-depth strategy to build profitable rental portfolios through buying, managing, and flipping out-of-state properties. In his book, David shares his system of using trusted professionals like realtors, lenders, and property managers in out of state markets to successfully generate income without ever having to fly out to the rental property.
While the book’s focus is on out-of-state investing, the book is applicable to anyone who owns property and wants to work more efficiently by automating and delegating as many processes as possible.
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion | Gary Vaynerchuk
Modern age “hustle” guru Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to turn your real interests into real businesses in Crush It. The book teaches aspiring entrepreneurs the importance of building a brand, creating great content to support your business, and having a brand presence on every social media platform.
For anyone looking for a personal cheerleader or a jumpstart of motivation, Gary’s “can-do” philosophy will help inspire you start “crushing it” in all facets of your life, whether it be in real estate, hospitality or your own personal life. Read this book to increase bookings or adopt a more positive and confident mindset, it’s equally applicable professionally as it is personally.
Staying ahead of the competition by staying informed
Being a successful property management host means adopting an “always learning” mentality. Luckily for you, there are plenty of experts to learn from so you can stay current on a variety of important subjects critical to vacation rental success, including guest service, interior design and decoration, real estate laws and tax regulations, and so much more.
With every page turn, you are one step closer to achieving superhost status and five star ratings!