Start a journal to record all inquiries for your property. Write down their name, address, phone number and email address, the number of people in their party and dates that they are interested in renting. Keep this information regardless of whether they end up renting or not. It will be useful later when you have cancellations or available rental periods.
In the second half of your journal, record all bookings for your property. Keep a calendar to record which weeks are booked, adding the name and dates for each party. This will show availability and the weeks that are taken at a glance. Bring this along with you whenever you can. You never know when you will meet someone who is interested in your property. Add your housekeeper’s schedule to the bottom of this calendar or add it to your journal. It’s important to give a copy of this to your housekeeper each time changes are made so you are always in sync.
Start two email lists and record each inquiry to the first list and each renter to the second list. Send out specials, cancellations or available weeks to the emails on each appropriate list. Use this to inform your renters of upcoming events in the area.
Keep good, accurate records of your rental income, security deposits and refunds, and all of your house expenses. For income, record the dates received, who it’s from and rental dates. Record security deposits separately. Create a spreadsheet or record in the second journal notebook, all income and expenses with totals for each month. Identify each transaction with as much information as possible. Use a box or file folder to keep all pertinent receipts for tax purposes. Keep everything you need for your rental business in one place. This will make it easier for you at year-end.