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, guest experience, 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
- Optimize YOUR Bnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search by Daniel Rusteen
- 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
- 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 the 12 best books (and some extras) about hospitality to help you get inspired, increase your bookings, improve your customer service, and develop 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 is 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 is among the best Airbnb books and is a must-read for anyone trying to boost their vacation rental business.
Optimize YOUR Bnb: 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 Bnb helps first-time and seasoned 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 you need to know 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 and if you like it, buy the book on Amazon.
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 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 comprehensive guide after seeing tremendous success with her own vacation rental property business in Colorado. A complete primer on the vacation rental ownership experience, this is one of the best books on vacation rentals. It 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. This is 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 only applicable to your home but to your personal life as well. The book teaches readers how to let go, shut out noise and distractions, and create 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 bite-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.
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 in the 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 this book on managing rental properties, 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 of the company’s rise, 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 among the great property management books and 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 toward the long-term rental property manager, and includes nuanced strategies like sources for listing your 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 on managing rental properties 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 real estate 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/property management companies 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 and real estate management, it’s applicable to anyone who owns property and wants to work more efficiently by automating and delegating as many processes as possible. This is by far one of the best books on rental property investing and property management.
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 to 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.
More books to explore:
- Airbnb for Dummies | Symon He and James Svetec: As the title implies, even if you have no clue how to start and are a complete beginner when it comes to running a vacation rental, Airbnb for Dummies will get you going in the right direction. In this book, you’ll learn the basics: how to list your property, how to tell a story via photos, how to price your property, and more. It’s an ultimate resource and among the top Airbnb books to digest.
- Short-Term/Vacation Rentals Investments Made Easy | Gaston Gilbert: Learn how to create a profitable business from your rental property and keep your costs down. This is the go-to resource if you’re swimming in more expenses than profit.
- Every Airbnb Host’s Tax Guide | Stephen Fishman: Get all the tax codes and learn the deductions from this handy tax. If you’ve always struggled with tax law, and especially if this is your first business, you’ll want to know all of this need-to-know information.
- Airbnb Listing Hacks: The Complete Guide to Maximizing Your Bookings and Profits | Alex Wong: Learn how to improve your listings by standing out from your competition. Knowing what people are really looking for in vacation homes and providing it will give you an edge over other properties. Optimize your listings and your profits with this great book.
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 you turn, you are one step closer to achieving super host status and five-star ratings. Happy reading.