It’s a good time to be a vacation rental owner. More and more travelers are expressing a preference for rental homes rather than a traditional hotel during their travels. And you’ve never had more choices when it comes to listing sites to get your property in front of searching guests.
More popularity also means more competition, however. If you’ve been wondering how to stand apart from the competition and earn more profits than ever from your vacation rental property, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 7 tips to help increase the profits and value of your property.
Diversify Your Listings
Are you relying on a single vacation rental website to list and book your property? There is a multitude of rental websites available to you, so list away. List your property on HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, Expedia…and more.
In addition to listing your property on the bigger, more well-known sites, don’t neglect opportunities for local listings, as well.
There’s another way to get your property in front of potential vacation renters with no required fees or subscriptions: a dedicated website for your property.
Create your own website and fill it with juicy pictures, delightful details, a booking calendar, contact details, and more. Utilize social media accounts to promote your property and create digital ad campaigns to get your listing in front of a bigger audience.
Keep Your Description Updated — and Honest
Have you recently remodeled the kitchen? Invested in luxury appliances? Even small changes to your property provide a good reason to update your listings.
Updates or changes to the surrounding area are noteworthy and reason to update your listing, even if nothing has changed on your property itself. New restaurants, parks, or entertainment centers are certainly something to write about!
When you update your listing, be sure you’re being transparent and honest about the property or surrounding areas.
Don’t worry; you can be transparent without deterring away potential guests.
“Our riverfront property is in close proximity to the nearby outdoor amphitheater, providing our guests with the ultimate musical soundtrack for their stay. During the summer concert season, you’re sure to hear a different musical act every night of your stay! Entering and exiting the driveway can be difficult during a concert, so we recommend leaving your car safely parked in the garage and taking a stroll into the adjacent shopping/ entertainment district for a bite to eat on concert nights.”
This disclaimer warns guests that their summer stay is sure to include loud music and parking hassles — while still sounding like a fun place to be.
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Invest in Professional Photos
Smartphone photos have never been higher quality. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the best choice to showcase the features of your vacation rental property.
If a picture speaks a thousand words, don’t let murky, fuzzy, or unprofessional-looking photos say bad things about your property listing.
Make a positive first impression with well-lit, professional photos and utilize them to present a virtual tour of your vacation property. Be sure to include images of:
- The kitchen
- The living room
- Luxury appliances
- Outdoor spaces
- Pools, spas, gardens, fountains, game areas, and other “bonus” areas
Read more about why professional photos boost bookings for your vacation property.
Carry the Right Insurance
One mishap or accident at your vacation rental could cost you tens of thousands and take months —or years— to fully resolve.
When your house is just your home, homeowners insurance offers the right amount of coverage. But when your house is a business investment, it needs specialized coverage to protect you against losses and lawsuits.
Talk to a trusted insurance agent to find out what insurance you need for your vacation rental property. Be sure you’ve got the right coverage in place for your specific property, its geographical location, and how it is being used.
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Don’t List too Low
Property owners may be tempted to reduce the rate for their vacation rental to bring in visitors during slow seasons or to stand out in a crowd of listings. But “rock bottom” pricing could end up costing you in the long run in terms of wear, tear, or damages.
Do you really want your beloved property to turn into the ultimate party house?
Instead of trying to attract deal seekers, update your property and listing to appeal to a more discerning (higher paying) renter.
Invest in Outdoor Space
Travelers look for upgrades and amenities when they’re booking a vacation rental. But don’t relegate all of your improvements to the interior of the property - be sure to give the outside some love, as well.
Create outdoor spaces that your guests will want to use by offering amenities such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens, decks with tables and chairs, a swimming pool, hot tub, and more.
Think of ways you can make the outdoor spaces hospitable even when the weather isn’t; shaded overhangs, pools, and water misters for properties in hot locations and a steaming hot tub, outdoor heaters, and covered patios for properties where winter is long and chilly.
Create an Experience to Remember
Want to leave guests raving, referring, and returning? Create a memorable experience.
You don’t have to have an epic, one-of-a-kind feature at your property to leave a lasting impression.
Most often, it’s the little things that add up.
- Connect with guests before their trip. Provide suggestions that only a local would know.
- Leave a small welcome gift before their arrival.
- Leave a detailed manual that details appliances and their function.
- Post the wifi password in multiple places throughout the home.
- Provide comfortable bedding and furniture.
- Keep the home well-stocked; routinely replace items that become worn or damaged.
Investing in your property — with a special focus on creating memorable guest experiences — is a sure-fire way to increase the profitability of your vacation rental property. It’s an investment that pays off, and one that’s sure to bring guests back again and again.