While renting out your property requires a lot of management, this effort is often well worth it if you can make enough income.
Here are the most essential factors to successfully renting out your vacation home and maximizing the revenue it generates.
Maximize Your Marketing
Most travelers research and find their vacation rental online. Marketing your property online–and on multiple websites–is important to getting your vacation rental home in front of enough potential guests.
The biggest mistake we see a typical property owner make is not marketing their property all of the biggest websites
According to HomeAway, its site receives 9.8 million visits a month. Airbnb’s site is reported to have more than 200 million bookings since 2008. Booking.com is the top ranked website for the Accommodation category with 4 billion visits during the last 12 months.
If your property isn’t listed on all of these travel sites, you are truly missing out on exposure to millions of potential guests per month–and many potential bookings.
Craft a Compelling Listing
Once your property is listed on a vacation rental website, it’s important to have a high-quality listing to attract as many guests as possible.
Each listing website is a little different, but here are the critical attributes of a successful listing:
Get Professional Quality Photos
The photos should reflect the amenities, location, and qualities of the home. Capture as much of each room as you can. Guests want to know if the space is right for their group.
Be as clear as you can. If you believe by hiding a flaw you’ll book more travelers, think again. Reviews of disappointed travelers can hurt you more than missing out on a few bookings for being fair.
Have A Well-Written Description
Write a great headline that is descriptive and specific. Highlight what makes your home unique, while also clearly spelling out what guests want to know. Write that you cover all your bases but not so much that guests are discouraged from reading it.
Sell your particular location in the vacation destination. Are you near a hip entertainment district? Make certain to include what makes your home and neighborhood stand out.
Have A Competitive Price
Make sure your home is priced competitively for comparable homes in your area. Don’t forget to also look at hotel prices to make sure that your home is not priced too high to compete with them.
When your home is booked more year-round, you earn more revenue. Our homeowners usually find a 35% increase in earnings when they use our dynamic pricing strategy.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Many major booking sites are utilizing verified review methodology to ensure that reviews were submitted by verified guests booked through their platform.
Since search results on Airbnb and HomeAway are affected by number of favorable reviews, you want to have a review acquisition strategy in place.
If you have these important bases covered, more potential guests will look at your rental listing than the listing of a comparable home with quality photos, out-of-sync pricing, vague descriptions, and no reviews.
Respond to Inquires and Booking Questions Quickly
If you have a great listing that is on all of the major vacation rental websites, you’ll get many inquiries and questions about your property. To be able to convert these questions into stays, your vacation rental management company need to be prepared to respond quickly and appropriately answer questions or concerns.
Since 84 percent of guests get an inquiry response the same day, according to Phocuswright’s 2015 study, you need to be ahead of the curve.
Fast, quality answers are one of the biggest reasons homeowners seem to property managers. Most owners simply can’t keep up with the 24/7 nature of responding to queries and recognize they’re leaving money on the table.
Make Booking Your Property as Easy as Possible
After a guest decides he or she wants to rent your home, owners and management companies should make it as easy as possible. Enable your property to be instantly bookable online and accept credit card payments.
Travelers have been conditioned from the online travel agencies to book instantly online and want instant gratification. Guests want the same thing when booking a vacation rental.
Making it easy to book the property with a credit card is important as well because guests prefer the convenience and security of using a credit card rather than mailing a check.
Soon, hosts won’t have a choice. Airbnb and Homeaway are encouraging hosts to offer Instant Book or Book It properties. Since being able to instantly book a property enhances the guest experience greatly, major booking engines are likely to make it mandatory.
A subset of new hosts to Airbnb are expected to enable Instant Booking, further indicating this is the direction they are moving in. The total vacation rental marketplace has also seen a doubling of instantly bookable properties within the course of the last year.
Homes managed by owners and property management companies that do these five important things well will generate more income than homes that don’t. Once it takes additional time and effort, the increase in revenue can be material.
If you’re currently managing your home and don’t have the time or expertise to try these tactics, consider a property management company. The increased revenue and time saved should more than offset the management expenses.
If you’re already working with a management company, make sure they’re doing these five items well for your property. Otherwise, you may be leaving money on the table.