Buy the Correct Vacation Home
Most new vacation rental homeowners succeed when they consider:
Location. Homes with immediate access to a nearby attraction (the ski slopes, the beach, the water, the theme park, the city center) are the most obvious choice for an investment property.
Seasonal appeal. You will see better financial results if you opt for a location that is accessible and desirable year-round. This might be because of weather or because of seasonal activities.
Size. The more bedrooms and bathrooms, the more you can typically charge per night.
Regulations. Check on local city, county, and HOA (homeowner association) ordinances about vacation rentals. Some regulations can make it more difficult to rent your second home short-term by restricting the number of guests, imposing strict parking restrictions, or simply outlawing rental activity altogether.
Decorate and Furnish
Creating a gorgeous space for guests is one of the easiest ways to make money on your vacation rental. Not only does this make for a guest experience that is better, but it’s also crucial for good marketing–if your guests are posting images of themselves in your home on Instagram, then you’re doing it right.
There are a few seamless ways to upgrade your home’s appeal:
Fluff up the mattress. Opt for hotel-quality linens and recommend a minimum of four pillows per bed. Guests sleep better and your bedrooms photograph even better!
Spruce up the kitchen. A big draw of vacation homes is the private kitchen, so make sure yours is stocked with measuring cups, mixing bowls, baking sheets and pans, and some wonderful table linens.
If you are feeling extra ambitious, think about painting the cabinets a fresh color or removing the doors to create open shelving.
Dress the windows. You would be surprised how much curtains can add to a space. Select something light and airy for rooms that get a great deal of sun, and heavier drapes for bedrooms.
Optimize Your Listing
Draw potential guests into your getaway with the help of your home’s online profile.
Invest in professional photography. Your photos will make or break your home’s listing. We take professional HDR photographs for each home, complete with careful staging: open the curtains, close the toilet lids, hide the trash cans, and fluff the pillows.
Give your guest a tour. Virtual walkthroughs of a home can enable a guest visualize their vacation, encouraging them to book. Invest in virtual 3D tours for your home. Generally you’ll see an increase in occupancy.
Write a brief, accurate description. A description helps round out a guest’s expectations and can help highlight attributes that are hard to capture in a photograph.
Keep the description short and sweet–scannable descriptions that supplement the photographs are more appealing than long-winded sagas.
Update Your Amenities
Guests search for a few specific amenities more than any other, so you’ll boost your home’s visibility by offering these high three perks:
Welcome dogs. Homeowners who allowed dogs earned an average of $6,000 more than those who didn’t.
Add a hot tub. This is especially true for homes with incredible views or in colder climates. Our data demonstrates that adding a hot tub can add lead to a 15 increase in earnings –and we make it easy with our hot tub installation program.
Provide WiFi. Internet access is a basic expectation of guests today, and you’re going to miss out on bookings if you don’t provide it. (If your home is too secluded to offer WiFi, be upfront and make it clear in the description that it is a lovely place to unplug.)
Maximize your Vacation Rental’s Income Potential
Determine Your Rates
You simply can’t rely on the old model of”set it and forget it”–using simple fixed nightly rates for weeknights or weekends, in high season or low season.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, rates have become more dynamic and are presently one of the most challenging parts of vacation rental management. In the current landscape, it pays to have a team behind you.
If you want to optimize your rates by yourself, you will need to invest a lot of time in monitoring and updating your pricing.
Manage Your Calendar
Your calendar can have a massive impact on your home’s profitability. We suggest these tips for managing your calendar:
Avoid minimum stays. Applying aggressive minimum stay requirements may seem like a path to a premium booking, but probably causes potential guests to bypass your home in favor of something easier.
For example, forcing a guest to book a five- or seven-night stay throughout the Fourth of July (when the demand for the holiday is just three nights) could cause guests to turn away from the property. What might have been three nights of earnings is now worth zero.
Avoid minimum nightly rates. Similarly, minimum nightly rates can create an illusion of more revenue, but can lead to fewer bookings as the seasonality changes.
A $400 minimum rate may satisfy the demand during peak season, but is likely too high to generate bookings in the off season when demand is a lot lower. Pricing your vacation home during shoulder seasons is one of the quickest paths to higher overall performance.
Market Your Home
If you’re marketing your vacation home on your own, choosing the right listing site (or sites) for your property is key.
As with rates, working with the experts can increase your revenue stream by getting your home in front of as many potential guests as you can.
Digital marketers accomplish this by:
SEO (search engine optimization). Using the right keywords and the right signals to ensure your home is well represented on search engines.
PPC (pay-per-click) ads. These sponsored ads appear at the top of search results, targeted to appear if your visitors search for precise keywords.
Display ads. You know those banner ads that follow you around the internet? We do those, too.
Facebook ads. Once we know a guest is looking for homes in your area, we put a beautiful picture of your property right in their newsfeed.
Organic social. Our most stunning or unique homes are featured within our social media profiles, reaching hundreds of thousands of curious travelers.
Learn From Bad Reviews
Negative reviews can often be a blessing in disguise. Negative reviews are an opportunity to:
Make improvements. Some of our most successful homeowners are those that take feedback to heart and make small improvements regularly.
Build trust. If you take the time to correct the issue, you demonstrate care and consideration for your visitors and their experience. You may even win them back.
Hire a Vacation Rental Management Company
Making money on your vacation rental property is so much easier when you have a comprehensive management company by your side. A good manager will take care of all the details so you can spend more time enjoying the extra income you make.
Vacation rental management services generally include:
- 24/7 guest service
- Dedicated local property managers, housekeepers, and maintenance techs caring for your home
- Dynamic pricing platform
- Professional marketing
- 3D virtual walkthrough tour and professional photography
- Listing on top booking sites such as Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com
- Filing lodging taxes and assistance with permitting and licensing
Earning more money on your vacation rental property doesn’t have to be a second job. In fact, with the appropriate tools and the perfect management company, it can be rewarding.