Pivotal Measures to Take When Listing Your Vacation Home

Panama City Beach Vacation Rentals

Owning a vacation home isn’t only your personal escape hatch from the real world. Thanks to the explosion of short-term rental sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, having your vacation home on such sites can also net you some serious cash!

After all, the tide has turned: Short-term rentals are becoming ever-more-popular alternatives to hotels. In 2018, Airbnb made up about 20 percent of the total lodging spending among U.S. customers, and HomeAway, owned by Expedia, made up 11%, according to data from Second Measure.

But here’s the thing: Renting out your vacation home isn’t quite as easy as posting a few photos and waiting for visitors to arrive.

Hosts often feel that by listing the home on a particular channel that they can kick back and allow the reservations come in. BIG listing sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have millions of properties, and it’s important to take the proper measures to become what they consider a fantastic host.”

Get some protections

Not only are guests using Airbnb and similar websites to make travel arrangements, but the websites also offer protections for homeowners renting out their homes.

Since guests are expected to pay when they book on platforms such as Airbnb, homeowners don’t have to worry about getting stiffed. Airbnb does charge a host fee of 3% on the booking subtotal for most listings, but most consider that money well-spent.

Describe the vacation home accurately

Homeowners need to be accurate in every aspect of the listing: the property description, photos, and calendar. An unhappy guest could leave a negative review, which could affect a host’s ability to attract future bookings.

If you list your home as a’luxury beachfront property,’ just to have guests arrive to find the home is more of a’quaint bungalow many blocks away from the beach,’ they are bound to be disappointed and leave a bad review, even if they ended up enjoying their stay,” he says.

Include all details about the property (good and bad), amenities, location, and rules for the home. Also, list things the home is stocked with, like a hair dryer or dishwasher.

One of the most important things about getting your listing right is making sure you clear what you are offering and what you’re not offering.

Showcase the home with professional photos

Professional photographs highlighting all aspects of the home are a must. The photographs should accurately show off the interior and exterior of the home, along with amenities such as a pool or hot tub and elements, to portray the home accurately.

Hiring a photographer may be an extra expense, but it’s vital to maximizing profits on your vacation rental. Chances are you’re going to have a lot of competition, and if you don’t have great photos of a beautiful space, then you may as well not exist.

Keep your calendar up to date

A common mistake new Airbnb hosts make is not keeping their property’s calendar showing its availability up to date.

If the home is cross-listed on multiple sites, this could mean someone might book the home on Airbnb for the same days it’s just been reserved on, say, HomeAway. As such, you would have to cancel one of the bookings.

Not only does this send a bad message to guests, but sites may penalize hosts (and potentially shut down their accounts) who reduce bookings on nights listed as available.