The vacation rental industry is booming, with more travelers drawn to the idea of booking a short-term rental. With a wealth of added facilities, such as private kitchens or gardens, and more freedom, many guests prefer vacation rentals over hotels.
The popularity of vacation rental bookings reflects the trend for real estate investment. Starting a vacation rental business can earn you extra money and provide an opportunity to meet interesting people. However, like most things in life, mastering the vacation rental business takes time and effort
Property owners need to be aware of the rules and regulations, and also need to navigate a fluctuating market. Successful hosts have a robust business plan and ensure their rental properties appeal to potential guests. Once you're up and running, you will need to get a handle on managing your business. With so much to think about, starting a vacation rental business might seem daunting, however, it can also be very lucrative. Let's take a look at how to get started:
As a vacation rental owner, it's important to find out about legal rules and regulations for vacation rental management in your area. Check out details such as registering your rental, obtaining a business license, occupancy and tourist taxes, parking restrictions, insurance, and safety.
Make a success of your vacation rental business by maximizing your rental income. To do this, you will need to get to grips with the market. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the local attractions and find out more about the area.
As a property manager, you will need to take into account demand and supply. At peak periods you can charge more, but when it's quiet, you will need to consider boosting occupancy by lowering your rental rate.
Seasonality plays a part here, e.g., a surf shack on the beach will pay you a premium during summer months, whereas a cozy alpine cabin could prove popular as a winter bolthole.p>
Customer service is a priority and first impressions really do count! Make sure you offer the basics: an ambient temperature, good lighting, ventilation, plenty of hot water, comfort, and user-friendly appliances. Fixtures and fittings should be in good working order too. Guests won't appreciate leaky taps or broken locks.
It's important to set your house rules as well. Are you going to allow pets to stay? Can guests smoke in certain places? Rules help to maintain the condition of your property (and will help you to stay on good terms with neighbors)!
Providing a welcome book is a great way to make guests feel at home. Include important information such as how the dishwasher works, details of the nearest hospital, a WiFi password, lowdown on local attractions, etc. Finally, consider access to the property. Self-check-in and out can prove simple, and a key code can prevent problems relating to lost keys.
A business plan can help you make the right start and help you stay on track. There are a few things you will need to consider, such as the location of your rental property and who you are targeting in terms of guests.
Do your homework – think about demand and supply and how seasonality will affect your pricing structure. This is the time to breakdown your costs e.g., overheads, cleaning, and maintenance, service fees (how much do platforms such as Airbnb charge for property listings.) Work out your outgoings to ensure you will be charging enough to cover your costs (and ideally make a profit)!
You can advertise your vacation rental to boost bookings. There are numerous ways to attract interest. Why not explore multi-channel listing sites? Airbnb is popular but there are plenty of alternatives. This option will provide more exposure, but you will need, for example, to find out how Booking.com works, along with other platforms. You could even create a direct booking website.
You also need to get creative with your title and property description. Whilst you might not want to spend the money on a professional photographer, good pictures can really make a difference. Therefore, professional photography could be a sound investment.
Using short-term rental software could really ease your workload and give you more time to grow your fledgling business. You can automate guest communication, check-ins, and check-outs, reviews for guests, cleaning tasks, team management, maintenance, financial reviews, etc. For example, vacation rental software such as iGMS can help you automate a significant part of your day-to-day operations and literally put your vacation rental business on autopilot.
Starting a short-term rental business can be challenging, but lay h2 vacation rental management foundations and you can build a great business.