If your financial situation allows you to have a vacation home, consider yourself very blessed. Whether it’s in the mountains, at the lake, on the beach, in the city, on a farm, or anywhere in between, there’s nothing quite like being able to skip away to a second home for a few days when you need a break from your hectic life. But what do you do with it when you aren’t using it? Renting your vacation home could prove quite profitable.
5 Tips for Optimal Success
Making the decision to rent your vacation home is one thing. Actually renting it for a profit and simultaneously keeping the property in tip-top shape isn’t quite so easy. In order to be successful, you’ll need to do the following:
1. Develop a Lead Generation Strategy
If you want to keep your vacation property consistently rented, as opposed to just the occasional stay by a random guest, you’ll need to develop a lead generation strategy.
A lead generation strategy will look different for everyone, but it’ll most likely contain a combination of VRBO platforms, online advertising, social media, and word of mouth marketing.
2. Nail the First Impression
First impressions are everything. A positive one can ensure a guest starts their stay on the right note, while a negative one could intensify any subsequent issues that arise.
“If you want to really impress guests, you need to do things that aren’t expected. A welcome packet is a great way to start a guest’s stay on the right note,”explains Green Residential, a Houston-based property management company. “In lower-end rentals, something as simple as a personal note with some candy is a nice touch. In higher-end rentals, you may be able to afford a bottle of wine or a fruit basket. These are the sorts of details guests remember when it’s time to book again.”
3. Touch Base With Guests
Not every guest wants to have a personal connection with the property owner, but most will appreciate any effort you put forth. For best results, be in communication with guests a few days prior to their stay. If you want, you can even give them a quick call on the first day of their stay just to make sure everything is meeting their expectations.
4. Keep it Clean
Cleanliness is a big deal. Most guests don’t expect a rental to be pristine, but they do want clean bathrooms, vacuumed carpets, and fresh linens. Since you probably don’t want to handle this on your own, hiring a professional cleaning service is worth its weight in gold.
5. Gather Online Reviews
Most people conduct their search for vacation rentals online. And while good pictures and a quality listing with strong keywords matters, nothing is more important than positive reviews from past guests. If there’s one thing you want to focus on, it’s getting your satisfied guests to leave you reviews.
As long as you’ve done a good job and gave guests everything they needed on their stay, a quick email request for a review should be enough to get most people to take a few minutes and write a review. If you find it to be more difficult than this, you may offer incentives – such as a future discount – in exchange for reviews.
Focus on the Long-Term
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the little details of managing a vacation rental that you forget about the long-term goals. While there’s certainly value in getting the small things right, don’t become overwhelmed. In order to be highly profitable in the years to come, you may have to experience some learning years in the beginning. The tips in this article should help you get where you need to be.