How to Successfully Rent Your House As A Vacation Rental

How to Successfully Rent Your House As A Vacation Rental
  • Opening Intro -

    People who own a place that they don't live in in a touristic spot might want to consider renting it out as a vacation rental.

    Now, anyone who has ever gone to a vacation rental knows two things.

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First of all, the rent-per-day in such places is usually a lot higher than in regular rental places and second, the duration of the tenancy is a lot shorter. This means that you can have several such rotations during the peak of the season and then use the rest of the year for the maintenance and upkeep of the place.

The problem, however, lies in the fact that in order to get the maximum of income from the place, you need to use the entire season, which means that, while it lasts, you should always have tenants. The only way to achieve this is to A) have the place as appealing as possible and B) have competitive, yet, profitable prices.

For all of this to come together, your vacation rental needs to be in a flawless condition. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips on how to successfully rent out your second home as a vacation rental.

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Setting the Place Up

Before you decide to rent out a property, you need to make sure it’s up to certain standards. The home needs to be fully furnished and functional for a family to live in for a couple of weeks. Of course, the quality of furniture doesn’t have to be admirable but it does have to be functional, comfortable and clean. Keep in mind that it has to give you a positive ROI, which is why outfitting a luxury apartment is only worth it if you can charge top rent for it during the season.

Other than this, you need to keep in mind that everything needs to work flawlessly. This means that all the light bulbs need to be working, all the fixtures and all the appliances. Due to the fact that you have the majority of the year to fix this, there’s really no excuse for failing to keep up with the expectations.

In fact, what you need to understand is that failing to deliver on one of these fronts may be bad enough to earn you some negative reviews, which is something that you need to try and avoid at all costs. Lastly, the place needs to be impeccable, which is why you need to hire professional cleaners to scrub the place before and after every guest.

From all the above-listed, as well as several issues that we’ll mention later on, it’s more than clear that outfitting the home in question may require some serious investments on your part. This is why finding an adequate way to provide adequate funding may be a major challenge.

Some people apply for a traditional loan (bank or credit union), while others look for online platforms like OurMoneyMarket that are specializing in unsecured personal loans. Either way, you need to look at this money as your source of initial capital.

Invest Some Effort Into Marketing

The next issue that you need to address is the issue of marketing, which is the way in which you’re going to attract your customers. The first thing you need to do is invest in your visibility. For instance, if you have a website, you need to expect that your audience will find you via a Google search. Therefore, what you need to do is invest in some SEO.

If you don’t see building a website as a cost-efficient move, you should at least look to list your home on some websites that specialize in vacation rentals. These registries are sometimes regional but the more places you list on, the better.

Regardless of where you decide to advertise your vacation rental, what you need to do is write a detailed and compelling description of the place. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be an art piece, and what you need to focus on, instead, is informing people of some things that they want to know.

What they care about are the price and the location, all the rest they’ll be able to see in the photographs. As far as the location goes, due to the fact that the address or the name of the suburb don’t mean much to them, what you need is a short mention of all the places of interest that are nearby.

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The next issue that you need to focus on is one of professional photography. The website in question will require them and this is a perfect way for you to show people the layout, furniture and the state of the place, in general. Also, the quality of photography itself matters, which is why you should tidy up the place and then hire a professional photographer.

Once this is done with, wait for a perfect day (a cloudy and rainy day can tamper with the general impression of the photographs) and get on with it. Keep in mind that you need to take a lot of photos in order to be able to choose and eliminate some.

In the end, people are often looking for reviews and testimonials, due to the fact that they’re often left by people who are much closer to their target demographic. In order to earn them, all you have to do is ask.

Also, keep in mind that people who come to visit you might talk to people back home about the amazing experience that they’ve had at your place, which means that you’ll get some old-school word of mouth (WOM) recommendations, as well. In other words, the ROI is more than positive and it’s definitely something worth considering.

Set a Price

In order to set a price, you need to have several things in mind. First of all, by listing a lower price than other properties in the area, you’ll get listed a lot quicker, which is not such a bad idea for the time being. As soon as you get some positive reviews, you should consider raising the price a bit.

Keep in mind, though, that the higher you go, the harder it will be to find tenants, which is why you need to find a perfect balance between appealing through frugality and making enough profit. Also take into consideration the amount of time that it will take to return the money that you’ve invested, as well as the upkeep in-between seasons.

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Choose Your Guests

When it comes to vacation property, this is slightly harder to figure out, due to the fact that there are a lot of people who come to vacation with the intention of going wild. Due to the fact that they’re there for just a couple of days, outside of legal repercussions, there’s nothing that they really have to fear.

It’s not like you’ll have the time to evict them, or that they’ll see their neighbors ever again so that they have to fear to look bad or embarrassing themselves in their eyes. In other words, you’re in a tricky spot, yet, there are several techniques for you to figure this one out.

Just keep several things in mind at all times.

First, you’re not obliged to rent your home to everyone who asks you to. Sometimes, you’ll have a hunch that the person in question is not a good fit and it’s usually better to wait for another offer. During the peak of the season, these offers will come in droves, especially if you’ve done everything else right, which is why you shouldn’t fret about declining a potential tenant.

Also, keep in mind that just because a person leaves a “weird” impression on you, this doesn’t make them a nightmare guest. The truth is that filtering people out like this isn’t really an exact science.

other valuable tips:

Proper Response

Also, you should keep in mind that potential tenants aren’t the only ones who need to make a good impression. When talking to a potential tenant, you need to keep in mind that they’re screening you just as diligently as you’re screening them. In other words, try to be welcoming, forthcoming and transparent in order to make a good impression. Be honest about your expectations and make sure to answer each of their questions as honestly as possible. This way, you’ll win them over and score a huge win for your vacation rental, as well. Professionalism is the name of the game.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are three pillars of a successful vacation rental management. The first one is the preparedness of the home and it’s a never-ending process that requires your constant attention. The second one is your marketing and it’s something that affects your money-making ability the most. Finally, there’s the screening and management of your tenants, which is a subtle art that may take you years to master. All in all, for those who can master these three fields, the vacation rental industry can be more than lucrative.

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