So you want to get into the vacation rental business!! Well, hold on because the road to success is going to be a bumpy one…at least to start. However, once you navigate the first leg of the trip (getting your property rental ready) the ride begins to smooth out a bit. Just like any great adventure, the end results can be quite rewarding and often times very lucrative.
One of the biggest mistakes I have personally witnessed involves owners who advertise their property before it is completely ready to receive the first guests. This can later lead to poor reviews that can and will affect your future rental income. It is imperative that you study your market to know not only what is considered standard in terms of what your property offers, but most importantly what the comps are for your area. Advertise too low and you run the risk of getting the wrong kind of guests, advertise too high and you end up with no guests at all. It’s also important to determine what amenities are must haves, and which ones you shouldn’t waste your money on. Are you a local in a position to personally manage your property, or do you hire a property manager? Finding responsible, reliable, and honest maintenance help and housekeeping can be challenging. If you are not local to your rental property, I strongly suggest finding a local property manager or property management company to manage it for you. You can’t always rely on your housekeeper to keep you informed about everything involving your property. It is not the housekeeper’s job to check everything inside and out, shop to replenish supplies, etc. It is that person’s job to clean, and in a busy tourist area that is all your housekeeper is going to have time to do before your next guest arrive.
There are many levels of vacation rental properties ranging from luxury to budget-friendly. Despite what you may be reading out there on the Internet, each level from luxury to budget-friendly are equally as important. Only you as the owner can fully understand what you can afford in terms of getting your property ready to receive guests. One way to gain more insight of what your up front costs will be to get your property as rental ready as your budget will allow, would be to meet with a consultant and have an analysis of what needs to be done. Your consultant can give you an idea of what items are needed to make it a successful and safe rental. Protecting you from future headaches. A consultant can tell you what the competition is charging in your area for similarly situated rentals, and arrange for and oversee the implementation of work performed. A consultant can also guide you in the right direction when it comes to advertising, and getting you well on your way to successful rentals!
Vacation Property Consultant