Prepping your home as a vacation rental is a smart way to maximize your property’s value. However, it takes hard work and an appreciation of what people are looking for in a vacation destination. Amenities and small touches are important, but so is a return on investment (ROI). As you consider what makes good ROI, bear in mind that vacationers love feeling like they’re at home and that a well-considered upgrade can produce that “at-home” feeling.
Starting Your Rental Business
After you’ve made the decision to start your rental property business and put together a plan, the next step is to form a business entity. There are several options to choose from, but an LLC is the most appropriate for rental property businesses. This is because it keeps your business and personal finances separate while saving you from legal liabilities related to your business. The easiest way to set up an LLC affordably is to use a formation service. After approval from the Secretary of State and International Revenue Service, you can form a business checking account and get started. If you are a Canadian resident then setting up a business will be a different process.
Upgrades and ROI
One way to increase ROI is to boost your yearly profit, which you can do with appealing upgrades that attract new clients. Vacationers accustomed to enjoying fresh air on the patio at home or relaxing in a hot tub will certainly appreciate doing likewise on vacation. Another way to make people feel at home is by giving them a full, modern kitchen that makes everything as convenient as possible.
A well-stocked kitchen with up-to-date appliances, a dining table (even a small one in a nook), and drawers with modern silverware and kitchen tools are sure to impress. Bathroom upgrades also make a favorable impression. Consider putting in a new shower stall and fixtures, new flooring, a fresh coat of paint, and upgrading lighting fixtures – you’ll have a bathroom that look brand new.
Maximizing and Marketing your Space!
Storage space can be a dicey matter when you’re trying to maximize space in your vacation rental and keep it clutter-free. You need room for storage but not if it means losing revenue. Consider throwing or giving away unused items and renting an off-site storage space for items you can’t part with. The cost of an off-site storage space can easily be covered by the revenue generated from the extra living space you will be able to rent.
Now that you have your space looking great, it is time to set it up for success! Effective marketing is essential for turning your vacation rental into a reliable profit center. Impactful photography can make a powerful impression on people as they peruse websites and promotional material looking for a vacation destination. If you plan to take these pictures yourself, do it right by using proper framing, lighting and lighting techniques to put the best images possible in front of potential renters. Or, you could hire a professional photographer to provide the strongest possible visual impression. Be sure to include features and amenities you want to show off that might make someone go, “Wow!”
Finding your Property Manager
If you’re too far away to handle the upkeep, you’ll need to find someone to serve as property manager. This is a very important role, so take your time to talk to several candidates and do your homework. Your manager should live nearby and be ready to respond to emergencies and customer problems on short notice. This person will oversee maintenance, landscaping, emergency repairs and handle paperwork for you. Try to get references from property owners who’ve worked with your manager candidates before making a final decision.
Spic and Span
One of the worst things you can do is to let guests see a dirty and disordered rental property. It’s a disillusioning experience for people who’ve saved their money for a vacation they had planned with high expectations. Factor the cost of a good house cleaning service into your expenses (usually costs $25 – $50 per cleaner but varies based on the size of your home), because there will be plenty of messes to clean. Guests can take out the trash and put silverware away, but you must keep the place absolutely spotless. That’s where a reliable house cleaning service comes in handy.
Additionally, with the current pressing times of COVID, now more than ever people are trying to find short weekend getaways to cope with the current normal. Ensuring your vacation rental is clean and sanitized can be comforting and advantageous to not only those looking for a weekend escape, but to you as the owner.
As a vacation property owner, you’re in the business of making people happy. The memories that guests take with them will depend greatly on the comfort, cleanliness, convenience and enjoyment they experience at your vacation site. That’s why always keeping the customer in mind be at the root of everything you do in order to create a successful vacation rental property and maximize profit.