Running Your Vacation Rental Like a Business
Owning a vacation rental has a lot of rewards. It also has its challenges. Not only do owners contend with maintenance, bookings, guest needs, and the like, ensuring they maximize their net income is critical. That’s why you’re in the business, right?! Below are tips to ensure you’re not missing out on income and promote overall financial success with your property.
1. Know the market and local dates of interest. Like most businesses, supply and demand plays a huge role in vacation rental management. During times of increased activity in an area, prices should be increased. This applies not only to obvious times such as Spring Break and other holidays but also times of local festivities. Know the calendar of your area and price accordingly.
2. Know your competition. What is the pricing structure of similar properties? First, review properties in your specific area or community. Secondly, determine those that are similar in setup, distance to attractions (beach, etc.), and visual appeal. Then, review and analyze those properties to determine their pricing and occupancy. Consider this when setting your prices.
3. Fill in gaps of calendar openings. Be very in tune with your booking calendar. When there is availability in the very near term, lower your prices for those dates to attract last-minute travelers. Just be sure to adjust the prices upward after those dates have filled and passed.
4. Invest in professional photographs. You want your property to stand out in a good way. Pictures that are not professionally done often have the opposite effect whereas professional photographs make your property even more appealing.
5. Do a good job. Sounds simple, right? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Providing an excellent guest experience from their time as a prospect through departure results in repeat bookings as well as positive reviews. Get back to them quickly, professionally, and accurately. This is their vacation, and they are expecting and deserve a quality experience.
6. Provide guests with what they need as well as extras. Stay in your property and see what is missing based on your needs. Then, think of the extra things that should be there. Providing guests with things they need and want goes a long way. Include beach chairs, beach towels, and the like to encourage a positive experience.
7. Encourage 5-star reviews. Potential visitors evaluate properties on reviews. This is critical. Provide a great experience, and post-visit, encourage guests to write a review.
8. Write appealing headlines and descriptions. As potential visitors review listings, one of the first things they will see is the headline. Showcase your home’s unique characteristics up-front in the headline without being too wordy.
9. Make your property available on a number of channels. There are a lot of outlets for vacation rental searches, and you want exposure to as many as possible (that provide a profitable ROI.) Be included in VRBO, Airbnb, Booking.com, and your property manager’s website, but be sure to have a synchronized calendar to avoid double bookings.
10. Work with a property manager who does all of the above while containing expenses. Having the guidance and expertise of people who do all of the above for a living takes the guesswork out of things and promotes success. Working with people who do all of this and have a keen eye on expense management, do not nickel-and-dime for services, and understand the importance of bottom-line revenue is even better.
Contact SandyShores Properties to learn more! www.sandyshores-properties.com