If you’re interested in owning a vacation rental or you’ve invested in one already, now is the right time to understand how to run your property successfully. Over the years, we have developed a short list of “Must Do’s” for vacation rentals—those essential steps that can take your vacation property from good to great. We will be addressing five of those essential steps in this blog, and then five more in the next. Some of these pointers need to be applied before you begin to accommodate guests, while others are simple ways of improving your rental and can be applied at any point. By following these steps, we believe you will be setting yourself up for a successful and worry-free experience of owning and managing a vacation rental.
1. Set up your property’s insurance, effective the day of closing. Once you’ve signed the papers, it’s GO TIME. You don’t want to take any risks with your property, so getting the right insurance is important from day one. Most homeowner policies will not automatically cover liability claims on nightly rentals without an extra endorsement, or bonus coverage. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to make sure your insurance provider understands that your property is a vacation rental.
2. Install new door locks or change codes. As the saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. By switching out the locks, you are protecting your possessions and the people who will be staying in your accommodation. Again, you don’t want to take any risks with your property, and this is a simple defensive measure that should not be overlooked.
3. Mount a combo box with an extra set of keys for the emergency entrance. If you want to ensure that your tenants will have a pleasant and stress-free experience at your vacation rental, you need to provide an extra set of keys to ensure accessibility. With visitors constantly moving in and out and keys switching hands, making sure there is always a secondary means of entrance will ease your worries—and it will prevent those frantic late-night runs across town that are often associated with vacation rental management!
4. Set up your power team. From an attorney and a CPA to your maintenance team and property manager, running a successful vacation rental requires a team of professionals. We like to call this your Power Team. If you haven’t already, check out the vlogs on our YouTube channel in which we outline the necessary members of your power team and their roles.
5. Hire a property manager or set up a new property listing. Some vacation rental owners intend to manage their property themselves, but many opt to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day oversight of the property. If you decide to pursue property management, you will need to decide whether you want to work with an on-site property management service (if applicable) or a third-party company. Deciding which direction to go can be tough, so if you want to hear our take on the pros and cons of each option, we recommend checking out our vlog on property management. If you decide to manage your property, make sure you begin by starting a listing on AirBnB and VRBO!
If you apply these first five tips, you’re off to a great start! Stop back by for the final five tips for managing a successful vacation rental.