Owning a vacation rental may seem like a simple matter, but there are many pieces of information to know and pitfalls to avoid for those just beginning a vacation rental business. In the last post, we gave the first five of our Vacation Rental Must Do’s, and today we round out the top ten with another five. We hope that, by applying these ten tips, you will avoid having to learn many lessons the hard way!
1. Hire a professional photographer to get clear, crisp photos. This may sound self-explanatory, but presentation matters. If your photos are professional, those who are interested in your vacation rental will assume that your space will reflect that same level of professionalism.
2. Do a deep clean prior to the photo shoot. As much as your pictures need to be high quality, so does the space that they are capturing. Perfect lighting, effects, and angles aren’t going to make up for a cluttered, dirty room. We highly recommend that you hire professional cleaners to do a thorough deep clean before your professional photographer arrives on site.
3. If you bought an existing vacation rental, be sure to freshen up inventory, new linens, bath towels, cleaning supplies, and kitchenware to match. Again, this is better done before the photographer takes shots of the space. A little TLC can go a long way in sprucing up a property. By updating the furnishings, you will not only offer a better value to your customers, but you will be able to add your personal touch to the property. You are the one who gets to decide the interior design’s color palette and style--have fun at this stage and get creative!
4. Post photos online and GO LIVE! Most of the hard work has been done at this point, and now it’s time to let your vacation rental work for you! Post your crisp, professional photos online, and give an accurate description of the space. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to a description. If your vacation rental doesn’t have an absolutely gorgeous view of Table Rock Lake, don’t claim it does. You are better off surprising your renters with an occasional sneak peak of Table Rock Lake through the trees than setting their expectations too high. This is especially important to keep in mind when you consider the sway that public online reviews have on potential clients—there are few things worse for a vacation rental than a disappointed customer!
5. Set up Facebook and social media platforms for your property. What more effective way to get the word out about your property than to post on social media? If you can be disciplined about keeping your page updated, it can be a great resource for winning over renters and creating some buzz about your space. In addition, social media pages can be a helpful all-encompassing online location where you can offer all your pictures, glowing reviews, and contact info. Don’t bypass this final step!
By following the five steps in the last blog, as well as the five steps above, we believe you can transition smoothly into being a successful vacation rental owner. With a little intentionality on the front end, you can avoid frustration and set the stage for an enjoyable investment experience—as well as a great experience for your renters!