Want to start your own vacation rental by owner? The allure of owning your own vacation property is strong. You don’t have to do much work, and you can rent a property by night instead of by month, making a much higher profit (as long as you’re booked solid.) You can also use your VRBO yourself if you wanted.
While VRBO offers a great way to make money, it’s still a complicated business. For better success as you start your VRBO, rely on the following tips.
Always Screen Guests
Before you let anyone into your treasured property, make sure you screen them first. This can involve something simple, like a few questions over email, or a phone call. You don’t want to let a batch of partying 18-year-olds trash your place. Also, consider having a no-pets rule, or advertising your property as not suitable for small children.
Get Everything in Writing
A simple rental agreement might seem just fine until you run into troublesome guests. Play it safe and get everything in writing before you begin renting your property. Set departure and arrival times, document what guests must wash and put away, etc. If it’s clear, they shouldn’t have any excuses, and you’ll have greater peace of mind.
Stay Clean and Comfortable
The beauty of your listing will play a part in your ability to rent it, as will the amenities you provide. If your property has a kitchen, but no pots, pans, or dishes, you’ll end up with disappointed guests. If it sleeps 8-10 but has no dishwasher, some guests might look elsewhere. When you design your rental, don’t worry so much about the cost of plantation shutters or redesigning the interior. Instead, consider how much more revenue you could make by having an exceptionally attractive property to show off in your pictures.
Post Great Photos
Speaking of photos, having beautiful shots of your rental is a must. The better your photos, the faster you’ll rent, or so they say. You’ll find fewer people inclined to book a cabin when all they can see is the outside. Provide outside photos of your rental, including the look of the neighborhood. (Is it secluded? Clustered?) Make sure every room is represented, from the kitchen to the bathroom, as well as each bedroom.
Watch Your Prices
You might want to charge as much as possible for your VRBO, but make sure you’re not deterring guests. On the flip side, make sure you’re not charging too little. If you want older, more mature guests, stick to prices that students couldn’t afford. Keep an eye on other properties in your area, how often they’re booked, how many they sleep, and how much they charge. If a similar property is doing well, imitate their price range.
Choose a Likely Location
You’ll have a harder time getting tenants if you rent out a property in a desolate area. Consider the allure of an area and the traffic to that location. You’ll have an easier time renting in New York, NY than in Muncie, IN. If you don’t currently have a house in an attractive area and you’re willing to make the investment, take a look at homes for sale in Edmonton for example. It doesn’t hurt to choose locations with great amenities, such as a pool, hiking trails, or a pond with a dock.
Go Above and Beyond
The real secret to having happy guests is going above and beyond for them. Make sure your property is clean every time, and add personal touches whenever possible. Renting to honeymooners? Leave a bottle of wine. Write a note of greeting, and have a guest book for guests to read and sign. Have fresh linens for each renter.
You’re not a hotel, but your guests expect you to act like one in many ways. Adopting this attitude and level of professionalism will go a long way in making your rental property a success.