Making the decision to manage and operate a vacation rental can feel very overwhelming at first – especially if you’re not working with a property manager and have to make every decision by yourself.
About half of vacation rental owners purchase a second home for the sole purpose of generating revenue. Whether you fall in that group or you plan to rent your home only when your family isn’t using it, there are a few common vacation rental mistakes that can affect your bottom line.
Before you become a vacation rental owner, familiarize yourself with these 5 common mistakes and learn how to avoid them:
While you can definitely generate bookings from guests if your property is only listed on one site, you’ll find more success if you list your rental home on multiple booking sites for maximum exposure. Don’t be deterred by the costs associated with each site – the revenue you’ll generate from bookings will be worth it.
Crafting a compelling listing takes a lot of work. There are two components that are equally important: the listing description and the photos. The description should be clear, concise, and include information your guest would be searching for, and the headline for your listing should be attention-grabbing. As for photos, invest in high-quality photography – grainy cell phone photos aren’t going to cut it. Learn more about crafting the perfect property listing here.
We know your rental is one of your biggest assets and holds a lot of value but you have to be flexible in how you price your home. For example – the rate for a weekend during your area’s peak season shouldn’t be the same rate as a weekday during low season. Using dynamic pricing will keep your rate competitive and make your rental more enticing to book. Learn more about pricing your rental competitively here.
You spend a lot of time at your rental home, which means you might be familiar with how the gate sticks or how to turn on the home entertainment system. It’s better to leave your guests too much information than not enough. Always include details for your guest about directions to your home, how to operate any locks or gates, how to use any home technology, where to park, what amenities they can find when they arrive, any off-limit areas or items, and anything else you’d like for them to know about your home! If you need help deciding what to include, ask a friend to do a walkthrough of your home and see what questions they have about it – include those answers in the arrival instructions for your guests.
When people are looking to book a vacation rental, they’re hoping for an almost immediate response to their inquiry. For example – at TurnKey, we respond to all guest booking inquiries within an hour. If it’s taking 10 hours, days, or even a week for you to answer a guest’s inquiry, there’s a solid chance your potential guest will have already moved on and booked a different rental. If you’re very busy and feel like you can’t commit to a quick response time, you might want to consider hiring a property manager that can respond within the hour.
Not making these mistakes when renting out your vacation home can help you avoid headaches and generate more income.
Curious how a property manager can help you get the most out of your vacation rental home and avoid these mistakes? Learn more about TurnKey here.