If you own a vacation rental in a beach town, you know summer is peak season, with vacationers seeking quintessential beach getaways filled with sun and sand. But, even if your rental stays booked from Spring Break well into the fall, you’re probably curious how you can earn even more money from your beach home during the bustling summer months.
Strategies can include attracting more long-term guests like business travelers, adding top-notch amenities to your property to increase how much it can rent for, and making sure you have a set-up to host larger groups.
Here are 8 strategies to help you earn more money from your beach home this summer.
Market to business travelers
During the winter and spring, your beach home may host vacationing families who want to splash around in the pool or build sandcastles on the beach. But, during the summer, you may want to switch up your marketing strategy, suggests Elizabeth Mahon, TurnKey Vacation Rental’s sales director for Florida beach towns including Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Jupiter, and Hollywood Beach. Mahon suggests marketing to business travelers and traveling nurses who are looking for more longer-term rentals, which can then help reduce mid-week gaps in your booking calendar.
Want to appeal to business travelers? While they certainly may appreciate your pool, grill or proximity to the beach, they’ll also be looking for amenities that make their stay seamless. These amenities could include high-speed Internet (wow them with a screenshot of the speed report!), a workspace, wooden hangers for business suits, and a handheld steamer to help release wrinkles that are bound to happen when you combine traveling and humidity. You can also write a listing that speaks to summer business travelers, highlighting how close you are to major employers.
In addition to attracting business travelers, you may be able to book a guest who is new to the area and is looking to buy a home in the area and needs a place to rent in the interim, Mahon says.
Market to staycationers
Sure, in the winter months, you’re probably drawing a lot of visitors from colder climates. But, in the summer months, it’s smart to market to staycationers in your own state or surrounding regions. For instance, Mahon says, Florida’s coastal beach towns can appeal as vacation destinations to inland Florida residents, including those who live in Orlando. While all of Florida may be affected by sweltering temperatures, at least you can cool off in the gulf or the ocean when you visit one of the Sunshine State’s beach towns. Also, if your beach town stays warm throughout fall, you can market it to vacationers who want one last “summer vacation,” pointing out that the beaches tend to be less crowded after Labor Day.
Add some indoor amenities
Want to make your beach vacation rental stand out from the competition? “It’s all about the amenities,” Mahon says.
Potential summer travelers will be thinking about the heat factor in some beach towns. Not only do you want to mention that your property has air conditioning, it’s a good idea to also have amenities that vacationers can enjoy indoors after spending a good chunk of the day at the beach. For example, in addition to having a big-screen television, you may want to add a game room with pool tables, board games, and a ping pong table, Mahon says.
Add fun beach amenities
Beach toys, inflatable rafts, and umbrellas are also good to have on hand since travelers – especially those coming from out of state – don’t want to worry about packing these bulky items.
When it comes to outdoor amenities, guests also love having access to cruiser bikes that they can use to zip around town and to the beach on, she says.
Also, kayaks or paddleboards can be affordable investments to help set your property apart from the competition, she says. Guests also appreciate covered, outdoor seating for relaxing in during the late afternoon and evening, so investing in a canopy to keep vacationers cool outdoors is a great idea, Mahon says says.
Invest in a pool
If you’re in a beach rental market, there’s one amenity that stands out from the rest: A pool. If you own a beach rental and don’t have a pool, it may be worth investing in as homes with pools generally rent for higher rates, she says.
Update your decor
Adding amenities and marketing to business travelers or staycationers are great strategies for keeping your beach home booked during the summer months. But, an alternative route could be to take advantage of the slower season to complete some upgrades to your home and get some maintenance done, says Mahon.
Vacation rental owners don’t need to do full-on remodels, knocking down walls or making additions. Rather, simply updating the decor can lead to a great return on investment, says Mahon. Take the time to repaint the trim, update your linens, add new pillows, give the living room decor an update, and give a modern makeover to appliances and furniture, she suggests. Don’t forget about the fixtures. For example, a traditional showerhead can easily be switched out with a rainforest showerhead, instantly giving the showers a more luxe feel, she suggests.
Be responsive to guests
If you’re in a vacation rental beach market that is bustling in the summer, you’ll want to be on your A-game when it comes to interacting with guests, or hire a property manager who can handle guest queries. Another tip: Ask guests to leave you a review, says Daniela Andreevska, Marketing Director at Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company that helps investors find lucrative vacation rental properties to buy. Guests reviews help attract new guests, and positive reviews can help you look more trustworthy.
Market to large groups
A final note: It certainly helps to know your beach-going clientele. According to our research, beachgoers tend to travel in groups and the majority want a space that’s big enough to accommodate large groups. So if your property fits the bill, be sure to coney that in your listing. Since your listing will mention how many people your property can accommodate, it may be worth adding beds to a room so big families, multi-generational families, or multiple families traveling as part of a reunion, can make sure they have enough sleeping space. Travelers may also want to see there’s enough communal space to enjoy meals together or unwind after a day at the beach. Having a room set up with streaming devices is great for a movie night.
Our study also found that beachgoers find cleanliness, quietness, and security to be among the aspects that make a rental enjoyable, so it’s worth pointing out in your listing how your property meets those qualifications. Professional photographs and virtual tours can help show off the property, and also give potential renters an idea of the layout so they can get a feel for the gathering spaces and see there’s enough room for their groups.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to not only attract more rentals to your beach rental in the summer months, but also improve your rental so that you can maximize your earnings goal year-round.