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8 Tips Vacation Rental Owners Need to Know

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Woman standing on a porch with a yellow suitcase with text that says, "8 Tips Vacation Rental Owners Need to Know."

Vacation rentals are becoming more popular thanks to the various short-term rental sites. Many travelers want to stay in a place that feels like a home away from home. However, with so many vacation rentals available, you have to make your property stand out amongst the competition.

Explore these tips for renting your vacation home to make the most out of your rental.

1. Consider Management

The first and most important consideration is deciding who will manage the property. What vacation rental owners need to know is there are two options for management. You can manage the property yourself or hire someone. To help you make this decision, let's review the pros and cons of each.

Managing the Property Yourself

Here are the pros and cons of managing the property yourself:

  • Pros: Managing the property yourself offers many benefits, including having greater control over the rental calendar, focusing on ensuring a positive customer experience, avoiding management fees, gaining experience and providing a personal touch.

  • Cons: As a property manager, you'll have to do all the related work yourself. This includes booking guests, creating an online listing, checking guests in, resolving any problems guests experience, collecting payments, managing taxes and scheduling cleaning and maintenance.

Hiring a Property Manager

The pros and cons of hiring a property manager are:

  • Pros: You will not have to deal with details like booking and cleaning services, nor will you have to learn everything about property management.

  • Cons: When you hire a property manager, you will have to pay management fees and will lose some control over your property.

2. Try to Get Reviews

One of the best tips when owning vacation rentals is to try to get reviews. Vacationers look at reviews when determining where to stay during their vacation. They are likely to trust rentals with more positive reviews and ratings. However, the occasional negative review won't harm your rental.

You can ask for reviews from your guests after their stay. Right after their stay is the best time to get reviews since the visit is fresh in their minds. To increase the chances of receiving a positive review, make sure you or the property manager answers all guest questions and needs. Guests appreciate promptness and professionalism.

Once you get reviews, try to respond to them. When you respond to guest reviews, you give the impression that you care about your guests' experience and satisfaction and aim to improve future experiences. Try to respond to as many positive and negative reviews as you can. Your response can be something as simple as thanking them for their stay.

3. List on Multiple Platforms

There are many platforms you can use to list your rental. Popular short-term rental sites include:

  • Airbnb

  • VRBO

  • HomeAway

4. Accurately Represent Your Rental

You want to paint an accurate picture of your rental for guests so they know what to expect. Some tips for creating an accurate representation of your rental include:

  • Keeping the description updated: If anything about your rental changes, make sure you update its description. You can include information about new shops or entertainment buildings in the area or renovations to the rental.

  • Using photos properly: Photos are an essential determining factor for potential renters. Your photos should be clear and eye-catching. You can arrange them in order so potential guests know how the rooms connect, use lighting techniques, add a floor plan and capture photos of the rooms from different angles. Also, include photos of surrounding places and things to do that would interest visitors.

5. Offer Simple Luxuries

Adding simple items to your rental can create a luxurious feel. Small items can increase your guests' happiness and do not have to be expensive. Some luxurious items include:

  • A greeting card or welcome note

  • Candles

  • A coffee maker

  • Organizers

  • Quality toilet paper

  • Foaming hand soaps

  • Commonly forgotten items, like toothbrushes and razors

  • Wi-Fi connectivity

  • Snacks

  • High-quality towels and linens

6. Maintain the Exterior

The property's exterior plays a large role in your guests' first impression. You want to trim any shrubs and trees with low-hanging branches, clean the porch and steps, ensure outdoor furniture is in good condition and clean any pools, grills, hot tubs or fire pits. It's also a good idea to have any cleaning services pay attention to the outside of the property when they come after each stay.

7. Update the Kitchen

Many guests who book short-term rentals want homes where they can cook. This helps them save money on eat-out expenses during their stay. Some things you can do to update your kitchen include:

  • Stocking the pantry with snacks.

  • Stocking the fridge with water and basic drinks.

  • Adding storage cabinets.

  • Improving the lighting.

  • Changing the faucets.

  • Updating the appliances.

  • Painting the cabinets, countertops or walls.

  • Buying better cutlery.

8. Add Entertainment

Something that will set your rental apart from others is an entertainment room. Many families don't have entertainment rooms in their homes, so adding one to your vacation rental would be a treat. Many people try to disconnect from technology and screens while on vacation, and game rooms are a wonderful way to do that. You can include games like:

  • Darts: Darts are fun and engaging and can appeal to families with older children.

  • Air hockey: Air hockey is a popular arcade game that is fun for people of all ages. It provides an opportunity for friendly competition.

  • Table tennis: Also known as ping-pong, table tennis tables have come a long way in design. They look sleek and attractive and provide entertainment for families.

  • Foosball: Foosball encourages people to come together. Families have enjoyed this game for many generations and will continue enjoying it for many more.

  • Skee-Ball®: Bringing up nostalgic memories, Skee-Ball® is a classic game that most people have to go to the arcade to play. When you add one to your vacation rental, guests can play it in the comfort of their home away from home.

Make Your Entertainment Room Special With Furniture From HB Home

Entertainment rooms are valuable and unique in rentals because they give your guests a place to bond and relax. This makes a lasting impact on their stay. Not many rentals can boast of having an entertainment room, but yours could! Impress your guests with classic game room furniture from HB Home.

No game room is complete without classic games like pool, shuffleboard, darts and many other arcade and tabletop games. When you want quality, look no further than HB Home. Browse our entertainment room games or sleek pool tables to find what you need for your entertainment room.

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