If you want to be profitable and have long-term success, there are some vacation rental management essentials every beginner should know first.
Before diving in, here are tips from the experts at BookingTeam.com to help you navigate the space like a pro.
1. Consider the barriers to entry and plan ahead.
The first questions that you should ask are: What are the local regulations regarding vacation rentals? Will I be able to make a profit? What are the risks and costs?
From homeowners associations to local ordinances, the vacation rental industry is influenced by regulations. Depending on where your property is located, you may only be able to rent out your home for a certain amount of days per year. This may be the case in crowded cities like San Francisco and London, so make sure to check your local requirements and determine if it is right for you.
2. Develop processes and services.
Managing a vacation rental is more complex than posting a few photos on Airbnb and waiting for the bookings to come in. Who will be responsible for housekeeping? What will the check-in and check-out process be like? How will you verify guests’ identities? What insurance do you need? How will you exchange keys with guests when they arrive and depart? For instance, BookingTeam.com hosts will often employ key exchange and luggage services (City CoPilot). These are all essential issues that need to be addressed from the start if you want to manage a vacation rental.
3. Search for local vacation rental listings.
Like any business, successful vacation rental owners do their research on competitors, guests and the industry as a whole. Before you even create your property listings, do a quick search for similar properties in your area on popular rental sites. Note the top properties and what they do right, and try to capture those qualities in your own listings. Also, take note of the ways that your vacation rental is different from them. You may be located closer to main attractions or you may have a unique architectural design or scenic views. Those differences will be key in standing out from your competition later on.
4. Treat it like a business.
You may be able to make a quick buck here and there if you only occasionally check in, update and polish your property listings. However, you won’t make a significant profit, and your bookings will likely become stagnant. In fact, you could be losing money by not investing the time and resources towards managing your vacation rental consistently.
To maximize the revenue potential of your vacation rental, you need to think of it as a sustainable business. Create a documented business plan outlining objectives, goals, budget, etc. You may also want to include marketing and growth strategy.
Another key point to consider is a team. If you want to scale your business, you will likely want professional expertise and a support team to help you manage the workload. BookingTeam.com’s team of professionals provides 24/7 assistance to our hosts and help ease the day-to-day requirements that come with managing rental properties.
There are many different reasons why hosts decide to enter the vacation rental space. You may have an unused vacation property and need to cover the costs for upkeep or a spare room and want to make some extra cash. No matter the reason, the vacation rental industry is booming and can be highly profitable, with the right tools, team, and strategy behind you.