How to Start a Vacation Rental Business

Pro Tips on How to Start a Vacation Rental Business

Starting a new business is always an exciting experience. If you have a property you would love to turn into a business, starting a vacation rental business won't be a bad idea.

Owning a short term rental property will give you the exciting opportunity to meet new people, learn a whole lot of new things and most importantly, make more money. If the vacation rental business sounds like something you would want to venture into, here are some pro tips you can use to help you launch and run a successful vacation rental business.

Create a Real Estate Business Plan

Before starting your vacation rental business, you should know what is required of you as the owner of the real estate business. You also need to understand all the roles you need to play to keep the business running smoothly.

One common reason why people fail in this business is that they got into the business without adequate knowledge of how things work and what is expected of them. One other common mistake vacation rental property owners make is that they treat their investments in the vacation rental business as if it is not really a business investment.

As a matter of fact, there is more to a vacation rental business than simply getting your property listed on Airbnb and sitting back for the returns to start rolling in. For your vacation rental business to succeed, you have to develop a business plan for your vacation rental business the same way you would have done for any other business. That said, the first step you should take when starting up your vacation rental business is to make your business plans spelled out in black and white.

Get your Rental Property Ready for Guests

After drafting out a very clear business plan, the next important step to take would be to get the rental property ready for your guests. You have to put the comfort and convenience of your guests into consideration while furnishing the property. This will involve providing important items like bed frames, curtains, lamps, nightstands, hairdryers, hangers, can-openers, and tissues.

It is always helpful to make a list of everything you need for your rental property furnishing. Add everything you would want to see in a vacation rental property if you were to be the guest. The first set of guests will help you know what is still missing and what most guests need.

Set a Reasonable Price

One of the most important things you should pay attention to as a vacation rental property owner is to arrive at an agreeable price for the room, home or apartment. If you are an Airbnb host, you must ensure your rates are not too high in order not to scare the guests away.

On the other hand, charging a very low rate will make you lose money on your investment and possibly attract the wrong kind of guests. Avoid the mistake of setting your rates based on your emotional attachment to the property or your financial status.

The right way to go about the issue of pricing is to check out other properties that are in the same category as yours and compare their rates. This will help you arrive at a competitive rate that will benefit both you and the guests.

Advertise your Vacation Rental Property

Once you have taken care of all the furnishings and pricing, the next step you should go to would be to advertise your property. You can search for popular listing sites and get your property listed on as many of them as possible.

Some popular sites you should consider listing your property on include Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, VRBO.com, etc. With your vacation rental property listed on these sites, you will certainly reach the right people. You can take your advertising further by using as many social media platforms as possible to tell people about your vacation rental property.

Social media is the new advertising tool that offers you higher visibility and wider reach. You need to create a very compelling description to make sure your property stands out from thousands of other short term vacation rental properties out there. Make sure you are honest and creative in your description.

Don't forget to let the potential guests know the neighborhood where your property is located and all nearby attractions they should look forward to enjoying when they stay at your property. Pay attention to what the quest stands to gain by renting your property and end the piece with your contact information.

Manage your Bookings and Inquiries

Once bookings start coming in, make sure you update your calendar regularly to avoid taking more bookings than your property can carry. There are different online tools that can make this task easy and hassle-free for you.

As a matter of fact, you can take advantage of some modern property rental tools that can automate everything about your vacation rental property like listings, bookings, checking in, services, payments, checking out, etc. Make sure you respond to all inquiries in less than 24 hours to build credibility and trust.

You can set up an autoresponder to inform potential guests you will respond to their inquiries as soon as possible. This makes you look very professional and attracts more bookings in the long run.

Take Care of your Rental Property

When it comes to ensuring your vacation rental property is properly maintained, you will have to decide on whether you want to manage your property yourself or hire a professional to help you manage it. You have to make provision for cleaning the property before and after each guest checks and leaves.

You can consider engaging a few hands for the maintenance, accounting, and taking care of other aspects of running the rental business. You can get other members of your family involved so you don't get overwhelmed with the responsibility of running the business alone.

Making adequate preparations to ensure your rental property is well maintained will ensure your guests have a memorable experience and leave you some recommendations and positive reviews at the end of their stay.

If you have been unsure whether to start a vacation rental business or not, you have to make up your mind and give it a shot now. It is one business that will bring you lots of returns and rewards if you follow the pro tips outlined here.