You might be thinking of buying a ski-in/ski-out condo at your favorite resort. Maybe you are looking at picking up a small home in a busy tourist area. Perhaps a cool condo at a fabulous beach resort is more your speed. Whatever your preference, buying a short-term rental property can be an excellent investment that generates additional revenue. Let’s take a quick look at a few steps that you can take to maximize short-term rental revenue from your investment properties.
by Brent Pope
Upgrade Your Home to Give It a Luxurious Feel
It should go without saying that if you want maximize short-term rental revenue you must offer a lot of value. It’s not enough to fill the house with décor and furnishings that you find attractive or luxurious, you must meet your target customer’s expectations and desires. The easiest way to do this is to spend time looking at other short-term rentals in the area to see how they are finished and decorated. The homes with the highest occupancy rates are going to give you a good indication of what your likely customers are going to be looking for. Just be sure there is not another reason for the high occupancy – like a nightly rate way below market, or a desirable location you cannot match such as walking distance to a popular music venue. A great resource for finding comparative rental properties in your area is Mashvisor. They offer a 7 day free trial you can use to research your first investment property.
Once your property is decorated and furnished to the neighborhood standard, be sure to add amenities. High-speed internet with Wi-Fi access and a list of local activities and hot-spots are a good start. Also, be sure to leave a 24 hour emergency phone number just in case anything goes wrong.
Keep Your Investment Property CLEAN and WELL MAINTAINED
If you really want to maximize short-term rental revenue then you will be working hard to get great reviews and recommendations from your guests. One bad review can set your hard work back more than you know. Be sure to perform regular maintenance on the property and ensure your property is thoroughly cleaned after each turnover of guests. Typically, you will be charging your guests a separate cleaning fee so make sure you are charging enough to pay for a thorough cleaning. Inspect how your cleaning crew is doing and let them know you will not accept sloppy work. After all, don’t you expect the same when you stay at a hotel or short-term rental?
Professional Photos and Copywriting
If you’re renting your property out to short-term or vacationing tenants you’re most likely going to use online services like VRBO or AirBnB to attract new business. These sites so have a lot of visitor traffic, but they also mean a lot of competition. It’s well worth paying a professional photographer to take pictures of your home. A professional copywriter to write ad copy is another great touch. These are one-time costs that can help you to defeat your competition and close high-ticket clients.
Cater to Large Groups or a Niche Crowd
There are a number of “niche” travelers out there. A great way to maximize short-term rental revenue is to cater to these groups. You’ll find that you’re able to charge more than the average vacation property. For example, you may be buying a home in a popular wedding destination that can be marketed to couples who are being married. If you’re buying a larger 3 or 4 bedroom home, be sure to note that it can house large groups who may be traveling together. Also be sure to take your niche into account when researching finishes and furniture as described above.
Referrals and Repeat Business
Finally, don’t forget to ask your clients for a referral. Ask them to tell their friends and family how much they enjoyed their stay and what a great host you are. Also, invite them to return in the future and maybe offer them a discount for repeat visits.
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