Temperatures are rising, students are celebrating, and spring allergies are slowly subsiding. Yes, summer is here, and for owners of vacation rental properties, that means a lot more than just popsicles and pool parties.
These summer months can be the most profitable months of the whole year if you’re prepared, but it’s hard to know just what to do and where to start. If you’re wondering how to prep your place for a busy summer season, here are some pointers about how to get started.
1. Establish the Right Perspective
The success of your vacation rental depends less on good weather or good prices than it does on your smart management skills. The qualities you demonstrate as a rental owner will have significant repercussions on the number of customers you can attract and maintain, so before looking at your property, take a good look at yourself.
The most successful vacation rental owners view their properties as a business—one that requires effort, investment, and strategy. Having a professional mindset will change the way you manage your properties, improving your guests’ experience and your profit margins simultaneously. So set some personal goals and follow the example of other successful rental owners so you can make your rental the most popular place in town.
2. Evaluate Your Staff
Part of evaluating yourself is objectively analyzing what your involvement will be in your rental business. What tasks will you complete yourself, and what might you delegate to others? If you intend to run your rental without assistance, set aside time to address the unexpected and respond to customers’ needs. Your personal involvement can play a big part in the customer experience and the long-term success of your rental.
If you’re on the fence about hiring help, you’re not alone. It’s hard to know just how demanding your seasonal rental business will be, or if you even have the necessary skills to maintain and manage the property. Consider finding a property management consultant to see if they can give you some direction on which method would be best for your property.
3. Pick the Right Price
Your nightly and weekly rates will be one of the biggest determining factors in whether a customer chooses your property or the rental down the street. One study of vacation rental customers found that more than 75% chose to stay in a private rental because it was “less expensive than staying in a commercial hotel, inn or motel.”
Price matters, so you’ll want to be careful about selecting yours. Take your competitors’ pricing into account, or use an automatic pricing service to find a value that will entice customers and give you a solid income.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Marketing
Whether you have your own website or you’re using host sites like Airbnb, you need to maximize your web presence to reach out to potential customers. The pictures you post and the property description that you share can encourage renters to book with you or send them searching for better options, so establishing a solid marketing strategy for your vacation rental is vital to the short- and long-term success of your business.
5. Get Your Property Up to Code
Now is the time to whip out the hammer. Start with the basics, like checking your air conditioner and the fire detectors. You can also make your property more appealing (and more secure) by investing in smart technology for your rental home, like a smart thermostat that can ensure your property stays safe and comfortable in the summer heat.
Once you’re sure that everything inside is functioning properly, step outside and spend some time evaluating the exterior of your home. Replace any burned-out security lighting bulbs, and make sure walkways are clean and clear.
6. Upgrade Your Appeal and Amenities
The front of your property is the first thing guests will see, so you want to make a good impression. If your vacation rental has a yard, spend some time pulling weeds, watering garden spaces, and mowing the lawn. You can also add to your curb appeal by doing something as simple as painting the door or adding window boxes filled with fresh and fragrant herbs.
In addition to inviting landscaping, some special indoor features can also help distinguish your property and entice potential customers to book with you. Amenities like new appliances, a stocked bookshelf or refrigerator, local coupons and guidebooks, or a personalized welcome note can go a long way in securing customers and their continued loyalty.
Take advantage of these busy summer months and maximize the success of your vacation rental with these simple tips. And if you have any summer rental tips that didn’t make this list, share them in the comments.