Nearly 100% of American workers say that vacation time is critical. Some even say they’d take more vacation time over a pay raise. Since it is such an essential aspect of our lives, it’s important to know that we are vacationing in the right spot, in the right rental home, with the right people. Catering your vacation rental property to the right guest is an important way to minimize stressful renters and increase potential profits.
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Regardless of how many properties you own, it is a smart idea to use vacation rental software. Vacation rental software will help you manage each property so you can keep track of your Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, and HomeAway business in one place. In fact, with PMBO, you can manage those channels and more than 40 others in the same app.
In addition to helping you track your rental properties, vacation rental software will help you keep track of essential checklist items such as bookings, cleaning, maintenance, tax information, guest communication and more. However, owning a vacation rental is about more than just the software you use; it’s about the service you provide.
Here are some of the top industry tips for renting out a vacation rental home:
Be Familiar with ALL Rental Sites/Channels: While Airbnb tends to be the most dominant market channel, there are a significant number of sites to list vacation rental properties on. If nobody can find your rentals, it doesn’t matter how good of a rental property management software you are using. In addition to listing on Airbnb, consider HomeAway, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), and Vacation Home Rentals (by TripAdvisor). Getting enough exposure is the foundation of a solid rental business.
Only Use Professional Photography of the Home and Yard: Although smartphones have high-quality cameras, the photographs you take will not come close to comparing to professional photography. It is well worth the investment to hire someone to take professional photos of the home. The more photos, the better too. Be sure to highlight the best features of the property. If you have great landscaping, make sure there are plenty of pictures that show off the outside of the home. Indoor spa? Better get some photos of that too.
Always take photos of the home furnished as it will be when guests arrive. That means no adding prop furniture that creates false expectations. Additionally, work with the photographers schedule. They know what time of day is best for lighting to get the best picture possible. Once all the images are ready, group them into categories to help guests find what they are looking for and add captions to highlight unique features and amenities.
Create a Compelling Story: When you write the description of your property, make sure you do so with flair. Be detailed and tell a story about the home. Ultimately, this is a sale, and your writing should reflect sales copy. As you write about your property, consider who your ideal guests are and cater the content to that crowd. Attracting a wealthy couple for a weekend getaway will write very differently than some college roommates off for summer vacation. Be sure to include local attractions in the write up as well.
Getting Reviews: Reviews sell. Seriously. The more positive reviews you have on your listings, the more people will click and purchase. One of the major advantages to using a vacation rental software is your ability to collect reviews. The PMBO channel management software allows you to set up campaigns that will help get reviews from past guests. Be sure to tell guests that reviews help you attract new business and that you want to continue providing the best guest experience possible.
Avoid The Vampire Guest: Yes, these people exist. The ones who no matter what happens, will always find a reason to complain and make your life a nightmare. Remember, you are under no obligation to rent your home to everyone who asks. Declining offers is an important part of keeping your sanity throughout the process and a unique advantage to vacation rental management over long-term rentals. If someone is rude while they are inquiring about your property, it probably isn’t a good fit. Decline the offer and move on.