by Tina Martin of Ideas Inspired
Before investing money into a short-term rental property, you want to know that the dollars and cents add up. The success of a vacation rental depends on a variety of factors, including its location, amenities, and how you market the property. This guide will get you started on the path toward purchasing a vacation rental property that’s destined for success.
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The Right Location for a Vacation Rental
It’s no surprise that the most successful vacation rentals are located in places that people like to vacation. Whether a beach town or a ski town, buying a property in a popular travel destination is the first step toward a profitable vacation rental.
Even within a tourist town, there are good locations and bad locations for a vacation rental property. Travelers want accommodations with convenient access to outdoor activities, restaurants, shopping, and other amenities. Your agent can help you find properties within walking distance or a short drive to the attractions that matter most to vacationers.
Outfitting Your Vacation Rental
A great location is a start, but it’s not enough to attract renters to your property. You also need to design a space that draws people in.
A vacation rental should feel bright, clean, and spacious. You can incorporate trendy elements and local character, but avoid creating a space that feels overdone. Not only do cluttered spaces photograph poorly, but lots of stuff also means lots of items for renters to break.
That’s not to say your rental property should feel Spartan, but you should keep maintenance in mind when designing the space. Choose furniture with easy-clean fabrics, hard flooring over carpeting, and durable linens and appliances that stand up to repeated use. Keep décor stylish but simple, and avoid decorating with lots of trinkets you’ll need to clean around.
A vacation rental also needs to have the right amenities. Upgrades like smart keypad locks, on-site laundry, and a stocked kitchen don’t cost much, but add immense value to your property. TurnoverBnB lists other amenities in-demand with travelers who stay at short-term rentals.
Marketing Your Vacation Rental Property
You can design the most incredible vacation rental, but if you don’t market it right, you’ll have trouble securing reservations.
Start with photography. Photographs are the primary way that travelers screen vacation rental properties, so it’s crucial that photographs showcase your property’s best side. Stage the property before taking pictures, and if you don’t have a high-quality camera or photography skills, hire someone who does.
Property owners should also list their property on multiple sites to maximize exposure. Managing multiple booking sites is a lot to keep up with, so use a property management service to maintain listings and respond to user inquiries on your behalf. A property management agency can also coordinate local cleaning and maintenance, handle legal and tax compliance matters, and manage the guest experience so all you have to do is enjoy the profits from your investment.
Another important aspect you’ll need to make time for is setting up a legal business entity. If you’ve never set up a legal business entity before, start by researching which business structure will best fit your needs. The majority of those who own rental properties agree that a limited liability corporation (LLC) works best because your LLC can be used for property purchases. Plus, any accumulated debts belong to the business and the business alone. If you do opt to set up an LLC, it can feel overwhelming. The process can be pared down to a few simple steps, but you may feel most at ease working with a company that can easily guide you through the process.
Vacationers have a lot of options when choosing a short-term rental for their trip. If you want them to choose your property, you need to understand what separates an adequate vacation rental from an amazing one. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start searching for the right property for your investment.
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