With vacation rentals becoming increasingly popular, it’s really important that landlords understand how to differentiate their property from all the others in the crowded marketplace. Here are some vacation property do’s and don’ts that will ensure your rental stands out from the crowd.
DO include professional photos in the listing. People are visual and they’ll be looking for something to jump out at them when they’re scrolling through listings. Make sure the property looks its best and the photos are properly lit. Poorly lit photos look terrible and people will just scroll right past.
DON’T just include photos of the property. Give people a feel for the lifestyle by including photos of outdoor activities and local attractions. If the property is on a lake take some photos of people boating or waterskiing; if it’s a winter chalet get photos of people skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. Remember that you’re not just selling the property, you’re selling a whole experience.
DO make sure you’ve got all the modern amenities people have come to expect. Free Internet access should be a given, so don’t charge an extra fee. Just work the cost into your rental price. If people see an extra fee for Wi-Fi they’ll resent it.
DON’T expect your renters to live in a time warp. People often fill their vacation homes with old, second hand furniture that’s shabby and outdated. This is a huge mistake. Remember that people are on vacation – they want to feel a little pampered. Make sure your décor is current and up-to-date as well as comfortable. And make sure to provide nice sheets and towels. No one wants to feel like they’re getting all the old dingy ones you’ve brought from home.
DO consider making your vacation property pet friendly. People often want to take their pets with them on vacation and some are even willing to forgo other amenities in order to make it happen. If a potential renter has to choose between a property that doesn’t allow pets and one that allows them but charges an extra fee, they’re likely going to choose the one that allows them.
DON’T forget to fully stock the kitchen with everything someone would want to prepare and serve a full meal. Make sure to include:
- Plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery for 10-12 people
- Microwave oven
- Toaster/toaster oven
- Coffee Maker (and filters)
- Tea kettle
- Pots and pans
- A selection of sharp knives
- Bottle opener
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Vegetable peeler
- Serving bowls
- Kitchen towels
- Dish detergent
DO provide your renters with some fun extras such as sports and activity equipment. Pick up some baseball gloves, badminton racquets, a croquet set – whatever. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest, just a few small items will do the trick.
DO provide your guests with a detailed informational booklet or packet pertaining to the property and the area. Make sure to include information about how the property works (heat, water, etc.), and info about the activities, attractions and amenities in the area. Also include the phone numbers and locations of any emergency services such as the closest hospital, police, and fire station.
DON’T forget to include instructions about what people should do when they leave the property. Having a checklist near the front door will remind people to turn down the heat/air conditioning, turn off the water if necessary, how to lock up, etc.
Remember, when it comes to owning a vacation property, not only do you want to rent it, but you want to get repeat renters who will come back year after year. So make sure there first experience is a great one.
Photos courtesy of Skit Inc.