5 Tips To Get the Most Out Of Your Vacation Rental
Posted by Vamsee Lella // October 12, 2017
Anyone who’s invested in vacation property looks forward to the summer months with glee. This is the chance to make your investment worth it and bring in a big return on your investment. The peak rental season for vacation properties is usually May to September, success in these months will decide how well you do for the rest of the year.
But even when you’ve got a great location and there is high demand, there are still a few things you need to stay on top of, if your investment is to pay off. These five things will make sure you get the best return possible.
- Use Good Marketing. How well you market your property, will decide your success. A property that you can rent on a weekly basis offers the most flexibility, especially during peak season. A great property though won’t make you money, if there aren’t any tenants. Give yourself a head start, by staying on top of your marketing many months before peak season arrives. Start by researching the local area and getting your property in as many local listings as possible. This can include websites, brochures, travel agencies and any local publications. Ideally, you should build a relationship with a local real estate agent. This will cut into your profit margins, but considering the local knowledge and experience they can give you, it is well worth it. Once you have tenants, you should store them in a database and send them an email every season.
- Set Up A Good Team. Finding a good real estate agent is just the start. To succeed, you need to build a reliable team that can manage and take care of your property, both on and off season. Chances are you live a good distance from your rental property, making it inconvenient to head out there every time there is a problem or just to check up on the place. Start with finding a good property manager. They can manage the day to day operations of your property while ensuring it is well looked after and kept up to date. As well as a good manager, you’ll also need a reliable handyman for regular maintenance and repairs. You never know when bad weather may strike or when a toilet can get clogged up. Lastly, you’ll need a good cleaning company that can ensure your property is presentable for each new tenant. If you are renting out by the week to different clients, it is essential that everything be in working order when they arrive. Happy tenants will mean good reviews and referrals, which leads to future tenants.
- Keep Furnishings Maintained And Up-To-Date. While location is probably the most important aspect of a good vacation property, you should not overlook the other aspects. Up-to-date furnishings and amenities will make for happier tenants and a higher price on your property. Everything should look comfortable and be in good condition. Your property manager can be entrusted with making sure that any repairs or updates are done on time, while your cleaning company will keep everything in order. Base your furnishings and amenities on what other properties in the area have or look for ways to outdo them to make your property stand out. Your furnishings should strike an even balance between practicality and luxury, which doesn’t have to call for huge investments.
- Screen And Security Check Each Tenant. As a property owner, you want to find tenants but you also want to maintain your property at the same time. Properly screening tenants first, will allow you to weed out those likely to cause trouble. Any damage to the property or complaints by local-residents, can end up costing you a lot. Avoid this by going through each application and calling any references, before accepting a new tenant. If for whatever reason you don’t feel good about a tenant, then don’t hesitate to refuse. Once you’ve qualified a tenant, you have every reason to ask for a security deposit. Any damage to the property can end up being a nightmare, if you don’t have a deposit to cover it. Make this fully clear in your application form.
- Research Local Market. How you market and manage your property will have a lot to do with your local competition in the rental market. Take the time to properly research and understand what your competition is and what they’re offering. Rental prices and demand can change from year to year, so understand what to expect before the high season even arrives. If there is a large number of properties similar to yours that offer lower prices, you may need to trim your own prices or look for ways to upgrade your property and offer tenants something more. Even with a good property manager, you shouldn’t entrust everything to them. It’s your property and you have a responsibility to ensure it is looked after and being managed the way you desire. Understanding the market and any expected changes, will give you more control and allow you to market better.
Having your own vacation rental property can be a great addition to your investment portfolio and bring in a good return each season. To get the most out of it though requires a little work, but with clear priorities and ways to achieve them, you can reap the benefits.