Series: Owners

7 Vacation Rental Tips for Owners

Posted on Jun 7, 2020

From cabins and condos to beach houses and city apartments, renting out your home as a vacation rental offers a great opportunity to make extra income.

Not only that, but it gives travelers, business professionals, and families a place to call home.

If you’re interested in renting out your house, we’ve put together some of our top vacation rental tips for owners to get you started. From business plans to photographers, let’s take a closer look at how to create a successful rental.

1. Create a Business Plan

Before you embark on the journey of renting your home, it’s a good idea to create a business plan. Figuring out how to rent a vacation home comes with a lot of fine details, but if you do it right, it can offer freedom, flexibility, and financial security. To create your business plan, consider what your overall goals are for your rental property. Are you looking to just break even, so that you can have more opportunities to travel while your house is rented out? Or are you looking to use your real estate strictly as an investment while you live somewhere else? If you’re clear about your goals, you’ll have better luck in the long run. Managing a vacation rental can be challenging, but if you’re up for the challenges, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Vacation rental property management doesn't have to be time-consuming, but it will require significant time to set-up your vacation rental home at first. Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re interested, and that is a great first step. Next step: grab an empty journal or a notepad and create that business plan you’ve been dreaming of.

2. Use Professional Photography

A good photograph can go a long way. When we say “professional photography” it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shell out tons of money for professional images. If you have the option of doing that, wonderful, but if you’re just getting started there are other ways you can get creative. Photographs are important for your vacation rental listing whether you use a well-known vacation rental site or create your own site. Vacationers use photos of rental properties to help them make a booking decision. To ensure that your images look professional, start with a clean canvas. Viewers' eyes will go toward things like trash bags or piles of dirty laundry that found their way into an image. One of our most important vacation rental tips for owners when it comes to photo-taking is to keep it clean and appealing. Place some fresh flowers on the table, a bottle of wine on the kitchen counter, and a neatly stacked pile of books on the nightstand. These days, smartphones can take amazing images—it’s just about setting up the shot. Make your bed. Fluff the pillows. Get the bathroom sink looking sparkling and shiny and snap away. The point of images is to bring a potential renter into the world. You want them to answer “yes” when they ask themselves—could I make this my home-away-from-home?

3. Set a Good Price

One of our top tips for renting your vacation home is to set a good price. You want to make sure it’s a price that’s mutually beneficial for both parties. If you price your rental too low, you run the risk of feeling burnt out and not feeling as though you’re making the monetary return you’d like to. If you price your rental too high, you might not receive enough interested vacationers who are willing to book. The key is to find the sweet spot between the two with a nightly rate that makes the stay well worth it to both the homeowner, you, and the vacation rental guests. Price the rental in a range that feels fair to you. Though you want to maintain consistency, depending on your rental set-up, rents can fluctuate based on availability and demand. If you have a lakeside property, for instance, this might be priced higher on the 4th of July weekend than it would any other time of year. If you know your property and know your rental audience, you can do your best to set a good price and keep business running. If you don’t know where to start, a good thing to do is browse around the neighborhood. Do your research and see what price comparable rentals are going for in your area. A cute bungalow most likely goes for less than a big neighborhood home and an apartment in the city is probably priced higher than an apartment in a rural area. When you peek around, consider things like home size, amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of construction, layout, updates, and view. You can also enlist the help of a realtor friend to help you determine what your right price may be. Once you answer the question of how much can I rent my house for, you can dive into the next par t of the process.

4. Promote and Advertise

With the plentiful options for social media, promoting and advertising is easier than ever before. Set up some accounts dedicated solely to your rental property, like an Instagram and Facebook account. Before you post, make sure your image is high-quality and your caption is thoughtful. Again, you want to remember to draw people into your space. What makes it special? What’s the story behind it? One of our vacation rental tips for social media is to find something that makes your rental stand out from the crowd. Maybe it has a deck that overlooks the city skyline or charming backyard where renters can start their day with a cup of coffee and a breath of fresh air. Try to post professional-looking images to maintain continuity and avoid posting any that are blurry or show the property in an unflattering light. With social media, you can also run promotions to drum up business, like 2 nights for the price of 1 or holiday specials. Ask around with local businesses in the community to see if you can post flyers or ads for your rental home. Some local businesses might even want to partner by offering discounted coupons for their products or services to those who book your vacation rental. Triple check your vacation rental listing to ensure that you have every detail documented. High-quality photos and a strong listing will help your overall vacation rental marketing.

5. Rental License

Lots of people wonder, do I need a license to rent my house? The answer to this question varies from state-to-state and city-to-city. Check with your Department of Housing to see whether or not you need a license to rent your home. This is one of the small tips for renting your vacation home that can make a big difference. If your state does require a license to rent, then you are not legally allowed to gather rental income without one. It might sound like a headache, but once you fine-tune the details, you can move forward accordingly. You can also hire a licensed property manager, company, or agent who will screen applicants and help you go through the process professionally and with ease. A property manager can act as a vacation rental manager for your property and facilitate a great guest experience. A vacation rental manager can also answer traveler questions for you.

6. Focus on Details

The details of a home are what help it to create lasting memories for those who rent it. Tons of people have stories of rentals they experienced as children or young adults or times when they set out on an epic family vacation in a new city or town and spent time at a vacation rental. One thing that helps to create these memories is the little details. Setting out a bag of fresh local coffee ensures that your renters can have a taste of the local area on their first morning in a new place. Some vacation rental owners will greet guests with a welcome basket or put together a binder filled with menus from their favorite local restaurants. Quality linens and comfy towels help people feel at home — as do good bath products and attention to cleanliness and comfort. When talking about vacation rental tips for owners, it’s important to keep the li ttle details in mind. After all, these little details are what come together to make a big impact on those who are renting out your home.

7. Use Zeus

If you research all that how to rent a vacation home entails, and you aren’t interested in doing the heavy lifting, that’s where Zeus comes in. When you sign a revenue-share lease with us, you can enjoy hands-off, full-service property management, and care without lifting a finger. Sit back, collect rent, and let us do the rest. To see if your property qualifies, visit our website, enter your address, and get an offer. We have rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C., New York Metro, and Boston. We believe that home is more than a refuge—it’s where we work, play, and socialize. For our renters, the experience guarantees all the comforts of home combined with hotel-level care and support around the clock. We’re here for our owners and our renters.

From setting the right price to promotion inspiration, we hope these vacation rental tips help you on your quest to rent out your home.

Once you nail down the details, a vacation rental home offers a fantastic opportunity for both owners and renters. It helps people immerse themselves in different parts of the world and helps you make an income.

From all of us at Zeus, we’re wishing you the best of luck moving forward! If you need help with anything at all, just drop us a line. We’re always here to help.

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