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10 Vacation Rental Tips For Owners To Generate Profit

With the rise of AirBnB and VRBO style sites, many property owners have been turning to the vacation rental niche to start generating 2-3x more profit from spots in high demand.

If this is your first time rolling with a short-term vacation rental property, then there are things you need to know that might otherwise cost you. Most profitable property owners have already gone through these growing pains, but you don’t have to.

The primary things we’ll cover are marketing, customer experience, and legalities.

But first, a few basic Q & A.

Are vacation rentals profitable?


As long as you have everything in place, have a low vacancy rate, and have priced your rental appropriately, you can earn a nice passive income from each property.

On average, a rental property can earn $25,000 – $35,000 annually.

Once you systemize and operate your rental property (or properties) as a business, then you’ll be able to scale it out even further for higher profit gains.

Are vacation rentals a good investment?

We think so.

The reason is because there are various things you can do in real estate, but getting a vacation rental is one way to ensure a positive cash flow.

The challenge is to make sure that you are getting a property that will be in demand.

Some basic research in your area will be able to help determine how other properties are doing with bookings and how they are positioned to the market.

The barrier to entry is a lot less with short-term rental properties, so we encourage you to learn more about using them as revenue streams.

Now, to start with getting your rental property out there…

Marketing your vacation rental

Marketing is the core of every business, and your rental property is no exception.

While there are many different ways to start marketing for potential bookings, these are the primary tips that will get you the most bank for your buck.

1. Photography

This should go without saying, but photography is crucial when it comes to advertising your property.

No matter where you start showcasing, your photos need to be on point. And having a video is even better when you want to stand out.

You want to make sure you have both the interior and exterior covered, as well as the general vicinity around the property.

Get professional photos done with staging (if necessary) and excellent lighting. It would be best to hire a company that specializes in real estate photography.

This is one of those things where you probably don’t want to rely on a smart phone camera.

2. Listings

With your photos and videos, you’re now ready to start putting up listings for your rental.

Sites like AirBnB and VRBO are the go-to when it comes to listing vacation rentals.

The key to making sure your listing gets noticed (and ranks well) is to do your research.

Look up all similar listings in your area to learn how they are structuring their titles, descriptions, and all the extra information they provide.

You can also look at how many bookings they get on average in recent months as well as bookings for future dates to gauge their success/booking rate.

This will give you a great baseline to start fleshing out your listing for writing your descriptions and putting together your info and photos.

3. Ads

With your photos and videos, you’re also now prepared to push ads to your listings.

The two most important platforms to start publishing your ads will be Facebook and Instagram.

The nice thing about these two platforms is that you take advantage of Facebook’s interests and behaviors.

You can start by targeting anyone who is interested in the areas where your property resides, or you can target anyone interested in activities in those areas.

One thing to keep in mind is that AirBnB is going to automatically build Facebook ads to your listings to anyone who has been searching in that area.

The idea here is that you want to start targeting folks who may have not started looking for places to stay just yet, and you want to use different types of headlines.

Let’s say your rental is in Miami — AirBnB ads are likely going to say “Here are some other places to stay in Miami”.

You may want to make your headline: “If you are looking for a great place in Miami with a high walkability score, check out my rental!”

With Ads you’re going to spend a little more money, but there are benefits to doing this.

The first is that, with a new listing, you’re going to start attracting more attention to it.

The second is that you’re going to help get bookings faster that will also get you reviews faster, which are very important for your listing’s success.

Your customer experience

Now that you’re attracting people to your rental, the next most important thing is focusing on their experience.

The experience is one of the major reasons people enjoy rental properties over standard hotel rooms.

4. Greeting

It’s important that you begin by greeting each customer after they have booked your rental.

A very nice, hospitable greeting along with clear instructions makes the entire experience so much easier.

It also eases the mind for someone who is totally unfamiliar with your property and area.

You also want to make the best first impression for once they enter your rental.

We suggest having a greeting by the front door along with a reference for everything might need.

This could include nearby restaurants, stores, house rules and information (like wifi), as well contact information.

Anything you can think of that may improve a renter’s stay, you should have it all in the beginning.

You may decide to also take it a step further with some goodies.

These might include things like small candies, water (always valuable), coupons, and snacks.

5. Theme

One way to make your customer experience awesome is by putting effort into the interior design.

Many of the most successful rental properties have focused on a theme.

This might depend on the location the property is based in such as a beach, or something that locals tend to enjoy like a football team.

You can even have different themes per room, depending on how big the home is.

Ultimately, the theme will make it easier for you to decide on decoration, and it will give your guests the experience they want away from home.

6. Amenities

Make sure that you provide as much as you can to your guests in terms of convenience.

This includes kitchen items, appliances, and bonuses like water or bathroom supplies.

Anything that you can add becomes a bonus in their eyes.

If your home or complex includes pools or community amenities, then those will also be a value-add for your guests.

Your legal set up and precautions

There are some basic things that you’ll want in place to cover yourself.

This stuff isn’t sexy by any means, but necessary before you start renting to guests.

7. Your legal entity

Make sure that you have an LLC in place before you start renting.

While most folks would say you don’t need a formal entity unless you have more than one property, you have some added protections when you operate under an LLC.

This includes protections against law suits that may try to go after other assets.

8. Insurance

Although platforms like AirBnB carry insurance policies for theft or damage, you want to have your own insurance coverage.

Your own insurance plans will be valid no matter what method you use to attract guests to your property.

Additionally, AirBnB is known for trying to use any loophole or trick to get out of paying out on insurance claims.

Because of that, you’ll want to keep yourself covered. Theft and damage to property is very real, especially when alcohol is involved.

9. Rental agreements

Your rental agreement will generally be part of the listing, depending on which platform you use.

But in case you get listings from other sources, you’ll want to have a rental agreement readily available.

Your agreement will cover things like cleaning fees, cancellation fees, damage, theft, house rules, rates, check in/out procedures, pet allowances, things like that.

You want to make sure that your guests are fully aware of everything in the agreement and have clearly signed/agreed to it.

This agreement will help protect your assets, especially if you have to bring in any third parties or insurance claims.

Your long term success…

10. Customer Reviews!

This is the last yet incredibly important point that we want to make.

Reviews from your guests are going to help future prospective guests make a decision on booking with your rental.

Many people filter based on reviews first, and then sort by best to last.

At that point, the number of reviews will actually sell the listing for you.

The key to getting customer reviews is going above and beyond with the experience that your guests will have with your property.

From the greeting to the snacks to the amenities and the communication.

This will set up a long-term profit stream for you with your rental property, bringing you constant cash flow.

Optimizing your rental property

We hope that with these tips you’ll be able to get your rental property set up and optimized to bring in a profitable stream of revenue for you.

An important aspect is to make sure that you continue listening to feedback from your guests and find ways to improve the overall experience.

Check back for more tips on vacation rental properties and ways to market your property in order to stand out in the crowd!

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Vacation Rental or Buy and Hold

Most property investors choose to invest in property that they purchase and rent or purchase and hold until the value increases.  Today more investors are turning to vacation rentals as a way to make some money.  It used to be that for vacation rentals to be profitable you had to buy expensive property in a tropical paradise and then rent it out, today with the likes of VRBO and Airbnb all of that has changed.  That leaves you with the question of whether to invest in vacation rentals or buy and hold regular property.  Let’s look at the advantages of both.

Buy and Hold

Buy and hold properties are simple, you find a decent property then you purchase it and rent it out or hang on to it until the price goes up enough to justify selling it.  That is it in a nutshell, you sell your property and collect your cash.  It has been one of the simplest business models to make money in real estate forever.  But it has its disadvantages too.

First, finding a good deal especially in a seller’s market can be difficult.  The market is unpredictable you can get stuck with property you can’t sell because the market has changed.  Lastly you are limited in the amount of money you can make per deal.  Rental income is subject to market conditions and you can’t change what you charge easily.

Vacation Rentals

It used to be that for a vacation rental to work you had to buy property in Florida or California, you paid an exorbitant price for it and you also were stuck with the burden of seeing that it gets rented.  Vacation rentals always seemed to an investor like a lot of work for very little reward.  The rentals were seasonal and your income was unpredictable.  But most of that has changed with sites like Airbnb.

Today making money from vacation rentals is much easier than it used to be.  You can earn an income with Airbnb with a simple one bedroom apartment, you don’t even need to purchase the property.  Today short term rentals are all over the world you don’t need property in a tropical paradise and it is far less seasonal.  Youc an cater to both vacationers and business travelers alike.  If you are unsure how to make money with an Airbnb then here is a guide.

Vacation rentals are still going to be work it isn’t quite passive income like a buy and hold property is, there will be tenant turnover.  You can still make some big profits with vacation rentals.

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How to Invest in Vacation Rentals

How to Invest in Vacation Rentals

Most property investors look for single family homes or apartment complexes for good opportunities neglecting the opportunity that vacation rentals can provide.  Investing in vacation rentals is a far different thing from a regular rental, business is seasonal and marketing can make or break you.  If you wondering how to invest in vacation rentals or how to make money from them then let us show you how.

Become a Marketing Expert

Marketing a vacation rental is nothing like trying to rent out one of your apartments.  You need to create some great listings with professional photos, your iPhone won’t cut it.  You need to make sure that you’re listed everywhere and that you’re getting enough exposure.  Your place needs to be THE place to stay when in town.  Remember you’re competing against other rentals and hotels as well.  Hotels have big marketing budgets.

Maintenance needs to be Done

Maintaining a vacation rental is not like an apartment building.  You cannot successfully profit from a rundown vacation home.  You will not only need to keep it clean but it has to be functionally pristine as well.  Apartment dwellers will overlook a running tap but vacation renters have much higher standards.

Offer Great Service

Being an attentive landlord is not the same as being an innkeeper.  You will need to answer all inquiries immediately both good and bad.  Add some personal touches to your vacation rental so that your guests not only remember you but are pleased by the service.

Know Your Market

Whoever rents from you has looked at the competition, you need to do the same.  Vacation rentals are a highly competitive industry and you need to understand the market.  Raising prices because your business is seasonal is something you need to do cautiously. You need to focus on offering value and an expert level of service.  Competitive pricing is only one part of your business, focus on occupancy more.

Details Matter

When it comes to vacation rentals you’re not just selling a place to stay but an experience.  It needs to be spotless every time someone new checks in, they need to be comfortable.  This is effectively their home away from home so make your guests feel like they are at home.  Yours needs to be the home they wish they had.

Vacation rentals can be incredibly lucrative if they are well managed and properly marketed.  Sites like VRBO and Airbnb have changed the landscape and offered plenty of opportunity to make some significant cash.

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