Vacation rental properties are always in high demand, especially now that travel restrictions have been lifted. If you own a rental home, you probably took a financial hit last year. Fortunately, even though we’re almost through July, there’s still time to list your property and recoup some of the money you lost last year. Since many people wait until August to take a vacation, you can prepare now and enjoy the rewards all the way through September and October. In fact, if your rental property is located in the mountains or near a lake, you can probably rent it and make a profit all year long. Here are some of the best ways you can get your property ready for listing.
Prep the Exterior
When it comes to vacation rentals, most people focus on the location and amenities inside the unit. However, if you plan on listing photos of the exterior, you need to make sure there’s plenty of curb appeal. If you have a single-family home, spruce up the front and back lawn. Mow the grass and plant flowers. If the home has been left sitting since the beginning of the pandemic, you also need to power wash the exterior as well. Clean the windows and make sure the screens are in good condition too. This is especially important if your space is located in a warmer climate where renters will want to open the windows at night.
If you own a vacation apartment, you probably don’t have an outdoor area, unless it’s a balcony or patio. If so, create an inviting space where guests can relax after a day at the beach or sightseeing. Power wash the concrete and add a fresh coat of paint to the balcony railings. Patio furniture also needs to be weather-resistant, so choose pieces that dry quickly after a summer storm. Rattan or cast iron can withstand high temperatures and are easy to clean.
Make Necessary Renovations and Repairs
Before you begin cosmetic renovations, you need to make the necessary repairs. It’s a good idea to have an annual inspection of your HVAC unit and plumbing. The last thing you want is for the renter to run into plumbing problems or not have AC during the dead of summer. Create a list of everything you want to inspect or need repaired. Once completed, then you can move onto renovations.
Even if you performed routine upkeep on your vacation rental, there are still things you might want to upgrade. The carpet for rental property is one of the most important upgrades you can make. There are a variety of pilings you can choose from to make your space more inviting. For example, if you want to give your renters a more luxurious experience, you can install ultra-plush carpet in the bedrooms. If you cater to families with children, you want to choose carpeting that’s durable and stain-resistant. Also, don’t forget to choose colors that match the interior. Neutral colors go with everything type of interior design and come in a variety of light and dark hues.
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any sized room. As a matter of fact, choosing the right shade can make a small space appear larger and larger rooms feel cozier. Think about the overall mood you want to set. Rich, warm tones usually feel more sophisticated whereas lighter, more vibrant colors have a more carefree vibe.
When it comes to amenities, appliances are at the top of the list. Even if you rent to mostly couples without children, having high-tech appliances that make cooking or cleaning is a must. All of your appliances should be relatively new and in mint condition. This is especially true in the kitchen. People are paying for the experience, so no matter where your rental is located, it needs to match their expectations.
If you have a washer and dryer, make sure that it’s working properly. No one wants to spend the day at the beach and then haul their sandy towels and clothes to a nearby laundromat. If your rental property is older and needs major renovation, you can finance any needed improvements by taking out a personal loan through a private lender. While you can go the traditional route and apply at your bank or credit union, private lenders may offer lower interest rates and better repayments terms overall. This makes renovation projects easier and less stressful, especially if it’s a major overhaul.
Get Your Property Noticed
After you’ve prepped your space and it’s ready to rent again, it’s time to create a buzz and have people want to rent from you. There are a few ways you can go about this. In addition to asking friends or family to spread the word, you can create online listings. There’s no shortage of rental platforms to choose from. Some of the most popular include:
After you’ve chosen your platform, you can then enlist the help of a vacation rental management company. If you choose to go this route, you should interview at least two or three companies before deciding. Inquire about their marketing strategies, how they handle bookings and cancellations and how long they’ve been in business. You should also ask whether they’ve been rated by the Better Business Bureau.
Once you’ve made your decision, you then need high-quality photos of your vacation home. You can either take them yourself or hire someone to do it. If you’re working with a vacation rental management company, they probably have their own photographer who can take the photos. The goal is to post photos that are realistic and show off your home’s best attributes. Take note that if you do hire an outside photographer, they often use wide-angle lenses when shooting interiors. This makes smaller spaces appear larger than they really are, which could lead to issues once your guests arrive. Be sure to mention the exact dimensions to avoid conflict and potentially bad online reviews.