Vacation homeowners can easily become overwhelmed by the task of figuring out how to manage a vacation rental property. So, we suggest taking it one step at a time, getting the foundational elements in place and operationalizing every aspect you can.
Create a Budget
The first step in our list of how to manage a vacation rental property is creation of a budget. It is important that you account for utility bills, property maintenance, housekeeping, household supplies, and the inevitable wear and tear on furniture, electronics, and appliances. Set your rates after analyzing similar houses in the market and project your income taking into account the weeks you will be using your home and the occupancy rate you believe you will achieve.
Running a successful vacation home management business is dependent upon ensuring an exceptional guest experience. So, make sure your home is ready for rental guests. Lock your personal items in a storage closet. Determine how you will stock and stage your home for each rental. Create a checklist to use prior to each guest’s visit. You want to make sure everything is in working order and fully stocked. Create a manual that contains household instructions such as how to operate the remote. Plan for a meet and greet with each guest so they can be walked through your vacation rental property and educated on how to use all the electronics and appliances.
Out of all items in our list of how to manage a vacation rental property, having a centralized calendar is business critical. Your home will be listed on numerous websites, and your centralized calendar should feed these listings. It should include holds (when you are working to close a reservation), booked stays and your blocked personal and maintenance days.
Reservation Management System
Choose wisely because your reservation management system will be the backbone of your vacation rental business. You’ll want a reliable system that will track: dates on hold, confirmed reservations, special arrangements, signed rental agreements, down payments, final payment and all other guest related information. A system that facilitates the confirmation of this information with your guests is ideal.
In order to reach a broad base of potential renters you’ll want to make sure your home is listed on all the top rental listing sites. The game is ever changing with new players entering the arena all the time. Research your competition to ensure you are positioned and priced well. Continually monitor your page rank and plan to regularly optimize your listings. If your vacation rental property is not on the first page of search results, it’s literally not on the map and sites are continually changing the factors that contribute to rank. So, as part of how to manage a vacation rental property, plan to keep a watchful eye on the ever-changing rental marketplace.
Deciding to turn your vacation home into a rental property is a big commitment, however there are numerous professionals in the vacation rental business who already know how to manage a vacation rental property and can help those that do not have the time or expertise to do it all themselves. Engaging a professional property manager, concierge, housekeeper, and vacation rental agent will ensure you have allocated the necessary time and expertise required for success.
When figuring how to manage a vacation rental property, be as prepared as possible. Operationalize as much as you can and put a system of checks and balances in place to ensure your business runs like clockwork.
Ready to give it a go? We can help. Elite Destination Homes has been marketing an international portfolio of multimillion-dollar luxury vacation homes since 2005. We have helped numerous homeowners launch their vacation homes for rent. Contact us today. We can answer any further questions you may have about how to manage a vacation rental property.