Short-term rentals have exploded in popularity since the inception of services like Airbnb and VRBO. More and more homeowners are opting for this method of rental for multiple reasons and to fulfill multiple needs. Not only do they own the property, in some cases for vacation purposes – but the property also becomes an essential rental income source. Here are a few tips to improve your short-term rental game.
Short-term rentals: Furniture
The first thing many new short-term rental property owners need to decide is if they are going to have furniture or not. Whether it be including beds, a chest of drawers or two, or furnishing the entire space, there are different pros and cons.
The biggest pro is that you can charge more for the property, with the downside being you have to make a bigger initial investment. While this isn’t a problem if it pays off, you may want to get a few tenants under your belt first and then use those profits to furnish the space.
Marketing, especially when you are starting, is vital to success. Unless you live somewhere that only has a dozen more houses, and none of them are for rent, you are going to have a ton of competition and a lot of homes that will be bigger, offer more facilities, etc.
However, if you utilize the internet and social media effectively, you can get in front of more eyes than the competition. Don’t just rely on listing websites; use the other tools at your disposal for a ton of free advertising.
Hiring a property manager is key
When you can afford it, if you have multiple properties or don’t live near your property, you should consider hiring a property manager. The biggest benefit of a property manager is that they can handle the day-to-day tasks associated with your rental.
If this isn’t something you do full-time, you are more than likely busy for most of the day, Monday to Friday. A property manager can handle bookings, maintenance and cleaning teams, assist with renter queries and issues, etc.
Offer attractive extras
In the short-term rental market, the more you can set yourself apart from the masses, the better. To do this, try to offer as many attractive extras as you can. A garden service, a cleaner, internet access, a Netflix account; all of these things add a ton of value to your property.
You must remember that most of the people who will stay at your property might be there for business, a holiday, or something similar. This means they will often just have their luggage; if you can give them all the extras they would have at their own home, you will have a very happy renter.
Have maintenance connections
Maintenance should be a top priority when renting properties, and the best way to stay on top of this is to build connections with service providers. Having a working relationship with a plumber, electrician, cleaner, and gardener can go a very long way.
Having these relationships ensures you get reliable service as you won’t need to shop around since you will always have the person only a call away.
Be energy efficient
Don’t overlook how quickly energy bills can add up. When renting, you can’t control how often your renter uses the heating, leaves lights on, uses hot water, etc. Since you can’t not offer these things, you will need a way to save money on them.
Solar panels are a great option if possible, especially if you live somewhere that has a lot of sunlight throughout the year. You can also get water heaters that can be switched on and off and are incredibly energy efficient. It is best to do some research to find money-saving options that don’t sacrifice on the service.
Short-term rentals: Always be prepared for expenses
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not being prepared for unexpected expenses. This mainly applies to large home fixes, such as damaged walls, a broken door, etc. Not being able to fix these things quickly could mean having to close the space to renters for some time.
While it is impossible to be prepared and save for everything, having a savings account or something similar that you use purely for expenses and maintenance will ensure you always have money available for most problems.
Aim for the best reviews
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of great customer service and going the extra mile for your renters. Good reviews can make and break any business, even if your business is just renting out one or two homes.
Stay in contact with your renters, help them when they need it, and build a relationship with them. Not only does this mean they are more likely to leave a positive review, but they are also more likely to choose you and your home again when/if they need to.
Being a short-term rental property owner doesn’t have to be complicated or tricky. These tips can not only help you be proficient at it but also be one of the best. If you look after your property and your renters, you will have a very successful life as a short-term property renter.