Any good property manager ( we are happy to introduce you to our go to managers) will tell you that there’s more to turning your home into a profitable vacation rental than simply adding a few photos to an online listing. In addition to obtaining the necessary permits and upgrading the furniture, you’ll need to think about removing or securing your personal belongings, creating a compelling description, and getting the optimal number of reviews before peak season begins.
Investing a little time, effort, and money in your vacation rental early on can make a huge difference in your profits and create a more pleasant experience for you and your guests. If you follow this checklist, you’ll be well on your way to owning a successful and profitable vacation rental.
1. Check with the your Association, Town or County.
2. Acquire the necessary permits.
Before you start renting out your vacation home, you may have to obtain the correct licenses and permits for your state, county, and city. Depending on location you may need to collect sales tax and or lodging tax.
3. Prepare the home for guests.
Although most of your guests will be courteous, careful, and conscientious, accidents are unavoidable. Remove anything from the home that is one-of-a-kind or has sentimental value and can’t be replaced. If you plan to use your vacation home frequently and want to leave some items behind, consider storing them in a locked closet or another secure area so you can access them when needed.
4. Gather photos and write a compelling description.
If you’re planning to self-manage your vacation rental or if you’re working with a property management company that isn’t full-service, consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos. Photos are the first thing someone looks at when browsing vacation homes, and if the photos aren’t high-quality, potential guests won’t bother sticking around to see the rates or read the description. Your house might be beautiful in person, but if the only photos you have were taken on a smartphone in poor lighting, your bottom line will suffer.
5. Allow time for reviews.