Tips for Finding a Reliable Vacation Rental
Knowing what you want. Prioritize your rental. That’s the advice of Teresa Bell Kindred, a blogger and frequent home renter. “You are going to pay more for certain things. Decide what is really important to you,” she says. Her family loves the ocean, so they don’t mind paying more to be right on the beach. But if you don’t mind being a few blocks away from the water, you can save money. Be sure you stay within your budget. “If you spend all your money on rental property and can’t afford groceries you may get hungry before you get back home,” she warns
Timing your purchase. If you’re in town for a special event, like a sports tournament or festival, it’s never too soon to book a vacation rental. “Vacation rentals are more scarce than hotels and great vacation properties are even scarcer,” says Chris Brusznicki, the chief executive of GamedayHousing (www.gamedayhousing.com), a site that specializes in rentals for sports events. But if there’s no reason to be in town, you can run down the clock. One terrific new site that allows you to bid on “last-minute” vacation rentals is a site called PackLate.
Finding out what you’re renting. It probably goes without saying that you need to do your due diligence on a rental. “Do your homework,” says Sylvia Guarino, who owns a rental home on Sanibel Island, Fla. (one of my favorite places) and a member of Second Porch, a Facebook application that connects vacation rental owners and vacation guests. “Vacation rental guests sometimes get too focused on getting a deal, and not focused enough on getting the information that they need, or authenticating the property. “How do you authenticate a property? Look at every piece of information available to you, including the owner’s website, the vacation rental site, online reviews and what you find on social networking sites, like Facebook. Be sure the property is in good shape, is as represented and isn’t in foreclosure.
Finding out who you’re renting from. “Research the owner, not just the home,” says Kelly Hayes-Raitt, who owns a rental property in Santa Monica, Calif. She includes a link to her website and biography in every correspondence with potential guests, “not just so they realize they are supporting my work with refugees, but so they learn they are dealing with someone who has been active in her community for 30 years and not likely to cheat them,” she says. Not every owner is as forthcoming as Hayes-Raitt, but if someone is reclusive, it might be a warning sign
Determining if the rental is part of an association or destination. That can make a big difference, according to Jon Ervin, a spokesman for the Cottage Rental Agency in Seaside, Fla. “Imagine you rent from Mr. and Mrs. Jones — nice enough people, but what if your air conditioning quits or some other concern arises?” he asks. “You most likely are going to have to work through the issue for your entire stay.” Not if your rental is part of an association. There’s someone on call to help in situations like that. My family rented a home at the WaterColor Inn & Resort in nearby Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., during the Christmas holidays, and we found that to be good advice.
Why COVID-19 cleaning will be a top priority for vacation rentals
When the time comes for vacation rental hosts to welcome guests back with open arms, expectations in a post-COVID-19 world will be very different. The overall cleanliness of a property, how cleaning and disinfection is carried out between bookings and how this is explained to guests will become hugely important in order to secure bookings
It makes sense for hosts to be well informed about why COVID-19 is important and how to ensure it is done properly to give every guest peace of mind. The TravelNest team has reviewed the latest thinking on this topic, and here we summarise the best available information from trusted sources such as the NHS, the UK Government, Which and Airbnb.
Whilst it is unclear exactly how long the Coronavirus can survive on surfaces, The World Health Organization says that it could be anything from a few hours to a number of days and that survival depends on the type of surface e.g. hard/soft, humidity and temperature. The UK Government has confirmed that research on viruses in the same family as Coronavirus suggests that in most cases, the risk is likely to be significantly reduced after around 72 hours.
In the post-Coronavirus world, owners and guests will have new expectations about vacation rental cleaning standards. Owners should be prepared to share their changeover process and list of cleaning procedures to give guests peace of mind.
How should my property be cleaned to minimise the spread of COVID-19?
Start now by updating your existing cleaning protocols to ensure that the right measures are being followed to minimise the spread of Coronavirus (and other germs too.) If you use contract cleaners, ask them to tell you about the enhanced measures they are taking
Vacation Rental Business: A Guide to Earning a Big Return
Right now, in the United States alone, short-term vacation rentals are earning $18,026,000,000 in revenue. While $18 billion is a substantial amount, revenue is expected to continue growing at a rate of 2.5% each year for the next few years and beyond. What does this mean for you as a potential property owner? It means you chose the right business to be in for making money! While the thought of purchasing a cute little fixer-upper in a dream location and renting it out to dream vacationers is a fun one, what motivated you the most to begin this venture? It’s probably the thought of earning yourself a good income.
Open a Vacation Rental Business
Before you jump right in and buy a property to fix up and rent out, there is a lot of preparation that must be made in order to make it work. You must write up a vacation rental business plan, review and understand all the vacation rental rights and laws, go through a vacation rental property management checklist, and know how to prepare your house for rent.
Starting a Vacation Rental Business
Knowing how to start a vacation rental business in a way that almost guarantees success is indispensable knowledge. So whatever you do, don’t start your own property letting business without thoroughly understanding every step in this guide.
A Vacation Rental Property Business Plan
A short-term rental business plan gives yourself (and others on your team) a framework from which you’ll work
Vacation Rental Business Plan Template
To help ease your effort, follow a vacation rental business plan example
The Best Sites for Booking A Vacation Rental Property — And How To Use Them
If you’re looking for a little space on your next vacation, you probably need a reliable source for booking a vacation rental property. There are almost too many choices.
And for good reason. The worldwide vacation rental market is enormous. It’s expected to top an eye-popping $58 billion this year ($14 billion in the United States). The biggest vacation rental market? Gen Z, with 81% saying they’ve rented a home. Gen Xers come in second, at 38%, and Baby Boomers are last, with 20% saying they’ve stayed in a vacation rental.
Finding the best site for booking a vacation rental property is a snap
Renting a home doesn’t have to be confusing. Take it from someone who practically lives in vacation rentals.
What are some of the best strategies for booking a vacation rental property?
I checked with the experts to find out how they use this short list of vacation rental sites. (I’ll get to my strategies in a minute.) Here’s what they told me about their strategies for booking a vacation rental property.
Check vacation rentals and hotels — then do the math
That’s the advice of Katie Roberts, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “Be sure to check both hotel sites and those for vacation rentals,” she says. Sometimes a vacation rental is less expensive than a hotel — but sometimes, counterintuitively, it’s the other way around. Assume nothing.
Vacation Rental Cleaning Tips
One of the most critical aspects of managing vacation rental properties is ensuring they are properly cleaned and maintained between guests. The last thing you need is a guest finding your apartment dirty or in any way unfit to accommodate travelers and then publicizing this information in their review.
Cleanliness is extremely important to guests and any mention of the contrary in your reviews is enough to do serious harm to your occupancy rate. You must therefore prioritize cleaning tasks and ensure they are always done correctly and on time.
Get your staff organized
The first thing you should do is build an efficient workflow so that all of your cleaning personnel know exactly where to be and when. They should also know how long they have before the next guests arrive so they can time their tasks accordingly.
Make access easy
You don’t want to make a copy of each of your property’s keys for each and every one of your cleaning and maintenance staff members. Keys get lost and are difficult to keep organized
Cleaning and maintenance are enormous undertakings and it might be simpler to outsource these tasks to a short-term rental cleaning service, many of whom use sophisticated vacation rentals cleaning software so you can easily provide them with checklists, track their progress and even verify that they’ve performed their tasks appropriately by reviewing photos of the cleaned property