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Tips for Prepping Your Home as a Vacation Rental

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

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Your House can be a Vacation Rental
Your House can be a Vacation Rental

Maybe you’ve rented a vacation home before, and perhaps you fell in love with the idea of earning an income on your own property. Now, you’re ready to open your house to vacationers. You already know that a comfortable mattress and an online presence are essential, but there’s more to it than that. Here, Brandy Over 40 presents a few ways to make your house a true vacation paradise that people will want to visit again and again.

Know What You’ve Got

For starters, most people want an authentic experience. If you live near the beach, for example, beach house decor is a must, and will likely be one thing your renters notice on the listing as they browse the images in your ad. If you have an oceanview property, use that view as a backdrop for your living room, master bedroom, and recreation areas.

In addition to promoting your space, you’ll also want to highlight the features of the area -- and your proximity to them.

Give Your Guests More

Other ways to maximize the guest experience is to provide amenities that make your visitors feel at home. A well-stocked kitchen with a coffee maker and a few starter staples, such as coffee, tea, and breakfast fixings, will allow your guests to settle in quickly without feeling the need to rush to the grocery store. Another great idea is updating the kitchen with modern features like stainless steel appliances and a sleek range hood that will also keep the kitchen aired out.

Toiletries are another perk not to skip. Provide your renters with travel-sized bath and body products, plus large towels and a hairdryer. You can also spruce up the bedroom decor with bedding like a sustainably-stylish lumbar pillow and new, comfy sheet sets.

None of these items are cost prohibitive for you, but will be invaluable to your guests. Failure to provide these and other conveniences can cost you in the form of bad reviews.

Be Transparent about the Property

Speaking of bad reviews, a few of the most common complaints put forth by vacationers are noise, cleaning issues, broken or unusable amenities, and an inaccurate description. According to Vacation Rental Formula, giving your guests realistic expectations is the key to keeping them happy, so alert guests well before arrival if anything has changed.

For example, let them know if your previous vacationers damaged the swimming pool or if a new building was erected that blocks the view. No one wants to show up with their swimsuit or camera only to find they can’t use them.

Maintain Your Property Well

Before inviting guests into your home, be sure to thoroughly declutter any rooms they’ll have access to, including storage spaces and the garage. If you’re currently relying on a spare bedroom, attic, or basement to hold all of your excess stuff, consider moving your belongings to a storage unit instead. If you need help creating a sanctuary for your guests, you can enlist the help of a professional organizer with experience streamlining spaces so they are both fashionable and functional.

Similarly, make sure your rental is thoroughly cleaned before each new set of guests comes through the door. It is not enough to simply sweep and change the sheets. One of your best investments will be hiring a cleaning company to make things sparkle.

Further, since you’ll most likely be catering to people unfamiliar with the area, adding security features to the property can make them feel at ease. Just remember that a home security system may set you back between $25 and $50 per month, according to Forbes, depending on the services you require. There are also many options that you can run yourself, like Wyze cameras and Ring Doorbells. Using these and finding free sites with troubleshooting tips can make adding security a more affordable option.

Be Flexible with Payments

A reliable way to pay is another feature most vacationers want. Most will prefer to pay with a credit card or PayPal, so make sure you have options available to them. Many people will also be more comfortable putting down a deposit if you have a clearly-outlined cancellation policy and offer refunds up until a month or so before arrival.

Set Up an LLC

Landlords should consider setting up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect their personal assets in case of any legal issues or claims arising from their rental properties. An LLC also provides tax benefits and may help establish credibility with tenants and lenders. There are five steps necessary to open an LLC including appointing a registered agent and creating an operating agreement.

Make Your Rental Desirable

Your home or condo obviously won’t rent itself, and even if it’s in the most desirable location, it’s up to you to make it a desirable accommodation. Pay attention to the details, such as cleanliness and offering extra amenities like the latest in kitchen design and comfy bedding, and give your guests an authentic experience. You may also want to form an LLC to gain tax advantages and protect your assets. Doing these things won’t cost you more than you can afford, but failure to meet these expectations can cost you everything.

Image via Unsplash


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