Have you been wondering why some vacation rentals perform better than others on sites like VRBO, Emerald Coast by Owner, or even AirBnB? Well, it is time to put the wonder away! We’ve analyzed the world’s most powerful tools and found out what all the top performing vacation rentals have in common. If you want your property to be ranking like a pro, check out these 7 essential tips to enhance your short-term vacation rental income and become a top performing vacation rental:
1. Find out if you should manage your property yourself or hire a property manager.
That is the first question you should ask yourself. Managing a rental property is a lot of hard work, especially if you want it to be a top performing vacation rental. Some of the responsibilities of managing a rental home include – booking and checking in guests, dealing with guest issues, collecting the guest’s money and handling refunds, managing occupancy taxes, scheduling cleaning, and managing maintenance issues, creating property listings online for your property and managing all aspects of the marketing.
If you choose to handle the process yourself, you’ll be able to avoid paying management fees but if managing the property yourself isn’t for you, then you can always hire a professional property management team to take care of all aspects of managing your home for you. If this is a step you decide to take; check out these 5 questions to ask when hiring a property managing team.
2. Professional photos are a MUST have.
If you want your rental to be among the top performing vacation rentals in your area, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Get professional photos. If you’re on the fence on whether or not this is an investment you want to make for your vacation rental – think about this: When you’re looking to book a hotel for the night are you going to pick the one with the high-quality photos? Or do you prefer to take a chance with the dark, low res, smartphone photos? If you’re like most online shoppers – you’re going to go with the professional photos.
Hiring a photographer that is experienced in taking photos is usually a very small investment – just a few hundred dollars. If you need a recommendation, and we’ll help you out! If you choose to have your property professionally managed – ask if professional photos are included or up to you to purchase – either way, it’s an investment that should last you a few years.
3. It’s all in the details.
Your property description is the most important aspect to attract new renters as this is the first thing your potential guests will see. Top performing vacation rentals use the following setup in their property description:
Headline – highlight details to attract attention
– You want to instruct your prospective guest to perform some type of action.
4. Find the right price.
It is so easy to look at neighboring properties and wonder how they are getting bookings for three times the price your property has been booking for. Check out the competition to see what they are advertising for and if any they have any restrictions set for their property at all. A group of ten Spring Breakers would gladly pay the over-priced fees – but won’t necessarily be responsible and take care of your property the way you want it to. Think about the seasonal appeal, the average price in your area, length of stay, and the demand when trying to price out your property. Don’t just go for the lowest price to get your property booked; make sure you are getting the right price for the value of your property.
5. Maintain your property.
You can have all the amenities the other top performing vacation rentals have, but not keeping up with the maintenance and repairs in your property will result in bad reviews or worse no bookings. Investing in your space will pay off in the long run and will get you more bookings. You don’t want to focus strictly on the indoor amenities. Make sure your outdoor amenities like your patio furniture, grills, swimming pool or hot tubs are all in good condition.
6. Memorable visits make repeat customers.
Some of your guests have been saving up all year to take this trip to your vacation rental – so why not give them a trip to remember? By offering your guests exceptional, friendly, and responsive customer service, a clean property, sufficient amenities, and suggestions on local attractions can make their visit a memorable one. When you provide your guests with a memorable experience, this can result in great reviews and repeat bookings. Wouldn’t you want the same great group that left you a 5-star review to come back and spend each July 4th week with you? Statistics show that taking care of your previous guests is much cheaper than investing in finding new rentals (that’s another topic we’ll dive into in a later blog – how to show your repeat renters you care
7. Great reviews = guest referrals.
Great reviews result in more guest bookings! You should always reach out to your guests after they have checked out and ask them to provide you with an honest review of their stay. Not only will this provide you with feedback on how to improve your home, but also it will also give guests a feeling of being heard and give you the opportunity to rectify the situation in case guests have any hiccups during their stay. Did you know that after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again?
When you have guest reviews that are advocating on your behalf – they’re telling other guests why they should stay in your property. This is FREE advertising and vital in your success as a top performing vacation rental. Not all negative reviews are bad if your response is professional, accurate, and empathetic. New and previous guests both want to know their concerns are being heard and something is being done about it.
Simply owning a rental property is not enough to keep you competitive with the other top performing vacation rentals. But if you use the tips mentioned above, you can start becoming a fierce competitor.
Gibson Owners benefit from Gibson Beach Rentals’ hands-on approach to making each of their properties top performing vacation rentals:
1) Gibson Beach Rentals manages all aspects of marketing, booking, property care, etc. for our Owners so they don’t have to fret.
2) Gibson Beach Rentals coordinates professional photos for Owners. Check-in with our Owner Liaison Team for details regarding pricing.
3) Gibson Beach Rentals writes all unit descriptions. Owners are welcome to edit/update any time or even provide their own write-up if they wish.
4) Gibson Beach Rentals utilizes dynamic pricing methods to maximize our Owner’s income. Rates vary daily based on supply/demand, length of stay, etc.
5) Gibson Beach Rentals coordinates all housekeeping and maintenance needs. We can help with full renovation contractors to specific vendor recommendations.
6) Gibson Beach Rentals offers guests repeat renter discounts to keep them coming back. Some Owners in the past have offered the same price for a returning guest if booked before their departure. Some offer gift baskets upon arrival. It’s all up to you!
7) Gibson Beach Rentals promotes reviews for all stays and responds to each one. We value all feedback!
Are you looking for your next vacation rental or want to read other great tips we have to offer? Check us out at https://www.gibsonbeachrentals.com/blog/