Written By: Curtis Fisher


Owning a house in a desirable area can come with many perks, including being able to rent it out as a vacation rental. However, just because you’re in an area that tourists frequent doesn’t mean you can’t improve your chances. It’s a competitive marketplace, so some extra steps are needed if you really want to stand out.

Set Up Your Business Before You Do Anything Else

It’s important to do your due diligence when starting a business. If you’ve never set up a legal business entity before, research which structure best fits your needs. Many people who run vacation rental businesses opt for setting up a limited liability corporation (LLC) because your LLC can be used for property purchases and any debts belong to the business alone. If you opt for an LLC but feel overwhelmed by the process, it may make the most sense to file through a company that can guide you through the step-by-step process.

Repair and Renovate

 If there’s one thing you have to do to improve your chances of succeeding, it’s this. Take the time to repair anything in the house that may need it – this includes small things like a leaky faucet. You may also want to do some renovations like freshening up the walls or boosting curb appeal. Wherever possible, replace instead of remodeling. Replacements recoup on average 61.5 percent of your investment, as opposed to 57.3 percent for remodels. And remodeling will be much costlier as well.

Stage Your House

 Home staging is usually associated with selling a house, but the principles apply here as well. After all, you are trying to convince someone to live in your home, even if it’s for a short vacation. Start by de-cluttering the house, keeping knick-knacks and personal items to a minimum. There should still be some tasteful decor, but it should be neutral and not excessive. If you need to, rent a storage unit to keep the excess stuff.

Make sure the house is spotlessly clean before every rental. If you don’t have the time to do this, hire a professional cleaner (maid services typically charge $25 to $45 an hour).

 Add-In Some Extras

 There are a few features that customers may be willing to pay more for, like a hot tub or sauna. If you have the room, these extras can bring in more money, but this will be a long-term investment. That said, extras don’t always have to mean big, expensive items. You can go a long way by offering nice touches like a welcome pack with some treats, useful items, or information about the area.

 Work On Your Listing

 Your home may be the perfect vacation rental, but no one’s going to rent it if the listing doesn’t look good. Learn how to take great photos that show your property in the best possible light (literally and figuratively), and put some effort into the description. The tone should be friendly but professional, highlighting the best features of the property but always remaining honest.

 Offer Great Service

 Finally, you should embrace your role as host. Make sure guests have your contact details in case they need to get in touch, and make yourself as available and accommodating as possible. The better service you offer, the happier your guests will be, and the more likely they will be to recommend you. If possible, be there in person to welcome your guests and answer any questions they may have. If this isn’t possible, you may want to consider hiring a property management company. The right property manager can book your guests online, hire maid services between rentals, and screen tenants to prevent fraud.

Having a house in a popular area is already a great step toward having a successful vacation rental. However, you need to remember that there may be many equally desirable homes in your location. Location is important, but making your home look great and creating a pleasant experience for your guests is what will make you money in the long run.


Photo credit: Pexels.com