If you are one of the many people taking advantage of second-home renting opportunities, there are certain things you should consider to protect yourself, your investment, and getting the most out of the popular short term vacation rental phenomenon. Making this a successful business is possible if you know how to properly position the space in the market and professionally manage operations.
Vacation Home Property Management
Are you looking to manage vacation rental property yourself or to utilize a property manager? Each option has pros and cons that you will want to weigh out. Handling it yourself will save you quite a bit of money and allow you to be part of every step of the process. So, it depends how much control you want over the operations and if you are sticking to a specific budget or not. Property management is a lot of work, consisting of tasks such as:
- Creating online listings
- Booking guests
- Checking guests in
- Handling guest issues
- Collecting money
- Scheduling cleaning and maintenance
- Managing occupancy taxes
Hiring a professional manager can alleviate a lot of pressure. While you won’t make the direct impact yourself, using a manager may be a smart choice for those new to the short-term rental game.
Pay Close Attention to Detail
There is a flood of listings out there. It is the traveler’s market, not the ones renting out space. It is in your best interest to maintain a quality website, focusing on the property’s strengths, plenty of location and amenities details, and professional photos of the vacation rental.
It is important to include expected amenities such as a fully-stocked kitchen, high-quality towels, linens, and good WiFi. To make your listing stand out, consider including 4k TVs, gaming systems, Netflix subscriptions, full cable lineup, and extra toys that relate to the space and location they are staying, such as boogie boards at a beach get-away. Travelers want a personal experience for this kind of stay since they choose this over a hotel, so consider what you would like to have if you were staying there. Little details can go such a long way and increase the chance of positive online reviews to set you apart from competitors.
Vacation Home Compliance
Be sure to follow tax and licensing rules, as you may even be required to register and collect occupancy taxes, just like a hotel. The guest pays the rental fee, but you’re responsible for collecting and paying the city, county, or state agencies, usually each month or quarter. With any uncollected taxes or late tax payments, you will likely be penalized. You can ensure you’re compliant by setting up a lodging tax platform, or a full-service property manager can handle tax services.
Automate Rental Tasks
Thanks to today’s technology, you can easily keep up with customers’ expectations to create a smooth experience. When business is going well, you should have a high volume of visitors with fast turnover. Automation allows for a streamlined booking process and maximum efficiency.
Other tasks you may consider automating:
- Guest reviews
- Keyless-entry systems
- Housekeeping communication
- Temperature controls
- Payment processing
- Occupancy tax remittance
Nowadays, positive guest reviews are a must, and guest satisfaction is crucial for success in this endeavor. The majority of these bookings are processed online, so potential guests are only a swipe or click away from checking your credibility.
Keep in mind that you are in the hospitality business, so guests are looking for prompt and professional services.
About SB One Insurance Agency
At SB One Insurance Agency, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526