There are many ways to succeed with vacation rental properties, but all the successful vacation rental properties share a few things in common. We picked 7 of them to share with you!
We’ve said this before, but Instagram has made everyone step up their photo game, even if they aren’t on that platform. You don’t have to have a top-of-the-line DSLR to take beautiful photos of your property. While a handful of photos are necessary for any listing, the more, the merrier. Guests will never complain of “too many photos.” The better you can introduce them to your space via photography, the more they will feel at home already, and feel comfortable booking.
Right Cancellation Policy
Different types of listings will require different cancellation policies. Large properties that rent seasonally many months in advance may find it difficult to allow for last minute cancellations, and hence may opt for a stricter cancellation policy. On the other hand, small listings in touristy destinations can often get booked minutes after a previous guest has canceled. Whatever type of listing you have, picking the right cancellation policy will ensure that you get booked as often as possible.
“Trust but verify” is the watchword of many potential guests. They love the descriptions and photos and the last thing they do before booking with you is read a review or two. The best listings message frequently enough so that asking for a review (if one hasn’t already been given) isn’t onerous to guests. Frequent reviews from happy guests are what you’ll always see in a successful listing, and if a guest has been unhappy for any reason, you’ll see a reasonable and thoughtful response from the manager/owner.
We aren’t just saying this because we are a cleaning company: if you read any article about vacation rentals you’ll see that it’s one of the most important, if not the most important aspects of any vacation rental to guests. Successful vacation rentals are hotel-level-clean, which is why a maid service (like us, cough cough) makes so much sense to vacation rental owners.
While any vacation rental owner has a sense of what is the right price, that price may change from season to season or if a certain event is in town. Utilize the tools that platforms provide (Airbnb offers Dynamic Pricing, for example) or external sites like Airdna to optimize your pricing to get the most revenue possible for your listing.
What gets measured can be improved, and you should be tracking month-to-month, year-to-year, what your occupancy and average nightly rates are. You may not always be able to explain the reasons behind fluctuations (or sometimes, even consistency), but if you’re not tracking and measuring the data, you don’t even know what you don’t know.
You don’t have to meet every guest in person in order to give the impression of friendliness (though, in-person key handoffs rank really well with guests). As long as you are friendly and available in your communications on the platform guests are going to be primed for a good experience and can feel they can reach out to you with questions during their stay. Even better, that friendliness and availability that you offer to them will often be reciprocated in a good review, which as we already mentioned, is another piece of the success puzzle.
This article originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.