Adding A Pool To Differentiate Your STR Property

When you consider most reviews of short-term rentals, you will find that the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction are amenities and location. Location is all about the proximity to exciting attractions, whereas amenities are usually of greater importance when you aren’t exactly in a thriving metropolis. I am focusing on the tucked-away locations for this article, specifically on owners debating the advantages of installing a pool on their property.

When someone wants to enjoy an SRT property in an out-of-the-way location, they typically desire some additional form of outdoor entertainment. A pool can meet those needs and keep the guests occupied and engrossed in the vacation of a lifetime. But is adding a pool to an SRT worth the added cost and liability?

The Usual Argument

As a property owner, I’m sure the dreaded four-letter word (pool) has you seeing red. More specifically, the red font in your accounting software. Almost anyone who has invested in a pool for their home will tell you it is a bad investment. Recouping the up-front costs of installing a pool is extremely difficult, even when you don’t account for the annual maintenance and utility fees that will add to your monthly budget. However, you are not looking to recoup costs from your pool at your SRT property. You are looking to drive increased occupancy at higher daily rates. If you keep that in mind, you can make a calculated decision on whether a pool is best for you.

What’s The Scenario?

The biggest challenge when performing your due diligence for adding a pool is what kind of pool you want to have installed. Your market and target customers will heavily influence this decision, as well as your location. You need a pool option that isn’t too costly, is easy to maintain, and doesn’t impact your current guests during construction or installation. However, you also want something that stands out in a crowd of equally attractive properties so that your stay gets more clicks and bookings. The balance between cost, ROI, and the wow factor of a pool are all pieces of the puzzle to be solved before you can decide on the correct option.

Something Old To Something New

A recent trend in pool design is the use of shipping containers to create pools. Enterprising companies have begun purchasing used shipping containers and re-fabricating them, turning them into a movable pool option more durable than standard above-ground pools. They typically employ the same type of internal liner that is used in a traditional in-ground pool, with the ability to add unique options such as a see-through, below-water window. This option can help your pool and property achieve the wow factor needed to entice potential customers.

The container pool is designed to be installed and operational in an extremely short period of time. You may have to wait a couple of months for the pool to be fabricated and delivered by the manufacturer, but that preparation and manufacturing work is completed off-site, which means no interruption to your rental market. What preparation is required to be performed on-site can usually be done before delivery or immediately after it has arrived at your property. While their finished cost may be comparable to that of an inground pool, your on-site preparation time can be as little as a couple of days, which means your property will be inaccessible to customers for a very minimal amount of time, if at all.

Once you have the pool on site, connected, and filled with treated water, your customers can begin to enjoy the luxuriousness of their very own pool. Additionally, you can immediately start enjoying the benefits of an increased daily rate and can benefit from being in an entirely new search field on SRT apps. While you will have some cost increases, the additional income earned from adding a pool to your property will more than offset those costs and begin to pay off your investment in no time.

Selling The Life

Once your pool is in use on your property, you can immediately realize ROI. If you are fortunate enough to have multiple units on one property, you can benefit from higher rates for all units with a single centralized pool for all to enjoy. While the type of pool and its potential usage are keys in determining your costs and potential gains in revenue, your approach to selling the amenity of a pool is what will get you increased rentals and a higher occupancy rate. Make sure you take the time to accessorize your pool area and make the entire area seem like a unique respite from the stressors and tasks of everyday life. Making your guests forget their troubles with a welcoming lounge and pool will keep them coming back. And, more importantly, have them bragging on social media to all their followers about the amazing stay they had at your property.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.

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