You've finally taken the plunge: you've bought an investment property that you can use as a vacation rental! Vacation rentals can be a phenomenal way to boost your income, but they're far from a genuinely passive income source. Managing your rental will require work, and you may find that you have a to-do list that's a mile long.
While getting started might be overwhelming, it can be helpful to take a step back and examine your priorities. Your goal should be to start making money with your property as soon as possible, which may mean putting a few things on the back burner. These three tips will help you narrow down that to-do list to put your investment dollars to work more quickly.
1. Focus Your Marketing
Marketing your rental is key to getting paying guests in the door, but it's impossible to pursue every potential marketing channel without losing your mind in the process. Listing your rental on multiple sites and other channels can also create additional challenges. For example, you risk accidentally double-booking and need to manage more messaging systems.
If you're just getting started, focus on a handful of marketing channels and put more time and effort into those avenues. Focusing your efforts will allow you to learn the ins and outs of those sites, ultimately making it easier to utilize them to acquire guests for your rental. As you gain more experience, you can branch out into additional marketing channels later.
2. Nail the Fundamentals
Good reviews are critical to the long-term success of a rental property, especially if you're using any of the popular vacation rental listing sites. While it's tempting to go crazy on the little touches that will make your guests rave, you need to truly nail the fundamentals before moving on to the "nice to have" items.
In other words, find a good cleaning service (if you aren't handling that aspect yourself) and ensure your property is in excellent repair. Minor maintenance or cleanliness issues are more likely to lead to negative reviews, so it's essential to cover all your bases. Once you're confident that your property is as flawless as possible, you can move on to the personalizations that will make your guests fall in love.
3. Build the Perfect Listing
Your listing is one of the most critical parts of your marketing push, and it can make or break your property. A good listing should be clear, professional, engaging, and contain photos to really "wow!" your potential guests. If you don't feel confident in any of these aspects, consider hiring a professional to help you develop your listing. This relatively small investment will pay off in the long run.
Remember that a lack of focus can leave your property vacant as you try to deal with every tiny detail before bringing in your first guests. Instead of allowing your first-year to-do list to grow out of control, spend some time focusing on the fundamentals so you can turn your investment into money in your pocket.
I'm Tom Doberstein. I have to make a confession: I am absolutely addicted to social media. And that has been an excellent thing for me because this addiction has helped me become an expert in social media marketing. I never meant to become an expert in this subject, but I just couldn't help but strike up conversations with some of my favorite brands. Some of the conversations I have had with my favorite brands through social media have been very entertaining and have made me develop an interest in the ways that businesses can use social media and other Internet tools to promote their businesses.