Photo by Filios Sazeides on Unsplash
Vacation Rental Blog Posts

Want to Turn That Second Home into a Vacation Rental?

November 19, 2019

Many people are jumping on the vacation rental bandwagon, and for a good reason. It’s a burgeoning industry that’s showing no signs of slowing! Turning your second home into a vacation rental might be a good idea. But remember that operating a vacation rental is like owning your own business, and many people get some […]

Many people are jumping on the vacation rental bandwagon, and for a good reason. It’s a burgeoning industry that’s showing no signs of slowing! Turning your second home into a vacation rental might be a good idea.

But remember that operating a vacation rental is like owning your own business, and many people get some costly surprises if they don’t do their research first.

Rental home bedroom. Photo by Filios Sazeides on Unsplash

Check the Local Ordinances for Vacation Rentals

This is an absolute must before you start your vacation rental adventure. There has been an onslaught of ordinances, state and local regarding short term rentals, and it behooves you to know what they are.

There are some cities, counties, and states that have strict requirements that need to be met, so make sure that you understand what these are and whether or not it is feasible for you to meet those requirements.

Contact your HOA

It’s imperative that you understand where your HOA stands on vacation rentals. Make sure you read those bylaws and that you understand what you can and cannot do before you list your home on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The last thing you want to do is find out that you cannot use your second home as a vacation rental, and you have upcoming guests!

Payments

There are many things to consider regarding payments. You need to first determine your rates. Some sites have ways to help you do this but some vacation rental owners prefer to handle this themselves.

It’s important to be competitive and also take into consideration things like location, amenities, and access to popular attractions, public transportation, etc. Also, think about how you want to handle cancellations. These are all valid considerations to make when turning your home into a vacation rental.

Maintenance

This can be one of the trickiest aspects of running a vacation rental. Especially if your second home is a considerable distance from you, which may likely be.

You will need to be thinking about who is going to clean for you. There are a number of concierge sites that offer vacation rental cleaning services to help with this. Sites like TurnoverBnB offer a great streamlined product that will help with scheduling, communication, onboarding cleaners, which can really make this daunting task a lot easier.

Kitchen cleaning. Image by pascalhelmer from Pixabay

You will also need to figure out who will be handling maintenance projects for you. Hopefully, your vacation rental cleaner will do a great job of communicating when something needs to be addressed. Determine how you want to handle routine and emergency maintenance projects before they happen.

Don’t forget to create an inventory list of household items, this will come in handy if things need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, or in a situation where a guest has damaged something.

Vacation Rental Must-Haves

Many people think they can just rent out their homes without making any adjustments or investments to the property. This is generally not the case.

Consider things like extra bedding, towels, cleaning supplies and any other necessary items that you will either need to replace or attain more of. You will also need to work out the logistics of how you will be replacing things like toilet paper, toiletries if you are providing them, and anything else you will be going through.

Your vacation rental cleaner is always a great resource for this. Many people also have items directly shipped from Amazon, which is a great option to look at.

Create a Perfect Guest Experience

Having a welcome packet in your vacation rental is a great idea and one you should put a bit of thought into. Welcome packets can have a number of things in them to help your guests and make them feel, well, welcomed!

Include things like instructions for how to operate appliances, televisions, or anything else that may be helpful. Other useful information that can be included is information about access to community pools, gyms, parking, or any other relevant information that guests need.

The idea is to give guest information before they ask for it. Most guests don’t like to contact the host unnecessarily, so put as much in there as you deem necessary. It never ever hurts to create clear expectations for your guests.

Going slow at the beginning with your vacation rental can reap big rewards and a lot of extra income in the future if done properly!

Lisa Brown Avatar

By Lisa Brown