6 Tips for Renting Your Vacation Home

Blog posted On January 09, 2020

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If you own a vacation home, renting it out through short-term rental services like Airbnb and HomeAway is a way to earn rental income when you’re not using the home.  Short-term home rentals are growing popular as a hotel alternative, especially for travelers seeking the comforts of home while they are away. reports, in 2018, Airbnb bookings made up about 20% of total lodging spending by consumers followed by HomeAway with 11%.  Earning rental income on your home is not as easy as publishing an Airbnb listing and waiting for bookings to roll in. interviewed vacation rental experts to come up with these six tips for renting your vacation home. 

  1. Use a Reputable Listing Service – companies like Airbnb and HomeAway exist to act as a third-party between the renter and the owner of the home. These websites not only function as a way to connect you with guests, they also offer protections to homeowners.  Airbnb, for example, charges hosts a 3% fee to ensure they receive their payment from vacationers ahead of the stay.
  2. Describe the Home in Detail – if your home is walking distance from the local beach or downtown attractions, list specifically how far it is. A renter expecting a beachfront property will be disappointed to find that it’s actually more than a mile away and will negatively review you.  Don’t try to oversell your property by exaggerating features, describe your home as it is and don’t skimp on the details!
  3. Invest in Professional Photos – professional photos come with an added cost upfront but will benefit you in the long run. Your iPhone photos may omit some of the home’s best features that a professional real estate photographer is trained to showcase.  Keep your photos updated.  If you renovate the home or upgrade the kitchen, redo the photos potential renters see everything the home has to offer.
  4. Update Your Booking Calendar – you may choose to list your home on multiple websites to maximize your exposure. If so, be sure to update your calendar across platforms.  Additionally, if you and your family plan to enjoy the vacation home, be sure to block those dates out on your calendars.  If you refuse bookings because you don’t update your calendar, your account may be flagged.
  5. Make Your Rental a Home Away from Home – vacationers prefer short-term rental homes to hotels because they are looking for a home away from home! Keep your vacation rental stocked with necessities (think toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap) and clean up between stays.  If you manage your rental remotely, be sure to hire a cleaning service to come in between visits.  When you stay at the vacation home yourself, think about the things that your guests will need.
  6. Take Feedback Seriously – some short-term rental services will send a survey to guests to solicit feedback about their stay. Take feedback seriously, this is your market.  If a guest contacts you during their say with a complaint, address their complaint as best you can and be courteous.  

Renting your vacation home as a short-term rental can be a way for you to earn extra income when you’re not using your home.  If you have any questions about buying a vacation home, let me know!