What are the most important things in a vacation home rental?
I have hosted people from everywhere: Hawaii, Germany, France, China, Brazil, Canada (Calgary, Montreal, and lots of parts of BC). Here are the things that I observed it makes for a successful vacation home rental.
VISIBILITY. I chose Airbnb to advertise my rentals and I never tried anything else. Why? Airbnb sends me great guests, OFTEN. Their platform is amazing. I cannot tell enough good things about it. It’s complex and they really improve all the time and try to make it easier for the guests and the host. So choosing a platform where you can have visibility is important, as everything else depends on it.
DECORATION. I choose soothing colours for my rentals. A calm space is good for everything: relaxing, romance and even working if your guests need to check their work from time to time. The colours and the furniture in the space are warm and inviting. I worked over the years to make the spaces less cluttered than in the beginning. We might overdo it predicting guests will need more things around than they actually need. You can always review and streamline a bit. So clean, tastefully decorated, and uncluttered spaces.
That’s brings me to the next point: CLEAN! My little suite here at home is cleaned by myself as I am PICKY! I clean everything for each guest, including drawers, dishes, and baseboards. I wash all the beddings, including throws and pillow covers (accent pillows, too). I know that most people don’t do that, even the hotels. But I feel that’s one of my strongest points.
Now, for a bigger rental, like the Log House for example, we have to trust the cleaning lady. We chose a wonderful cleaning lady for the Log House and she is amazing. She does all the beddings and we have two sets of duvet covers for each bed, so they get changed. From time to time we need to request the pillow covers and throws to be washed or to wash them ourselves. We also go there at least once a month.
Of course, aside from beddings, the washrooms and the kitchen need to be SPOTLESS. Remember to clean the fridge and microwave, every time. Yep! Every time.
LOCATION. Some places are chosen because they are really convenient, close to touristic attractions and transportation. Some places are chosen because they are away from the city, at a peaceful location. Depending on your guests profile, you might need public transportation access. In your listing, you need to have clear directions and a description of the area as well. If you have attractions close by, or at least easy to get to, it’s a great point. You need to highlight the benefits of your location.
UNIQUE. Our Log House is constantly booked and I think the biggest attraction it’s because it’s a LOG HOUSE! Also because it is only 2 hours from Vancouver and also because it is located in a beautiful area, close to the water and parks. When I see the recommended places or the featured places on Airbnb, they show different places. A tiny house, a tree house, a log house. They also show places on a waterfront, and places on a farm. Different buildings, landscape, and views. There are also city places, which are more common outside but very convenient. These “common places” are very nicely decorated and often a suite in a house where you have a little garden view, or somethings else that makes it attractive, like quirky decor. And also ultra modern condos, clean and sleek.
Here is where you need to think out of the box, if you are buying a place to rent. And if you want to transform the place you have, think on how you can make it stand out through your decor.
The last thing is the PRICE. Airbnb really helps in giving suggestions on listing price and they help constantly so you can change from season to season according to the demand.
Please do your own research: check Airbnb, Craigslist, VRBO, and even just Google it. Some vacation rentals have their own website. It’s important to research your prices before you decide to do the vacation rental because you need to calculate if all this works and it’s worth it.
The price is important because if you are priced too high or even too low, your place won’t be booked.
As a plus, I have to say that a GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE is key to your success. Our guests always compliment us in our customer service and I feel very happy and proud of it. Once guests confirm their booking, they have our emails and cell phones. They can text or call us anytime. I am also very fast at responding booking requests and questions. I think that’s a plus for our guests. I LOVE helping and also have lots of fun communicating with my guests.