There are many aspects to managing a vacation rental – and therefore many opportunities to become overwhelmed, lost, or short-sighted. Let us help you navigate the confusing waters of vacation rental management by highlighting a few common mistakes to avoid so you can maximize your profit and minimize your risk.

Unflattering photography

Your property photographs are often the first and only visual impression vacationers get when they are booking a vacation rental. Photography has the power of a thousand words, as well as the power to pull a guest into a listing or deter them away. In addition to a good quality, full-frame digital camera, tools such as a wide angle lens and a tripod are key to effectively capturing the essence of a room. Unless you are willing to make the investment, we highly suggest hiring a professional photographer who has the expertise and equipment to properly photograph your space.

Non-targeted copywriting

Your vacation rental listing title and description should not be a second thought – it’s an opportunity to flex your marketing skills! Based on the size of your vacation rental, price, location, and design, consider who your target or ideal guest is, and write directly to them. Make sure your headlines are colorful and engaging while also being descriptive of your homes strengths. Keep your descriptions brief and to-the-point; they should be able to answer any questions that could arise before your guest has the opportunity to ask. Punch up these facts with colorful copywriting that make vacationers feel transported to your rental.

No short-term rental insurance

With the vacation rental home industry being so new, many forget that their traditional homeowner’s or landlord’s policies have significant gaps in coverage when applied to vacation rentals. Without vacation rental insurance, homeowners are exposed to costly liability issues and risk losing their rental property altogether. A vacation rental insurance policy will work extra hard for you throughout the year, covering three types of occupancies: unoccupied, enjoyed by you (the owner), and occupied by paying rental guests. Jennifer Spriggs of Farmers Insurance is our preferred agent in California. She is available 24/7 for anyone interested in a vacation rental insurance policy.

The wrong pricing strategy

All dates are not treated equally! Many homeowners, especially those who choose to manage their properties independently, forget to leverage seasonality in their pricing strategy. Your nightly rate and minimum stay should be increased during periods of high demand, including holiday weekends and local events. If you’re ever unsure, we recommend using comparable property and hotel rates as guides. Learn about how we use our own proprietary software to ensure your property is booked at the optimal price here.  

Poor communication

With technology at our fingertips, communication is instant – so why aren’t your replies? Vacation rental guests are technically savvy and well-connected. Don’t miss the boat on a booking just because it took too long to respond to an inquiry. If you have a smartphone, turn your alerts and notifications ‘on’, so you can be on top of those pesky response times. If you choose MyVRHost to manage your vacation rental, sit back, relax, and let us take care of your responses; all guaranteed in one hour or less, 24/7, 365.  

A lack of amenities

If your vacation rental is too bare-bones, you forego the opportunity to achieve five-star status. Bedding should be plush and comfortable so guests can get a good night’s sleep. Good sleep is the key to starting a day off right. If you have a washer and dryer, make it accessible for guest use. Consider including spare phone chargers, complimentary coffee, extra towels, hair dryers, irons, and local maps. These little touches can make or break a guest experience.

Weak design

Don’t underestimate the power of good design! It doesn’t take a huge budget to make an impact on the design and functionality of a vacation rental. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of rearranging and decluttering. Homeowners often design their vacation rental according to personal preferences and lifestyle, without first considering the guest experience. You may need your sound machine on your nightstand every night, but do the majority of guests? Step into their shoes to uncover their needs and desires when using the space.

Familiarize yourself with these common mistakes before you begin the journey of vacation rental management. You will avoid countless headaches, poor reviews, and missed income. With some foresight and the proper plan in place, you will be able to maximize your profit and enjoy the rewards of owning your very own vacation rental!

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