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Rent Out Your Vacation Property

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Focus on upgrades that have the best return on investment for vacation rental properties

Certain upgrades can directly improve your property’s appeal to potential guests. Most potential guests want to see pictures of vacation rentals before booking. Focusing on upgrades and renovations that can help the property photograph well and create an excellent first impression can lead to more bookings. Simple and cost-effective updates that can make a big impact include the following:

Upgrades to essential home systems are also important early steps in the process of preparing a vacation rental home. Having the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in top shape reduces the risk of unhappy renters and expensive emergency repairs.

Finally, consider how vacation renters are likely to use your property. The most likely use, of course, is as a place to sleep. Maximizing the number of guests you can accommodate can increase your opportunities for vacation rental income. Do you have a spare room that you never used as a bedroom? Consider turning it into a bedroom now. You can add even more room for guests by replacing the sofas in your living areas with sofa beds.

Consider your property from the guests’ perspective

You want your guests to have the best possible experience during their stay. Choosing upgrades, furniture, and interior design elements that improve their comfort and meet the needs of travelers can lead to happier guests, good reviews, and more demand. Here are some examples of improvements many vacation rental guests find appealing:

  • Luxury bedding and linens that wash well or can be bleached.
  • Guests that want a longer-term rental appreciate improvements to the kitchen, such as new countertops and appliances, as well as a modern washer and dryer.
  • Bathroom remodels that make the home more spa-like will appeal to vacation renters.
  • Upgraded and clean flooring and paint show a rental is well cared for.
  • Storage space can be important for many vacation rental guests. Storage options might include closet organizers and built-in storage units.
  • Creating a designated workspace can greatly improve a vacation home’s appeal. With more people working remotely, many guests are looking for vacation rentals with space for them to set up their laptops. A designated area with a desk or a comfortable chair can accommodate remote workers and business travelers. Wifi is a necessity for all guests these days, not just those who need to work.

In addition to the modern conveniences and amenities travelers want, consider who you can rely on for providing services. Once your renovation plan is in motion, you may want to start planning on how to keep your guests happy and the property in good repair. Documents like the following can help you with this:

Vacation rental management can be a big job. You might consider hiring a property management company to help your guests and help you keep track of maintenance and repairs. Alternatively, you may hire your own property manager using a Property Manager Agreement that establishes the responsibilities you want your manager to take on.

Make a plan to maximize profits from renovating your vacation rental

Before you buy any materials or appliances, make a plan for your remodeling or renovation project. If you are unsure where to start, check the online reviews of other vacation rentals in your area to see what their renters value most, both during the busy season and off-season. A vacation home near the beach, for example, will have different needs than one located close to a ski resort.

Determine which upgrades are most important, and then set your budget based on your priorities. Focus on the upgrades that will offer the highest return. Once rental income starts flowing, you may be able to afford more upgrades.

When researching contractors in the area, be sure to get multiple bids for the work. DIY work can save you some money if you have the experience and know-how. That said, some aspects of your renovation project are probably best left to professionals.

Be sure to choose high-quality materials when upgrading important systems or items in the home. You want materials that are not prone to damage, and that you can easily fix or clean if something goes wrong. When contractors provide bids, you may want to ask for information about the materials and equipment they plan to use.

Add smart tech and home automation to make your vacation rental more appealing

New technologies are making the vacation rental business more convenient for both guests and property owners. The use of the latest devices and gadgets can make your vacation home stand out to potential renters on listing sites.

Before you install smart tech devices, make sure your internet connection can support the devices. A strong internet connection is essential for most of these functions, along with a Wifi signal that is strong enough to reach all parts of the property. Smart tech that you may want to use in your rental property include:

  • Automated locks to help renters stay safe and allow them to access the property more conveniently.
  • Smart TVs to allow renters to watch their own streaming services while on their vacation.
  • Automated lights and thermostats to add that modern touch and lower your utility costs.

Many “smart” devices will allow you to control them remotely. For example:

  • A smart lock lets you provide each renter with a unique code to access the property. When their rental term is over, you can disable that code.
  • A smart thermostat allows you to set the A/C or heat on an efficient schedule.
  • Connected security cameras allow you to monitor the property to make sure no one is entering without authorization.

While you can use these types of smart technology to manage and monitor your rental property while no one is present, your guests have certain rights while they are renting the property. You cannot use smart cameras to spy on your guests, to name one obvious example. Local and state laws may set other limits as well, such as requiring you to keep the thermostat within a certain range.

Consider eco-friendly upgrades

Many vacation rental guests are becoming environmentally conscious. They often prefer vacation rentals that prioritize sustainability, and may be willing to pay a premium for accommodations that cater to their priorities. You can attract eco-conscious guests with upgrades like:

  • Energy-efficient appliances.
  • Low-flow toilets and shower heads.
  • Recycling bins.

If you have questions about your legal rights and responsibilities as a vacation property owner, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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