If you have thought about renting your property short term, congrats. There is no better way to make a return on your investment! There is quite a bit of work involved however to make it a complete success. You may not have thought about everything and through our experience of helping owners take the plunge, we thought it would be rude not to share 5 things you probably didn’t know about renting your property short term.
Guests arriving at strange times
If your vacation rental is in an exotic location or near an airport, chances are that your guests may arrive at strange times. Flights tend to land at stupid times either early in the morning or late at night so it really is a bit of a lottery as to when your guest will turn up. It is not uncommon to be co-ordinating a check in past midnight. It is just one of the things that you probably didn’t consider when thinking about running a vacation rental but something which is fundamental to its success.
Wifi is seen as a human right
This is true on so many levels. If you do not have wifi in your property and are unwilling to invest in it, expect the amount of bookings that you get to be very little. Wifi is essential these days for travelers. If you are in a tourist destination and expect to get a lot of guests from overseas it is essential as often the guests will not have a local sim card so it will be the only way that they can check emails and keep in touch with home.
In Asia, the two biggest things which people tend to complain about is a wifi service which is poor or air conditioning not working. These are both fundamental to have fixed and in great working order. I don’t know about you but when I am looking for somewhere to stay, internet speed is something high on the list.
People like to ask questions
The amount of questions you can receive before someone books can vary greatly. Some people do not ask any questions and simply send a reservation request whereas some others may have questions about every little detail. It is difficult to judge which guests are going to book or not and it may be the case that even if you find yourself spending a lot of time ensuring you have answered the 10th question from the guest that they still do not book with you. Whereas you may have answered 15+ questions for some other guests and they book.
One thing worth thinking about though is that if a guest is asking the same question that you have already been asked before, chances are that something is not clear in your descriptions. If you address the description of your property and perhaps write exactly the answer to the common question then hopefully, you will stop answering it over and over again.
Calendars and Pricing need to be up to date
Keeping everything up to date is essential. There may come that day when you get a booking request for 7 months out. I know it is hard to think that far ahead but if it is say for Christmas then chances are that you will want to be charging more for the peak season. Equally, if you are planning to do some maintenance or you have family coming to stay at the property for a period of time then ensure that the booking is done.
May sound like quite a trivial thing but a lot of booking sites will penalise you with fines if you cannot honour a booking. These fines can vary but it can also damage your place in the search results if you cancel a booking of a guest. You also have to deal with the loss of reputation from cancelling. Think of it as the guest, you have spent time looking and finally settling on a property to then be told it is unavailable after you have already booked it. Not good!
You can make incredible amounts of cash!
Short term rentals give a higher yield than traditional renting. If you can hit 10 nights a month on the short term market then you quite often have surpassed the amount that you would have got from a traditional long term renter. Now if you get this up to 20 nights you will have doubled the amount. Imagine that, double the yield on the same property. It is a surprise there are not people doing it but I guess that is good right? Perhaps I should probably keep this quite and we should talk a little quieter.
So there you have it…
That’s all folks. Five things that you probably didn’t know about vacation rentals and short term renting which we hope you now do. Of course renting out your property short term is somewhat of a challenge to get up and running and can take a lot of effort to deal with optimizing the listing and co-ordinating with potential guests. There is another way, services do exist which can help take care of all this (cough *roomfilla* cough). Whatever way forward you choose, we wish you the best in optimizing and making the most of your vacation rental property.