Having a vacation rental property means you have to work twice as hard to satisfy your temporary tenants—especially if you want to score great reviews and continue attracting people to your property. Whether you invested in vacation property or simply use your primary home as a vacation property on Airbnb, there are many ways you can create unique vacation rental experiences. And before you read on, take a look at this list of mistakes you should never make with your rental property.
Make Your Listing Stand Out
According to a joint study conducted by the University of Texas and HomeAway, guests were 73% more likely to remember their experience if they were able to get excited about the property before they even arrived. This means that your listing content and photos need to be as descriptive as possible. Always use high-quality, professional images. While some modern smartphones have great cameras, you’ll still notice the difference between professional photography and amateur photography. Hiring a photographer will pay for itself in the long run, and Airbnb offers free photography services in some locations.
Work With Local Businesses
Working with local businesses is a great way to help your guests truly feel immersed in your neighborhood. After all, one of the biggest perks of choosing a rental property over a hotel is the ability to integrate yourself into a local community. Partnering with a local business creates a win-win situation for you and the business you choose to work with, in addition to creating a unique experience for your guest(s).
For example, you might want to partner with a local diner or restaurant to offer free breakfast to your guests. You’ll find that smaller businesses (as opposed to chain restaurants) are very flexible with their options. Walk in and ask to speak to the manager or owner. Be sure to present key benefits for them. For example, you might offer to pay for ten breakfast vouchers in advance, in exchange for a discounted price on the bulk deal. Then, you’d provide those vouchers to your guests.
Of course, there are also many types of businesses you can partner with—from bakeries to ice parlors to coffee shops, your options are limitless. You can also work with companies that offer experiences; instead of exclusive items like breakfast vouchers, you might provide discounts instead.
Stage Your Home
According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell 73% faster than those that aren’t. Although you’re renting your home and not selling it, the same concept still applies. The decor and ambiance that your home evokes is crucial to the overall user experience. If you take a look at some of the best vacation rental properties across different platforms, you’ll notice that many of them follow a theme that makes their home stand out.
For example, a vacation rental property near the beach might have a nautical theme. But this doesn’t mean you have to always acclimate your decor to your surroundings; any cohesive theme will do. For example, you might have an artsy, modern theme, with gallery walls filled with abstract art and books. With this in mind, it’s also important that your property evokes personality without feeling too personal. This means eliminating family photos and personal belongings.
Pay Extra Attention to Your Amenities
When you arrive at a hotel, one of the most important aspects of your stay are the amenities you provide. Of course, you’re able to provide the basics—but when you take your amenities to the next level, you’re much more likely to score a fantastic review. Buying some of the better amenities in bulk will allow you to save in the long-run. But you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on amenities for your guests to be happy. Plush bathrobes, slippers, and ample toiletries. Other items, like board games, universal chargers, and a Keurig machine with plenty of coffee options, are also great add-ons.
If you visit some of the most highly rated Airbnbs around the world, you’ll find that many “Superhosts” offer their guests “freebies” that truly make guests feel appreciated. Often, these freebies might be synonymous with the location. For example, in Lisbon a host might offer a popular local dessert, pastel de nata. In the Loire Valley of France, a host might offer a free bottle of local wine. In Taiwan, curated teas would be favorable.
Make It Easy
Navigating your property might feel intuitive to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s intuitive to your guests. There are many areas of your space that could take some adjustments. For this reason, it’s best to create a manual for them. Think of your manual as an FAQ for your property. Think of all the questions a visitor could possibly ask, such as where to take out the garbage, where to locate extra linens and towels, or how to work the laundry machine—and build a how-to around those answers. A thoughtfully curated and printed table guide is a nice way to add a useful touch that your guests will appreciate.
You also want to make it easy for them to navigate the local area—especially in bigger cities. For instance, you might want to highlight some of your favorite local restaurants and shops nearby. Where applicable, provide transit maps (which are usually free of charge at stations).