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How To Rent A Vacation Home

List Your Vacation Home In The Right Places

Intro to Vacation Home Rentals – How to Rent your Vacation Home

With professional photos, a virtual tour, and a well-written description, you now have the perfect vacation rental listing. Post it in several places online to get the most possible views and bookings. Start with the most popular sitesAirbnb,, and Vrbo. Then, fill in the gaps with niche vacation rental sites like American Snowbird and

Thats what Vacasa does for our homeownersplus, we go several steps further:

  • Sync all of your channels and calendars
  • Optimize all your listings with keywords and catchy headlines
  • Nurture tight-knit partnerships with top channels , resulting in our homes often being listed at the top of search results and receiving guaranteed dedicated support

Climate For Your Stay In Kauai Vacation Homes

The afternoon winter rains in Hawaii don’t stop the vacationers nabbing Kauai vacation rentals, in an effort to escape the cold back home. This pushes the prices up, particularly over Christmas and New Year. Likewise, the summer is often busy with families whose kids are on break from school. If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, try to visit in spring or fall. Between April and June or September and November the prices have dipped, the beaches are emptier and the weather wonderfully bright and sunny.

Cable Tv Or Streaming Services

Even if they dont make use of the television, most guests will look for TV access as a must-have amenity in their vacation rental.

The ideal combination would be to offer cable television on a Smart TV, allowing access to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, as well as live television for local news and weather reports.

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Not Studying The Amenities

Find out what your home and location offer before you arrive, Clark says. Particularly in response to COVID-19, some hosts and property managers have limited the amenities they offer in a vacation rental, such as extra bedding, linens, condiments, coffee, etc. Knowing this before you head out for your vacation will help you better prepare, figure out your plans, and not deal with the headache of purchasing supplies when you arrive.

Market To Different Audiences

Where $100 million in Vacation Rental Startups is Going

If youre struggling to fill the vacancies in your vacation home, it might be time to think outside the box: A home can be used for more than just a vacation, Barton points out.

In the offseason, he suggests, you can offer up your luxury home as a spot for a corporate retreat. Or consider hosting a writers workshop, or rolling out the yoga mats for groups looking for a wellness weekend away.

Just make sure you bone up on the rules and regulations on using your home this way. In some markets, you might have to add the owner of the event to your insurance and/or purchase extra liability coverage.

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Should I Send A Friend To Inspect My Rental

Yes, if you can. If you are staying in an area to visit friends, ask them to contact the owner or management company, and inspect the property before you rent. If the unit is unoccupied, theres a good chance theyll be able to do a quick inspection. This can even result in a lower price since the owner/management company will know the local can refer future customers.

Do Keep In Mind The Costs

Owning a vacation rental property comes with several associated costs. If real estate investors decide to list their property on online booking sites, they are likely to be charged a monthly fee. In addition, they will be responsible for other costs such as HOA fees, insurance, hotel taxes , and utilities. These overheads could also include property taxes, property management fees, taxes on rental income, mortgage payments, and licenses.

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Dont Forget The Deposit

Seasonal rentals may require a large upfront security deposit, so dont forget to factor this into your budget. Also, be aware of the process by which your deposit will be returned. Understand what conditions must be met in order for you to get your deposit back. This will help prevent arguments at the end of the rental agreement period.

Choose An Appealing Vacation Location

How to Rent A Vacation Home (BEST) Lessons Learned

People buy vacation properties to use as a second home or to bring in rental income that offsets some of the costs of ownership. Some investors specialize in vacation rentals and build real estate portfolios consisting exclusively of vacation rental properties. When buying a vacation investment property, its important to choose a location that is appealing to rentersnear the coast, on a lakefront, or in popular travel destinations, for example.

The best locations are near attractions such as beaches, mountains, lakes, casinos, or a state or national park. Location, amenities, and attractions are important when considering where to buy a vacation rental property. Choose a vacation rental property in an area you like but also consider how renters will access and enjoy the rental property too.

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Use Professional Photographs Of Your Home

When you list your home, you need to put on your marketing hat. After all, there is a lot of competition. You need to stand out.

The most important selling mechanism you have are the photos you upload in your homes profile. People do judge a home by the photos. I know I do .

The following is a simple set of tips on how to get the most from your vacation home listings photographs.

a. Get professional photos: Hire a professional photographer or if the vacation rental website offers photographers, take them up on it. Poor lighting and low quality photos diminish your home and will hurt overall revenue. On the flip side, if your photos are well above average, you enjoy a benefit.

The potential revenue of your listing is tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, its worth investing a few hundred dollars on high quality photos.

b. Tidy your home for the photoshoot: I dont suggest staging your home with furniture that wont be there when guests arrive. However, you certainly want to tidy up your home and make it look as nice as possible without being misleading.

c. Weather: If at all possible, get photos taken on a sunny day. Rain doesnt sell. If youre renting a vacation ski rental, get photos when theres snow on the ground.

d. Use plenty of photos: Get photos of the exterior and interior of your home. If there are nearby attractions, get photos of those attractions.

Provide Added Extras For Your Guests

Satisfied customers and high-ranking reviews lead to repeat customers and more revenue in your pocket. One way to help accomplish this is to provide unexpected extras for your guests.

One example is to set out a bottle of wine, coffee and snacks for your guests when they arrive. Another would be providing a concierge book full of information about the local area, and perhaps discounts at local businesses. Happy guests lead to repeat bookings and perhaps the ability to raise your rates.

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Bonus: How To Stock A Vacation Rental Home

Ultimately, the amenities you decide to stock in your vacation rental will depend on its location, property, and guest types. Additional amenities may also be stocked to make it go from a good rental to the perfect rental category.

For example, if you own a beach vacation rental, it would be important to stock it on extra towels, picnic baskets, spare coolers for the beach, and even some snorkeling equipment and a pail and shovel for the kids. A cabin rental will require other things such as water bottles, hiking trail maps, and even some hiking gear.

You can always provide your guests with basic amenities and still get good reviews. However, if you really want to impress them, its important to go the extra mile! A great way to decide on the best amenities for vacation rentals is by going around your property, picturing yourself as a guest and asking yourself what do I need in here? and most importantly, what would be great to offer to make my guests feel like royalty?.

If youre worried about offering too many vacation rental supplies and amenities, you can keep track with an inventory checklist and include everything you offer, and have it signed by the guest. Both parties agree on all of the items that are left in the vacation rental, as well as their current state.

How To Turn Your Home Or Condo Into A Vacation Rental

50 awesome vacation rentals: A great place to stay in every state

This article was co-authored by Hannah Park. Hannah Park is a Licensed Real Estate Agent operating in Los Angeles, California and is a part of Keller Williams, Larchmont. She received her Real Estate Certification in 2018 from the California Bureau of Real Estate, and now specializes as a Buyer’s Agent and Listing Agent.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 155,361 times.

The vacation rental industry has changed rapidly in the last several years, and it’s now easier than ever to rent out your home or condo on a long or short-term basis. Whether you’d like to permanently convert your home into a vacation rental, or just rent out your apartment for a few weeks while you’re on vacation, there are people out there who want to rent it, and websites and services that will help make it happen. Do keep in mind that renting out your home can be a major undertaking, so it is important to know what you are getting into, and to prepare accordingly. With a little bit of planning and hard work, you can put your home to work for you, and meet a lot of new and interesting people in the process.

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Make Local Experience Recommendations

Write a brief guide of local restaurants and attractions with your personal recommendations. Short reviews and maps are helpful for new visitors from out of town. This personal touch can set you apart from corporate hotels.

Make the most of your vacation rental and take every step to ensure delightful experiences. You have the power to make your resources work for you.

Where To Book Your Vacation Rental Online

The major players in the vacation home rental business are VRBO, airBnB,, and TripAdvisor . Another popular site in some areas of Florida, particularly the Florida Keys, is

Although is focused mostly on hotels, motels and resorts, their inventory of vacation home rentals has grown exponentially in recent years so they bear a look.

VRBO is my favorite. I often get actionable results quickly and easily, and the selection is nothing short of amazing.

airBnb may be the most well-known of the group. Ive worked with them as a host but not as a guest.

Booking.comoften has the most listings, and they also have more options, including hotels. TripAdvisor is another good choice. Is listings are enhanced by the popular and comprehensive TripAdvisor database of restaurant reviews and travel tips. is my go-to reservations service for hotels when Im on the road, but dont ignore their vacation home rental listings. When you arrive at their home page, use the filters in the left column to narrow your choices to vacation homes, beach rentals, condos, cabins, cottages, etc.

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When Is The Best Time To Buy

If youve come this far in your guide, chances are, youre getting serious about buying a vacation rental. Now comes an important decision: when to buy your vacation rental.

Some experts will say that its best to buy your vacation rental during the slow season because thats when youre most likely to get a great deal. On the contrary, you may want to consider buying during peak season instead. This will allow you to experience the property as your guests would. Not only will you personally witness the homes selling points, but it also allows you to identify any potential issues that you might not detect otherwise.

For example, lets say that you buy a vacation property in a remote mountain village. Although the area is quiet in the spring and summer, the colder months draw a large tourist population for skiing and other winter sports. If you had purchased the home over the summer, you might not pick up on critical cues such as the need to keep the driveway clear of ice or that the heating system needs an upgrade. By experiencing the property first-hand during peak season, youll be able to make the necessary adjustments to provide your guests a premium experience.

You Can Always Negotiate

How To Rent Florida Vacation Homes | Tips & Tricks

Almost every cost of a vacation home rental is negotiable, from the amount of the deposit to the weekly or monthly rent. If the person renting the home out is unwilling to budge on either of these items, see if theyll throw in an extra days or weeks rental at a slightly lower price. If the property isnt booked and you know it, this can be a great leverage point when negotiating.

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Stock With Food Storage Containers

Many guests will probably want to enjoy extensive day trips during their stay to explore the sights in your area. You can ensure that your rental supplies food storage containers for hiking enthusiasts to prepare and pack their own lunch for the day. Of course, food storage containers are notorious for getting lost so you could also just provide a roll of tin foil and cling film as an alternative option.

Read The Whole Contract

Unfortunately, people are often so happy they landed a vacation home they wanted and so eager to start having fun that they overlook the importance of the contract. This document should not be ignored. It explains what expenses you are on the hook for. It will outline not only your payment schedule but also your liability in case of damages or if extra cleaning is needed.

Make sure you understand who pays for:

  • Utility Bills
  • Cleaning/Housekeeping
  • Propane/Gas

Keep in mind that the costs involved in air conditioning or heating a vacation rental can be sizable, so be sure to factor those into your budget if the owner has not already included them in the rent. You should also be aware of the landlords policies regarding pets and subleasing. Vacation rental resources website HomeAway has several sample contracts and invoices to peruse so you can get a feel for what to expect.

Its important to get a checklist of whats included in the rental. For example, are beach chairs and a grill part of the deal? If they are, that could save you money. If not, you will need to factor that cost into your budget or consider bargaining for themmore on that in a bit.

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Invest In Professional Photography And A Virtual Tour

Once you have all your decor, furniture, and vacation rental essentials in place, nows the time to build up your marketing assets. Professional photos are a bare-minimum item to drive bookings. After all, your home has to first catch someones attention among the competition. Plus, youll use these photos in several places onlineincluding vacation rental booking sites, emails, and social media postsso make them too good to pass up.

Drive even more interest and more bookings by investing in a virtual tour of your property, which allows guests to easily picture themselves staying there.

If Vacasa manages your home, we provide a professional photo shoot and Matterport virtual tour of your entire home even before you get your first booking.

When Should I Consider A Vacation Rental

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  • If youre traveling with a large group, or a family, and need extra room.
  • If you dont like being bothered by housekeepers or room service, or being in close proximity with other guests, as you would be in a hotel. At many rentals, housekeeping may be available for a fee.
  • If you desire the amenities found in a home, like a full kitchen, a pool, or a living room.
  • If you value the cost savings and convenience vacation rentals represent, such as the ability to prepare meals, store snacks, or split multiple bedrooms with your friends and family, as well as the availability of in-home entertainment.
  • If you enjoy getting together with family and friends in a home-like environment, with the benefit of your own space/privacy.

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Ask Questions To Help You Know What Youre Getting With Your Vacation Rental Home

Here are a few questions you may want to ask the homeowner to be sure you understand as much as possible about the property:

  • How can I get around? Are things close enough to walk? Do I need a car? Is there convenient public transportation? If I bring a car, is covered parking included?
  • What amenities are nearby? How far are they? Grocery stores? Restaurants? The beach? Other entertainment attractions? The airport? In addition to asking the owner, you can also use mapping services to help you get a sense of the location and nearby amenities.
  • Is the neighborhood or apartment complex noisy?
  • Do the neighbors know the home is being rented? Do they approve?
  • How available are you if I have questions? Who do I call if something breaks or I have another problem?
  • Are laundry facilities available?
  • Are linens and other basics included such as sheets, towels, beach towels, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent?
  • What extra amenities do you provide?
  • Is Wi-Fi available?
  • Is the property kid-friendly? Do you allow pets?
  • What does the cleaning fee cover? Am I expected to do any cleaning before I leave?

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