You plowed through the homes for sale listings, found your dream vacation home, and finally sealed the deal. Exciting isn't it? Congratulations.
Now, time to get into the business side of things. You need to put the home out for renting but have no idea where to start. Here are a few guidelines to help walk you through the process.
Furnish and Equip your Home
Apart from normal household furniture, you will need a whole lot of supplies. These will include items such as toilet paper, hangers, trash cans, hair dryers, towels, etc.
Get Your Contractors in Order
When disaster strikes, you don't want to be in a hurry to find a contractor you can trust. Vet them beforehand so that you can make a quick call when you have an emergency. Key contractors to decide on are your plumbing and heating, electrical repair services, and water removal contractors.
Plumbing or heating issues would upset guests and probably get you a bad review. Electrical problems could have the same effect, but they could also be dangerous for anyone in the building. Water damage (such as a flood) could leave lasting, expensive damage.
Make a Contract
You need a contract to protect your interests. The contract should contain house rules and regulations as well as a detailed payment plan. Get the assistance of a lawyer.
Establish the Rates
Decide on your daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Also, define your minimum length of stay. Make sure your rates are competitive compared to other similar facilities and hotels in the area.
Avoid charging extra fees, such as cleaning services. Offer discounts for large groups or longer stays.
Describe your Property
Now write a detailed description of your property. Highlight your best features. Do you have a backyard or a deck, a stunning view? Say so. But do not lie or exaggerate.
State the number of bedrooms and types of beds you have, whether single, queen-sized, or bunk beds. Mention your neighborhood and any activities within the vicinity of the facility such as museums, shopping malls, specialty restaurants, etc.
Don't forget to include photos of your facility. Include photos of the interior, exterior and any unique features that you might have mentioned. Finally, give your contact information in case something happens.
It's time to let the world know that you are in business. Travel sites and vacation rental forums such as Airbnb.com and booking.com are a good place to advertise your business.
You may also distribute your brochures at local travel agencies and restaurants.
Be quick to respond to inquiries and screen your guests. Find out how many they are, how long they are staying and whether they conform to the kind of clientele you are looking for.
Get them to sign the contract and receive the deposit. This is typically 10% of the total cost. Get someone, probably a housekeeper, to receive the guests and to hand over the keys.
You may not get everything right the first time. The key is to stay responsive to your guests' needs without going overboard. Remember, you are in business. If you feel overwhelmed by all this and need more information, consider hiring the services of a property management company.