If you’ve never owned a vacation home before, be prepared to learn a lot about taxes, lease agreements, and customer service. But these lessons will come with time and experience, and you will work out the kinks in no time. Right now, you are probably most interested in making the best impression on your guests, earning rave reviews, and supplementing your income. From setting up the ideal bedroom to taking photos that showcase your home’s appeal, the following suggestions can help you get started.

What your guests want

You already know that your location plays a role in how often you lease your property and how much it will command per night. But more than being walking distance from the attractions, vacationers want a cozy rental that feels like home.

Starting in the bedroom, you’ll want to make sure it’s a restful retreat. After all, nobody wants to plan for a week of relaxation only to be kept awake thanks to an uncomfortable bed or paper thin walls. Angie’s List offers a rundown of what a restful bedroom should have. This list includes blackout shades, cozy bedding, clutter-free decor, and sounds that lull you into slumber. In addition to these things, you will also want to make sure to have extra pillows and blankets. If your home has a view, position the bed to take advantage of the scenery.

The kitchen and bathroom are other areas to pay close attention to. Breckenridge Vacation properties explains that a well-stocked kitchen should include everything needed to cook, including a pantry filled with a few staples. A cookbook with local recipes is a nice touch, and a coffee maker is almost non-negotiable. Provide sample bottle toiletries in the bathroom, including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. These items are ridiculously inexpensive but hold great value to anyone who forgot to pack the essentials. You can pick up a supply at your local dollar store or buy in bulk online.

When your rental targets outdoor enthusiasts, such as beach- or mountain-goers, make the outdoor space fun, functional, and accessible. An outdoor patio with dining table, a simple fire pit, or play area for families with children will go a long way toward increasing customer satisfaction. These outdoor living space examples are great inspiration. 

Attract attention

It doesn’t matter if you have a luxury condo, backyard apartment, or an outlandish vacation rental, your photographs and property description are what draw people in. Get comfortable behind the camera or hire a professional to help you photograph the best features of your home. Taking your own photos is work, but it pays off and will help you stand out in the crowd. Before you start snapping away, stage the property by cleaning it from top to bottom. Then, open the windows to take advantage of the natural light. Don’t be afraid to light a fire and show off the best of each space and from multiple views.

Make things clear and convenient

In addition to an accurate property description, you also want to be very clear on your rental policies. Money stresses that a strong rental agreement combined with a required security deposit can help guard against rowdy vacationers. Make sure your guests are well aware of your policies before they schedule their booking. Important points to note include the cancellation timeline, method of payment, occupancy limit, and any restrictions, such as pets or smoking, that would result in the loss of their security deposit.

Launching your vacation rental business is fun and exciting. And even if you plan to stop with just one property, it’s a learning experience. But with a few pre-emptive steps, such as having a clear-cut rental agreement and a clean, comfortable, and well-equipped property, you can find success and supplement your income.

Contact Christopher Louviere to purchase your first rental property in Charleston SC!

Image via Pixabay

Post was guest written by Erin Reynolds.