It’s not merely enough to purchase an attractive property near all the right locations if you want to reach your earning potential, you have to invest time and money to ensure you’re not losing out to competitors, albeit with good intentions.
Initial costs are one thing but there’s many recurring expenses that pop up along the way and are very important to creating lasting success. The Internet may provide great platforms to make quick money, but it’s never quite so simple.
The first step is educating yourself on what it takes to run a high profile listing, so here’s a brief list of thing you’ll need to spend some money and time on if you want to make the most out of your property.
We’ve all heard it before: the kitchen is the heart of the home, but did you know it’s the biggest reasons travelers prefer vacation rentals to hotels? They’re able to save money, enjoy their stay by making their favorite meals and enjoy the property more without having to go out to eat every night.
If your property’s kitchen is sporting broken appliances and twenty-year old toasters, you’re likely to get complaints, late-night calls and sour reviews, to name a few. Bad appliances could ruin a trip, and that’s not the experience you want to provide your guests.
This means all appliances must be checked regularly and if they’re outdated, it’s time to replace them. And updated kitchen will have more travelers clicking Book and more satisfied reviews.
Wondering how to know if an appliance needs to be replaced? We’ve got you covered. These are general guidelines. Ask when you’re shopping for investment property what the age of the appliances are and factor that into your planning.
Washer/Dryer/Fridge/Dishwasher: 10-13 yrs
Microwave: 9-10 yrs
Gas Range Oven: 15 yrs
You might want to head to a local budget store and grab the cheapest couch, chair and end tables you can grab and wait for the cash to roll in, but not so quick! Discounted furniture sometimes means a discounted experience, and that’s never good for your business.
Poor investments can come back to bite you when something breaks or consumers are unhappy and discomforted. Even if guests don’t express discontent with a cheap couch, it won’t stand the test of time and after a full year or two of bookings, you’ll be replacing it anyway and wishing you’d invested in something more durable.
Furniture should be stylish, sturdy and cost-effective so it’ll last and bring your travelers lots of comfort.
You and the investor next door have identical beach houses side by side. A traveler visits your page and sees 12-15 smartphone photos of the rooms and outside deck. They visit your neighbors page and peruse 24 beautifully staged and well-lit photographs of the hallways, bedroom and view of the ocean. Who do you think they’ll choose?
If you chose your neighbor you’d be right, and it’s time to get busy. Good professional listing photography leads to more bookings, it’s a proven fact and worth the extra penny. If you’re not investing in better photos, you’re missing out.
Not only are these pictures more enticing to a guest, they show that you are serious and professional about what you do. Would you stay at a hotel that only posted photos people took on their smartphones of their stay? Then don’t offer your prospective guests any less.
Many homeowners want to know which listing site you should use, and the short answer is: all of them.
Different travelers use different sites, that’s the biggest difference, just like people might have a favorite gas station. The more sites you use, the better chances you’ll have of pulling in all the guests who love your property. You want to be seen by a large pool of guests, so getting in front of lots of travelers on more than one site is the equivalent to posting a billboard on a highway versus a side street. The more eyes, the better.
If you’re not able to post on a million different sites choose 2-3 that work well for you and your target customer and compare that pros and cons of each to find the best formula for your property.
Take the time to write your listing and present the most relevant information to your travelers. Don’t forget to help them create a picture of what a day in the rental feels like.
Spelling and grammar mistakes and rambling descriptions are a no-no. Be descriptive, catchy and direct so you’re sharing information while remaining brief. It might takes you several revisions to get it right, but hang in there! A few pro tips to help you revamp your descriptions include:
- Capture attention with your headline
- Place best amenities and info first
- Triple check errors
- Adjust the listing based on events and season
Listings with the most reviews and the best reviews always rank higher, in fact those with 50+ reviews outperform the competition in almost every market.
So, how do you get more reviews, after all they require guest participation.
Here’s some quick pro tips that will help you snag more reviews and soar to the top of the search results:
Offer cool incentives
Follow up by email, phone or handwritten card
Review your travelers
Professionalism is essential in this industry. While it might feel very casual to rent out your rental, you shouldn’t be any less professional that you would at a resort or hotel. And this begins…
Guests will have questions, and being able to get in touch with someone quickly and obtain answers sooner rather than later is a huge necessity. They also will want detailed booking confirmation to make sure everything went through smoothly.
If your professionalism could use a makeover, consider the following:
Respond to all inquiries in one hour
Use social media
Update your calendar
Respond to all reviews
And then there’s…
Going above and beyond will ensure their stay is a phenomenal one and they’ll be motivated to leave a 5-star review. This means, keep things clean and in order. Leave a small token of appreciation. Respond to problems and questions during the stay with timeliness and hospitality.
Consider doing these things:
Welcome your guests personally or with a greeter
Make yourself available for an emergency
Gift local snacks and small tokens
As you can see, it takes time and money to upkeep a property and make sure you listing is always at its best. Think of exceeding expectations and you’ll be on the right path in no time. At B&B Fusion we can help with your listing and your general maintenance as well as tips on how to boost your professionalism, clean up your descriptions and secure more guests!