The hospitality industry used to be the domain of hotel chains and property management firms, but now anyone with rental property can join in on the fun. In recent years, the industry has been rocked by a massive shift in consumer habits, with travelers preferring vacation rentals over hotels. A recent report revealed that the number of vacation rentals has doubled year-on-year, while new hotel construction remained flat.
Rental properties offer features that are often absent in hotels. For instance, many vacation rentals are pet-friendly, which allows people to travel with their pets. And since renters have the entire property to themselves, they can enjoy extra privacy. Access to a kitchen also allows travelers to cook their own meals. Travelers want more value for their money, and they can extract a more personalized experience from rentals.
Of course, you just can’t put your house up for rent and call it a day. The vacation rental space is notoriously cutthroat, and you have to compete with companies with extensive portfolios. Land surveyors allow you to maximize your land, but not your home. Here are a few things you need to do to prepare your property for vacation rentals.
1. Build an experience
Hotels are averse to risk and experimentation, which is why rentals have exploded in popularity. Unlike hotels, you can experiment with different styles and methods until you find one that works. You can also adapt to a wide variety of travelers by making changes that fit their needs. A rental property isn’t just a bed and a shower. It should also form the bedrock of the vacation. You can make your customers’ stay more memorable by offering a more personalized experience.
Let’s say you a couple has rented your property for their honeymoon. You can offer a selection of local treats and delicacies or even a romantic candle-lit dinner by the beach. Many rentals also leave a quick guide to popular hangouts and destinations nearby.
2. Make your property stand out
For your rental to succeed, you need to understand how the rental process works. Put yourself in the shoes of the traveler. They have to sift through dozens, if not hundreds of listings, all basically offering the same thing: a place to stay. You can make your property stand out by offering a unique service that is lacking in your area. For instance, you can allow pets on your property. It’s better to capture a specific segment of travelers than to appeal to everyone.
First impressions are crucial as well. The average person only spends a few seconds reading a listing, so you need to capture their attention right away. Hire a professional to take photographs of your property. It also helps to hire a copywriter to write compelling content for the website.
Make sure to highlight the property’s best features. Avoid using general descriptions that do nothing to stimulate the imagination. Instead, specify what makes your property noteworthy. You could talk about its history, decor, and proximity to important landmarks. Help readers imagine what it’s like to stay in your vacation rental.
3. Invest in design
If people wanted to stay in a generic room, they would book a hotel instead. One reason why travelers prefer vacation rentals is the diversity of designs. You want your customers to feel like they’re fully immersed in the place. Investing in art and good design elevates the entire experience and makes their stay feel more special.
You have to draw inspiration from your locale. If you’re traveling to the mountains, I’m sure you’d prefer a traditional log cabin to an ordinary hotel room. You can go one step further by buying local art and displaying them in your rental. Connect with local artisans to create customized furniture.
The bottom line
If you’re thinking of turning one of your properties into a vacation rental, these three tips will give you a head start. The rental industry may be booming, but travelers also have higher expectations. They require more than a bed and a shower. To ensure success in this industry, you need to create an experience that your customers will remember.
Think about what experience you want to deliver. Most rental properties appeal to the general traveler, but you might find more success by carving out a niche for yourself. Once the foundation has been set, you need to build a good presence for your property on the internet. Finally, small touches can go a long way in elevating the entire experience.