Would you like to buy a vacation property in order to turn it into a short-term rental? With the rise of the vacation rental market, there are many opportunities for growth to those who want to purchase a supplemental property. However, a rental property takes thoughtful consideration and a few key steps to ensure success to you as the owner.
Consider the Area
Location is everything when it comes to a successful vacation rental. If you choose the wrong property, it can mean the difference between a fully booked guest list or a vacant unused home. In Orlando, it’s important to choose a home that is near the attraction areas.
You should also look in resort communities which cater to vacationers. Homes in these communities benefit from various amenities like resort style pools, club houses, on site eateries, and more. These community features give an edge to homes who want to compete for guests who might also be looking at hotels.
Do the Math
Understand all the costs and figure out if it works for you. Create a spread sheet with all your expenses such as maintenance, utilities, taxes, HOA fees, insurance, property management, amenities, and other miscellaneous items. Subtract those expenses from the potential income you expect to make in a vacation rental.
Taxes and Insurance
If you plan on renting out your home to guests, you need to obtain a business license and pay any hotel taxes that are required to run the home as a business.
In addition to paying taxes, make sure you purchase a home in an area that allows vacation rentals. Complying with the local laws will ensure you are able to run your vacation home for a long time without hefty fines or fees down the line.
As for insurance, look for insurance policies that will protect your home from renters. The correct insurance could save you headaches down the road.
Furnish your home
As vacation rentals have grown in popularity, the demand for quality resort style accommodations from guests has grown increasingly important. Guests want accommodations the rival hotels such as modern finishes, nice furniture, lots of bathrooms, and hotel-quality beds and linens. Well-designed rooms are a must! Entertainment options are important too. Guest expect homes to have cable and Wi-Fi at a minimum. Some entertainment options like a pools, hot tubs, and game rooms are also enticing.
Write a Quality Home Description and Take Amazing Photos
Once your home is beautifully furnished, you need to take quality photos of all the rooms and exterior locations. You’ll also need to write a great description that highlights why guests need to pick your home over all their other options. When a guest is browsing multiple properties to book, clear crisp high quality photos that give them a sense of the space will stand out. Photos that are grainy or sparse descriptions will make people feel like the owner is hiding something and might decide not to book a stay.
Hire a Property Management Company
If you are managing your rental from another state or country, you will need to consider how you will handle maintenance issues, customer service requests and inquiries, and cleaning staffs. Property management can be a 24/7 job, especially when an problem arises from a guest in the middle of the night. At those times, it can be difficult to manage this issues from afar.
Besides just the practical aspects of owning a vacation home, a full-service property management company can also provide marketing services for your home. Plus, the management company, like our sister company Casa Floridian, will give a face and voice to your guests. The staff will help them check in and check out and answer any questions guests have.
Create a Welcome Package and Instructions, pre arrival and during the stay
There are a lot of standard questions guests will have each time your rent out your home. How will they get the key? How will you invoice and get paid? How will guests find the things in the home they need like the Wi-Fi password or how to work the television or appliances. A welcome packet that answers many of the guests’ questions and concerns, plus a written process of your standard procedures to process a rental will make everyone’s life easier.
Consider Customer Service Needs
Because of the competitive market, it’s important to think how you cover the customer service aspect of your business. Potential guests expect prompt, courteous service. They want to be able to speak with real people who can answer their questions and concerns. If you can’t handle this aspect of running the business, property management companies like our sister company, Casa Floridian, can help take on the task for you.
From the purchase of a home to assisting you with the resources to manage you vacation rental successfully, Viva Orlando is here to help you from the start of the buying process through the life of your home. If you are ready to get started, email Milena@vivaorlando.com for more information.