With the continual rise of rental property popularity over booking hotels, it’s no surprise that the market is becoming wildly saturated with all sorts of vacation rentals.
But not all are good rentals.
If you’ve ever booked a place for yourself or if you’ve researched other rental property listings, then you’ve seen it all before:
- Blurry or dark photos of the rental property
- A listing description that barely tells you anything about the property, let alone what’s included
- Mediocre reviews that leave you wondering whether the price is worth the risk
- Zero suggestions of what to do nearby or how to get from the property to the nearest public transit
Listings like these may get bookings, but they’re probably not often and probably not by the types of guests you want in your own rental property.
Then, you search through the higher-priced, higher-rated listings and totally drool over the beautifully-designed bathrooms, the specifically-curated amenities, and the luring photos.
These listings are booked even throughout the slowest of seasons. Why? Because the owners or property management teams go above and beyond to make sure the space is advertised correctly to the potential client – who, by the way, is ready to book.
The client is on their laptop with their wallet in their hands, and they’ve probably searched through 5-10 listings for their particular vacation or business trip and have it narrowed down to two.
So what will make them book your rental?
We’ve compiled a list of key suggestions for the best ways to make your rental property more attractive in such a competitive market.
Know Your Guest
Who are you trying to lure in?
Knowing who your ideal guest is can save you a lot of time – and make you more money – when listing your property for rent because you can offer a specific type of setting, a well-thought-out list of suggestions on what to do in the area or how to get around, and the right amenities.
Is your property in the financial or corporate district in town? Then maybe you’re looking to book travelers who are here mostly for business.
People traveling for business need a few simple, but crucial things:
- Comfortable bed
- Quick coffee or tea maker
- Small kitchen
- Great shower
- Iron or steamer
- Note pads and pens
Or maybe your property is central to the main tourist drag, or in a quirky neighborhood, and you mostly host travelers who are in town for a weekend or week-long getaway.
Vacation travelers might need:
- A slightly larger kitchen or dining area
- Kitchen amenities, including coffee/tea maker and basic cooking utensils
- Comfortable sleeping arrangements
- Great shower or bath
- Streaming TV or movie-viewing services
- Suggestions of what to do nearby
- Laundry services
You can see that by simply writing out lists of the needs based on the type of traveler, you can better equip your space to meet their every need.
Design It Well
So you know the type of guest who will be your most popular renter. Now you must make your space look and feel like everything they could ask for based on their needs.
The colors of your space will create a certain type of mood. If you want to create a soothing and relaxing feeling in a bedroom or bathroom, try using cooler colors, such as gray or blue tones.
Cooler colors blended with earthy hues like greens and taupes can make a guest feel productive and relaxed.
Warmer colors, like reds, oranges, and desert hues, create a more energizing atmosphere.
Putting art in your vacation rental is a must-do, but different styles can create completely different experiences.
Art that exhibits the beachy vibes of Miami, for example, would be best for a rental property luring in guests who literally want a beach vacation.
Abstract art in neutral colors may appeal more to a business vibe or someone looking to relax.
Everyone wants a cozy couch and a comfy bed to sleep in. Make sure you’re investing in quality, high-functioning furniture for your space – and make sure it matches your vibe!
Is your space more of a modern, minimalist design? Maybe go with a mid-century modern couch, a simple glass-top coffee table with brass legs, and a sharp-looking bed set that resembles something out of a Scandinavian home decor magazine.
Do not forget to accessorize your space!
Have windows? (Well, we hope you do). Then purchase some plants to bring nature in and help clean the air. Houseplants help create a more natural environment and also lift your mood.
If you are doing a minimalist look, try adding a patterned rug in the living room. Top it off with plenty of books or magazines on the shelves for your guests to use when in need of a break from those expense reports or an afternoon of reading with a cup of tea.
Amenities and Comfort
Did we say cup of tea?
Make your space every guest’s cup of tea by providing the best amenities. Get a Keurig for easy coffee brewing. Stock your bathroom with organic shampoo and soap. Invest in the fluffiest towels. Make sure there are extra blankets and pillows in the closet. Don’t forget a white-noise maker or small fan for light sleepers.
Wifi is a must, and a great add-on if you’ve put a television in the place is accessibility to streaming shows and movies.
Think about it like this: you want to offer all of the comforts of home – and maybe more – to make sure your guests have an incredible, comfortable stay. They’ll want to book again the next time in town or even suggest your place to a friend!
Now that your design ducks are in a row, take some photos of every room in your vacation rental.
And not just any photos – take great quality photos. Not a natural photographer? No fear. These days, iPhones take amazing photos and offer editing right on the phone. You can also rent a camera from a shop in town or even hire someone to take photos. Chances are, you have a photographer friend – or you know someone who does.
Why are pictures so important? Because when potential renters are looking for a space to book, they want to see what they’re paying for and what they might experience. Microsoft research shows that we are down to an 8-second attention span.
So catch. Their. Eye.
Your photos need to not only accurately portray your rental property but also “wow” your future renter with clarity and detail. You want them to feel the warmth of the rose-quartz colored walls in the bedroom. They should immediately relax when looking at the gray linen couch in the sitting area.
And don’t forget to include the details – offer pictures of the kitchen, the coffee maker, the art on the walls, the windows, the view from the windows, the soaps in the shower, the patio if you have one.
All of these elements are key to visually attracting your next renter.
Offers and Suggestions
Want to book guests for longer periods of time? Offer a discount for 2, 3, and 4-week bookings. Not everyone is restricted to only a week or so of vacation a year, so make sure to offer those looking for a longer-term vacation rental a little bonus for booking your space.
Also, don’t forget to give your guests suggestions. It can be handy to even make a small booklet or binder with lists of your favorite restaurants in town, best bar scenes, best shopping areas, and family-friendly attractions.
Go the extra mile by listing public transit routes and tips, suggestions for spas to visit if your guest is looking for a pampering experience, and grocery stores for your longer-term renters.
Detailed Listing Description
This speaks for itself – make sure to accurately and thoroughly describe your vacation rental property. Guests can look at pictures, but they won’t know you offer coffee and tea unless you tell them. They won’t know about the streaming television or the selection of travel books in the living room. They won’t know how cozy the bed is – unless you tell them.
Providing a detailed description of your property will not only reel in the guests you want but may also weed out the ones you don’t.
Is your place not fit for small children? Say it! Don’t want people cooking huge meals in your small kitchen? Let them know it’s stocked with only basic utensils. There are plenty of ways to make sure you’re communicating what your vacation rental has to offer with your guests.
Communication with Guests
We’ve already emphasized communicating the space to your guests, but what about communicating with them?
Whether you self-manage your rental or work with a vacation rental management company like eLeasing Solutions, great communication should be a top priority.
You want your guests to know that the host or property manager is available, whether there is an issue with something in the rental space, they’ve locked themselves out, or they need help figuring out the neighborhood.
Whatever the potential need, communication with your vacation rental property guest is key.
Last but not least, reviews!
Reviews in this day and age can literally be the deciding factor if a prospective renter is flopping between your property and someone else’s.
If someone isn’t sure they want to spend $150 per night on your place – even though it looks amazing – they may be swayed by positive reviews from previous guests.
So beat out the competition by getting amazing reviews from your previous guests. The best way to ensure getting great reviews? Follow steps 1-7 above.
If your space is designed well, listed accurately, offers comfortable perks, and your communication with a guest is a top priority, you will receive great reviews.
Sometimes, things happen and a guest may be dissatisfied with the firmness of the mattress, or how long the hot water lasts in the shower. But don’t fret – the other highlights of a vacation rental often overshadow these quirks and guests still may give a 4 or even 5-star rating of your space.
How We Can Help
Ready to list your property and get the best guests to book? Contact us at eLeasing Solutions to have an honest, hard-working team professionally manage your vacation rental property to get you the best bookings and best reviews and the best clients. Call us at 866-851-2522 or visit our website at www.eleasingsolutions.com to learn more.