Beginner’s Guide To Renting Out a Vacation Home

Purchasing a vacation property is a big investment, but renting it out can pay off in spades given enough time. While finding the right property to buy may seem like the hardest part of the process, there’s still a lot to do after you close. Not only do you have to set the property up and potentially do renovations, but you also have to figure out how to find renters and what your rates should be, amongst other things.


If you’ve just purchased a rental property, don’t stress. The team at Network Real Estate has decades of experience helping rental property owners get their homes ready to be listed. The first step? Checking out these tips for preparing a rental property.


1. Replace anything that needs replacing.

Returning customers can be a big part of your rental business, but people won’t keep coming back if your house is run down or beat up. After you purchase your rental property, the first thing you should do is note things like cosmetic damages or broken appliances and fix those things ASAP. It can be an enormous investment upfront, but it will pay off in the long run.


2. Furnish and decorate.

As a rental, your property needs to make your guests feel warm and welcomed. They’re paying to stay in a cozy and inviting home, not something that reminds them of a cold, impersonal hotel. Choose comfortable and long-lasting furniture, and decorate with warm lighting, neutral colors, and classic artwork for a timeless look sure to please everyone. If you need more help, check out our tips for furnishing rental properties.


3. Don’t skimp on amenities.

To get those coveted five-star reviews, you need to blow your competition out of the water. The easiest way to do this is by providing your guests with anything and everything they could need for their start. That means including things like wifi and streaming services, kitchen supplies like spices, coffee, and tea, bathroom supplies, and even recreational supplies, like tennis rackets, beach balls, and bicycles


4. Protect yourself and your property with liability insurance.

One of the worst things that can happen as the owner of a vacation home, is having your guests damage your property in some way. While there’s no way to prevent this from happening, you can protect yourself by purchasing as much liability coverage as your homeowner’s policy will let you buy. It may be a pain to handle these types of things, but you’ll be glad you have insurance if a situation like this ever arises.


5. Be specific with your house rules.

Regardless of how you choose to list your property, you should require guests to agree to a set of rules before they are allowed to book your property. Additionally, your house rules should be printed and placed in an easily accessible binder for your guests. House rules can include everything from occupancy limits to cancellation/refund policies to instructions for how guests should clean up/leave the property when they check out.


6. Develop an emergency action plan.

This can include everything from instructions for what your guests need to do in case of weather-related evacuation to the name and number of your property manager or yourself. Your plan should also include the names and information for professionals who can help with various emergencies. For example, you should develop a relationship with a local plumber, HVAC specialist, and cleaning crew who can be called in case of an emergency.


7. Shell out for professional photos.

The pictures you use to advertise your rental property are vital. Many renters will decide where to stay based on pictures alone. So if you’re thinking about snapping a few on your cell phone and calling it a day, don’t. It’s best to spend a little extra money on professional pictures that will make your home look its best inside and out.


8. Consider working with a property manager.

This is another item that can seem like a big expense, but when you consider how much time and effort it will save you in the long run, it’s a no-brainer. When you work with Network Real Estate, we’ll handle everything for you, from getting your property listed to managing bookies and inquiries.


So there you have it - everything you need to know to start renting out your vacation home. If you have any additional questions or are ready to list your property and start getting bookings, give us a call at 910-395-4100.