Short-term rentals boasted a 35% rise in revenue from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the end of 2021. But not all short-term rentals are rising at that rate. To achieve the maximum benefit from the rising industry revenue, you need to know how to make the most of your short-term rental.
Assuming you've used a smart search tool to find the right property — one that can command strong rent and is centrally located in a high-traffic area, you should be in a good position to make the most of renting out your property. Here's how to get the most bang for your buck with a short-term rental after you've chosen your property:
1. Cater to Professionals
Tourists aren’t the only audience for short-term rentals. Professionals traveling for work also need short-term housing while on assignment. Travel nurses, auditors, and business owners all need short-term rentals. And these professionals offer a few advantages over tourists:
- They generally travel alone, which means fewer people to make a mess of your rental.
- They are here to work, not to party. This means less wear and tear on the property.
- They can fill vacancies during your off-market season.
- They often rent for longer periods of one week to six months, rather than only a night or two.
So, make sure to carve out a place in your marketing to speak directly to this niche.
2. Anticipate Needs
What will your visitors need to ensure a pleasant stay?
Start with a guidebook to offer direction for your renters. Explain how things in the unit work, what there is to do in your city, and how to get around town with public transportation. Then, in addition to the basics, stock specialty items that could be useful to your target audience. Consider things like:
- Extra chargers
- Beach gear
- Board games
- Baby gear
- Drinks and snacks
Put in the description for your unit that you offer these specialty items so guests can read it as they're booking and know what they need to bring.
3. Finish and Furnish Strategically
When deciding on finishes and furnishings for your short-term rental, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- There will be wear and tear, so prioritize durability.
- Unless you have a specific niche that prefers a certain style, stick with neutrals that appeal to a wide range of visitors. On the other hand, if you have a niche, lean into that!
- Stick with classic fixtures (like lights, faucets, and knobs) that won’t become outdated in a few years.
- Accessories and furnishings will need to be replaced at some point. Set aside a percentage of your profits to make sure you have the cash available when the time comes.
4. Carefully Consider Property Management
With higher turnover, short-term rentals can be more involved than long-term rentals. If you have the time to manage the property independently, you will learn a lot about your renters, the local market, and successful operations. You will also save money on management fees.
But, if you don’t have the time or desire to personally handle marketing, bookings, turnover, general inquiries, check-ins, and maintenance requests, a professional property manager can take these tasks off your plate. It will cost you more upfront but you may reap greater returns in the long run.
5. Capture Reviews and Promote Them
Reviews offer social proof. When a visitor posts a good review about a positive experience with your short-term rental, other prospective renters feel confident that their stay will also be enjoyable. But you have to capture these reviews and make sure other potential renters know about them.
If you’re using a platform like Airbnb, your visitors will automatically be prompted to leave a review after their stay. Otherwise, you’ll want to follow up with your renters. Then promote those reviews by posting them on your website, social media accounts, and online ads. If for some reason a guest leaves a negative review, address their concerns from a place of empathy and professionalism so potential guests reading the reviews know that you prioritize their experience.
The short-term rental industry is competitive. Be strategic with marketing your properties, include amenities that stand out from other local rentals, and be intentional with the design. You may find that more renters are interested in your properties just by taking these simple steps!
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