This is Part 1 of a 3 part series.
Getting Ready to Go

There may come a time that you may want to convert your property to a Vacation Rental. When you make the final decision be sure you understand there are vast differences in marketing and managing a vacation rental to a conventional rental property.

In many ways managing and marketing a Vacation Rental property is less painful. If you decide to take on the task yourself typically you may be miles away from your property, not to worry, if you develop the right system it is a great way to keep your property generating revenue especially during these challenging times. Here are just a few of the advantages over a traditional rental unit.

1. There are no long term agreements

2. You are paid in advance – with good funds (If the credit card is good you book the time)

3. No expensive screening process – (Keep away from the large groups or college kids planning on  wild parties)

4. The monthly income can be greater when using a daily rate

5. Your market is immense

6. Rental agreements are fairly simple and are only one or two pages

7. Most your marketing is done online

8. You really don’t need a full time property manager

9. Cancellations are rare, but when they occur you still will be partially paid

10. Less Competition

Once you have made the decision to move forward you will need to furnish the home completely. (Including dishware and silverware) if you have not already done so make sure there are no issues in your community rules and regulations that would keep you from renting your home on a short term basis. Many condo communities do not allow short term rentals of any kind.

When you have cleared these items you will need to develop a very small team of a cleaning crew and if possible someone to inspect the home from time to time or when guests check out. These can be one and the same but it is always best to have a third party inspect the home as well as the cleanliness and quality of your cleaning crew. The person who is inspecting can email pictures to you from time to time just to keep you updated. You will want to pay the inspector on a per visit basis of course.

Your charge to your guests will cover a cleaning fee which most vacationers are well aware of and are willing to pay. These charges are usually from $85.00 – $175.00 depending on the size of your home. Now you are ready to market the property and to start bringing in some revenue. In part two we will discuss effective and inexpensive ways to find an ample number of folks willing to pay you months in advance of their short term stay.

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