There’s no doubt about the profitability that well-run and well-managed vacation rental businesses have. However, a new vacation rental business owner may make some mistakes, which can be costly in the long run.
In this post, we’ll take you through all those mistakes, so you can steer clear of them and guide your business towards success.
1. No dynamic pricing
One of the most challenging aspects of a vacation rental business is to set the pricing. The simplest thing to do is to break the pricing down into peak season prices, i.e. higher prices owing to higher demand, and off-season prices, i.e. lower prices owing to lower demand. However, dynamic pricing makes for the better choice.
Sure, to implement a dynamic pricing mechanism, you need sophisticated tech, which needs investing in. However, if you do, you can fix rates based on various factors like availability, demand, and local events. There are some services that provide dynamic pricing expertise as well such as PriceMethod and Smart Host.
2. Listing on just one or two platforms
You want your vacation rental business to be found by your target audience, right? If the answer is yes, you can’t afford to list your business on just one or two platforms. Sure, you should target listings on the best online travel agents (OTAs). However, just because you secured a listing on Airbnb and HomeAway doesn’t mean that your job is done.
Ideally, you should get your business listed on smaller platforms as well. Sure, the smaller platforms may not command huge audiences like HomeAway and Airbnb. However, they can go a long way towards increasing the exposure of your business.
3. Lack of quality photos
You’d be doing a disservice to your prospective guests if you don’t provide them with high-quality photos of your property. It’s important to remember that the best vacation rental businesses are hiring professional photographers and videographers. So, you can’t afford to upload photos you captured on your phone camera.
You should have multiple photos of every room from a variety of angles. Also, if your vacation rental business is located somewhere scenic, take some nice photos of the views as well. Your property photos should also be honest – don’t try putting filters on them to enhance their appearance. Ultimately, when guests do arrive, they’ll find out what the real deal is, so there’s no point in faking things.
4. Insufficient facilities and amenities
Even if your vacation rental business caters to a low-budget audience, it can’t be missing basic facilities and amenities. For instance, free Wi-Fi is something that guests (irrespective of their budgets) take for granted these days. However, if they turn up at your place and find out that there’s no Wi-Fi, there’s no way that they’re going to forgive you.
Also, take into account the facilities that your guests might want depending on the climate of your location. For instance, if your vacation rental business is situated in a cold region, you have to provide heating. On the other hand, if it’s really hot and humid in your location, cooling and/or air-conditioning should be provided.
5. Poor hospitality
Your vacation rental may be loaded with the best facilities, but if you don’t pay attention to how you’re hosting your guests, those facilities will count for nothing. Remember, at the end of the day, what your guests really want is to be treated well. So, if you’re running your vacation rental business by yourself, always wear a smile and try to accommodate your guests’ wants.
If you’re employing others to take care of the hospitality part, invest in training them. Also, pay them well. Quite simply, if they’re well-remunerated, your vacation rental staff will be happy, and happy hosts will always be able to take care of your guests properly.
6. Lack of maintenance
A vacation rental business that isn’t well-maintained is bound to end in failure. Think about it – would your guests like it if they arrived and found problems in the plumbing? No, right? So, maintain every aspect of your vacation rental. If a bed is damaged, get it repaired or replace it without giving it a second thought. The point is to offer your guests as much comfort as possible.
Regular maintenance can also prevent severe damage to your property, which tends to be more expensive to repair than repairing things as soon as you find something problematic. So, maintain your property, and the money you spend in maintaining it will come back to you several times over.