Short-term rentals through companies like Airbnb and VRBO are a great way to make a side income when you own a second property or have extra space in your home. For those who live in areas with colleges, universities, or near tourist sites, this income can become a full-time gig. There are many factors that can make or break a short-term rental business. While location matters, there are other things that you can do to stand out from the crowd in your area. Here are some tips to get you started.
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Choose a Great Location
If possible, choose a location based on specific factors. Things like tourism, high transit areas, and even parking can make a big difference in the success of your short-term rental business. When it comes down to it, there are two questions you need to ask. Who is going to be renting my apartment? How can I make sure they’ll enjoy their stay? Your location matters, and it needs to be considered in how you present your place and reach out to the kinds of people who might want to stay.
Add a Few Surprises
Of course, nothing will make your short-term rental business stand out like adding a few surprises to your offerings. We’re talking about anything from a welcome basket to a bottle of wine. You can even buy mini liquor bottles in bulk and give your guests the ingredients to make their favorite drink. Surprises can be as simple as including a handwritten note. The options are endless, but you need to remember that this is where your guests will see how much heart and soul you’ve put into making the stay memorable for them.
Invest in a Stylish Interior
While getting free furniture from Facebook Marketplace can get you started, you need to think about what people like about staying in a short-term rental. Your guests want to feel comfortable and relaxed in your space. Make sure you have everything they need in the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Investing in paint and furniture that looks modern and stylish goes a long way toward creating a great experience for your guests. You don’t want people to feel like they are staying in a musty old house.
Focus on the Basics
The best way to attract more customers is by focusing on the basics. These include bedding and bath towels, kitchen utensils, and items for the bathroom.
Bedding and towels are essential for every guest, so make sure you have enough bedding that’s clean and comfortable. If you’re renting a house or apartment, consider investing in additional linens just in case it’s needed. Your kitchen needs to be well-stocked with all the essentials, including dishes and cooking utensils. If possible, try to include things like spices or condiments that guests might not think about bringing themselves, or would be too cumbersome to buy from the store. You can even give your bathroom an upgrade by adding amenities such as soap dispensers or lotion dispensers into the shower.
Think About Security
If you’re not already, it’s time to start thinking about security. When guests check in, they should feel safe and secure in your property. There are a few things you can do to ensure that. Make sure the property has good locks on all doors, including windows and sliding glass doors. Use a Ring doorbell for the exterior of the property. Use an alarm system that the guests can change the code for when they check in. Keep a landline phone on the property so they can reach emergency services if necessary. You can also install good lighting in and around the property.
Provide Great Wi-Fi
Provide a reliable and high-speed internet connection. Guests might have more to do on their devices than just check email and watch Netflix, so you need to ensure that the Wi-Fi is up to snuff. Make sure your internet provider has a strong signal in all areas of your property, and make sure they can provide fast enough service for the number of devices you allow guests to use.
Focus on Customer Service
Your guests are the most important people in your business. As such, it’s essential to provide them with excellent customer service. Make sure you are responsive to inquiries. When someone sends you an email or text asking questions about your rental property, respond quickly and courteously—and don’t forget to thank them for their interest. You want people who have contacted you to feel like they matter. Be helpful when there are problems and offer quick solutions when needed.