Buying a vacation home is an exciting reward for all of your hard work. If you are only able to enjoy it a few times a year, many property owners have found renting to be a great investment. There are many financial benefits to be gained from renting out your vacation home—that is, if you’re smart about it.
Here are five mistakes you won’t want to make when you rent out your vacation home.
1. Not thinking about it like a business
Renting out your vacation home is not something you should take lightly. When you get started, failing to think about things from a business perspective can be detrimental. How much thought have you given to the listing price for renting? Are you positive that renting will ensure that you’re breaking even? And how are you treating your customers? Have you considered the benefits of a long-term customer? These are all questions you should ask yourself when you rent your vacation home.
2. Presenting misleading expectations
If you’re listing your vacation home online, it’s best to be completely honest about the condition of it. Be picky about the language you use in your rental listing. The quickest way to get bad reviews on a vacation rental is to make your second home out to a luxury when it isn’t. If your vacation home feels like your actual home, don’t make it seem like it’s a resort. If people will see photos of your family on every wall, be upfront and honest—your guests will appreciate it.
3. Forgetting about maintenance
Can you think of anything more annoying than having to stress out about a broken refrigerator while you’re on vacation? If you’re renting out your vacation home, treat it like you’ll have to use it. Many renters invest in routine maintenance with an appliance protection plan so that the pressure is off of their shoulders. Just remember, it only takes one bad experience for the word to spread about your vacation home. Keeping up with repairs will reap a big financial reward in the long run.
4. Giving vague instructions about the home
When you’re giving your guests information about the home, make sure to give more detail than you think is necessary. It’s easy to overlook something when it’s second nature to you, but the little details are actually important for someone who has never been there before. Many rentals don’t do this which can be an annoyance that leads to bad reviews and non-returning guests. Perhaps give an all-inclusive welcome guide for your guests, both electronically and at the house. This can be where you list out anything someone might want to know while vacationing—information ranging from how to turn the TV on to your favorite local restaurants.
5. Failing to inform neighbors
If you have neighbors who live in the neighborhood full-time, it’s common courtesy to let them know your plans of renting out the house. If they see strangers in your driveway, they could get concerned. Communicating with those who live in the neighborhood is a great way to ensure that everyone is informed and will prevent any unnecessary worry. You also will have someone to keep an eye out in case your guests are causing problems.
Written by: Emma Cook
Emma Cook is a recent graduate and freelance writer taking time to explore her interests and expand her writing portfolio. She enjoys writing practical pieces on personal finance and the home.