Hosting vacation rentals may seem like a lucrative, fun, and easy way to make money while meeting interesting people from all over the world. And while that's mostly true, there are some hidden costs associated with being a host you should consider before taking the plunge. Let's take a look at some of those costs and how you can prepare for them.
Maintenance and Cleaning Fees
No matter how often your guests come and go, you will still need to keep your property in top shape. This includes regular maintenance activities such as changing light bulbs, checking smoke alarms, mowing the lawn, cleaning air filters, etc. Additionally, you will also need to factor in the cost of deep cleanings between each guest stay. This typically involves hiring a professional cleaning service or dedicating the time to do it yourself.
Necessities & Supplies
Your guests will expect certain amenities when they book your rental - including linens, towels, soap, coffee pods, etc. You'll have to account for these items in your budget so that you can provide them at no extra cost. So, it's important to make sure that all furnishings are up-to-date and comfortable so that guests are happy with their stay – rentals with older or unappealing furnishings and decor may end up losing you bookings to competitors. That means replacing items when necessary and repairing or upgrading if needed.
To ensure that your guests are comfortable, you should be mindful to include items that you would want in your own house. Some commonly forgotten items like this include:
- Kitchen tools like towels, baking sheets, oven mitts, etc.
- Coffee and tea
- Wine openers
- Bathroom items
- Light cleaning supplies for any spills or small messes
- Supplies for amenities. For example, if you have a pool, be sure to include pool towels and pool floats.
- Fun items that can help set your rental apart from others, such as board games and books.
Guests are also searching more and more for aesthetic rentals with cohesive design schemes – think stays that are made for Instagram. Plus, with more and more vacation rentals popping up in your market, a great way to ensure your listing stands out is by investing in great decor for your space. By being bold and showing off your interior design skills, you can create eye-catching photos for your listing on Airbnb, VRBO, etc. that entices guests to book your space. Consider designing your rental with a theme in mind, adding hotel items like plush towels, lots of indoor plants, and even vintage decor.
Rates and Fees
In order to attract more bookings on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb or Vrbo, you should be aware of competitive rates for similar properties in your area as well as any fees associated with hosting on their platform (such as service fees charged by the site). You want to make sure that your rental is priced appropriately so that it stands out from the competition yet still turns a profit after all other costs have been taken into consideration.
Pro tip: Did you know that Beyond includes a tool called Comp Sets that allows you to easily see and compare your listing to similar ones in your neighborhood? Check it out!
Beyond is here to help!
Hosting vacation rentals is certainly rewarding but there are plenty of hidden costs along the way that must be accounted for in order for it to remain profitable over time. From maintenance expenses and furnishings costs to competitive rate setting and platform fees - there is much more involved than just listing a property online and waiting for bookings! Taking these factors into consideration ahead of time will help ensure success as a vacation rental host.
At Beyond, we aim to be your best partner in revenue management strategy, helping you make the best decisions for your business. Our team and our platform work together to help you take the right action. Read more about how Beyond works for you.
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