Short Term Rental Basics: 6 Steps to Building Your Business

In the highly competitive world of short-term rentals, a solid infrastructure is key to consistently pleasing guests and ensuring repeat business. Creating a memorable experience for your guests isn’t always about having the biggest and most extravagant property, but instead making sure that you have a good foundation to build on. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics that should not be skipped when setting up your vacation rental listings.

1. Craft a Captivating Description (but don’t forget the basics): Your property description is the first interaction potential guests have with your vacation rental. The basic comfort items (or lack of) should be easy to find in your listing, and are often the first things that a potential guest is looking for when they click on your property. Set aside a paragraph or two to describe the bedroom and bathroom arrangements in detail. With the basic amenities up front, take time to highlight unique features, additional amenities, and the overall atmosphere. Whether it’s a cozy cabin nestled in the woods or a modern beachfront condo, make sure your description captures the essence of your rental. This will also set the tone for the type of guests that you hope to have stay at your property. Check and update your descriptions often.

2. Professional Photography: Invest in high-quality professional photography to showcase your property. Great photos not only grab attention but also provide a clear representation of what guests can expect. Start by staging each room. Smooth out the covers on beds and remove any clutter. Capture the essence of each room, the exterior, and any special amenities. Bright, well-lit photos can make a world of difference in attracting guests. I recommend using an eye-catching photo of your property and surrounding area as your cover photo and then organizing your photos to create a house tour. Pro tip: Leave out the extras. Save the artsy photos for your social media posts, but do not include any photos that don’t add to your property description in your listing. Be sure to update your photos when anything changes.

3. Create a House Manual: Provide a house manual that serves as a guide for your guests. Include a map of the local area, recommended restaurants, activities, and any unique features of your property. This thoughtful touch can greatly enhance the overall experience and make your guests feel like they have a local insider’s guide. In addition, it will decrease the amount of questions that your guests need to reach out to ask, making their stay more enjoyable for everyone.

4. Consistent Decor: Depending on the location and theme of your rental property, you can set the mood by incorporating cohesive decor. Whether it’s a beach theme, rustic cabin vibes, modern chic, or an actual themed property, a well-curated aesthetic adds character to your property. This attention to detail enhances the overall guest experience and makes your rental more memorable.

5. Provide Quality Amenities: Invest in high-quality furniture and household items to make your guests’ stay comfortable and to ensure that you are not consistently replacing cheap items. As my best friend says, “Buy once, cry once.” From luxurious bedding to well-stocked kitchens, paying attention to the details can make a significant impact. Also consider adding extras like beach towels, board games, or a selection of books to cater to various interests. I recommend keeping an inventory of your items so you know if anything is not in place at check-out time.

6. Regular Maintenance and Cleaning: A well-maintained and clean property is crucial for positive guest experiences. Regularly inspect and update your vacation rental to ensure everything is in working order. A clean and well-kept space not only attracts guests but also encourages positive reviews and repeat business.

We have all heard that it’s the little things that make a big difference. These basic thoughtful touches can ensure that you can focus on the little things, knowing that you have laid the groundwork for a successful short-term rental business.

If you do not live near your property, are not able to manage your property to the high standards of todays short-term rental guests, or are just overwhelmed by everything that goes into hosting, consider hiring a local and reputable property management team who will navigate these things for you. Happy hosting!

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