How to make money with a vacation rental

The vacation rental industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

That means that all investments in the industry are considered lucrative, and making money with a vacation rental is easier than ever. What makes this industry particularly interesting is the rising number of women entrepreneurs. According to Airbnb, female hosts have earned almost $15 billion in 2019 alone – and this is only the beginning! 

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to making money with vacation rentals. If you’re wondering how to make money with a vacation rental property, here’s valuable vacation rental advice to help you get set up.

Buying a vacation rental property

You have two options: you can either buy a property or turn a property that you already own into a short-term rental. If you plan to purchase a property, be sure to pay attention to the location, local regulations, and seasonality.

Making money with a vacation rental property is not as easy in all cities. Some cities have very strict short-term rental regulations, which will make it more difficult to be profitable. So, always check out the regulations first before buying a property.

Furnishing your vacation rental

High-quality furniture, appliances, and amenities will help you to get more bookings. What’s more, by paying extra attention to furnishing your property, you’ll also be able to charge more. Comfortable seating, a functional (not just decorative) coffee table, sufficient lighting, and Wi-Fi are just a couple of the must-haves. 

You can also target a more specific niche and tailor your furnishings further. For example, business travellers will appreciate a laptop-friendly workspace, while families will value safety features more.  

Calculating income and expenses

It doesn’t matter if your vacation rental is your only source of income or simply supplementary, it’s crucial that you keep track of your income and expenditure. It can become difficult to do this if you have only one bank account. 

So, it’s a good idea to open a bank account that will solely be used for your vacation rental. By taking this extra step, you’ll be able to keep track of your business-related expenses. Rest assured, your efforts will be rewarded as there are many tax-deductible expenses (like insurance, cleaning, and maintenance), which will lower your tax liability. You can also use vacation rental software that will help you to create financial reports.

Defining your pricing strategy

Before you decide on a pricing strategy, research similar vacation rentals in your area. You can use specialized tools or just browse a few vacation rental sites to collect data. 

Setting your price slightly lower than similar vacation rentals in the area is a good idea if you’re new to the game. Once you’ve received about five good reviews, gradually start to increase your price. 

You’ll also want to change your pricing often so that it’s in line with the current demand. So, for weekends you can charge more than what you charge during the week. 

Optimising your listing

Your title, description, and photos are three important aspects that will help you improve your vacation rental’s visibility, which will ultimately help you attract more reservations. 

The title of your vacation rental should be catchy, yet specific. Details that should be included in your title are the number of bedrooms and your location or the nearest landmark. 

It’s also a good idea to update your title every 2-3 weeks by including different features or nearby landmarks. If there’s an upcoming event or discount, you can also change your title to reflect this. 

After you’ve written a few titles, focus on your description. It should be more in-depth than an overview. Anticipate which questions your guests will have and use your description to answer those FAQs.

Just like your description should describe your vacation rental realistically, your photos should also be true to life. Though, that doesn’t mean that you should take photos of what your place really looks like when you’re not expecting guests. Before taking any photos, remove any clutter to make way for warm touches like a scatter cushion, coffee-table book, or throw blanket. 

Promoting your property

One of the major reasons why it’s become possible for women to earn money with vacation rentals is that there are so many advertising mediums available. There are various vacation rental platforms, social media channels, and forums available. For example, Golightly is a vacation rental platform for women only. If you would like to try something more unconventional, you can also try to work with an influencer or start a local partnership with a restaurant to help spread the word.

Conclusion

Women make up nearly 56 percent of all hosts on Airbnb. There are a number of ways that you can use a vacation rental to make money.

With these vacation rental tips for owners, you can supplement your income or even pursue it as a full-time career.