Buying and renovating an investment vacation property isn’t as easy as it sounds. But, if it’s done right, it can create a great source of income with the added perk of having a place to vacation for a few weeks a year. Here are my five rules that will help you avoid vacation rental pitfalls and set yourself up for success. Click through the next five slides to help you achieve your goals.
Scott’s Vacation House Rules premieres Sunday, April 26 at 9 PM on HGTV Canada, now also available through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app when you sign-in with your TV service provider details.
During this time of COVID-19, rules are changing and they vary in regions across the country. Please always consult your local authorities to ensure you’re staying within government guidelines regarding secondary properties and short-term rentals.
Vacation House Rule #1: Do Your Research
The key to any successful investment is research. Online short-term rental platforms are a great place to start. Search for vacation rentals in your area. How much are properties renting for per night? How does your property compare? Determine your expenses and calculate how much you need to charge to turn a profit. Solid research will also help determine how much you need to spend on renovations and what renovations need to be done to make your rental competitive.
Vacation House Rule #2: Design It
Always design a vacation rental with the renter’s experience in mind. Open shelving in a kitchen allows renters to see where everything is and that makes them feel welcome and at home. Open concept floor plans facilitate movement and communication so no one feels stuck in the kitchen when the party is happening in the living room. Hardwood floors make accidents easier to clean up. Consider designing with a theme related to your rental. Adding a tiki bar and an outdoor shower to a beachfront property, for example, allow potential renters to imagine the type of experience they’ll have at your property.
Vacation House Rule #3: Get Noticed
Your property doesn’t stand a chance of being booked every night if it doesn’t get noticed! Play up the features that make your property unique. If it has epic views of the lake, consider adding a lakeside gazebo where guests can enjoy the view and shelter from the bugs and rain. Add amenities like hot tubs, sunrooms, spa-like bathrooms and outdoor living areas. They attract renters and give your property an advantage over the competition.
Vacation House #4: Roll up Your Sleeves
Roll up your sleeves and do as much work yourself to save money. Skilled jobs like carpentry, plumbing and electrical are better left to the professionals but taking on demolition, painting, gardening and cleaning for example will keep profits in your pocket.
Vacation House Rule #5: Be Your Guest
A profitable vacation rental depends on great reviews and repeat bookings. The best way to ensure a positive experience in your vacation rental is to put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Experience your property the way your guests do. Sleep in the beds – are the sheets scratchy? This kind of detail may seem insignificant but they’re enough to ruin someone’s vacation. Small hospitality gifts for guests are also a great idea. A basket of treats or a bottle wine makes a lasting first impression and cost you very little.