Owning a short-term rental property in Orlando can bring fairly lucrative returns for relatively little work. But while the passive income generated by a short-term rental requires little direct involvement from you, the investor, it’s not quite as easy as just signing up with a vacation rental website and raking in the cash. If you don’t take a business-minded approach to your investment, you won’t see profits.
With the vacation rental market becoming an ever-increasingly competitive field, and with your reputation relying heavily on costumer reviews, you want your property to stand out from the competition, and to impress the travelers who book it. By employing a few proven, business-minded strategies, you can increase your short-term rental’s visibility, market appeal, and most importantly, profitability.
Location, Location, Location!
As with any business, with short-term rentals, location is one of the most important factors in determining your venture’s success. You can have a beautiful single-family home full of modern amenities, even offer below-market rates, and if your house isn’t well-located, no one will rent it. In Orlando, this is especially true. Vacationers want to be close to the parks, so the closer your rental to Disney or Universal Studios, the better.
Vacationers also want the finer things when they rent a vacation home. This is their chance to live beyond their usual means, and most are willing to pay for the temporary upgrade in lifestyle. Keep this in mind when choosing a location for your vacation rental. Look for beautiful communities with plenty of amenities.
If the community happens to have a gate, it’s a big plus. Most visitors to Orlando have kids in tow, so safety, like the kind offered by a gated entrance, is in high demand. Research the area’s crime rate before you buy, too. You can be sure potential renters will.
The Proper Property
Again, a vacation is an escape to an upgraded lifestyle. Make sure your rental offers this sense of escapism with a picturesque property and surroundings. And make sure the inside offers an escape, too, by incorporating features like game rooms and Disney-themed rooms. Also, and this is especially true in Florida, a private pool is always a positive.
Focus on Furniture
Filling your vacation home with attractive, high-quality furniture has two effects: it brings out the best in your home’s visual appeal, and it provides renters with a more comfortable stay. Furniture is one of the first things renters will notice when they enter your home, and it’s one thing they’re sure to remember when they write their reviews.
When you pick your furniture, you’ll not only have to pick the best styles for your rental, but also the best price for your budget and goals. Furniture is costly, but keep in mind that while it can be tempting to buy used or low-quality pieces, these will wear out faster, and be less comfortable for guests, than new, high-quality brands.
We know. It’s easy to say it will save you money in the long run, but buying quality furniture is a serious investment you have to make in the short run. At Authentic Real Estate Team, we understand that our clients’ financial profiles are as diverse as they are. That’s why we’ve brought Central Florida’s best furniture rental companies into our network of industry professionals, ensuring that whatever your needs, you can have a beautifully-furnished, comfortable home that’s sure to bring in glowing reviews all year long.
In business, presentation is half the battle. Cleanliness and upkeep are important for any business, but they’re especially important in the hospitality industry. But cleaning up after each and every guest is more trouble than it’s worth for some investors, and downright impossible for out-of-state or foreign owners. For this reason, many owners of short-term rentals choose to outsource their housekeeping and maintenance to a professional property management company.
A good property management company can take care of your cleaning, maintenance, marketing, and booking, all for around 20-50% of your nightly rates. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider what you’ll save in time, travel, and large-scale maintenance issues resulting from small-scale neglect, it can be well worth the cost.
There are other ways to save, too. Authentic Vacation Homes is our in-house booking agency. We book exclusively for our clients, giving you two specialized companies working to maximize your occupancy, all at a fraction of the property management companies’ booking fees.
Owning a short-term rental is just like owning a small business. At the Authentic Real Estate Team, we understand small businesses. In fact, we started out as one ourselves! And though we’ve grown into Orlando’s leading residential real estate firm, we’ve retained our small-business ethos, never forgetting that high customer satisfaction is the key to high returns. Let us show you how your small business can do big business, and how your short-term rental can achieve long-term success.
Read Your Reviews
Reviews give you a direct glimpse into the minds of your renters and tell you what you’re doing right, and what you can improve on.
No review? No problem. You have the renter’s contact info from when they booked your vacation home. Send them a follow-up asking how their stay was, and what, if any, amenities or resources could have made it better.
Look to the Competition
As vacation homes become more popular with travelers, the short-term rental game is becoming increasingly competitive. But your competitors don’t just have to be your adversaries; they can also be a valuable resource. Is your neighbor’s short-term rental getting a steady flow of visibly happy renters, perhaps even in the off-season? Check out their listing online and see what their customers are saying. What are they doing right? Are you doing this?
You can also look at how and where the listing is being promoted, following the links to its various advertising outlets, and considering how your own listing could benefit from advertising on the same platforms.