You’ve been playing with the idea of starting your own rental for a while now and have finally made the decision to do it! What’s next?
Most hosts jump right into it and start preparing their property for listing. Wait! Before you list your property take some time out to read as much as you can on the industry and in particular your rental area.
Trust me, this will save you money and headaches by decreasing your learning curve and avoiding avoidable mistakes!
Here are my top three sources of information:
1) Reading Books on Vacation Rental.
There weren’t too many books available when I first started but the ones I managed to find were quite insightful. These books taught me how to start up this new business. I learned everything from pricing, how to create contracts, home decor to the best listing sites to use. My favorite book so far and a more recent read has been Optimize Your Bnb, this book hands down increased traffic to my listing by 30% over night by implementing the recommendations made in this book.
But back to the blog 🙂 I was well equipped on how to start my business but I still lacked in the area of communicating with guests or dealing with small issues. Some might think these are too insignificant to put in a book. This lead me to resorting to point 2.
2) Reading Blogs and Posts in Vacation Rental Forums.
I would spend hours reading posts made by hosts talking about their experiences, problems they encountered and how they overcame it. Still to this day every time I encounter an unusual situation, I search the topic in a forum. I always find multiple ways persons resolved this issue. For example, I was having an issue with persons removing their makeup with my plush white towels and leaving them soiled. Believe it or not there were multiple posts on this one topic. I found that some hosts placed dark colored towels that were labeled makeup(makeup towels), some hosts placed signs saying “do not use towels to wipe make up” or some provided makeup wipes.
3) Reading Reviews Left by Guests on Listings in My Area.
I consider this information the Holy Grail. You get real time information of what a guest really liked or did not like about their stay with your competitors. Although comments are not regarding your unit, this information is still market feedback relevant to you. In some cases it can lead you to avoiding mistakes made by competitors or enhance something they did well!
As you can see from my 3 points, I continue to read to this day! This is a continuous process and can put you ahead of the class in your rental community. The fewer mistakes you make from day one, the more satisfied guests you have that are going to refer you to their friend, family member or co worker. Do Your Homework!