You’ve decided that a short-term rental best fits your goals as a landlord, congratulations! You’re on your way to making your investment property what you’ve always dreamed of –– but what’s next and how to list your short-term rental?
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed or stuck. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be booking your first short-term rental guest in no time.
Prepare Your Vacation Home
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that guests rent your vacation property so they can feel like they’re at home while on vacation. That means you need to prepare your property like a home –– think of everything you have and need at home and provide that for your guests.
In the kitchen, that means everything they need to cook a meal, eat it, and clean it up. That means knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, dishes and utensils, glasses and coffee mugs, and a means of cleaning up. Ideally, this is a dishwasher with provided detergent. It’s also essential to provide a sponge and dish soap. And, if you don’t have a dishwasher, be sure to provide adequate supplies for handwashing and a drying rack.
In the bathroom, you’ll need to provide two rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, hand soap and towels, and enough bath towels for all guests. You should also consider giving spare towels in a linen closet.
When it comes to the living room, your guests will want to feel they’re at home at the end of a long day. That means a comfortable place to relax that’s large enough to fit all guests and a TV. You should ensure the TV is large enough to watch from across the room and is equipped with basic cable or a streaming service.
The bedrooms should be made up, and you should provide an extra set of linens per bed. Comfortable pillows (and extras, too) and bedding appropriate for the climate are also a must. It’s helpful to think of items you use at home, and provide them for your guests. For instance, quality hangers that you’d hang your clothes on (not the metal ones from the dry cleaners), bedside lamps with appropriate wattage bulbs, face tissues, and so on. Consider adding a white noise machine to the bedrooms as an extra touch –– especially if your property is in the city or another noisy location.
Additional must-include items are high-speed internet, a vacuum or broom, air conditioning, trash bags, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. You should also include a property manual. This is where you’ll share internet log-in, suggestions on the best way to enjoy your area, and anything else your guests need to know.
Identify Your Ideal Guests
There are dozens of short-term rental listing sites to choose from, and they all meet different needs. When you’re selecting a site or sites to list your vacation property, be sure to think through which types of guests you’re looking to attract. Are you hoping for weekend guests looking to tour your city? Maybe your property is best for week-long vacationers. Perhaps you’re looking for business people staying for a month or longer. Whatever your ideal guest, there are numerous sites to help you meet your rental goals and attract the perfect guest.
Craft the Listing
Think about the ideal guests you’ve identified, and write a listing that would attract them. Is your property a serene getaway from city life? Convey that with your listing. Maybe your vacation home is fun and quirky –– share that personality in your listing. Perhaps you’re ideally situated for business travelers to stay and walk to the financial district, or hop on very convenient public transportation; make that the highlight.
Your property is sure to boast something unique and special that will attract the right guests for you. Now it’s up to you to proverbially sell the property.
Take the Photos
Pictures are perhaps the most effective way to attract potential renters. Be sure you have your property looking its very best. Take photos during daylight hours when there is indirect sunlight, as that’s the most flattering.
Make your place shine! Not only by ensuring it’s clean and spotless before photos, but also by highlighting all of the great amenities you’re offering guests. Whether that’s showcasing the luxurious master suite with a rainfall shower, a bunkroom for the kids to stay, or your gorgeous deck –– whatever it is, show it off!
Something to consider: many listing services will take photos for you. Although this may seem like an unnecessary expense, these photos can go above and beyond what even the best smartphone camera can do. For instance, the photographer often brings additional lighting sources, or frames the photo just so and makes your property look its very best.
How to List Your Short-Term Rental Property
You’re ready to put your property on the short-term rental market, this is How to List Your Short-Term Rental! Choose the right booking platform, upload your photos and listing, customize your calendar, and set your rate. Voila! Before you know it, you’ll be hosting your first guests.