For some, renting out a vacation property may be just a side hustle, a way to make a little cash from assets that would be unused otherwise. However, if you want to take your vacation rental business from side hustle to main gig, you have to make it sustainable.
At BookingTeam.com, we work with clients at all levels. If you hope to grow your vacation rental into a successful and sustainable business, here are some important steps to keep in mind.
1. Get serious.
Listing a spare room or vacation property on a rental site like Airbnb is relatively simple to get started. You register, take a few photos and fill out your profile and descriptions. You may even bring in a few guests and some extra income a few weeks after posting. However, quick success is different than long-term sustainability.
If you want to be successful for more than just a few months, then you need to get serious. You can’t put up a listing, go on auto-pilot and expect to bring in a steady rate of bookings a few months out. Dedicate some time, effort and attention to continue to get guest bookings. If you are strapped for time, partner with booking experts like BookingTeam.com who can give your properties the attention and expertise they need to maximize profits.
2. Write out a business model or plan.
If you haven’t already, write up a business plan. Like any business, your vacation rental plan should include: Goals and Objectives, Customer and Market Research, Competitor Analysis, Marketing, Budget, and Financial Projections. There should also be a system in place to track your progress. How close are you to reaching the goals you set? If you are missing the mark, you need to figure out why and course correct. Otherwise, your business won’t survive for long.
Writing out your business model may take a considerable amount of time, however, it is time well spent. It will help you anticipate and address potential pitfalls that could affect your success later on.
3. Track performance and measure results.
When you try a new marketing tactic or revamp your property listings, you need to track and measure the ROI of those efforts. If something isn’t working, you can iterate it early on and improve the results. Rather than investing funds into a project, ad or tool that isn’t producing the results you need, you can move those funds to efforts that are working.
4. Focus on consistency.
Sustainable businesses focus on developing consistent brand experiences. As a vacation property manager or owner, making sure that all your guests have an exceptional experience every time they stay is essential to your success. This may be easy to do for the first few guests that you host. However, as time goes on and you encounter more people, it becomes more difficult.
Obviously, you can’t be everything to everyone. Instead, focus on what your vacation rental business excels at and what types of guests tend to book with you. Then, define what a great experience looks like to them and develop processes to ensure that you consistently deliver on those expectations.
Making a little extra cash from a vacation rental is easy, but turning that into your main source of income is much harder. It takes planning, time and effort, and often a team of people around you that can help you meet your goals. With BookingTeam.com, you can work towards making your vacation rental business sustainable.