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Residential Real Estate
Jun 1, 2018

Renovating Your Vacation Rental Condo or Home

Sponsored Content provided by Neal Johnson - Licensed Real Estate Broker , Network Real Estate

As the owner of a vacation rental condo, ROI (return on investment) is the name of the game.

I mean, it's the whole reason you bought the property in the first place, right? Okay, okay, we know having a place to stay when you're on vacation is a pretty great deal, too.

But today, we're directly concerned with showing you how to make your rental even more appealing to guests, which will, in turn, increase your bookings and ROI.

So, let's get this party started.
 
First off, never undervalue the importance of good pictures. Most of the time, the first impression a potential renter will get of your property will come from the pictures they see of it when they're browsing on a site, such as ours.

As you know, first impressions are supremely important, so you really can't afford to mess this part up. When taking the photos, keep in mind that you're not necessarily optimizing for "fanciness.” Instead, your goal should be to make the property look as inviting and livable as possible.

Another thing to keep in mind is that every time your property is rented, you can expect it to suffer at least a small amount of damage. This is important to know because no one wants to rent a run-down property.

Unfortunately, most people booking a vacation rental simply don't take care of it the way they would if it was their own home. So, the more often your property is being rented, the more often it will need to be repaired and/or renovated.

When you're planning out the updates to your property, be sure to take the actual vacation season into account. We always recommend that you get as much of your work done during the off-season when the property is likely to be vacant anyway.

That's because you never want to cut into your heavy-season profits when you'll get the best ROI all year. If you have a lot of repairs to make, it's probably better to segment, then prioritize, them based on what you can actually accomplish in a single off-season.

A quick way to turn potential renters away from your property is by having an outdated TV set. Flat-screen TVs are no longer any more expensive than other types, and the picture quality is far better.

That means there's really nothing that should prevent you from making the switch, besides yourself, of course. Renters expect a flat-screen TV these days, so you might as well bite the bullet and get one if you haven't already.

When it comes to choosing which renovations are the most important for you to make, there's no better way to figure it out than to go directly to the source – the renters. They're the ones you're trying to impress in the first place, so getting their opinion can be supremely helpful.

You may not be able to talk to them in person, but you can always ask your rental management company what people are saying, or even read the comments people are making about your property on your rental listing service.

When you're improving your rental, there's something you should focus on before replacing things – and that's repairing them. This might seem like a no-brainer, but we've seen far too many property owners wasting tons of money "keeping up with the Joneses.”

Remember that your renters aren't necessarily looking for "fancy" – instead, they're looking for clean and up-to-date. So, make sure you're getting the best ROI possible by focusing on repairing before you replace.

If there's one thing renters complain about the most, it's the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of the vacation rental property. That's because, for whatever reason, many rental property owners are fairly lazy about their cleaning strategy.

That's good for you because it means that you can really stand out from the crowd simply by having the rental thoroughly cleaned after each booking. That will do wonders for your property's reviews, which will lead to recommendations and more bookings.
 
To leave you with some actionable tips, here are some specific renovations to consider:

  • Replace the carpet (every seven years, on average).
  • Remodel the kitchen and bathrooms. New renovations can have an 80 percent ROI upon selling.
  • Paint the rental at least every five years.
  • Change the lighting fixtures.
  • Update appliances.
  • Update furniture.
  • Keep the landscaping looking nice, if your rental has a yard.
Interested in listing your vacation rental on our site? Reach out to one of our friendly agents today!

Neal Johnson is a CMCA, CRB, CNE and GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for more than 30 years. With three offices at College Road, historic downtown Wilmington and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred real estate company for first-time homebuyers and beyond.  

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