3 Tips for Making Money Through Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals are hot

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Those who are interested in the world of real estate can get their feet wet and make good money by purchasing a vacation rental. It’s an exciting prospect but not one without its fair share of planning and pre-purchase considerations. If you ever thought about renting out a vacation home to make extra money, the tips and advice below can help you maximize your potential investment.

1. Know About the Vacation Rental Business

Before you sign the dotted line and buy your first vacation rental, you will need to consider the pros and cons and everything that goes into the process and determine if you have the time and resources to move forward.

On the plus side, if you find the right property, you can make big money. According to the vacation rental site, Evolve, you could earn up to $50,000 a year depending on the size of your property and the available rooms. If your rental is located in an area where people vacation year-round, then you could have a sustainable business model that could become your primary income stream.

While it may sound like a great deal, there are some important factors you will need to consider, starting with your costs. In addition to marketing costs, you need to keep the property well maintained, and that includes fixing broken appliances. These costs could elevate exponentially, as fixing the roof or replacing the foundation, for instance, could cost as much as $11,000.

That money will come out of your profits. Are you in the right financial place to tackle these issues if they happen?

2. Find the Ideal Location

If you decide to move forward, then you will want to take the time to think about where you want to buy the vacation home. When researching locations, look for nearby attractions, such as ski hills, water parks, theme parks, etc. If you are particularly close to any of these attractions, then be sure to add them to your online listing. 

You will also want to find a place that can make money on a constant basis. Business Insider reports that the most popular year-round vacation destinations include California, Hawaii, or North Carolina, which are famous for their great weather and seasonal activities.

Once you find the ideal spot, you’ll also want to consider the size. The more rooms your vacation home has, the more you can earn since they appeal to clients with large families or people who vacation with friends or other extended family members.

3. Optimize the Listing

Once you have the property, you need to spend time creating the perfect listing to allure guests on a recurring basis. Take time to carefully consider the best rate per night. You’ll want to research rates of other properties within the area, so you know the general range, and if you offer an extra bedroom or another perk, consider charging a bit more.

The amenities you offer should also be a major focus, and if you don’t have any fancy bells and whistles, consider adding them. For instance, a pool or hot tub could be a major selling point, as would free and fast Wi-Fi. You could also attract more customers by allowing pets. Your listing should also include plenty of high-definition pictures of all the rooms, the views, and any special amenities that will bring in the big crowds.

Once you have the perfect draft, you need to market your property to potential customers. An easy way to do so is to buy ad space on Facebook or pay for a sponsored listing on a search engine like Google or Yahoo.

As you can see, with a great location and a solid listing, you can have success with a vacation rental as a first-time investor. Take the time to do it right and the sky’s the limit.


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Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry. He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial. He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site, www.mutualfundreform.com, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).


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