As a part-time luxury property manager, it’s up to you to create a home away from home for your guests. Just because property management is a part-time job doesn’t mean you can’t give it your full attention. While your rental property might come with a million dollar view — say, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or a mountain range perfect for skiing — the view alone isn’t enough to secure repeat customers or ensure the “No Vacancy” sign will be hanging in the window. The difference between a good vacation rental property and a great vacation rental property is in the details.
1. Add Homey Flourishes
You want your luxury vacation rental to feel like a home, not a generic and impersonal hotel room. In order to make the property warm and inviting, it needs creative flourishes. Hang artwork and photography on the walls; add extra pillows and throws on the couch; and have board games, cards, books and magazines on hand. You’re catering to guests, so why not leave a basket with treats (chocolates or cookies) as a sort of rental house warming gift?
2. Don’t Skimp on Amenities
Be sure to offer modern luxury amenities. A flat-screen TV, game system, Internet connection, DVD player and home security system are par for the course. However, it’s not enough just to have these amenities in your rental property, you need to be sure the guests are comfortable using them. Provide visitors with a reader-friendly instruction guide on how to use the electronics in the unit. What good is having a PlayStation 4 or the best home security system if your guests don’t know how to use them?
To further offer guests modern luxuries, consider becoming a member of the American Apartment Owners Association. An AAOA membership is a good way to find contractors to improve your property and benefit tenants — from landscaping to security services and tenant invoicing.
3. Encourage Exploration
If your luxury rental property is located in a popular tourist destination, be sure you have maps, brochures and informational guides as to what there is to do and see in the area. As a bonus, leave your guests discount coupons for restaurants or attractions in the area. What vacationer doesn’t appreciate saving 20 percent on a skiing pass or 30 percent on a Caribbean sunset cruise? Small gestures that save guests money during their stay go a long way in ensuring repeat business.
4. Ensure All is in Order
No guest wants to turn the key, open the door to a rental property and be hit with a stale, musty smell. Not only should you hire a professional cleaning service to clean the rental top to bottom, but shampoo the carpets as well. Whether you hire out the service or do it yourself, it’s your job as a property manager to make sure the unit is clean, all the appliances are in good working order, and the heating and cooling system is properly maintained.
5. Make a Good First Impression
If you watch HGTV, you know the expression “curb appeal.” Curb appeal is the first impression a property makes on a guest. If your rental doesn’t look enticing on the outside, the guests are not going to be excited about seeing the inside. In order to improve your rental property’s curb appeal, renew the planter beds, put in window boxes or install outdoor lighting. It’s this type of attention to detail that makes your rental unit stand out in a crowded and competitive market.