The first step in starting a vacation rental business is putting together a business plan and purchasing a vacation property. The type of second home that you can purchase depends on the region.
When buying a vacation rental property it's vital that you ask yourself a few key questions:
- How's the vacation home market in my area?
- What can I afford and still cash flow?
- What kind of mortgage should I get?
- Should I buy a house or a condo?
- Who are my target renters?
Once have your home purchase planned, it's time to figure out some details of how would like to run your business:
- Am I going to use a property manager or rent by owner?
- If I'm renting by owner, what type of housekeeper am I going to use?
- How much should I charge per night, week, month?
- Am I going to charge by night or by person?
- Am I going to require a security deposit?
- Which fees am I going to charge (cleaning, etc.)?
- Which types of payment will I accept (online payments via ReservationManager, PayPal, check)?
- How am I going to handle keys?
- Am I going to accept pets?
- What is my refund policy going to be?
- How am I going to furnish my property?
- Which types of beds will best suit my property and my renters?
- Which/how many websites should I list on?
- Which photos will best show off my vacation home?
- Should I hire a professional photographer?
- What are my property's top selling points?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself when starting a vacation rental business. The key to entering into any endeavor and being successful is knowledge and preparation.