Starting a vacation rental business can be an exciting prospect. Lucy W., a VRBO.com owner, told us, “Before I started renting out my vacation home, I was worried that it would be a hassle and that I wouldn’t attract the quality of renters I wanted. Five years later and my vacation home practically pays for itself. And it’s been a real joy to be able to share the place I love so much with guests who return year after year.”
Every vacation property is unique and special. No matter what kind of vacation home you own - single family home, condo, cabin, cottage, chalet, villa, apartment, estate, lodge, townhome, studio, castle, farmhouse, bungalow, or boat - and no matter what its peak rental season is, our quick reference guide will help you understand the ins and outs of starting a vacation rental business.
The first step in starting a vacation rental business is putting together a business plan and – if you don’t already own one -- purchasing a vacation property.
Once you purchase your home, it's time to:
- Get your home ready for guests
- Determine advertising avenues and management style
- Create necessary contracts and policies (rental agreement, rental lease, and contracts for example)
Then, determine how you will run your business. Decide how you will:
- Manage bookings and inquiries
- Screen guests and avoid scams
- Determine your nightly, weekly, and monthly rental rates
- Accept payments (HomeAway Payments, PayPal, e-checks)
Next, focus on getting bookings. You should: