Starting a vacation rental business

    how to start a vacation rental business

    Starting a vacation rental business can be an exciting prospect. Lucy W., a 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:



    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:


    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.
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