Expert advice from experienced owners

    Top ten Pro tips:

    1. Hire someone to create a floor plan of your rental. This costs as little as $50 on freelance sites and gives prospective guests a true lay of the land. I guarantee 9 out of 10 rentals in your region are without one. - Matt
    2. Get a label maker and label the inside of the shelves in your kitchen to tell guests where things belong. I did this and I can't tell you how many guests have commented on how much they appreciate it! - Kathy
    3. The secret to our success is always following up with a "thank you for being our guest" email. We offer a 5% discount for their return visit and ask for their review of the property and most importantly ask, "what can we improve that will make their next stay even better?" - Jan
    4. We have created a cleaning team of part time house keepers. They are independent contractors and chose the dates they are available to clean. We no longer have house cleaner burn out or mediocre cleaning. - Jan
    5. When you go on vacation and everything but the food is provided, it makes for a stress free vacation! Who wants to spend time at the grocery store for laundry detergent, or dish-washing detergent? Make your vacation rental as carefree to the guest as possible; believe me when I say, they will notice! - Wendy
    6. I use Reservation Manager and the Request Booking button – it has literally streamlined my business. When you use Reservation Manager it handles the payment for you, transfers the funds to your account, gives you an accounting of the amounts received, keeps a record of the payments in your dashboard, AND reserves the calendar. Look at the step that are being saved by using the tools that VRBO/HomeAway has available to you! - Wendy
    7. I would recommend everyone be made aware of the HomeAway Community. Amazing people with so much to offer to others! I have learned so much from those that have shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. (community.homeaway.com) - Wendy
    8. My "best practice" that no one thinks of is to promulgate a privacy policy that will assure travelers that we will protect their personal information from disclosures. - Hugh
    9. We are one of the busiest rentals in our area because we answer inquiries within 30 minutes, no longer than an hour. Chances are the competition is more laid back and "will get around to it later." By then, we have already started the booking process with the guests and are happily filling in our calendar. - Jan
    10. Get professional pictures taken. It is the best investment we made in our business. - Kathy