As the vacation rental industry continues to boom, renting out your home to short-term visitors can be a very lucrative side business. In order to maximize your revenue, minimize vacancies, and increase your nightly or weekly rate, it's crucial to achieve 5-star ratings on the sites where your property is listed. Travelers know they have tons of options for where to stay, and seeing that previous visitors have rated your rental with five stars reassures them they are making the best choice. Here are four ways to make sure you snag those 5-star reviews.
Hire a Cleaning Company
Nothing will sink your reviews faster than a dirty bathroom or carpet that needs a good cleaning. It's almost always worth the cost to hire professionals to leave your rental spotless in between guests. When it's your own property that you see all the time, it's easy to miss details that need extra attention and cleaning. Before hiring cleaners, check their reviews and consider paying for a test cleaning in between guests.
Offer Upscale Amenities
Short-term renters who choose a vacation rental over a hotel are looking for extra space and home-like conveniences (including a full kitchen), but that doesn't mean they want to completely forgo the amenities offered by nice hotels. Details like fluffy, spa-like towels, crisp bed linens with high thread counts, travel size toiletries, and of course cable and free wifi will make your guests feel pampered and comfortable, leading to better reviews. Fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen table and nice bathrobes for guest use are extra touches that will be remembered.
Communicate Well and Often
Most issues with vacation rental guests can be prevented or quickly smoothed over with prompt and courteous communication. If this isn't your strong-suit or you simply don't have the time, it's a good idea to hire a professional property management company to communicate with your guests for you.
Special perks aren't necessary but they can make a big difference in your reviews as well as referral and return business. Maps and coupon books to local restaurants and activities are an inexpensive way to make your guests' vacation easier. Offering the use of cruiser bikes or sporting equipment (like boogie boards or surfboards if you live near the beach) are also perks that will help your rental stand apart from the humdrum.
By spending a bit of time and money up-front to make your vacation rental comfortable, clean, and convenient, you will soon be rewarded with 5-star reviews and increased bookings.