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Is Your Vacation Rental Property Ready for the Holiday Season?

November marks the beginning of the official Holiday season, a time when families all over the world begin visiting each other for enormous shared meals and celebrations. From Thanksgiving to New Years, people will be traveling anywhere from five to three thousand miles to visit relatives and spend a few days or weeks relaxing on leftover feast sandwiches. While some people will pile into their grandparent’s spare bedroom happily, this is the best possible season for vacation rentals and competition will be fierce as families search sites like Airbnb and VRBO for cozy residential locations where they can stay without all the hassle of a busy hotel. How does your vacation rental property stand up against the local competition?

What the Guests are Looking For

The key to successful holiday vacation rental is to understand your guests and know what they’re looking for. What makes one listing superior to another is often a matter of decor, amenities, and features rather than space or even location. This means that even if your rental property is nicely appointed you could stay booked solid this season with a few simple tips and tricks.

1) Amenities and Forgotten Items

There is a very good reason why hotels leave out soaps, cups, shampoo, and conditioner and sell things like toothbrushes in the gift shop. When packing for a vacation, most people have a dozen different things on their minds and something is always forgotten. The best way to make a vacation rental home appealing is to ensure that even if your guests forgot everything but a change of clothes, they could still stay comfortably for a few days.

  • Towels (more than 5)
  • Hand Soap, Bath Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner (number of guests considered)
  • Washer/Dryer access
  • Extra Bedding (kids = accidents)
  • Anything else you think would be helpful


2) Professionally Maintained and Cleaned

Of course, no matter how well you arrange your vacation rental, the true mark of quality is how nicely it’s kept between tenants. Many vacation rental property owners hire a vacation rental service including cleaning and property management. A cleaning service means that no matter what you’re up to between guests, someone will always be available to clean the property between guests to the high standards of the hospitality industry. A property manager, on the other hand, can help you take care of the building itself, be on-call to help guests in an emergency, and inspect after a guest leaves to ensure no damage was done during their stay.

3) A Helpfully Stocked Kitchen

One of the reasons people choose vacation rentals over hotel rooms is the convenience of having a kitchen. This allows guests to save money on restaurant bills, store and reheat holiday leftovers, or maintain their normal diet while on vacation. One of the most helpful and appealing things you can do is to ensure that the kitchen is fully stocked with everything they won’t have remembered.

  • Pots and Pans
  • Drinking glasses and a Filter Pitcher
  • Plates and Bowls
  • Silverware and Knives
  • Spatula and Wooden Spoon
  • Salt, Pepper, and Basic Spices
  • Complimentary Snacks or Fruit

4) Host Book

The host book isn’t anything fancy, but it’s one of the most welcoming features a vacation rental property can have. It’s usually a small binder with a few pages starting with a warmly written welcoming letter from the host. Other information might include a guide on how to set up the wifi and use the TV remote, suggestions for local venues, a fire escape plan, and emergency contact numbers including your property manager for any necessary repairs during their stay.

While holiday decorations are a nice touch, the real magic of vacation rentals lies in recreating all the luxury and convenience of staying at home. You might be surprised how much expert management, amenities, and kitchen supplies make a difference for your guests. And, of course, if you need new staging pictures for your holiday property rejuvenation, talk to your property managers. They’re often experts at staging. For more vacation rental tips and tricks, contact us today!

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