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5 Things to Think About When Managing a Vacation Property

5 Things to Think About When Managing a Vacation Property

Some of us have vacation homes.

And some of us like to rent those vacation homes out on sites like VRBO and Airbnb during periods we’re not there.

These properties have the potential to become a legacy as well as your own beloved relaxation destination. What a delightful notion! Proper vacation property maintenance is part of the deal, though, and too much slips through the cracks when your vacation rental is far away.

How well do you draw guests in to your vacation rental offering? How well do you meet and exceed their expectations in aesthetic charm, understated opulence, and real comfort?

There are five key areas to think about if you really want to earn those rave reviews and maximize your returns. Get ready for a journey to the center of vacation rental ownership in all its splendor!!


1: Lighting “Musts”

Proper lighting is CRUCIAL for creating a welcoming and safe environment for your guests…of ALL ages.

From a design perspective, lighting sets the mood and enhances the overall guest experience. And think about what people spend more time doing on vacation…don’t you think they read more?! (Really…what were YOU thinking!) Set your rental up for success with a devoted reading nook along with well-lit pathways.

Surprisingly, many vacation rental owners overlook the importance of adequate lighting, leading to complaints and dissatisfaction among guests. (According to a study by Airbnb, 78% of guests rate lighting as an essential factor in their accommodation experience.)

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Reading Lights: Enhance guest comfort with adequate reading lights placed strategically for convenience.
  • Added Safety Considerations: Illuminate pathways and safety features to ensure guests of all ages feel secure and at ease.


2: Bedding Mastery

Your guests’ comfort begins with their sleeping arrangements, making bedding a critical aspect of vacation rental management. While it might seem like a small detail, the choice of bedding can significantly impact guest satisfaction and influence their decision to return.

Shockingly, a survey by VRM Intel found that 67% of vacation rental guests consider the quality of bedding when booking their stay. By mastering your bedding selection AND STORAGE, you can elevate the overall guest experience and earn glowing reviews.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • What’s the optimal bedding color in a vacation rental? Embrace the versatility of white bedding (which can ALWAYS be matched and replace), and discover tips for effortless coordination, too!!
  • Storage Solutions: Create discreet storage solutions for extra bedding while maintaining accessibility and aesthetics. If certain guests don’t want the extra comforter, don’t leave them with no other option but to throw it on the floor!


3: Kitchen Configuration

The kitchen is the heart of any home, and in a vacation rental, it plays a pivotal role in guest satisfaction. A well-configured kitchen enhances functionality and allows guests to prepare meals with ease, fostering a sense of home away from home.

A study by HomeAway revealed that 87% of travelers prefer to cook some of their meals while on vacation. By optimizing your kitchen layout and stocking essential items, you can cater to this preference and enhance the guest experience in a tremendous way.

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Guest-Centric Layout: Optimize your kitchen layout to cater to the diverse needs of vacationers. And make sure everything is easy to access for people of different heights and physical needs.
  • Vacationer Essentials: Stock the kitchen with essential cookware, utensils, and pantry items for guest convenience. Surprise them with some local favorites!!


4: Maintenance Musts

Regular maintenance is key to preserving the quality and appeal of your vacation rental property.

And yet…MOST owners overlook this aspect of management, or at least don’t do what their vacation rentals really require. This leads to costly repairs later and negative guest experiences that compound.

According to a report by TurnKey Vacation Rentals, 65% of guests would “definitely leave a negative review” due to cleanliness issues. By implementing a proactive maintenance schedule and staying abreast of local regulations, you can ensure your property remains in top condition and exceeds guest expectations.

SPEAKING of regulations…remember, the vacation rental property market is not regulated like hotels are. You have a chance to keep your rental property in such good condition that the others (which don’t do much, since nothing is required) pale in comparison…

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Regular Inspections: Stay proactive with monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual inspections to ensure your property remains in top condition.
  • Regulatory Awareness: Understand the importance of self-regulation and maintaining high cleanliness standards to exceed guest expectations. What are YOUR standards? What would you expect for a truly unforgettable vacation rental experience?…


5: Housekeeping Checklist

Speaking of maintenance…housekeeping is a whole topic of its own! A thorough housekeeping routine is essential for maintaining an inviting environment for your guests.

Unfortunately, many vacation rental owners underestimate the time and effort required to maintain cleanliness and order. This gets SO much harder with vacation rentals that are too far away to visit regularly yourself.

A study by Hostfully found that 80% of guests expect their vacation rental to be as clean as a five-star hotel. By giving your housekeeper a comprehensive cleaning checklist that meets YOUR highest standard, you can ensure your property meets or exceeds these expectations and earn rave reviews from satisfied guests.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Comprehensive Cleaning: Ensure your housekeeper follows a thorough cleaning routine to ensure every corner of your property is pristine for incoming guests. Contract only the best-reviewed housekeepers.
  • Essential Tasks: From changing bed linens to inspecting for damages, streamline your housekeeping process by providing your housekeeper with a list of YOUR design. What needs to be done after every visit, monthly, quarterly?


The Allure of Vacation Rental Ownership…

Owning a vacation rental property holds a myriad of appeals, drawing owners from various walks of life to venture into this lucrative endeavor…

The most common reasons for pursuing vacation rental ownership include:

  1. Financial Investment: Many of us view vacation rental properties as sound financial investments, offering the potential for supplemental income and long-term appreciation. According to a survey conducted by Vacasa, 76% of vacation rental owners cite rental income as a primary motivator for their investment.
  2. Personal Use and Enjoyment: The allure of owning a vacation home for personal use and enjoyment is undeniable. Whether it’s having a haven to escape to or creating a legacy home to leave for your family, the emotional satisfaction derived from owning a vacation rental is HUGE. A study by HomeAway revealed that 54% of vacation rental owners purchased their property primarily for personal use…though that DOES mean that 46% have the full intent of renting their vacation homes, too!!
  3. Flexibility and Freedom…Vacation rental ownership provides a level of flexibility and freedom that traditional real estate investments just don’t have. You enjoy the autonomy to use your property as they see fit, whether renting it out regularly or reserving it for personal getaways several times a year.

By taking vacation rental management seriously and implementing strategies to optimize guest satisfaction and property performance, you can realize the FULL potential of your investment…and your return on ENJOYMENT.

By prioritizing aspects like property maintenance, guest experience enhancements, and memorable interior design, you can reap the benefits of increased rental income, personal enjoyment, and long-term financial growth.


You’re not just managing a property—you’re curating an experience. Elevate your reputation as a luxurious rental option by delighting guests and reaping the rewards of your investment!!

Share some of your questions, comments, or ideas about your own vacation rental in our private design group…connect now!!

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