If you have invested in a property frequented by tourists for weekend getaways, it’s a good idea to build on a set of rules and features that you are offering to them. It’s good to hold on to some features and services and provide them at additional costs. That not only helps you with overhead costs for those services, but also provides guests an option to rent your cabin at a bare minimum enabling you to attract more customers. While it’s important to list features depending on your property, it’s also a good idea to understand the tourist type you are attracting depending on your property location. For example, if you are listing cabin rentals on the Oregon Coast, some features people will be looking for are distance from the beach and an option to get their laundry done or even availability of pet boarding, which you can charge extra for.
In this article, we will look at the top 4 things you should feature when listing your vacation home to get the most number of bookings.
Number of People to Accommodate
This calculation completely depends on how you want to present your property – a family getaway or for a group of friends may be on a bachelor party. If it’s the former, count the number of beds and how many they can accommodate. It’s as simple as that. If it’s the latter and you are charging per person and not for the whole property, count all the places someone can crash – couches, bunk beds, spare mattresses (can be provided at extra cost), air mattresses, etc. It’s a good idea to be honest about how you are counting the heads. Like say that bedrooms for example can accommodate 4 guests and additional rooms can accommodate say 4 more. Let guests decide if they are okay with the arrangement.
Rules of the House
It’s good to list out your house rules in your posting itself. That gives guests a chance to make an informed decision. This includes if you allow smoking in the house or not, if you have reservations around alcohol in the house, or even food specifications. You don’t want an unwanted situation after the guests have arrived or left. Along with the rules, it’s also a good idea to check your property to take a call if you want to call it kid friendly. A kid friendly property is usually a gated house where adults can let their kids roam free without the fear of losing them or them getting hurt. If your property is too close to a lake or the main road without a barrier, it’s a good idea to flag it out. Similarly, tag your property as pet friendly or not depending on your preference and type of property. You can charge your guests extra for pets as cleaning up after them might require you some additional funds.
Photograph your property well. If required, take professional help. Set up your property in the way your guests will see when they arrive. Remember not to photoshop / change things. In the day and age of online reviews, you will be busted if you sell something that your property is not. Provide realistic views of the bedroom showing the size of the bed, views from all the rooms, views around the property, and all the rooms guests will have access to. It’s a good idea to photograph your property around noon when the sun is at the highest. This gives the best natural lighting which can help market your property well.
Additional Resources / Special Features
What makes your property unique? Is it close to the beach or lake or a special attraction? Can you provide additional services? Once you figure that out, use that as your USP. It’s okay to charge a premium fee for what makes you unique, but do keep an eye out at how much your competitors are charging for similar features / services. For example, for cabin rentals on the Oregon Coast, you might choose to offer barbeque nights or crabbing / clamming gear or even spots for RVs to park.
Making a profit from the property you own requires careful planning and costing to ensure guests enjoy what they pay for and you still own the property that you spent money buying. Ensure you calculate enough overhead to meet repair expenses which can include simple things like replacing a broken cutlery to a serious property damage. Remember, your property needs to be in top shape to attract and retain guests.