A vacation rental business can be fun and exciting. It allows you to work on your own terms and it can be a sweet addition to your wallet.
Choosing to run your business yourself can save you 25 to 30% as opposed to hiring a property management company but managing your vacation rental on your own isn’t for everyone. A property manager can make a great partner for owners especially when they live far away from the property. If you are planning to manage it yourself, here are some great tips for you!
The first and probably most important rule is to organize, organize and organize. This means creating a system that works for you. You’ll need a monthly calendar and three notebooks.
Start a log with inquiries. It should look something like this:
Number of people
Keep all this information documented whether the inquiries rent or not. This information can be extremely useful if you have any cancellations, or even to follow up on unsure travelers.
In the other notebook, record all bookings. You should also transfer the bookings to your calendar so you have a visual of where you stand each month. With a calendar, you can easily see monthly availability and the specific weeks at a glance. Bring this with you whenever you can. You never know when you will meet someone who is interested in your property.
Start two e-mail subscriber lists. The first list should be for previous inquiries, and the second one for renters. Send offers, guides, booking confirmations, and cancellations to the appropriates lists. A newsletter can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. You can send renters upcoming events in the area, send inquiries specials and promotions, or just say hi!
In the third notebook, keep a current and accurate record of your rental income, refunds, and all the costs of the rental. For income, make sure to keep track of the dates payments were received as well as the rental dates. Record all expenses with the totals for each month. Identify each transaction with as much information as possible. Use a field or file directory to store all revenue for tax purposes. Keep everything you need for your rental business in one place. This makes it easier for you at the end of the year!