30 Jul 2021
If you are interested in investing in a vacation rental home along the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida, there are a few important factors to consider when finding your perfect home away from home. Vacation rentals near or on the beach serve as great financial opportunities as well as your own piece of paradise to create memories for generations to come! The Emerald Coast offers several wonderful locations to choose from and with a little due diligence, you can find the perfect rental home in a location that works best with your lifestyle and budget. Below are some tips to consider that will help you turn your investment decision into a successful one!
1. Location, Location, Location
Florida’s NorthWest Gulf Coast is notably one of the most popular locations in the US to invest in a vacation rental. This region of Florida offers stunning beaches with sugar-white sand and crystal clear water that draw in tourists all year long. From Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach, there are several charming beach towns to choose from. Destin Florida tends to be in very high demand, this is mostly due to nearby shops, restaurants, and attractions that tourists can enjoy.
Another thing to consider when doing your research is the proximity to tourist-friendly locations. Little things like grocery stores and gas stations that are within walking distance add great value! Also, if the vacation home is in a safe neighborhood to walk around in or near public transportation. If you invest in a property that is not beachfront, you will want to research how close it is to other attractions that are appealing to visitors of the area. If you are looking into becoming an owner, be sure to do your homework and you will find the perfect rental home that checks off all of your boxes!
2. Leisure Amenities
To maximize revenue in your investment, you will want amenities that set your vacation home apart from nearby competitors. Amenities are a huge perk that can be a deciding factor for many vacation rental shopping guests. Here in The Sunshine State, swimming pools are by far one of the biggest perks as far as amenities go, especially in the off-season when the gulf is not quite warm enough to take a dip. Whether your rental home offers a private or community pool, this alone adds significant value to your investment property.
Aside from swimming pools, other amenities that are appealing to guests include:
- fitness centers
- hot tubs
- grilling areas
- tennis courts
- beach service
3. Make Guests Feel at Home
A simple yet important way to make your vacation home stand out is to have updated furniture, decor, and appliances. Oftentimes your guests will be spending a week (or more!) in your vacation rental, so you will want them to feel right at home. For starters, you will want to fill your home with comfortable and trendy furniture. One of the first things potential guests look at is how updated and inviting the rental looks in photos. By offering a clean and beautifully decorated home, you will already have one foot in the door with guests. Just as importantly, you will want to provide furniture that is comfortable for your guests. One of the biggest complaints many vacation homeowners face is having uncomfortable mattresses, so be sure to offer good quality mattresses, mattress covers, and linens throughout your rental home.
Another very important feature in your home that guests will look for is how updated and equipped your kitchen is. Many guests will want to save money by cooking meals at home and this is one of the major benefits of staying in a vacation rental versus a hotel. An updated and modern kitchen is very appealing to guests so if your budget can afford to do so then consider including up-to-date appliances, countertops, and cupboards. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, you will want to ensure your kitchen provides all necessary cookware and dishware so guests have everything they may need to prepare meals.
A must in this new age of tech-savvy guests is having high-speed Wi-Fi and upgraded televisions with streaming capabilities in every room of your rental home. Successful vacation rental owners, as well as marketing professionals, will attest that by offering upgrades and special perks throughout your rental home, that you are not only increasing competitiveness but also overall guest satisfaction!
4. Marketing your Vacation Rental Home
Now more than ever, marketing a business is crucial to long-term success so if you plan to invest in a vacation rental home, you will absolutely want to create an effective marketing plan! Marketing in the past traditionally consisted of radio, television, and printed advertisements to reach the masses. These are still important methods, however, digital marketing is revolutionizing how businesses are choosing to advertise themselves. Social media platforms and digital marketing are great ways to increase bookings, gain exposure overall, and be successful in business.
A few strategies to market your vacation rental are to define your target audience, include professional photography, generate leads, engage online, encourage guests to share their experience, dynamic pricing and so much more. Marketing your vacation rental home can easily become a full-time job, especially if you want to maximize your profits! If this is not something you are familiar with or you simply don’t have enough time on your hands, then you might want to consider partnering with an established vacation rental management company!
5. Let Someone Else Do The Work!
Many owners decide to self-manage their vacation rental homes and this does offer benefits, such as keeping all profit earned from bookings and being in control of managing their home. While this works for some owners, self-managing is very time-consuming and requires wearing many hats. Partnering with a vacation rental management company can help you avoid the stress that comes with ownership and the benefits often outweigh the cost.
Vacation rental management companies are typically locally operated and offer a full team of professionals including rental managers, guest services agents, marketing, housekeeping, maintenance, accounting, and more. Whether you live nearby or in a different state, vacation rental management companies are making sure that your property is maintained and cared for at all times, which can put your mind at ease! Having a full team present for your guests is also a huge perk. The vacation rental team members are eager to assist with your guests’ needs and are trained in high-level customer service, which can ultimately attract repeat business. Another significant benefit of partnering with a vacation rental management company is increased property exposure, which typically results in more bookings year-round so you can maximize your profits.
The most common reason vacation rental owners choose to self-manage is that they want to avoid all additional expenses. However, when you do the math, you will find that working with a team of professionals often increases the amount you can earn each month. The combination of strategic marketing, a more personal guest experience, and dedicated management will help ensure you are maximizing your property’s potential profits. If you’re a property owner who’s in search of a vacation rental management program, be sure to take your time finding a company that is compatible with your needs and goals to ensure overall success.