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Dos and Don’ts for Vacation Rentals Success

  • 2016-09-10

Vacation rentals make up a constantly growing percentage of the property rental market. In Cape Town alone, this market is rapidly evolving, especially as tools such as Airbnb continue to advance.

Dos and Don'ts for Vacation Rentals Success

For homeowners looking for a smart investment, the holiday rental space offers plenty of potential. Tourism numbers are starting to pick up as we get closer to the summer season, and now is the best time to consider making the move from long term to short term rentals. With that said, there are a few things that can make or break your chances of success…

Vacation Rentals Made Simple With These Dos and Don’ts

Some of the most important things to do (and some equally important things you will not want to do) when it comes to getting the most out of vacation rentals include the following:

  • DO… think about investing in an experienced, professional rental property manager who will be able to help you maximise occupancy throughout the year. Doing it alone may seem cheaper and easier, but in the long run, the value offered by a specialist will offer far more chance of lasting success.
  • DO… put in the time, thought and effort required to transform your property into a welcoming space for guests. If you want repeat bookings, you need to prepare your property so that it appeals to guests. It really is that simple.
  • DO… keep customer service at the forefront of your strategies, at all times. Unlike long term lets, the short term space is designed to provide an experience and not only board and lodging. Treat your guests well from the very first enquiry, and they will be far more likely to recommend your property or come back again on their next visit.
  • DO… choose the right area, for the right reasons. Deciding which area is right for your property comes down to many factors. Popular areas include Camps Bay and the CBD, but there are many others that you may also want to consider.
  • DON’T… assume that everyone will make a killing renting out a home on Airbnb. Overestimating your ability to maintain occupancy levels is a rookie mistake that could cost you a great deal of time, energy and money. Like anything else, success in this business is based on strategy, thought and planning.
  • DON’T… forget the seemingly small details. Housekeeping services, televisions (with satellite), high quality linens and towels, a stocked fridge, universal plug points, hairdryers… these are just the basics. To make an impression, you will need to go over and beyond your guests’ expectations. How can you ‘wow’ your guests?
  • DON’T… give guests a reason to complain. Some of the things that will almost certainly trigger poor reviews include lack of basic facilities, messy or unclean rooms, rude or indifferent service, poor quality furnishings, clutter, lack of security and rates that are not proportionate to the quality of accommodation you offer.
  • DON’T… think that a listing is all you have to do to get bookings. In fact, listings are only the first step. Maintaining a healthy occupancy rate involves active marketing and promotion, along with a consistent commitment to providing a high level of service to guests. This is why many property owners choose to work with a qualified vacation rentals manager to ensure that properties stay booked even during low season.


If you have an apartment or villa that you would like to rent out, we have the skill and experience required to help you transform your property into a guest magnet. For more information on managed vacation rentals, contact Totalstay today and let us know how we can help you get started.