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Short Term Property Rental Mistakes to Avoid

  • 2016-08-17

With so many jumping aboard the Airbnb trend, short term property rental mistakes are becoming a lot harder for some property owners to avoid. While this platform has made it possible for more people than ever to reap the rewards of vacation rental, it has also made room for a lot of bad decisions made by inexperienced investors. Simply putting up your apartment or holiday home onto Airbnb is not enough to bring in consistent returns. In order to truly succeed in the often competitive, always challenging accommodation space, property owners need to ensure that a number of factors are considered.

Short Term Property Rental Mistakes to Avoid

What are some of the worst mistakes that you could make as a newcomer to holiday rentals? Let’s take a look.

Short Term Property Rental Mistakes

In a perfect world, it would be easy to rent out an apartment (or even a spare room) to tourists. Visitors would have somewhere to stay, you would bring in extra income and everyone would be happy. The reality is that many newcomers to Airbnb and similar platforms may end up failing to reach an occupancy rate that provides a healthy return. The following mistakes are sure to sabotage any goals you have at achieving maximum occupancy:

1) Underestimating the importance of quality. Preparing your property for short term stays is not only about aesthetics. Haphazardly furnishing your apartment with unwanted furniture, old appliances and ugly decor will send any prospective guests a clear message that you do not care much about their well-being. The modern traveller expects a high standard when booking accommodation. Whether it is a foreign or domestic traveller, quality is something that will always be important. Even if your accommodation is not graded, you will not encourage return visitors if you are scrimping on quality. In fact, a lack of quality is the quickest way to risk bad reviews, which in turn, can very quickly turn your property into a no-go zone.

2) Relying solely on word of mouth. You may have had some success, but that does not mean you will always be booked out. By relying on word of mouth marketing exclusively, you are losing out on many unexplored markets. If, for instance, your guests have primarily been small families visiting on holiday, they are likely to tell other families about their stay. As such, you may be missing out on year-round corporate travellers who travel off-season as well as during peak season. A marketing strategy will ensure that your property has bookings consistently, providing a far more reliable return on your investment.

3) Forgoing maintenance and management. Leaving small problems until they become big problems can be detrimental in the holiday rental business. Whether it is a leaky tap, broken air-conditioner or outdated television, forgoing routine maintenance can greatly affect the quality of your guests’ stay. Likewise, failing to manage your property efficiently can also be dangerous. This is why many savvy property owners choose to partner with a property management expert. A property that is professionally managed will almost always be able to deliver a consistently high level of service to guests. This in turn keeps occupancy rates high, without the risk of complaints and poor reviews.

4) Renting out an unsuitable space and expecting high returns. With accommodation in high demand over the festive season, a number of people seek to take advantage of the situation by renting out unsuitable spaces at an exorbitant profit. Tiny spare rooms, wooden sheds and even make-shift rooms in damp basements have been rented out for high daily rates. You may get a few takers initially, but in the long term, if you are unable to provide guests with a space that is safe, comfortable and welcoming, you are unlikely to provide them with the type of service that generates return customers.

5) Expecting overnight success. If your property is guest-ready, in a good, central location and expertly managed, you should start to see returns in time. With that said however, it is not an overnight process. Another reason that is can be very helpful to work with a professional rental manager is that you will have the advantage of consistent strategy and planning to help you achieve the best returns. As experts in tourism, accommodation and travel,  property managers have insider tips that are developed through years of experience. This type of information is often invaluable – to new property owners as well as more established owners.

To learn more about getting the most from your short term rental property, contact the Totalstay team today and let us know how we can help take your property to the next level.