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What Type of Vacation Rental Property Should You Choose?

  • 2016-08-31

Vacation rental property types vary considerably. While the two most popular property types for short term rental are without a doubt villas and apartments, there are many other properties that do not fall into either of these categories. Cottages, free-standing houses and multi-tenant complexes such as aparthotels are some examples.

What Type of Vacation Rental Property Should You Choose

If you already own a property that you wish to use as an investment, all you will need to do is market it according to the property type, focusing on the benefits that this type has to offer potential guests. For instance, a free-standing villa gives guests privacy, space and exclusive use of facilities such as gardens or swimming pools. An apartment meanwhile is convenient, compact and, if located in an area such as the Cape Town CBD, very often central.

If, on the other hand, you are currently searching for the perfect property to use for your investment, you will have the chance to decide from the start which property type is best for your needs.

Choosing the Right Vacation Rental Property

There are a few things to consider when selecting a vacation rental property. Location is one of the most important things. Quality is just as important. Your potential return on your investment is also important, and it is this factor that you will need to keep in mind when determining what type of property to choose. For smart investors wanting to maximise income on short term rentals, it is essential to think carefully about what prospective guests want when seeking out accommodation.

Some tips to keep in mind when making your decision on which vacation rental property type is best include:

  • Current trends in your chosen area. What type of property dominates in your chosen area? Are there more apartments, or more free-standing properties such as villas? In an area such as Camps Bay in Cape Town, villas outnumber apartments, as this type of property is better suited to the Atlantic Seaboard’s beach and leisure environment. In the CBD meanwhile, apartments are par for the course, as these are compact, central and ideal for limited space environments such as urban centres.
  • Ideal guest profile. It is also worth considering what your ideal guest would choose. If you are targeting families or leisure travellers, larger, villa type properties may be more suited to the needs of this type of guest. If your core audience includes corporate travellers, who often travel alone, smaller apartments that are close to facilities such as the Cape Town International Conference Centre would be more appealing.
  • Maintenance and upkeep. From a practical perspective, it can also be worthwhile considering the practicalities of each property type. What is needed to keep the property in excellent shape (during peak seasons and low season)? If you partner with a trusted vacation rental manager, you will be able to save yourself the hassle of on-going upkeep, but it is still a good idea to make a list of all upkeep items. These could include garden, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and anything else that is over and beyond routine management.
  • Security and concierge. One of the benefits offered by apartments is that they often provide security features such as a front desk, underground parking and additional features. That does not mean that villas are lacking in security – it does however mean that as the owner of a villa, you may need to invest in a top of the range alarm as well as any other required features that will ensure your guests’ safety. Partnering with a vacation rental manager will allow you to offer concierge services to your guests, which is a valuable service, regardless of the type of property you choose.
  • Furnishings and equipment. Furnishing an apartment is often simpler than furnishing a large villa, but the upside to having a beautifully furnished villa is an excellent income potential within the luxury travel market. With that in mind, it is never a good idea to try and cut costs or corners when furnishing your property. Cheap furnishings and a lack of preparation for holiday rentals will not get you very far at all.

Ultimately, the type of property you choose will often come down to your own personal preferences, budget and overall goals. Both villas and apartments have unique benefits that make them attractive to guests. Whichever type of vacation rental property you choose, the most important thing to ensure is that your property is managed expertly to get the best possible returns, through high season and low season.