Vacation Rental Property Management can be a tough gig. Owners hire you to make sure that their rental properties make a good impression, but they can be hesitant to take your advice when it’s time to upgrade. Misconceptions regarding furniture life, window treatments, flooring, and replacement of routine items can be so discouraging, especially when it’s painfully obvious that certain upgrades are badly needed.
Setting priorities that you can both agree on is a good place to start. Many owners would agree that the most important considerations in the vacation rental property management industry are safety, cleanliness, and appearance. Let’s break those down.
Owners need to be reminded that vacation rental safety is about more than working smoke alarms and secure key entry systems. A worn spot in a carpet can cause a guest to trip and fall, while mold buildup on a shower curtain liner can make someone ill, especially if they have a mold allergy, which is quite common these days.
One way to motivate your owner to upgrade is by comparing the nominal cost involved with the huge expense of a lawsuit and increased liability insurance costs. Another motivator is the possible damage to their reputation if they let things slide. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Cleanliness is the simplest, yet one of the most critically important objectives in vacation rental property management. If guests see dust, unemptied trash cans or a dirty bathroom, you may never see that guest again. Fortunately, a well-trained cleaning staff can easily mitigate those problems.
It is vital to ensure that other routine measures are also taken. For example, rotating mattresses four times a year will not only extend the life of the mattress, but it will also reveal any stains or bedbugs, something you want to catch as soon as possible before your entire property is under seige. The recommended rotation is twice a year end to end and twice a year side to side.
While appearance is enhanced to a degree by maintaining a safe, clean environment, regular upgrades are an owner’s greatest asset. Make your owner aware of:
- Mattresses – A good night’s sleep while on vacation cannot be overrated. Therefore, even with proper maintenance, your owner must be prepared to replace mattresses every ten years or less.
- Pillows – Who can sleep well with a worn out pillow? In addition to regular cleaning, replacement every two years is standard.
- Sofas and Chairs – No vacationer wants to check into a room full of furnishings that are older than their own! Sofas should be replaced every 7 to 15 years. For an instant style upgrade, add a u-shaped chair or a large plant. Both can add a burst of color and warmth to any decor, and plants are a natural way to keep the whole space smelling fresh and clean.
- Accessories – Encourage your owner to have a little fun and jazz things up with some new throw pillows or nature-inspired curtains and bathmats.
Often times your property owners are located outside of the market area. The DME app, Design Made Easy, gives owners access to recommended inventory upgrades that will add value to their property. You are able to collaborate with owners during each step of the process, which saves them time and money.
Routine evaluations, creating a replacement schedule, and maintaining regular contact with your owners will build trust by ensuring customer satisfaction and increasing revenue for years to come.