Tens of thousands of dollars — that’s how much you could be making by renting your property out to vacationers if you do it right. Boosting the overall level of comfort and aesthetic appeal could turn a modest dwelling into a cash cow. Potential guests are willing to shell out for the extras, as long as they’re the right ones. If you want to turn their heads, as well as a tidy profit, you need to have a top-notch rental in a great area to get an excellent return on investment.
Location Is Important
Having a rental that’s close to activities, shopping, and dining makes all the difference. And when marketing your vacation rental, you want to highlight these nearby attractions — especially since you’re likely to have competition in a hot market like Seattle. If your rental is in one of Seattle’s many unique neighborhoods (Shoreline, Ballard, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and West Seattle to name a few!) you’re well on your way to attracting guests. And even if you aren’t in one of these neighborhoods, look for other ways to make your rental stand out.
Upgrade the Kitchen
Vacationers often rent homes rather than stay at hotels in order to cook for themselves, so offer them a pleasant experience preparing their meals. First, make any necessary changes to the layout. Then, continue with popular upgrades that focus on function and appearance, such as new countertops and fixtures.
Add Some Appliances
New appliances could seal the deal when a potential client is considering your property for rental. They’ll expect the basics, such as an oven, refrigerator, and microwave, while toasters, blenders, and food processors make for attractive bonuses — as long as they don’t take up too much space.
Redo the Bathrooms
You can save money by doing a bathroom remodel yourself. You’ll significantly boost value with a coat of paint, some fresh grout, and a new vanity. Of course, if you’re not handy with a hammer and drill, hiring a contractor to install these wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you want to do a full remodel, make sure there’s room in your budget. Even a mid-range bathroom remodel averages $19,000. However, the Kari Haas team has great resources and new bathrooms are often less than $7,000 for designer details!
Install New Lighting
New lighting will make the whole interior look more spacious, warm, and inviting. There are a few ways to do this quickly and easily using recessed fixtures and sconces, with perhaps some under-cabinet task lighting in the kitchen to make cooking that much easier. And don’t forget the outdoors, particularly the path that leads to the doorway.
Give It a Unique Decor
Provide an experience that’s one of a kind rather than run of the mill. You can do that without busting your budget by buying furnishings and decorations at secondhand or outlet stores, estate sales, consignment shops, and auctions. There’s treasure to be discovered there.
Make the Patio Special
Your guests want to chill outside with a drink in their hand, one of the most pleasant parts of any vacation. Ensure they can do that in style and comfort with seating that fits the climate, along with some shade from umbrellas or a retractable awning. If space permits, consider setting up an al fresco dining area.
Plan for Maintenance
When it comes to maintenance, a preventive approach comes highly recommended and could save up to 20 percent in repairs when it comes to major appliances, as well as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Regular tasks like cleaning filters should be carried out according to a strict schedule, which should also include periodic visits from qualified technicians.
Keep It Spotless
If your vacation home isn’t clean, you may get a nasty review from one of your guests that scares off future business. Pay close attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as those draw the most scrutiny. Hire a cleaning service to keep your vacation rental sparkling clean. In the Seattle area, this will typically cost you between $123 and $239.
Learn How to Market
These improvements are for nothing if potential clients don’t know about them. Pictures are the best way to show them what’s on offer, so they should be taken by a professional. They will make an impact when you spread the news of your property far and wide on the internet and social media. Call Kari Haas for great photographer referrals costing between $300-$500!
With these upgrades and savvy salesmanship, you’ll get rave reviews that’ll bring a steady stream of clients flowing through your doors. Any successful business person will tell you that regular business is the best kind.
This post was originally submitted by Erin Reynolds and has been edited by the Kari Haas Team. Erin Reynolds is the creator of DIYMama.net, which provides resources to help others with home improvement projects and repairs.