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The good, the bad & the ugly!

The good, the bad and the ugly of vacation rental ownership/management!

Hey there, I'm Suzanne Hacker, your vacation rental business coach, and today we're going to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of vacation rental ownership. So often we're either sold a bill of goods that vacation rental ownership is the quickest/easiest way to wealth or the opposite end and hearing that ALL guests are bad and your home will quickly be ruined!

Let's start with the good stuff. One of the best things about owning a vacation rental is the ability to earn “passive income”. You can make money while you're not using your property, which can help offset ownership costs.

Plus, hosting guests from all over the world can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. You may get to meet new people, make connections, and maybe even learn a thing or two about different cultures.

Another great thing about vacation rental ownership is that you get to be creative. Decorating your property to appeal to guests can be a fun and exciting experience that allows you to show off your personal style. Plus, providing a comfortable space for guests can help them create lasting memories with their family and friends!

You also get to help others by providing recommendations and advice about the local area, which can be incredibly rewarding.

Now let's talk about the not-so-good stuff. One of the biggest challenges of vacation rental ownership is potential damage to your property. Guests might accidentally break something or even intentionally cause damage.

You'll also have to deal with unruly guests, particularly younger ones during spring break, who may not follow the rules or treat your property with respect. It can be stressful and time-consuming to deal with these types of situations.

Another downside to vacation rental ownership is the need for ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Regular cleaning, repairs, and maintenance can be expensive and time-consuming, and failing to keep up with these tasks can lead to negative reviews and decreased bookings. Additionally, understanding local regulations and taxes can be complicated and overwhelming.

Finally, there's the ugly stuff. Dealing with puke, pot smells, or other unpleasant messes left behind by guests can be gross and time-consuming to clean up. Plus, guests may violate local laws or regulations, such as bringing large work vehicles onto your property, which can lead to fines or legal issues.

Vacation rental ownership can be a fun and profitable venture, but it's important to be aware of the potential challenges and downsides. Let me ask you several questions:

  1. Have you set clear expectations in your listing regarding smoking, grill use, quiet hours, commercial vehicles and parking in general?

  2. Do you have your guidelines posted either in the welcome book or in your listing as to what items guests should communicate to you prior to checkout, such as breaking of items, vomit, blood, etc?

  3. Do you have a system in place to verify your guests through a company like SuperHog which checks identities, background and rental history?

  4. Do you have additional insurance either available for guests to purchase or to protect you in case of unforeseen situations?

  5. Have you discussed with your cleaner the importance of a thorough cleaning job and that they MUST check every drawer and under beds and in closets in case weapons or drugs or other paraphernalia was left behind by guests?

By doing your research, setting clear boundaries and rules for guests, and being prepared for the unexpected, you can increase your chances of success and enjoyment as a vacation rental owner. And if you would like me to review your listing or provide guidance, reach out to me, your friendly neighborhood vacation rental business coach at!

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