As you start to set up your vacation rental business (or maybe you are just getting a bit more involved or better at it), you will need business partners. Unfortunately, none of us are good at EVERYTHING. So, unless you are turning over the entire business of managing it to somebody else….start to develop partnerships with some key individuals in your community. Obviously, you can do some (or all) of these yourself, but unfortunately you cannot be a professional at all of them.
1. Interior Designer/Decorator – Not all of you need a professional, but be honest, some of you do! Find someone that will work with you and your budget and what you are looking to accomplish, or at a minimum…hire WELCOMING WOW to give you a virtual hand.
2. Photographer – You will need professional pictures of your space. Please don’t just rely on your own skills with your phone. Spend the extra $$ so that your listing stands out. A professional photographer who has experience in vacation rental or real estate listings can showcase your home or space in just the right lighting and show that you are also a professional!
3. Marketing – This may be the same person as your photographer, but perhaps not. This also depends on which platform (if any) you decide to list on. Perhaps you want to have your own website, but at a minimum you need a social media presence and basic advertising whether you list with a vacation rental online platform (VRBO/AirBnb) or not. Trust me, it will boost your bookings!
4. Cleaner/Cleaning Company – This may be something you can do yourself, but you may want to at least identify a backup for those busy times or in case of emergencies or if you ever want to take a vacation yourself.
5. Amenities/Supplies – You may order most of your supplies in bulk, but its also great to be able to showcase local businesses by having their products as amenities if possible. Think – local coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, soap makers, etc. There are so many ways you can partner with local businesses, and by promoting them….hopefully they also promote you!! Win..Win!!
6. Maintenance/Repairs – Unfortunately, stuff happens. And always at the most inconvenient time. I remember when we had our first vacation rental, and our first guest. The very first night, the smoke detector starts chirping because the battery needed to be replaced. Little things like that WILL come up and need to be handled. Just expect to have a faucet or toilet problem, or maybe the shower all of a suddenly stops working or a guest overflows a tub. If you have carpeting, have a carpet cleaner on standby in case of emergencies as well.
7. Exterior Maintenance/Landscaping – If you have a house, you will want to make the best impression when the guests pull up. Again, this may be something you or your partner can do yourself and possibly even enjoy, but either way, make sure it looks fabulous and WELCOMING!
All that being said, if you manage your own vacation rental(s) (I shouldn’t have to tell you this), when a guest is staying “with” you, it’s a 24/7 job. You must be available in case something happens, so if you can’t always be available, have partners who can help you out. They will be invaluable to you.