How to Rent a Vacation Home By Owner A comprehensive checklist

How to Rent
a Vacation Home
By Owner
A comprehensive checklist
for owners looking to successfully rent
out their vacation homes
The vacation rental business is booming as more travelers choose
vacation rentals over hotels and more vacation homeowners seek out
rental income to offset expenses.
If you are considering getting into the vacation rental business, it
certainly can be daunting. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive
checklist for how to rent a vacation home by owner.
Is Your Home Marketable
It is in a sought after location?
Does it show well? Is it up to date? Does it have a
“wow” factor?
Do you have desirable amenities to tout? (i.e.
2. Balance of Personal Use and Rental Supply
Will you make enough weeks available for rent to
make it worth your effort?
3. Financial Model
How much will you be doing yourself ? Will you be
engaging a housekeeper, property manager,
concierge, rental agent?
Assess the marketplace, forecast potential revenue
and determine the net income
Elite Destination Homes is a
boutique vacation rental
agency representing luxury
homes in premier resort
destinations across the globe
since 2005.
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes
How to Rent A Vacation Home By Owner
A Comprehensive Checklist
House Set Up
According to
of US travelers are turning to
vacation home rentals instead
of hotels. Read more.
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes
Rental Readiness
Property maintenance – all repairs are taking care of
and everything is in working order
Décor – home furnishings and accessories carefully
chosen and well maintained
Technology – satellite or cable TV with DVD player,
VOIP phone, WiFi, iPod docking stations
Supplies – paper goods, linens, kitchen and bathroom
Determine your cleaning schedule
Create a cleaning and inventory checklist
Create an entry system for guests - keyless entry,
lockbox, property manager greets and provides key
Create a House Manual with household instructions
for guests – how to operate the remote, etc.
Check with home owner’s association and city
requirements for rental licensing
Get the proper insurance in place
Write up a Rental Contract
Why should someone choose your home over
another in the area?
What is your pricing strategy?
Set Your Rates
Analyze similar houses in the market
Analyze promotional activities
Determine Your Promotional Plan
How much are you willing to discount?
How will you fill open nights in the short term and
long term?
Conduct a Photo Shoot
Capture key features that set your home apart
Write Your Property Description
Highlight what makes your home unique
Create a Welcome Letter/Pre-Trip Planner
Build a list of information about the area along with
your personal recommendations for restaurants and
other activities
How to Rent A Vacation Home By Owner
A Comprehensive Checklist
Sales & Reservation System
Sales Management
Will you be in charge of sales or will you be assigning
an agent?
Determine languages for taking reservations
Develop strategy for closing leads
Determine how you will accept and process
13. Choose a Calendaring System
Get it up and running
Block off your personal dates for vacation and
Integrate with on-site service providers
14. Choose a Lead and Reservation Management System
Get it up and running
From HomeAway’s
2012 Fall Report:
of vacation home buyers plan
to rent their property within the
next 12 months. Read more.
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes
Create a Website for Your Home
Optimize it for search engines so it can be found by
potential guests
16. Build an Email Database
Segment the list
Determine your content strategy and plan for
continual communication
17. Promote Your Home via Social Media
18. List Your Home With Rental Listing Services
Research your options and their terms, the best/
biggest ones are VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor,
Airbnb. These are excellent vacation home rental
sites but like any marketplace (e.g. Ebay or Craig’s
List) there is an art and a science to ranking at the
top of the listings and standing out among the crowd
Research your competition on these sites
Set up accounts and build your listings, renew listings
as necessary
Continually monitor your listing rank, view and lead
Continually tweak your listings to maintain top
How to Rent A Vacation Home By Owner
A Comprehensive Checklist
List your home with a local villa rental agency
Research your options and their commission rates
Convince them to take on your home, negotiate rates
Provide information about your home to get their
listing up
Stay in contact to keep your home top of mind
20. List your home with international villa rental agencies
Research your options and their commission rates
Convince them to take on your home, negotiate rates
Provide information about your home to get their
listing up
Stay in contact to keep your home top of mind
Roughly half of owners report
that their rental income
covers at least
of their mortgage payment.
Read more.
Revenue Optimization
Review Leads and Occupancy Regularly
Review Channel Performance Regularly
Continually Research New Channels
Plan Promotions
Assess Rates vs. Competition Regularly
Update Promotions and Rates Across All Channels
Determine Additional Tactics to Increase Reservations
Continually Promote Via Outbound Calls, Email and Social
Vacation Sales
Check Email Continually for Leads
Respond Quickly
According to the Harvard Business Review
responding to leads within an hour generates 7x the
Confirm availability and rates
Put dates on hold
31. Vet Guests
Talk to each guest on the phone, conduct online
research as appropriate
32. Sell Your Home
Tout it’s unique features and benefits
Paint a rich picture of the location, the
neighborhood, the full experience
Differentiate it from their other options
Give them time to mull it over while staying in
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes
How to Rent A Vacation Home By Owner
A Comprehensive Checklist
Close the Sale
Verify reservation
Get a signed rental agreement
Block the calendar
34. Collect Down Payment
35. Generate a Weekly Reservation Report
Create a report with the details of all reservations on
the books
Provide it to your local property manager/concierge
36. Collect Balance
Pre-Trip Planning
The total U.S. Vacation Rental
Industry is expected to reach
billion by 2014
Read more about the research
conducted by PhoCusWright.
On Site Property Manager/Concierge
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes
Plan Airport Transit
Communicate Home Access Details
Set meeting time for local property manager/
Gather Special Requests (i.e. highchair, crib)
Provide Information About the Area
Make Dinner and Activity Reservations
Pass Guests Information to On Site Property Manager/
Stage Home
Attend to special requests (i.e. highchair, crib)
Meet and Greet Guests
Offer Welcome Gift
Provide an Orientation
Provide a tour of the home and walk them through
the House Manual
Provide area information and activity
Make Dinner and Activity Reservations
Attend to Any Additional Needs
Oversee Housekeeping
Ensure house is cleaned and supplies restocked
before, during and after stay
Inventory and Damage Check
Immediately after guest departure
How to Rent A Vacation Home By Owner
“Elite quickly and efficiently brought
my Vineyard Estate home to a level it
would have taken me much longer to
achieve, and that includes rental
revenue. Guests love their experience
here. Elite added value to my real
- Mike F, Owner in Sonoma County, CA
A Comprehensive Checklist
Trip Follow Up
Collect Repair Costs if Necessary
51. Contact Guest After Their Stay
Thank them
Request feedback
Request a review
52. Watch For and Respond to Reviews
Deposit Money From Renters
Deduct Expenses
55. Pay Service Providers
56. Pay Taxes
57. Create a Monthly Revenue Report
Track financial performance
Adjust financial model, sales and marketing strategy
as necessary
Renting your vacation home
doesn’t have to be a second job.
Yes, there's a lot to get done, but there are numerous people you can
partner with to make your rental business stress-free and extremely
lucrative. Check out our analysis of the different types of vacation
rental agents.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive marketing and rental sales
solution, consider us. Since 2005 Elite Destination Homes has been
providing vacation rental management services for an international
portfolio of multi-million dollar luxury homes.
Contact us.
It all started with a few of our own.
Call Kathryn at 651-389-3838
to learn more or click here to submit
your home for consideration.
Copyright © 2013 Elite Destination Homes