Should I hold off listing our Maui STR due to delayed reno?

6 Replies

Hello helpful community! We are closing on a great condo in southwest Maui in less than 3 weeks and I face a conundrum. Our condo is in servicable condition but do need painting, and new floor, light fixture and AC would be nice which would give us higher nightly rates. However, all good contractors (even the so-so ones) are booked out at least a month or two so to renovate it right after closing is out of the question. So my plan has to change, instead of renovate and get professional photos done to list on Vrbo, I will have to make do with some new decor and try to rent out at a lower rate, then renovate in off season--April/May or Sept/October and offcially list then. I plan to self manage for this time being since I have a great cleaner/repair service team who also does emergecy calls for me. My question is: would it be wise NOT to list on Vrbo etc. since I would not want the review of the non renovated condo to stay with us. What do you think? If yes, what other ways to get our condo rented? Thank you so much!

The reviews will typically have more to do with expectations and the hosting so you could still nab some 5 star reviews.  If the reviews end up being bad you can always create a new account and re-list it fresh.

I would not take a chance on providing a subpar property and get less than stellar reviews.

You could list on FB marketplace and try to get some off platform bookings for now.

You could contact some local PM's and let them know you have a place available and its condition. You can offer to pay them a commissions on any books they bring you.

I would not start off on VRBO or Airbnb with a property that is not ready to get 5 star reviews.

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I ultimately agree with what the others have suggested. The initial reviews that you'll receive will make or break the listing and its potential in the future. It's crucial that the initial reviews are stellar. With that said, we can't see any pictures so are unsure of the actual condition. An option is to list it and be very upfront in the listing about the shortcomings and condition, along with detailed pictures. If you reduce the nightly price and are very open about the fact that it's not a (5-star) resort, then you'll likely attract a number of people that are looking to visit Hawaii on a budget. Once you make the renovations, you can update everything. Ultimately, people will do what they want on reviews but if you're eager to get started, being honest about what people are getting and adjusting the price to reflect that will likely yield higher reviews than an unpleasant surprise. 

@Orien Kuang

I have a condotel in Maui as well, have been doing it since early this year. I can share some experience. Will DM you my cell number.

Definitely list it. A lot of folks are looking for budget accomodations. Moreover, in my experience reviews don't matter all that much on Maui since there we have a shortage of STR.

You can always create another account and list it once renovated so the old reviews won't affect the new listing. 

I have a contractor referral for you if you don't mind using unlicensed people. DM me.