If you have read some of my previous articles, you will know that I always say, “Owning a vacation home is just like owning a business. The goal is to make money, and expenses should always be kept in line with your income.”
Sometimes vacation homeowners take a hacksaw to their expenses and start cutting out all extra amenities in an effort to maximize their profits. This is obviously a huge mistake.
As much as 30% of all rentals for the year can come from repeat customers.
Either those customers continually come back to your property, or they tell their friends and family about your property. If you start cutting amenities to the bare bones, then you will hurt your repeat business. Here is my list of the most popular amenities for vacation owners to offer.
Download Your FREE Rental Application Form!
It may seem like a small thing, but having a solid rental application is the first step in finding great tenants. Since BiggerPockets is all about helping you succeed in real estate investing, we’ve put together a complimentary Rental Application for you to use. Download it today and go find some great tenants!
6 Amenities You Should Never Cut from Your Vacation Rental
1. Free Wifi
This is a must. We live in a society where people want to stay connect either through Twitter or Facebook, and when they are on vacation they definitely what to share their experiences their friends and family.
Wifi is pretty cheap; you can get it for as little as $30 a month.
2. Cable TV and TVs in All Bedrooms
Almost all vacation homes should offer cable TV, so this is a no-brainer.
You don’t have to offer all the movie or premium channels; basic cable will satisfy. It is a really nice luxury to have TVs in all the bedrooms, and it is a really nice feature to have at least one DVD player and a game system, such as Xbox, in the house.
Remember, if the kids are happy, the parents are happy.
3. Pet Friendly Policies
This is a touchy subject with many vacation homeowners, but I will tell you that the owners of the properties that I manage who allow pets get on average about 30 more days booked each year.
We charge guests a $200 non-refundable pet fee, and most pet owners fully expect to pay some sort of fee. With this $200 you could pay every time to have a deep clean done on your property after someone stays in your property with a pet.
4. Pool or Fireplace
This obviously depends on where your vacation home is located. If you have a house in Florida, then a pool is a must-have. If you have a vacation home in the mountains, then a fireplace is a must-have.
5. Washer and Dryer
The more airlines charge for baggage fees, the more popular a washer and dryer become.
6. Welcome Basket
Having a welcome basket waiting for your guest is a foolproof way to ensure that their vacation gets off on the right foot.
Some of the most popular items that go in a welcome basket are: hand soap, location information, a small box of laundry detergent, a small packet of coffee or tea and maybe some cookies. You don’t have to go overboard with this basket, as these items can start to add up, but a little freebies goes a long way with guests.
I’m sure many vacation homeowners have other amenities they offer that guest really like.
This list also changes depending on where your vacation home is located. One of the neatest things we have started to do in the last 6 months or so is to have drink koozies next to our welcome basket with our company’s name on it. Since offering these small gifts to guests, our repeated business has increased by 3%. As an added bonus, I was actually quite surprised at how inexpensive we were able to get these koozies.
What special amenities do you offer your guests to ensure repeat business? What would you add to my list?
Leave me a comment below!