How to Turn Your Second Home Into a Short-Term Rental

Owning a second home is great. You enjoy holiday celebrations and vacations in a fun location. You build memories year after year with your friends and family. But what should you do with it when it’s not in use? 

 

Maybe you’ve thought about turning your second home into a vacation rental property. Listing it on Airbnb and having an added revenue stream that can help you pay your mortgage, buy some luxury items or save for retirement. 

 

According to HomeAway, the average owner who rents out a second home collects more than $33,000 a year in rental revenue. That’s a chunk of change. But renting a second home is not as easy as listing it on Airbnb. In this article, we cover the pros and cons of Airbnb rentals and what your options are for renting your home beyond Airbnb.

Can I Rent My Second Home on Airbnb?

 

When approaching renting out your second home as a vacation property, the first option that comes to mind is probably Airbnb. 

 

The popular platform has made it easy for anyone with a home, or even a room, to rent it out for short periods. However, it’s not as simple as adding your listing and watching the bookings roll in. 

 

Airbnb properties are work-intensive. As the owner, every aspect of the upkeep of the property and the service provided falls to you.

 

It’s also unlikely you’ll get a stream of bookings as soon as you list your home. Bookings through Airbnb increase as your reputation as an owner increases. Past guests review your property and as your positive reviews accumulate, you attract more bookings. 

 

In the beginning, you may find you need to lower prices or give special offers to entice guests to your short term rental.

Should I Use a Rental Manager For My Vacation Property?

 

Another option for renting out your second home is using a vacation rental manager. Management agencies have years of experience, are often local, and provide full-service packages. They can take care of your home and guests so you don’t have to. 

 

Some services you’ll get with a vacation rental property manager include:

 

Marketing

A property manager will help boost the exposure of your vacation rental. Marketing will cover everything from taking professional photos of your property, listing it on multiple booking sites and exposing your property to their established network of guests and repeat bookers. Taking advantage of a property manager means you can start to get bookings straight away because your property does not need to build its own reputation, you gain bookings on the reputation of the management company.

 

Pricing

Figuring out a nightly rate for a vacation rental can be tough. You need to review other similar properties in your area, take into account seasonal changes in pricing and higher demand when there are big events in town. Property managers often use a dynamic pricing strategy. They will change prices due to demand and other factors to ensure you are always getting the best price and the highest occupancy rate possible.

 

Looking After Guests

Your second home might turn into your second job with constant guest communications. Greeting guests, managing their bookings, and giving tips and advice when they arrive takes a lot of time out of your day. Communicating with guests is a major job that property managers take on for you. 

 

In the Cape Coral market, Roelens Vacations are known for spoiling their guests. Not only do they offer 24/7 expert local support to guests, but they love to spoil them with a mission to achieve a 5-star review for your home. From scheduling grocery deliveries and making dinner reservations to coordinating boat rentals and more, Roelens is committed to guest satisfaction so that homeowners can rest easy that their property – and guests – are in good hands. 

 

Maintenance

Vacation rental manager will take care of maintenance for your property. Everything from a bulb going out to a burst pipe – they will be there to deal with the issue when it arises and use their trusted contractors to get it fixed quickly, ensuring there are no problems for your next guest. 

 

Payments and Financial Reporting

Managing your own vacation rental income can get tricky. Taxes, payment methods, and sites like Airbnb hold the money until guest check in, which can be a huge hassle. 

A property manager should give you a clear snapshot with all the relevant information you need about your property. Things such as occupancy, rates, total income for the month and your taxes – all presented in an easily digestible way.

 

Local Insight

Local managers will offer tons of knowledge for your guests about the local area. They will also be able to use their expertise and experience in the area to successfully market your property and compete with other rentals.

To Sum Up

 

Deciding to turn your second home into a short term rental is a great choice. It can be a lucrative revenue stream when managed well. Before jumping in and listing your property on Airbnb, think about whether you can take on the demanding workload and explore other options available to you such as hiring a property manager.

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Author: Brooke Pfautz

Brooke is the CEO and Founder of Vintory and is well known in the Vacation Rental industry as the authority when it comes to growing Vacation Rental inventory. You'll find Brooke at his home office, on the latest Vacation Rental webinar or podcast, or at industry events across the States.

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