5 Reasons To Love Being A Vacation Rental Host

5 Reasons To Love Being A Vacation Rental Host was written for Tripping by Volo.

1. Giving Money to the Local Economy

There are many studies that prove buying from independent and locally owned businesses have a compound effect on the communities in which they exist and their tax base.

The reason is that a substantially larger portion of your money spent is then used to make additional purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farmers (which will also reduce the environmental impact!).

Even if you aren’t a full-time resident where your vacation rental is, when setting up your business, think local and buy local when you can. It will enhance your business by way of a stronger and more attractive community.

2.Supporting the Preservation of Beautiful Locations

Cities that make efforts to preserve historic structures tend to be pedestrian/environmentally friendly (because of the time of their design), sustainable, and hold a high esthetic and economic value as they are places people want to live, invest in, and travel to.

They evoke a connection and are just good for your soul.

St. Augustine, FL, for example, was founded in 1565 and has structures dating back to the 1600’s- it’s considered one of the oldest cities in America. In 1999, Florida’s Department of Transportation deemed that one of America’s most unique bridges here was structurally unsound. An easy fix was to tear the bridge down but leaders and preservationists put forth a $77 million dollar effort to save the bridge as historic structures are a core value to residents and huge draw for tourists. Kudos, St. Augustine.

If you are looking for a new vacation rental, I wholeheartedly suggest buying historic or in a city that prioritizes tax funds to preservation and its natural resources.

3.Unique Experiences

“When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust.

Tourists want to feel local, albeit for a temporary amount of time.

One-of-a-kind vacation rental homes and service providers are what make locations distinctive and full of character. Small businesses (and your home!) have the ability to choose products that create a special experience, based on your own interests and needs of your guests; not on a national sales plan.

One of the best reasons to be a vacation rental host.

4.Local History

History is what grounds us and helps us better understand the world. So, seduce your guests with your town’s dynamic past! You don’t need a museum quality history presentation; opt for historic pictures throughout, blurbs of the famous (or scandalous) patrons of your home or street, and a sense of its story.

5.You Have a Profound Impact On Guests’ Lives

Think about it, most people are overworked and disconnected. They are just trying to make it through the chaos of life with one week of vacation being the yearly opportunity to check-out.

This business can provide additional income and eventually more life flexibility for owners. For guests, it provides a spectacular opportunity to connect with a location and those most important in your life.

The most successful owners are invested and truly care about creating an authentic experience, something unobtainable at a hotel chain (only you can show people around your home and town, your way).

This post was written by Kris Getzie

Kris Getzie Hospitality Consultant

Reducing Your Vacation Rental Minimum Night Stay

This post was written for Tripping by Volo.

Years ago I read a great quote, “Your career is long and the business world is small. Always act with integrity. Never take the last dollar off the table.” – Joanna Shields (President of Bebo.com at the time) quoting her father.

I fell in love with that quote. Unfortunately, in the business world most of us become too competitive, obsessed with short-term performance, or succumb to the pressure of kicking off a new business to be cognizant of such advice.

When applying this to vacation rentals, minimum stay requirements come to mind.

Long Term vs. Short-Term Stays?

Seen as a strategy itself, minimum requirements reflect seasonality and what the competition is doing. Take a Martha’s Vineyard cottage in the summer, for example. Most require a seven-night minimum stay, which is on-par with guest needs. However, if your property is new, has lackluster occupancy, or is just outside the prime location, you might consider dropping your minimum stay requirement (among other branding exercises) down to five nights to capture those who just cannot swing a full week vacation: a secondary market.

During the shoulder or off-seasons (assuming your vacation home is still accessible) you might even consider dropping the requirement further, especially for short holiday weekends like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Presidents holiday which can generate more profit than other days.

Keep the Guest in Mind – But Be Smart

For me, building a financially healthy business is a top priority. But so is the human side of the business. Really, it is the reason I’m here: to help vacation rental owners and guests connect to life again.

My minimum stay requirements are general guidelines to maximize my profits.

If someone is asking for a reduced stay, I find out why… are they not able to afford the full stay, are they short on time or just the wrong guest?

I’ve had people ask for reduced stays because they couldn’t swing the costs for a full week. Skiing with a family of four (plus food, gear, lift tickets and so on) is expensive! In such cases, I consider the overall demand for the requested dates, my gut feeling about the person and their intentions.

Meanwhile, of course, I’m considering my ability to negotiate without creating the perception that my home is a commodity.

In my experience, those guests I have flexibility with become very loyal… which actually decreases the cost of future bookings by way of repeat visits. My point of this post is to have clear strategies in place based on your knowledge of your market. But be prepared to bend when it makes sense.

Nothing is Ever Black and White

The goal for any vacation rental strategy (i.e., minimum stay requirements, pricing or market position) is so that you don’t leave any money on the table. In a way, it’s taking that last dollar by encouraging guests to pay an optimal rate and stay an optimal duration based on seasonality.

But, like most things in life, nothing is black and white.

The quote continues, “You can always do a slightly better deal, but that incremental dollar or windfall is not worth creating an imbalance that affects the relationship. You have to have the intuition to know when to say, ‘I’m going to make sure that we walk away feeling like we’ve both done well.'”

This post was written by Kris Getzie

Kris Getzie Hospitality Consultant