I get a lot of questions about how people can get more rental nights out of their property, however the better question might be, “How can I keep from shooting myself in the foot!” I am definitely a “cup half full” person but sometimes we need to look at the negative in order to keep things positive.
While there are a number of things that you can do to improve your rentals there are also a number of things that you can do so that you don’t hurt your rentals. So let’s look at a few things “not to do” that will greatly improve your rentals.
1. Not available!
Owner usage is the one thing that you can never recover from. If your unit is not available to rent, then you can never rent that time. If you truly want to maximize your rentals then you need to use your property as little as possible between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
2. No view of the water!
People visit the Lake of the Ozarks for, you guessed it, the Lake! Our properties with no view or just a partial view of the water tend to receive about half the rentals of our properties with a good view of the water.
3. No boat slip!
People visit the Lake of the Ozarks for, you guessed it, the Lake! Do you see a pattern here? 40% of our summer guests last year either brought a boat or rented one while they were here. I don’t know about you but I would rather market to 100% of the people vacationing at the Lake and not just 60%.
Nobody wants to rent an ugly, outdated unit. Our worst looking unit, which is rarely used by the owner, rented for an average of 26 nights per year over the last four years. Our best looking unit at the same complex has averaged 60 nights per year over the same four years. Ugly means 131% less rentals or for a two bedroom unit, a loss of approximately $6500.00 for the year. Over those same four years that is $26,000.00! That is a no brainer to me!
5. Wrong bed situation!
We have 15 years of rental history that tell us that our guests prefer a king bed in the master bedroom and that they don’t prefer bunk beds or sleeper sofas. We tell owners this, yet they decide to go with a queen bed, bunk beds and a sleeper sofa!
6. Poor pictures!
Your pictures are worth a thousand words and then some. Make sure they look the best that they can. This is how people decide on which property to rent, so put your best foot forward!