You are likely to have a wave of excitement-and revenue if you have recently visited the world of vacation villa rentals, which means it is an exciting time to invest in a holiday villa here in Goa. In 2019, the Goa market for holiday rentals recorded revenues of above $17.5 million, up almost 3% from the previous year. By 2023, revenues could reach an estimated 19.5 million dollars. The benefits of holiday villa rentals and recurring revenues in the industry are growing for homeowners, with Airbnb alone providing more than 100,000 Goan vacation options.
There are still guests who move from hotels to holiday rentals as well. Many report that this year bookings for independent rentals will overtake hotels after many years of competition.
But this meteoric development is a sword with two edges. More holiday rental means more competition, and you can expect your property listing to get swept by the competition whether the property is for up for an outright sale or even on the market as a holiday rental if you can’t match the amenities, offers, and experiences that holiday clients expect.
This is particularly true since online travel agencies are fast-growing and changing. The Mariott and Airbnb both published new luxury independent rentals wings from their business since June 2019, which suggests that travelers are seeking private independent spaces. So, how can I position my holiday property to get an edge over the competition?
This is a list of 20 ways to earn more from your 2020 holiday rental, including strategies for guest experience improvement, how you can manage your turnover, how to market your holiday rental property, and a few strategies to help you stay on top of the market. These approaches can be added to not only positioning your property as a holiday property but also as a prominent listing for a potential sale of the property.
- Build confidence, trust, and transparency when describing your villa
A clear description of the listing will build a better sense of confidence with holiday goers and potential buyers for the property. If the listing is that of a holiday keep the description precise to the property itself. What a customer reads in the listing information should be reflected in the property. This also eliminates any scope for negative reviews left by clientele and keeps their expectations matched with what they saw and read before booking the property.
- Keep updating the description
Look for reasons to update your property listing that then a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Treat it as a way to keep your client updated with how your property is growing. Some of the many times you can update a listing are
- Improvisation of rooms decors, such as a renovation
- After adding new amenities
- Luxury additions that improve comfort
- Anything notable about the area such as a new restaurant, bar, or museum
Words such as warm and cozy in winter are much more attractive than words like sunshine and breeze in summer.
- Analyze what sites are working for your listing
VRBO or Airbnb? Which-if for you the best holiday listing site? The main difference between these two dominant players at a very high level is the fee structure.
VRBO lists the annual subscription fee for you or the pay-per-reservation fee of 8%. The best way to decide on the number of reservations is to create a projection report of booking based on the previous year’s data and adding a factored rate to account for growth. For property owners who expect to rent their residences for over six weeks in the year, VRBO proposes an annual subscription. With Airbnb, owners pay for hosting their rental on the site a percentage of each reservation. This data is also very helpful if you plan to list the property for sale as potential buyers will be attracted to the rental incomes it can fetch.
- Photos are everything
Photo are a great way to create a first impression. Remember that VRBO and Airbnb are flooded with property listings and to get your property to stand out in your locality is to improvise on the quality of photos. If you are missing the hardware consider hiring a professional to get the job done. To create brilliant and attractive photos, you need to develop an eye and if you can afford to hire a professional you might as well!.
Some ways to do this are here:
- Learn to use composite lighting. This is the best way of displaying the lovely interior of a room AND the beautiful view outside the window in one picture. No colors washed out, no natural light blocks over-exposed.
- Think about the assembly of your photos. The flow should help the potential guest to understand where the rooms connect.
- Take a photograph of a detailed floor plan.
To maximize the visibility of the listing, use lots of pictures. Studies have shown that 80 percent of guests have more chance of learning about a listing if more than 20 photos exist to describe the listing.
- Make it quite memorable
Finding unforgettable ways to help your guests make an unforgettable trip will also make their holiday rental unforgettable. A great experience will result in repeating reservations, predictable revenue, and excellent guest reviews. But this is easier to said than done. Asking the guests about their experience is very critical to the business giving you an opportunity to release how you can better the business.
One study by the University of Texas found that 73% more visitors are happy and excited about their journey before they start. Making your guests experience memorable from booking to checkout will improve the chances of making their experience memorable. It is essential to offer local suggestions, leave a small welcome gift, and print clear rental instructions to make guests feel comfortable.
- The calendars must be up to date
The guest experience begins long before they come to the property. Not only is it uncomfortable for guests to learn that the dates they desire are not available, but also could hamper ratings. A properly managed calendar will eliminate cancellations from your end and will also help you in staying organized
If you refuse bookings on some listing sites, your rankings-and naturally your reservation rates-may be hit, when the same was earlier marked as available on the calendar. If you use VRBO, you will learn how to manage your schedule to ensure it is always up to date.
- Upgrade your outdoor living spaces
The Bed & Breakfast holiday industry has known for years how important it is to integrate living indoors with the outdoors seamlessly. One TripAdvisor study found that 82 percent said the outdoor living spaces are the most important thing in deciding which house to book. Another 46% said that a private pool was the most important, 33% chose an outside grill, with 32% saying that a hot tub was the biggest deciding factor.
What does that mean if you have a holiday home? Well, simply don’t ignore the outdoor living areas. Fireplaces, tables and chairs decks, fantastic hot tub, and courtyards are all investments that are fast paying off in the form of more high-dollar reservations.
- Maintain the outdoor living areas properly
More than often property owners tend to overlook the outdoors as they completely focus on the interiors of the residence. Regular maintenance during down-time will reduce the likelihood of an emergency repair. A good focus on outdoor maintenance will increase the life span of the appliances, furniture, etc, thus reducing the cost of replacement.
- Clean and store your deck furniture if not in use.
- Lighting fixtures in the outdoors need to be attended to due to the continuous wear and tear by the weather
- Racking and removing leaves, twigs, branches, etc. from decks and patios
- Keep the windows crystal clear. Oil smudges and the strands are easily noticeable
- Put plenty of thought into interior design
As we all are aware that the interiors of the property can make or break a listing and hence it has always been the main focus. These may not be massive overhauls but improvising as you go along. A window can have a beautiful view, but it could fall flat if there are no accents to compliment it. Take the same window and imagine an elegant chair lounge, bold bookcases in the corner, and a unique light on a side table in front of it. This room’s appeal and comfort rose steeply with a few simple additions.
Interior design requires an eye for design and a perspective that will create a nice appeal. Guests don’t want a stalky, empty room, but also too many personal effects may be simply overdoing it. Local sights, local art, and traditional decorations can be included as a safe bet.
- Make investments in the kitchen space
Eighty-three percent of respondents in a TripAdvisor poll said their most significant cost savings were the ability to cook in their vacation rental. Increasing your property’s appeal by employing a sophisticated aesthetic, modular kitchen design will add to the appeal of the vacation rental. One on hand you will help your customers keep their expenses lower during their stay and on the other hand, it will contribute to the long-term value of your household. It is easy to understand why a kitchen upgrade will reap immediate benefits.
11. Leave the detailed manual
The possibility of confusing guests with the electronic amenities provided in the property such as TVs, sound systems, kitchen appliances, and hot tubes can occur, which can be eliminated by creating a book or binder that contains how to quickly operate them. A few examples such as
How to program thermostat and suggestions for the settings,
How to use the entry systems, the electronic locks and the doors,
Which remote controls are combined with which audio/visual functions;
- Identify luxury items
A few luxury items are definitely a way to get eyeballs to notice the listings and make it stand out. However, this must be in addition to the basic comforts. Travelers can filter down listings on most vacation travel portals which will have a huge impact on their travel experience. It is important to clearly identify these items of luxury and mention it in to describe the property listing.
- Generating the reviews and responding to them
Reviews can make or break a vacation rental. It goes without saying. If you concentrate sufficiently on the guest experience, the property will generate positive feedback that will translate into more reservations and higher rates.
But without the work, that won’t be possible. You will have to check and answer reviews and queries regularly-good or wrong. Answering a negative review will allow you to address and improve the issue for the following year. It will also demonstrate your commitment to improving a guest’s experience and some case will hold its worth as compared to a response to a positive review.
- Create a financial plan and identify goals
Take a step forward to ensure your final goal of renting your holiday property is understood. All revenue-based decisions on the rental will be affected by what you decide.
Using this property only as a vehicle for investment? This could also translate as a business in the long run and ultimately you can place the property for sale on the market along with the vacation rental model along with it. A huge attraction for potential buyers!
Want to cover the cost of your investment in the property? Owning a second home can be for a number of reasons. You could want to spend some time living there or perhaps even look to hold on to it and sell it after a while. Either way, holiday properties are income-generating assets that you can put to use to make you money.
15.Focus on what is adding value to determine the nightly rate
It may be difficult to identify your neighborhood’s cheapest home and match it to your property. Instead of opting for early investments in luxury and reduce your overnight rate, try to approach pricing by understanding the added value that will inherently lead to a reasonably higher nightly rate of your vacation listing.
- Static rates but dynamic pricing
The nightly rates of your holiday rental should never be static. There are so many factors that affect the demand of any listing and it is up to you to know what these are and to act accordingly. Some considerations are Special weekends, holidays, events in the city, supply and demand during the season, and the holiday season.
- Plan appropriately for the peak periods in the neighborhood
There is always a time that you would want to use the property for your family as well however before you do, keep social and holiday events in the calendar that could leave guests disappointed in not being able to occupy the property. It would lead to a loss of revenue and losing out on the possibility of a returning customer.
Note, a large percentage of your annual revenue may add up to a few weeks in peak demand periods. For example, you’ll miss out on the peak period if you plan to stay at your property during Christmas and New Year, however, you can price it much lower during the monsoon months of June, July, and August.
- Study rates of similar listings and identify unique selling points
You might leave money on the table if you don’t put in the research. The price of the listing isn’t the only factor though, for which you must identify what makes the property unique. The location, the amenities, and the outdoor space are some of the most popular aspects that determine the occupancy rate of a property.
However, you may not even know that there are certain aspects of your vacation rental that attracts guests. It could be a very private space or location, it could be the terrace with a view and so much more. These selling points, which may not be apparent at first, need to be identified.
- Reassess data and build it
Set some time to study the performance of your business every week. This week-over-year, are you ahead of or behind your reservations? What is the relationship between last year’s pricing and your tickets?
You can compare month by month or even weeks if you do not have this data. Anything that helps you set benchmarks so that you can compare them in the future. Take note of all aspects of demand, where your guests come from, and any other relevant data points so that you can measure results in upward, downward, or stagnant bookings and profitability.
- Reinvest in the profits back in your vacation rental
Usually, we see around the 3-year mark as a great marker to analyze the stability of the business: owners see stable and repetitive reservations, steadily-increasing tariffs, and great reviews. The rental income now far exceeds ownership cost, so what should you do with those profits?