Starting a vacation rental business can be a lucrative project, especially if you have a great eye for properties that have potential. There are some careful considerations to make in the beginning, however, including figuring out what your long-term goals are and how to fund the endeavor. You’ll also need to get comfortable with marketing your business and attracting renters, a process that is made easier when you have a great property to list. Investing in real estate can be tricky, so it’s important to do some research and learn more about what the best vacation locations are for profitability and how to handle the busy and slow seasons.

Here are a few tips on how to invest in a vacation rental business and turn it into a success:

Location is key

Not only is the location of the vacation property a major factor for your guests, it’s also the key to your success. Keeping costs down is important, but you also want to make sure that the home is in a safe neighborhood. Research the cities you like thoroughly before you even begin looking for property listings, and get to know the community as well as the houses you’re drawn to. It’s also important to factor in the average climate and determine whether it’s ideal for year-round rentals or just seasonal.

Know what you’re looking for

Some vacation property owners opt to rent out their own personal homes when they’re getting started, just to get a feel for what the process is like on a bigger scale. If you don’t already have a vacation home to offer up, it’s crucial to learn more about the real estate market in the cities you’re interested in. What is the average sale price? How long do homes usually stay listed before they’re sold? You’ll also need to consider the finer points, such as how close the home is to attractions, shopping, and restaurants as well as how close it is to your own home, especially if you’ll be managing and maintaining the property between guests.

Once you’ve found a few homes you like, you’ll need to be skilled at choosing properties that have potential and staying away from homes that look promising but need too much work. If you’ve got your heart set on a DIY renovation, great! Otherwise, steer clear of properties that need electrical, plumbing, or foundation repairs, as these are pretty costly and will delay your business.

Draw customers in with great photos

As with any business, it’s imperative that you’re able to create a solid marketing strategy so you can start getting bookings. Once you have the perfect vacation home and it’s ready to list, take clear, inviting, professional-looking photos of every room and the exterior and post them on your business’s social media pages. Today there are many sites where you can post your vacation rental from Home Away, to VRBO, to Airbnb.

Consider the seasons

Like your approach to finding the perfect city for your vacation home, your marketing plan also needs to take the seasons into consideration. Because every business has highs and lows, you’ll need to have a plan for drawing customers in during the slow times. If the home will only be rented seasonally, it’s important to prepare it for the off-season to keep it safe and well-maintained.

Investing in a vacation rental business requires a lot of planning, especially when it comes to marketing and bringing customers to you. Creating great graphics and banners and building your online presence are two simple, effective strategies that will help you find renters with ease.

Thinking of building a vacation rental business of your own? Do your research so that when you find the right property you will be confident to take the leap. Utilize vacation rental sites to promote and book your vacation rental and enjoy the benefits of having your own business.

Guest Contributor – Dean Burgess can be contacted at [email protected]