Vacation home rental expert and director of Owner Community from HomeAway.com, Christine Karpinski gives readers and vacation home owners the inside scoop in creating the most profitable and enjoyable vacation rental home in her new book How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide To Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain, and Advertise your Vacation Rental Investment. We spoke to the expert herself and got some exclusive expert advice and tips when taking a Â“guest eyeÂ” view of your vacation home.
In her book, Karpinski stresses that owners should diligently keep on top of their rental property to ensure that potential renters do not encounter any aesthetic, safety, or comfort issues. Karpinski suggests that windows, doors, and stairs be checked for any potential safety issues and smoke detectors be frequently checked. Concerning aesthetic and comfort issues, Karpinski suggests that the property be welcoming, clean; landscape groomed, furniture updated with current trends or styles, stocked with household essentials, and appliances checked.
Â“Minor details are important because the small details set you apart from the competition. ItÂ’s the things that are most appreciated by people. Paying attention to minor details help drive referrals and repeat visitsÂ” says Karpinski.
While owners sometimes fail to keep a close eye on damages that could be potential drive renters away, Karpinski believes the biggest mistake owners make is under-pricing the value of their rental property. Â“I think home owners tend to not price their homes competitively with the other propertiesÂ”. Karpinski believes that under-pricing a rental property could attach an unwelcoming stigma for renters. Â“Homeowners do this [under-pricing] because they think thatÂ’s what they need to do to get a foot up on competition, but with a low price comes a perception,Â” says KarpinskiÂ”.
With the off season underway and an unpredictable economy, Karpinski believes that owners are indeed trying to set themselves apart by making minor changes, but Karpinski advises owners to run their vacation rentals like a business and not as a second home. For the holidays, Karpinski suggests leaving a gift basket filled with appropriate gifts or your guests or provide your guests with an informational guide around the surrounding area. Other important aspects are highlighted in the book like the awareness of local laws, ordinances, permits, and sales taxes that could cause problems for the average second homeowner.
As a vacation homeowner, always have you and your rental home prepared with tips and advice from Christine KarpinskiÂ’s book. Also check out Homeaway.com, an online vacation home rental marketplace.