Owning a holiday home or recreational property is a great way to enjoy different parts of the world and generate a residual income from property investment. Besides the initial purchase, there are costs involved in owning a holiday home, and effort needed to maintain and ensure the home is producing a decent return on investment. Many home owners choose to let a property management company take care of the details, while others like more control and take on the management themselves using online booking engines like vrbo.com or airbb.com.
Here in Whistler many holiday home and recreational property owners utilize and rent their property in winter for ultimate returns. Shoulder seasons, such as autumn, pose as a great time to take care of routine maintenance and to focus on generating bookings for the busy season ahead. If you own a holiday home or are thinking of purchasing one, here are some tips to getting your property ready for the upcoming busy season.
Schedule a Deep Clean
Once or twice a year, you should plan on scheduling a deep clean of your holiday property to ensure it is well taken care of. Renting a holiday property causes early wear and tear, and staying diligent with cleaning will help preserve the property, which is good for its value in the long run. If you use a cleaning company, have them perform a deep clean this season. This could include scrubbing the walls, cleaning the window coverings, dusting the ceiling fans and deep cleaning the carpets. A clean and well-presented holiday home will attract top dollar, receive better online reviews and will last longer in the end.
Fix Minor Repairs
Off-season is a great time to fix minor repairs before the tourists arrive. Take a weekend off and perform these basic repairs yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Minor repairs could include changing all light bulbs, cleaning filters in appliances, ensuring drains are properly cleared, removing leaves and debris from gutters, and fixing up and broken or loose parts of the home. Not only are repairs inconvenient and costly to fix during peak season, in some cases they can pose a risk to your guests, and a liability to you if left unattended.
Do an Inventory Check
When renting out a holiday home you will undoubtedly ‘misplace’ household items. Off-season is a good time to do an inventory check of what is on hand, and place any orders to replenish supply. Items that should be included in your inventory check include cutlery, dishes, crockery and other kitchen items, sheets and bedding, bathroom supplies and cleaning products. If you think your supplies are dwindling faster than they should, bring this up with the property management company or be more diligent with inventory checks after each guest has left.
Refresh Online Listings
There is nothing more unappealing than an online listing that doesn’t accurately reflect the subject property. Update your online listing descriptions and photos to make sure they are relevant. If you’ve received some positive client testimonials make sure you update these. Any new features or booking engines that look appealing, why not try something new for added exposure this year?
Create a Simple Marketing Plan
Depending on your market, you may need to put in some extra effort to fill your booking calendar this season. A simple marketing plan will help you strategize the best way to achieve your booking goals. Perhaps you want to try a new booking channel, learn how to use Facebook ads or hand over the reigns to a property manager or marketing company to get you more exposure. Make a plan, and watch your room nights fill up!
Having helped numerous people from around the world purchase holiday homes in Whistler, BC I understand what it takes to operate a successful and cash flow positive holiday or recreation property. If you’ve been thinking of investing in a holiday home, why not consider Whistler? We are seeing year on year increases in visitor numbers, room nights and average daily rates. The weaker Canadian dollar makes property investment more affordable for our US neighbours, and our all-season resort status means visitors every month of the year. For more information on buying in Whistler, contact Lance Lundy today!