Imagine waking up to a gorgeous waterfront sunrise as the cool summer breeze gently caresses your face and you don’t have a care in the world. Now imagine that same scenario with an added perk: earning extra income from the vacation home you’ve come to know and love by renting it out to cottagers when you’re out of town. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not!
It’s easy to transform your vacation home or cottage into a lucrative rental property with the help of CanadaStays, Canada’s largest vacation rental website, featuring more than 50,000 vacation homes, cottages, cabins, condos and chalets. And they have a few tips for newbies looking to rent out their vacation homes.
Craft a compelling listing that entices renters
Always start out by writing a detailed description of the property that highlights the best parts of it and any relevant amenities. What makes it unique? Why should someone rent the property? Are there any perks that a renter may receive if they book with you? High-quality photos are important here. You want to make sure you’re posting photos that flatter and compliment the space you’re renting, while also being authentic. Make sure it looks tidy, clean and well lit.
Set a rental rate
The key to getting your property rented is offering a fair but firm price. Today’s renters are savvy and will compare your property to others. You want to stand out, in a good way. This is where listing amenities will come into play. Some high-value amenities include a hot tub/sauna, high-speed Internet, King and Queen size beds (instead of doubles), a modern kitchen, a large flat screen TV with cable or satellite and beyond. These amenities make your property more desirable to potential renters. Keep in mind you’ll want to come up with pricing for shoulder season, low season, as well as high season.
Get some rental insurance
CanadaStays gives you the flexibility to choose exactly who you will be renting your vacation home to, however, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you protect your vacation home with the proper rental insurance. It’s also a good idea to charge a security deposit in case anything goes wrong during your renter’s stay. Most rentals go off without a hitch, however, minor damage happens, and it’s not the end of the world. Most renters are just looking to enjoy themselves and relax with the family, and most guests will have no problem tidying up before they leave the rental property if you make that part of the agreement beforehand.
Keep in mind you can always do your best to avoid problem guests by asking them for references and by doing a thorough screening process (e.g. you can look them up on LinkedIn or Facebook to get an idea of the type of person they may be) before you book them in.
Go the extra mile
So, you’ve got a stellar rental property, you’ve crafted a great listing and have lots of beautiful photos and amenities which allowed you to rent it out in no time…what comes next? Guest gifts are a great way to seal the deal. Some ideas include gift baskets, home baked goods, wine, branded items, a local specialty or a personalized gift.
It’s important to understand that the marketing of your property and the rental experience doesn’t end after the guest signs up. Going the extra mile and treating your guests to a little something extra will ensure they not only come back time after time, but also recommend your rental property to others and give you an awesome review. Reviews are extremely important as those properties that are reviewed (good or bad!) generate 80 per cent more inquires from travellers.
Renting out your vacation home has many advantages, including additional income, tax deductions, increase in equity and you also get to enjoy the property when you’re not renting it out. It’s no secret that maintaining a rental property is work; however, the benefits far outweigh the costs involved. With the help of CanadaStays you can transform that vacation home into a moneymaking rental property.
Why choose CanadaStays to list your rental property?
CanadaStays is the largest vacation rental marketplace in Canada. It attracts millions of travellers and is trusted by thousands of property owners and millions of Canadians.
They have two options for listing a vacation home or rental property on their site: pay-per-booking or subscription. Pay-per-booking allows you to list your property for free and there are virtually no risks, since you don’t have to pay any upfront fees. You only pay for the bookings you receive. This is a great option for those that are new to the game. CanadaStays’ professional and courteous customer service team will guide you through the process step-by-step and be there for you should you have any questions or concerns.
The subscription option allows you to pay one flat fee per year for access to unlimited inquiries and booking plus additional added perks. Right now CanadaStays is offering a free Cottage Life magazine in addition to an extra $25 off any subscription package if you subscribe before March 1, 2016. WagJag is offering 30% off a basic listing that allows for unlimited inquiries and bookings.
Another added bonus of listing with CanadaStays is their secure online payment and reservation system that gives you 24 hours to vet or screen potential renters, and will automatically deposit the income from your booking directly into your bank account one business day after check-in. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
CanadaStays has experienced 300 per cent growth in inquiries and booking requests from travellers compared to previous years, so if you’ve ever wondered whether or not you should transform your vacation home into a rental property, now is the time to do so.