Feb. 27, 2019
How to Get Started with Your South Carolina Vacation Rental
When it comes to the Charleston Tri-County area, there are numerous options for condos or single-family homes. With the diverse neighborhoods available, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget and must-have list. If your overall goal, however, is to purchase a vacation property or turn your current property into a vacation rental, there’s a laundry list of considerations to keep in mind, particularly if you hope to offset some of your costs. If you’ve got your sites set on creating a vacation rental in this region, read on for tips on how to approach the process and what to consider to make your rental shine.
Location is Critical
As a top tourist destination, Charleston draws millions of visitors every year. And with more people choosing vacation rentals, this paves the way for many of those visitors to enjoy your well-appointed space. Consider too how nearby cities can boost your allure. For example, despite it's two-hour distance, people visiting Myrtle Beach will most likely be drawn to the Charleston area as well. Whether you want to cater to families, couples, or golf pros, you'll find no shortage of guests to stay in your property. And high demand for short-term rentals in Myrtle Beach means you’re providing other options for travelers who want to visit South Carolina.
Before you start accepting guests, there a few logistics to handle. This guide will help you transform your home into a vacation property that guests can't wait to stay in.
Furnishing a Vacation Rental
The rules of furnishing a vacation rental are different from furnishing a home. Rather than reflecting your personal tastes, furnishings and color schemes should appeal to a broad range of travelers. Furnishings should also be easy to clean and maximize the number of guests your property accommodates.
Less is more in living rooms. Living rooms should offer ample seating, entertainment, and surfaces to set food and drink. They're not the place to showcase your unique taste in artwork, antique furniture collection, or trinkets collected on travels.
If catering to families, washable slipcovers are your friend in the living room. Try to add at least one sofa bed so your property can sleep additional guests.
Queen- or king-sized beds dressed in simple, clean linens offer hotel-quality appeal, while an empty dresser or closet invites guests to settle in. If your property has multiple bedrooms and you want to attract families, install bunk beds in one room. A portable crib stashed in a closet is another amenity family travelers will appreciate.
Clean and well-stocked are the most important things for a vacation rental bathroom. Get rid of old, tatty towels and replace them with color-coordinated sets, stock travel-sized toiletries, and always make sure there's more than enough toilet paper.
Travelers choose vacation rentals for the ability to cook their own meals, and your kitchen should reflect that. Avoid a cluttered appearance by storing items in cabinets, rather than on counters, but leave guests instructions on where to find pots and pan, oil, spices, and other kitchen essentials.
Maintaining a Vacation Rental
You have two options when it comes to maintaining your vacation rental:
- Hire the jobs out.
- Do it yourself.
Many vacation rental owners try to clean and maintain properties themselves to save money, only to realize they can't keep up with the work. However, there are a few strategies you can use to keep maintenance manageable:
● Keep counters, tables, and other surfaces clear of clutter to speed up cleaning.
● Stock extra bedding and towels so linens can be changed out without waiting for washing.
● Automate air filter changes by using a subscription service that delivers filters on schedule. (Letting this task lapse could land your HVAC system in trouble.)
● Schedule preventive HVAC maintenance to avoid inconvenient air conditioner breakdowns.
● Use machine-washable duvet covers, slipcovers, and rugs to simplify stain clean-up.
● Replace lawn and bare ground with low-maintenance plants and hardscaping.
● Pay a cleaning service for monthly or quarterly deep cleanings.
Upgrading the Vacation Rental Experience
The above tips cover the basics of operating a vacation rental, but a few extra touches elevate the guest experience and encourage positive reviews. Consider adding these amenities to your vacation rental:
● Keypad-entry lock.
● High-speed Wi-Fi with a guest network
● Cable TV or a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video subscription
● Multi-port USB chargers
● Complimentary coffee and tea
● Toys and games for kids
● Guidebook with information on local attractions, transportation, and dining recommendations
Starting a vacation rental is a fantastic business venture, especially when you own property somewhere as desirable as the Charleston area. However, running a successful short-term rental also requires a lot of work! Whether you do it all yourself or turn to pros for a hand, the most important thing is making your vacation rental a clean, comfortable, and safe space for travelers to stay. When you show guests you care about their experience, you can rest assured they'll return for another visit.
Image via Unsplash