Let’s be real. Making money on a vacation rental is only possible when maintaining the property doesn’t eat away into all your profits.
And in an extremely competitive vacation rental market, there is no cutting corners in ensuring that your home is in a pristine and comfortable condition for your guests. Catch 22 you think? Well not really. Here are some tips on how you can manage your property without spending too much money.
- Organise quarterly maintenance checks for appliances at home
These may seem like unnecessary expenses, but before you know it, they can snowball into a massive repair or replace job. Whether it is the washing machine, the dishwasher, or the ACs, get into contracts for quarterly checks to ensure the appliances are in updated condition. So, if you want to cut costs in the long-term, make this investment in the short-term.
- Disconnect cable or manage cable connectivity based on demand
In the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, cable connectivity is an unnecessary expense. You can save substantially by disconnecting your network. Most guests now carry their own entertainment anyway! Alternately, you can request your cable service provider to allow you flexibility in terms of retaining your connection. By using flexible plans, during lean months, you can cut it off and get it back on during peak booking periods. We also vote for not making TV a must-have device on a holiday! While it is great to have it as an option, keep magazines, books, and board games at home to encourage device-free entertainment options.
- Buy toiletries and linen in bulk or during discount seasons
This one is a no-brainer really. But it is so often forgotten that it sometimes becomes a substantial, recurring expense. To manage this better, keep a list of things you want to provide your guests and buy them in bulk either at wholesale stores, at your local grocer, or online during sale season. From shampoos and body lotions to kitchen tissue sets, ensure that you buy them in advance for at least six months. Ditto for linen. Similar patterns can be bought for cheap during sale season. And what’s more, you may be able to go up a notch in your brand selection or provide more thread counts for your sheets, at the same cost!
- Organise housekeeping for few hours every week or Do It Yourself
Housekeeping costs differ across markets. But they are broadly affordable across Asia. Want your property, gardens, and pools to look as good as new for longer? Then get a housekeeper to do a thorough cleaning once a week. Nooks and crannies that collect dirt, decorative pieces that need to be rearranged — a good housekeeper will manage to do all this and do it well.
If you believe your own skills are good enough, then go ahead and do your own housekeeping! Just remember to make it a weekly routine, with or without any booking. Regular maintenance keeps your property in great condition.
- Watch your utilities bill and get energy efficient
Do your bit for the environment and keep an eye on your utilities bill. Install energy efficient equipment with auto cut-off for temperatures. If your property gets great direct sunlight most months of the year, then install solar heaters. Leave behind tips to save water and electricity across the apartment for guests too!
- Eliminate the landline, unless it comes free with your wi-fi/internet connection
This is a sign of changing times, really! Maintaining a landline is now an unnecessary expense. Unless you get it free from your service provider, it may be a good idea to remove a landline from the list of amenities that you are providing to your guests. And save some money in the process.
If you feel benevolent, get some local phone SIM cards that guests can use.
- Establish an emergency fund for exigencies
Doesn’t quite seem like cutting costs, eh? But, an emergency fund helps you manage unexpected costs in a more economical way, without running up high credit card bills or having to draw out from your child’s college education fund. Apart from home and fire insurance, this small kitty becomes your go-to place to manage emergencies you had never seen coming.
- Consider a property manager to maintain the property
Have an exciting, new, and work-all-waking-hours job? Stay far away from your beach property? Travel a lot and find it tough to respond to queries from guests? If you are nodding away to any of these questions, then getting a property manager may be an ideal solution to keep your side income healthy and continuous. Depending on the services you need, a property manager can manage guests and maintain your property, making sure you keep making more money without sweating it out. Perfect deal!
- Understand tax restrictions to avoid penalties
Taxes, sneaky new regulations can blind side the best of us. To avoid paying huge penalties or being caught off-guard at the end of a financial year, it is crucial to keep an eye on changing policies on short-term rentals.
- Barter stays for home improvements
It isn’t as wild an idea as it may initially seem. Young architects or artists will be happy to complete some small home improvement projects in return for free stay. This may seem even more attractive if your property is near beaches, mountains, or other scenic locations. Work and play in one package — may be too good a deal to refuse.