Owning a vacation rental home is often compared to operating a business. Owners need to ensure that they keep the cost as low as possible while maximizing total income.
Read on to learn 10 easy ways to cut down on the monthly costs of your San Diego vacation rental. Here are a few ways owners can noticeably cut their monthly costs.
1. Stay Current on Home Maintenance
Staying on top of home maintenance can prevent large-ticket repairs such as replacing big appliances like refrigerators or dishwashers. Monitor the filter in your dishwasher often and clean it as needed. Check the refrigerator coils on a regular basis to ensure they are clean and functional. Although bigger appliances can be an expensive investment, maintaining them properly and inspecting them on occasion can help them function for many years to come.
2. Monitor the Amount of Time the Pool is Filtered
Although owners often forget to pay attention to it or allow a pool cleaner to set it, pool pumps require a fair amount of electricity. Pool pumps, on average, run for 12 hours a day. Since pool pumps can effectively clean the pool in only 8 hours, running it the full 12 hours is a waste of money. Adjusting this pool filter time has the potential to slash your electricity bill and save you money.
3. Check Your Irrigation System
It is recommended to get your irrigation system checked a minimum of once per year to spot any leaks and ensure the yard is getting sufficient water coverage. An irrigation system that functions properly will save you a noticeable amount on your monthly bills and increase the curb appeal of your property. If your vacation rental is near sea level, you may have a natural water source that is not too far underground. Having a well drilled into your lawn has the potential to save a significant amount of money.
4. Utilize Automatic Lights
A big issue for many vacation rental owners is that guests are not concerned with the cost of the owner's monthly bills. As opposed to regular homes where people usually make a point to turn off the lights before leaving a room, many vacation home guests are not as considerate since they are not responsible for the cost. To prevent unnecessary lighting costs, try installing room sensors that automatically turn off the lights if the room is unoccupied. This simple tip has the potential to save you up to $400 per year on electricity costs.
5. Use Lower Wattage Light Bulbs
Another easy way to lower your monthly bills is to replace any light bulbs in the house with 60 watt light bulbs. These bulbs still generate a decent amount of light and will also save you money each month.
6. Set up a Programmable Thermostat
During the summer months, many guests will come inside after being in the hot sun all day and immediately crank the thermostat down to 65 degrees. This not only raises your bills but is also hard on your AC system. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that prohibits guests from adjusting the temperature without a password. A programmable thermostat can lead to savings if you maintain a consistent temperature in the rental.
7. Get Rid of the Landline
It may not seem like the landline in your vacation rental adds much to your monthly bills, but $40 per month for service adds up to close to $500 each year. Since almost all Americans own a cell phone, ask yourself if a landline is a necessary benefit for your guests. Consider eliminating landline service completely. It is almost guaranteed that you will not receive any complaints.
8. Purchase a Smart TV
Many guests desire more channels than basic cable provides but premium channels can add a significant cost to your monthly bills. An alternative to paying the high cost of premium channels is getting a smart TV that has services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Tv. This will save you money while still allowing your guests to enjoy a wide range of shows that they can watch anytime they want.
9. Perform Your Own Housekeeping
Performing your own cleaning can save you a large chunk of money since house cleaning services can demand up to $100 to perform a job. Be sure your cleaning is professional quality. Leaving the home feeling unsanitary and unkept is a guaranteed way to end up getting bad reviews which will consequently make it harder to rent out your space.
10. Consider Hiring a Professional Property Management Company
If you do not live close to your San Diego vacation rental, it may be helpful to hire a professional property management company to handle certain tasks for you. Do some research and compare your monthly costs against a certain property management business to determine if it would make sense financially to hire out some work. If you choose to sub-contract, be sure to hire a company that has a history of managing vacation rentals. It is also important to ask how often they perform walk-throughs (you should request a walk-through after each individual stay).
IMPORTANT: When it comes to expenses for your San Diego vacation rental, there are certain areas - especially marketing - where it is imperative to avoid cutting corners. It is crucial to have a professional, engaging website to attract potential customers and reach as wide of a market as possible.
If you are not currently taking advantage of marketing through social media, you are missing out on a valuable tool. If you are having trouble getting started, consider contacting an expert to guide you. This may require a small initial investment but, if completed properly, it has the potential to have a huge impact on the success of your vacation rental.