How to Prepare Your San Diego Vacation Rental for Summer 2019
Although you may be ready to hang up your hat as a beachfront vacation rental owner right about now, don't let these off-season days slip by too quickly. By all means, take a break after your busy season and re-energize your spirit first, but then, be sure to get an early start to prepare for next summer's vacationers. Here is a list of things to do in the off-season to make sure the peak season of 2019 runs smoothly and profitably.
Get Into the Details of Your Vacation Rental
During the busy season, you probably spent most of your time managing reservations, welcoming guests, and keeping your vacation rental repaired and running in between. More likely than not, you had to table those smaller items that were not critical to renting out your vacation home for later consideration. Now is the time to get into the details and take care of those important but not critical areas.
First, consider purchasing disposable items such as toilet paper, paper towels and toiletries in bulk during the off-season. If you kept good records of how much you used during the vacation season, you can accurately purchase an annual amount to save you some money.
Second, take a look at your towels and linens. After a year of repeated washings and use, they may be getting worn and require replacing. There's nothing like new, fresh towels and linens that make guests feel like they are being pampered. These are small, important investments to make regularly in your San Diego vacation rental.
Third, conduct a little inventory of your kitchen items. Check silverware, plates, bowls and glasses. More than likely, some were broken, lost or accidentally taken during the year. If you provide items like spices, sugar, salt and other necessities, check to see if any need to be replenished. Be sure you make a list of the items that need to be replaced.
And, finally, scour your rental for any small repairs that need to be made including paint touch-ups, broken decorative trimming, or a malfunctioning shade.
Consider Rewarding, Firing or Hiring Vendors
During the busy peak season, you may have been forced to do things like cleaning and lawn care on your own or to stick with whomever you hired last season because there was a lack of time to change up vendors or routines. Now is a great time to step back and re-evaluate all those things that need to be done during the vacation rental season as well as the contractors you are currently working with to see if processes can be improved.
If you are currently doing much of the work yourself, you may want to consider a professional Airbnb management provider to help with tasks that you find unpleasant and mundane. If you enjoy interacting with customers but dislike maintenance and cleaning, start screening possible vendors to help.
Remember that a reliable and trustworthy vendor is an important asset in this business; if someone did a stellar job for you, consider a bonus or at least a note of gratitude to keep them engaged.
Search for Continuous Improvement Opportunities
The best place to look for ways to improve your Airbnb management and vacation rental is by scouring your guest reviews online. Hopefully, you've been reading them and responding throughout the season; however, you were probably focused on righting wrongs, addressing concerns or simply acknowledging praise.
During the off-season, go back through the reviews and make a list of suggestions that have been repeated and add them to your list of things to consider. Also note the things that many guests enjoyed and praised and be sure to continue to incorporate them into your hospitality. Some customers may have made other suggestions of things that could be helpful in the future that you could incorporate as well.
Review Goals, Rates and Occupancy
It's always good to stop and ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing once in awhile. When you first got into the San Diego vacation rental business, what were your goals? If you simply wanted to make some extra money on your personal vacation home when you were not using it but have now added a great deal of stress to your life, that's an issue. If you wanted to quit your day job but haven't quit been able to make enough money with one vacation rental, it may be time to add a second property.
Take a look at your life over the last year as well as your rates and occupancy statistics. Compare them with your goals to see if you want to change anything up moving forward. For example, if it was stressful to turn around your rental every night, consider adding a minimum night stay to eliminate one-night guests. If you were extremely busy, you can consider raising rates, and if you were not busy enough, you may want to consider additional marketing or outreach.
Did you find managing your San Diego vacation rental overwhelming? Learn how we can give you peace of mind, help you earn more revenue, and take better care of your home here.