Hey, the holidays are here (in case you hadn’t noticed). And if you own a vacation rental, why not consider buying a “present” for your home away from home, like a hot tub or a kitchen remodel?
OK, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. From a purely business standpoint, the benefits of Investing in upgrades to your vacation rental include:
- Increased occupancy.
- Higher ADR (average daily rate).
- Better income.
- Greater resale value.
On a more personal level, improvements also make your vacation property a nicer place for you, your family and your friends to stay in. And if you walk in to your vacation home and feel wowed, so will renters — resulting in more rental revenue.
So, which “presents” for your vacation rental are the best investment? Here’s our wish list:
Without question, the number one question we hear at Summit Mountain Rentals about our properties is: “Does it have a hot tub?” And if the answer is yes, the next question it inevitably: “Is it a private hot tub?”
The bottom line is, guests almost always prefer a home with a hot tub than one without a hot tub.
And, guests are willing to pay more for an equivalent home if it has a hot tub. In all, a typical hot tub installation runs about $10,000 for the tub, delivery, electrician and plumber costs, etc. It’s a significant investment, but given that you’ll see an increase of at least $5,000 a year in gross rental revenue, it will pay for itself (and more) quickly. Plus, it’s there for you and your family to enjoy when you vacation at your property.
Read more about the benefits of investing in a hot tub.
One of the most important reasons people choose vacation rentals over hotel-type properties is that they want to cook … and, they want a nice kitchen to cook in. Also, many renters are excited by the possibility of cooking in a kitchen that might be nicer than the one they have at home.
So if your property has its original Formica counters, linoleum floors and 70s-era Harvest Gold appliances, you should think about a complete remodel. And even if a complete remodel isn’t in the budget, think about easy updates (e.g., lighting fixtures, cabinet hardware, etc.) to “refresh” the kitchen’s look.
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After the kitchen, look to the bathrooms. It’s a place where renters spend a large amount of very private “personal” time. If you’re remodeling your vacation home’s kitchen, it makes sense to at least consider remodeling the bathrooms at the same time.
Make the master bathroom a priority. Let’s face it: That’s the bathroom the person choosing and paying for the vacation rental (the “decision maker”) is probably going to use! If you need to split a budget between upgrading multiple bathrooms, spend more on the master bath.
Reaping the rewards of smart bathroom investments
Here’s a fantastic example of doing it right. White Wolf 384 is a beautiful 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom townhome on Peak 8 in Breckenridge. In the fall of 2015, the owners updated this already high-end vacation home with gorgeous new granite counters in the kitchen and bathrooms. Check out the pictures! And, during the 2015-2016 winter season, the owners saw rental revenue increase 16 percent over the previous winter.
Read more about the benefits of investing in a bathroom remodel.
One area owners sometimes overlook is one that can have a huge impact on how much guests enjoy their stay is: beds and bedding. Renters will often overlook small annoyances in a vacation rental, but if they can’t sleep due to a worn, lumpy mattress — or are turned off by an old, worn or even stained bedspread — they’ll let other renters know via online reviews about a property.
While you’re thinking about beds in your vacation rentals, remember that in general, people prefer bigger beds: a king over a queen, a queen over a full, etc. Consider other options, too. For example, if your rental attracts families, could a queen bed in a third bedroom (sleeps 2) be replaced with two bunk beds (sleeps 4 kids)? Another popular option in vacation rentals are “captain’s bunk beds” that have a twin bed on top and a full-size bed below, sleeping three in one bunk bed.
Read more about the benefits of investing in beds and bedding.
At Summit Mountain Rentals, we’re happy to talk with vacation rental owners about making their properties more attractive to renters. It doesn’t matter if you rent your property though us or not; we’re here to help! Just shoot us an email at email@example.com or post a question in the comments section below.