Saving on Your Short-Term Rental Investment Property
After working with an experienced local Realtor to purchase a short-term rental investment property in Northwest Florida, you may be wondering how you can save on costs. It’s quite an undertaking to get your short-term rental property rental-ready; ensuring everything is in working order, furnishing each room, outfitting the kitchen with cooking essentials, and more can add up quickly. Then, you have to consider long-term costs and how you’ll offset those costs with rental revenue.
How do you create and maintain a space that will encourage repeat visits, prompt guests to leave stellar reviews, and consistently maintain a profitable investment? Some planning and preparation will go a long way to ensure success. We’ve partnered with our friends at Scenic Stays to compile our top ways to save on your short-term rental investment property in Northwest Florida.
Plan the Use of the Property
You’ll likely plan to use your investment property for your own enjoyment periodically. What could be better than bringing family and friends to a local event or celebrating special occasions in your beautiful home or condo when not occupied by guests? Sit down with your family and determine how frequently you expect to use the property and what times of year are off-limits. For example, in Northwest Florida, you are likely to bring in the bulk of your annual revenue between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so it will be most fruitful to plan your personal use of the space during the slower seasons.
Consider how you’d like your guests to experience the space and how your family and friends will use it. Items serving a dual purpose will save money and benefit visitors and your family alike. Lamps with phone charging capabilities save space and money, and a designated work area for guests will also be helpful when your children need to do schoolwork. Given the limited time for cleaning between guests during high season, a minimal approach works best; but don’t be afraid to go for the WOW factor and select items that photograph well.
Begin by purchasing fresh, modern, and comfortable furniture that suits the space. Opt for neutral paint colors that never go out of style, and avoid purchases that show stains, including white carpets and furnishings. A cohesive theme will create a sense of flow and unity throughout the space, and quality mattresses are crucial. Lack of sleep because of an uncomfortable mattress makes for a less-than-stellar vacation and could lead to bad reviews. Guests will appreciate large TVs, a refrigerator that accommodates the group size, and ample seating for all guests, particularly in the dining area.
Lastly, consider unique amenities that will help your property stand apart. If it’s a home, consider making it property pet-friendly or outfit it with an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. In a condominium environment, maximize the available space with unique features that make it feel like home—like beautiful patio furniture to enjoy while taking in the incredible view.
Avoid Expensive and Personal Items
Avoid purchasing exceptionally high-end items and expensive art and opt for comfortable, functional pieces. Remember, the goal is to make additional income, so wherever you can minimize costs will be helpful. Start with a budget, identify the essentials for each room, and splurge in areas that will have the most impact. Luxurious bedding, high-quality mattresses, and durable furniture are all excellent choices as they add value to a guest’s stay. Work with your property management company on readily available houseware items to prevent the purchase of new sets if something is broken or lost.
Remove all personal, expensive, and sentimental items. You want guests to feel like they’re in a home away from home, which might be difficult if surrounded by your personal belongings. Talk to your property management company about the best strategy for where to splurge and where to save.
If you’d like to keep some personal items during your stay at the property, consider purchasing a safe or storing expensive items in a locked owner’s closet.
Incorporate Proactive Maintenance
It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of preventative maintenance during the busier seasons. As guests depart, attention tends to focus on preparing for the next guest, who may arrive the same day. All it takes is for one guest to complain about an appliance not working and leave a poor review for you to realize this should be a top priority. Fortunately, with some proactive maintenance, led by an experienced property manager, you can identify minor problems before they become significant issues resulting in rental disruptions and loss of revenue.
Be sure to create a checklist for reference and include the following:
Ensure kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, and windows are in working order.
Check faucets for leaks to minimize the potential for costly water damage.
Confirm your HVAC, air conditioning, and hot water systems are working correctly.
Check furniture for functionality and safety.
Confirm light fixtures are clean and in working order and replace bulbs as needed.
Clean all vents regularly to remove dirt, dust, allergens, and odor, particularly in older units.
Although home warranties can be beneficial, avoid them in short-term rental environments. The response time is often too slow, and the cost of discounting guests for appliances or other items that fail to work exceeds any savings.
Partnering with a full-service short-term rental management company like Scenic Stays can help address maintenance issues before they occur. Not only will they work with you to help make your property the best it can be, but they’ll have a list of contractors to quickly address issues and concerns as they arise so you can get back to booking more guests.
Schedule Regular Deep Cleans
Cleanliness is paramount and can be a deal breaker for guests considering a stay at your property. Although cleans between stays are standard, always allow your property management company to perform deep cleans periodically so the property is as clean as possible. Although removing dirt and germs from high-touch surface areas, disinfecting, and sanitizing take additional time, deep cleans are generally conducted during the off-season to minimize loss of income. Trust us; this isn’t an area to skimp on.
First impressions matter; a thorough annual deep clean will leave the exterior of your property looking its absolute best and your entryways looking spotless and smelling clean. Wiping down baseboards, ceiling fans, and windows in the kitchen, living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms make a huge difference and enhance the experience for others. Guests will also appreciate clean ovens, carpets, curtains, and blinds, and although they might not see the vacuumed air ducts, they’ll notice the effects.
Trust Your Local Resources
Having a short-term rental investment property in Northwest Florida is an exciting venture providing a supplementary income and a private getaway to call your own. Having a resource that can shed some light on cost-saving tips like the ones above and maybe even a few things you hadn’t considered is crucial to your long-term success.
Consider partnering with a trusted, local property management company to help with the details, including how to save on your investment property. Contact a Scenic Stays representative today to learn more about our locally owned and operated full-service property care.
Considering purchasing Northwest Florida investment property? Talk with a Scenic Realtor today to learn more!