Although we generally use this space to talk to the travelers who flock to our doorsteps on a daily basis, today we at New England Vacation Rentals thought we might check in on you, our partners, our family, the homeowners who make this strange job we do possible. Life is hectic, and we are often busy setting out the welcome mats for guests who have dreamed of a Cape Cod vacation their entire lives, but we are never too busy to offer up some helpful thoughts, important tips, and hints that will make vacation property ownership as profitable and successful as YOU always dreamed it could be. And even as our New England property management team is battening down the hatches, preparing for the annual storm of summer travelers, today we want to offer up this guide to the 10 ways you can improve your vacation home rental/occupancy rates, ensuring that your investment will continue to serve you well for years to come!

Learn More About Our New England Property Management Services Here!

10: The Price Is Right

Competition is steep in the vacation rental property market, and the temptation to price your investment higher than it is worth may be strong, but we urge you resist. Vacationers don’t want to spend any more than they have to on their accommodations, they want to save that money for their adventures, and if you are unreasonable with your rental costs, they will scroll right on by to something priced more reasonably. It’s not easy walking the line between what you think it should be worth and what it is actually worth, but if you do your research and study the market, you should be able to find the perfect price for your charming Cape Cod cottage, keeping it rented for as long as you need it to be. Our Massachusetts property management team can help you set the right price and adjust it to market trends, ensuring you get the money you deserve!

9: Don’t Use It Too Often

Everyone wants to vacation on Cape Cod, including investors in vacation properties who don’t actually live here, and although it is ok to use it once in a while, perhaps during the off-season, if you take it for yourself too often, your bottom line will suffer. Occupancy rates do not include the times you, your family, or friends are living in your investment, and even as it is fun to be generous to your friends, you have to remember it is an investment first. Additionally, if it is unavailable too often repeat guests are going to forget it even exists, going for a home that is more readily available.

8: Attention to Detail

Every detail involved with a vacation rental is important, from the exterior paint to the throw rugs that may be scattered about your cottage, and even as it can be a lot of work keeping it all in tip top condition, renters talk and if your property isn’t up to par, the reviews and your occupancy rates will suffer. On Cape Cod we have a little advantage over other areas when it comes to exterior paint, however, as the weathered clapboard look IS the classic style, but your front door should be pristine, the yard should be freshly mowed, and dying flowers is a definite no-no on the outside. Either skip flowers altogether or hire a landscaper to keep them looking cheerful and welcoming. Inside, curtains and bedspreads should not clash, there should be enough dishes for the maximum number of guests allowed, linens should feel soft against the skin, and make sure that the remote controls have batteries that work.

7: Cleanliness Matters

This probably could have been placed under the attention to detail category, but it is important enough that we felt it deserved its own category, especially after the events in our still too recent history. You don’t enjoy living in a home with sticky floors, dirty walls, and greasy stovetops, so what makes you think guests will want to spend their hard-earned money to stay in a house with the above issues during vacation. As we have stated previously, people talk, and if your home is not sanitary, word will get around, leaving your home with far too many unoccupied nights. If you don’t live in the area—or even if you do—hiring a cleaning crew you can trust is of paramount importance, helping your property be the belle of the vacation ball. Our New England property management service can handle cleaning for you, saving you time and effort!

The clean kitchen inside one of the homes managed by our Massachusetts property management team.

6: Offer Last-Minute Price Decreases

We have already discussed the importance of not charging too much, but charging too little can be a good thing when you have a few days open here and there. Life happens, and maybe someone had to back out of their vacation plans at the last minute, leaving you with a property and a week’s worth of vacant nights. Advertising your property at a reduced fee can encourage impromptu vacation decisions, filling your beds and your pockets, even if the amount is less than it normally would be.

5: Make Your Property Visible

Gone are the days when phone books and travel brochures were the only ways to find a place to stay while on vacation. Today, there are a plethora of vacation property websites that people have begun to automatically turn to when seeking shelter during their vacation journey. And although you could probably do just fine only listing your property on one of them, getting your property in front of as many people as possible can be done by listing it on ALL the sites. Generally, no fees are charged by these websites until the property is listed, so it won’t cost you anything to be seen, and the more people who see your home sweet vacation home, the more chances you will have of filling it every night of the week, if that is what you are looking to do.

4: Give Your Guests a Vacation Experience

In the competitive world of vacation real estate, it may not be enough to provide a warm and inviting home that is comfortable and filled with all the modern conveniences that just make life easier to navigate. Today’s homeowners need to provide information on the area, ideas for activities, even phone numbers or web addresses of the closest pizza joint to the property. Guests want ease and convenience, and they know they can search for that information themselves, (the internet is a wonderful place!) but they want someone else to do the hard work, and if doing a little extra research makes your guests happy, isn’t it worth the payout?

3: Encourage Return Visits

Perhaps the cheapest form of advertising is a satisfied house guest, and when you do all of the things we have talked about so far, we can assure you that your guests will want to return time and time again. Cape Cod is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, so you already have an advantage there, but if you provide the dream vacation experience, charge the ideal rates, and keep in contact after they have returned home, chances are when it comes time to start making vacation plans again, your property will be the first thing they look for. First time vacation property investors don’t always understand this step, not realizing that many travelers often make a Cape Cod vacation a family tradition and by ignoring this vital tidbit of information, they are missing out on the cheapest form of advertising, the one that involves repeat customers that may have only needed an occasional email saying, “Hey, hope you are doing well, and do you remember how much fun you had with us?” (Something that costs nothing but time.)

2: Amenities Matter

Amenities are important to your guests, but many homeowners don’t quite realize just how important they could be to the success of their occupancy rates. Guests want to have as much fun at home as they do when out and about exploring Cape Cod, and there are many amenities that are sure to grab the most bookings, including some of the ones listed below.

  • Multiple Televisions – Of course, you are going to offer televisions in the living rooms, but many travelers can’t sleep without one in the bedroom too, which is why at least one of your bedrooms should offer its own TV, helping guests to drift off into slumber as easily as they do at home. If your property offers a game room, be sure to add one in that room as well.
  • Books and Games – Not every day is going to be sunny and fabulous, and providing board games and books will give your guests something to enjoy while staying in. Best of all, these amenities don’t cost much, especially if you purchase them from local discount or thrift stores, but they will be the source of many hours of entertainment for travelers, who will always remember the moments spent in your Cape Cod cottage.
  • Don’t Forget the Yard – When the sun is setting and the ocean breezes are cooling down the evening temps, a family barbecue can offer fun-filled moments, offering a starring role in your guest’s memories. Not every Cape Cod cottage has the ocean in their backyard, nor do many offer swimming pools, but a cornhole game, a hammock, and places to sit, eat, relax, and grill will help them live their all-American dream vacation.

A pool is a great option to include in your Cape Cod vacation rental property.

1: Choose a New England Property Management Company

Vacation property ownership is an investment filled with possibilities and fraught with the danger of failure and the smart investors know when to ask for help from someone who knows what they are doing. New England Vacation Rentals has been managing properties for more years than many of our guests have been alive and our favorite thing to do is to help our owners be successful. Below, we have listed a few of the things we can do for you, helping your property become the star of Cape Cod and ensuring that your financial future is a bright one.

Get to Know New England Vacation Rentals Here!

We Answer the Phones So You Don’t Have To

Good management means that someone has to be available 24/7 and as hard as we work to prevent maintenance issues, you too understand from your own home experience that emergencies do happen, and when they do, it is usually at 2 AM on a weekend. Our homeowners don’t have to worry about those emergencies, however, because we will be the voice on the other end of the line, taking care of the matter expeditiously and contacting the owner during regular business hours on a weekday if it is something that needs their attention.

Our Team Does That

When you need the property cleaned between rentals, when the fireplace flue needs cleaning, or someone needs to be at the property to accept delivery of the new television you purchased for the primary suite, you won’t have to be the one to take care of the matter, because yep, you guessed it, our team does that! We keep local maintenance men and housekeeping services on the payroll for cleaning and repair, and because we know you don’t want to fly in to stand around between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, someone from our staff will be the one waiting for the doorbell to ring.

We Make Success Look Easy

As we said before, we have had a lot of years of experience in the Massachusetts property management industry, and it is rare that we are ever surprised. We know all the tips to keeping the homes rented, all the ways to make the pictures on the website look stylish and inviting, and we even know the rules and regulations that accompany the business, ensuring that your home won’t invite extraneous fees from being out of code!

New England Vacation Rentals: Your Partner in Success

Articles like this are just another service we offer our owners, helping them become a success that may exceed their wildest dreams. Give us a call today and let’s discuss some of the other ways we can help you conquer the vacation rental business!