So you’ve done all your due diligence and officially own a vacation rental property. Congratulations! You’re well on your way. As you ramp up towards listing your property, your next step is to build up community support.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself a lot of questions about the logistics of opening and operating your rental. “How do I keep the place as clean as possible?” “What happens if I ever have a really bad tenant?” Below, we’ll help you find mentors who can answer these questions. We’ll also talk about vacation rental property managers who can do much of the work for you!
Many of your questions may be location-specific. For example, if your property is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you may want to know everything you can about tornado preparedness. That’s why a great first step is making those local connections.
Figure out if there are any community support groups in the area dedicated to vacation rental owners. Even a broader real estate group will probably have several people who own vacation rentals. In our acquisition phase article, we mentioned that your rental’s previous owner is also a worthwhile connection if the property was rented out in the past.
If your on-the-ground contacts are lacking, Facebook groups are a great supplement. Tourist-centric areas like Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, will have a wealth of groups you can join and engage with. For Pigeon Forge specifically, there are groups dedicated to cabin rentals and buying, selling, and renting vacation rentals, among many others.
Community Centers on Listing Websites
Chances are, you’re probably thinking of marketing your property on a listing website like Airbnb. Airbnb’s Community Center is a great place to ask questions and get high-quality, professional responses.
Last time we looked, some of the helpful conversations we saw included a “rate my listing” post where fellow owners offered constructive feedback about how someone marketed their rental. Other questions had less to do with listing on Airbnb and were more about best practices for vacation rentals. So whether your question is Airbnb-specific or broader, forums like this offer helpful community support.
VR Property Managers Get the Job Done
We’ve talked a lot about who you can contact with questions. But sometimes, you just need someone to come in and do the job for you. Vacation rental property managers can handle most of the day-to-day tasks of your rental, from booking guests to keeping the property spick and span to marketing.
In our article about why you should hire a property manager, we mentioned how they can make up for your blind spots. So if you’re not the best Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It, they can find someone to help with maintenance. The same is true for marketing and booking guests, a task that is often intimidating to owners.
Finding a good support system doesn’t happen overnight. But if you keep using the tools available to you and are respectful and professional, you’ll find the right people over time. Using your local contacts, sleuthing through Facebook groups, and reaching out to community centers on listing websites are all helpful.
Once you’re ready, the next task will be setting rates and marketing your vacation rental property. While this stage is intimidating, your newly-formed support network will help you every step of the way.