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Many of us have fond memories of swimming in a pool at a hotel or a vacation home growing up. Now that you’re a VR owner, a pool may seem like the perfect way to entice guests, both young and old.
But the logistics can get complicated. It will cost you both time and money to maintain a pool. Depending on where your rental is, visitors may not even be able to enjoy this amenity most of the year.
Is it a good decision to buy a vacation rental with a pool? Here’s our look at the pros and cons.
Pro: Keep Up With Your Competitors or Set Yourself Apart
Every vacation destination is a little bit different. An area like Gulf Shores, Alabama, has a ton of rentals with pools. Since most visitors are there to swim or tan or enjoy a drink by the beach, booking a vacation rental with this amenity makes sense for them. If you’re looking to stay competitive in a VR market like Gulf Shores, Alabama, then you may want to consider a property with a pool.
In other areas, though, finding a rental with a pool can be difficult. If you’re lucky enough to acquire one, this amenity will set your rental apart. Plus, guests will be willing to pay a little extra each night for this premium feature.
Con: Pools Require Maintenance, Even When No One Uses It
If you’ve ever owned a property with a pool, you’ll know that its upkeep becomes a core part of your housekeeping. You or a cleaning service you hire will need to remove any debris from the pool every time a guest leaves. A cleaning service may also charge an additional fee for this service.
Long-term maintenance will look different depending on the type of pool. “A chemical pool, for example, requires regular monitoring to check acidity levels but provides that crystal clear blue water,” says Lodgify. That’s why learning about your pool’s specific needs will be an important part of your due diligence process.
Even when it’s too cold for guests to enjoy your pool, you’ll need to pay for its upkeep. For example, if you own a property in Charleston, South Carolina, guests likely will not be able to swim from late September until sometime in May. That means the pool will cost you money for most of the year without adding value.
Pro: Easier to Target Your Ideal Guest
A big part of the acquisition phase is figuring out what your ideal guest looks like. That way, you can find a property with the perfect amenities for them. Depending on who you’re targeting, a property with a pool might make sense. For example, pools are a big hit with families, offering the parents a chance to relax while the kids let out all their energy. A few professionally photographed pictures of your pool could let families know you have the right amenities for them. Here’s an example of an eye-catching property with a pool in Cancun, Mexico!
Just make sure the pool meets your guests’ unique needs. For example, if you want your rental to be family-oriented, you’ll want a more shallow pool for safety reasons and a fence that offers them ample privacy.
Con: Pools and the Rental Owner’s Liability
Hopefully, dozens of guests will get to enjoy your pool and never have any issues. But as a vacation rental owner, you need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If a guest suffers an injury while using your pool, this may open you up to personal liability. You can consult with legal professionals and insurance companies to put yourself in the best position possible. Still, some owners will want to skip this conversation altogether by avoiding rentals with pools.