Tips for Keeping Vacation Rental Property Profitable All Year

While there are seemingly countless ways to earn passive income, there is no denying that the vacation property rental market has been rapidly expanding. Vacation properties, especially when located in places warm year-round such as Scottsdale, Arizona, can generate revenues that significantly outweigh their expenses.

One of the most common frustrations for vacation property rental owners is that, while they were able to generate a profit during peak vacation season, maintaining these revenues throughout the year can sometimes be quite challenging. If your property is not consistently rented—or if it is being rented at the proper rate—you will miss out on several profit-earning opportunities.

In this article, we will discuss some of the ways property owners can ensure their property is profitable all year long. By making just a few small changes, you can increase your ROI and move closer to achieving your vacation rental property ownership objectives.

Begin by Identifying the Break-Even Point for Your Rental Property

The first step to creating a sustainable vacation rental property schedule is to determine where, exactly, your “break-even” point will be. Every month, regardless of whether the property is occupied or not, you will need to pay fix costs such as the mortgage, homeowner association costs, utilities (though these costs can fluctuate with occupants), and taxes.

Once you have determined the break-even cost of owning a property, these costs can be distributed across the entire month. From there, you will be able to generate a variable cost pricing model that will make it easy to predict how much you can earn in the future. Fortunately, even if building pricing models is not your strong suit, your property management partner will be able to help you along the way.

The Importance of Hiring a Vacation Property Rental Company

Vacation property rental managers will help you market your property, identify appropriate price points, and make sure your property is always clean and ready for hosting guests. By bundling multiple services (cleaning, management, marketing, etc.), you will be able to pay significantly less than you would by soliciting each of these services on their own.

The best vacation property management companies will offer a guest-oriented approach that can assure all parties involved are completely satisfied. These firms will make it easy to transform what was once a simple real estate investment into an idealized retreat.

People choose to stay in rental properties, rather than formal hotels, for multiple reasons. These reasons include cost, location, ease of use, flexibility, amenities, and various others. Unsurprisingly, there are nearly 1 million vacation rental properties in the United States alone.

No matter what platform(s) you may currently list your vacation rental property on, using a property management company will be one of the easiest ways to increase your exposure and also consistently generate positive reviews. By ensuring that your property is consistently clean, full of working appliances (and other features), and easy to access and live in, your four-star reviews can be bumped up to perfect fives. Over time, this customer-oriented approach will begin to really pay off—your occupancy rate will inevitably increase.

Instituting a Time-Varied Pricing Model

The optimal price for a vacation rental property, like everything else, will be set by the forces of supply and demand. During the times of the week, month, or year where demand for vacation space is higher, property owners will naturally be able to ask for more in rent.

Arizona, like many other states in warmer climates, experiences notable variations in its number of visitors throughout the course of the year. According to the state’s travel statistics, the busiest time of the year for visitors is January through March. This is a time of the year where the Grand Canyon can be visited without excessive heat and when many “snowbirds” are looking to escape colder weather in the north.

The next busiest season is Spring, followed by September through December. When compared to the other months, Arizona (including Scottsdale) experiences the least amount of visitors in June through August—this is largely because temperatures in these months can exceed 100 degrees (F).

Keeping these facts in mind, profitable Arizona property owners can adjust their expected rents over the course of the year. Within each season, property owners can also charge more on the weekends. In fact, some properties may be able to charge 50 percent more on the weekends than they could during the rest of the week. Refusing to create a time-sensitive pricing model will decrease your expected return on investment.

Maximizing Renter Occupation Rates

Effectively managing a vacation rental property is, without a doubt, something that will require a constant effort. Even if your property is booked until the end of the month, you should still be looking forward and finding ways to secure bookings in the future.

By offering a guest-oriented approach to renting, you will increase the likelihood of someone staying at your property again and again. Cities such as Scottsdale and Phoenix experience many reoccurring travelers that often visit for either work or leisure. If someone is going to be in the area multiple times over the course of the year, they will want to choose a familiar location that they know will be clean.

Using social media and other digital platforms will also increase the likelihood that a potential renter discovers your place. Google and other search engines promote listings that are detailed, well-maintained, and verified. Fortunately, a qualified vacation property management firm will make it easy to maintain these active marketing campaigns over time.

Conclusion

Vacation property management can be very exciting, but in order to earn the returns you are hoping for, you will need to actively manage your property over the course of the year. With an appropriate pricing model, a property management partner, and a commitment to keeping your guests satisfied, you will be able to maximize the value of your initial investment.