Tips to enhance your income from your short-term rentals

You have decided to join the group of people turning your property into a short-term rental (STR) or vacation rental.  Congratulations!  Short-term rentals and vacation rentals have become increasingly competitive.  Perhaps your vacancy sign is on more than you would like.  How do you get your short-term rental listed as “no vacancy” more often?  Keeping your short-term rental rented out requires attention to detail and levels of professionalism that keep your short-term rental standing out from the others.  Here are some tips for getting your short-term rental noticed and booked! 

1. Hire a service

Doesn’t hiring a management company mean I am spending more money?  No. Hiring a short-term rental property management service to run your short-term rental means more profits and more free time for you!  Most people find that after hiring a short-term rental property management company, their bookings increase!  Many short-term rental property management services work on a performance basis.  If they do not rent your property, they are not paid.  That is motivation to keep your property rented!

 A property management company can take care of things like adding and maintaining your listing to multiple sites, managing calendars, managing guest communications, coordinating cleaning schedules, and more!  Hiring a professional company to manage the day-to-day business aspects of your short-term rental takes the stress off you, the owner. 

 For a company like Wisconsin CoHost, this is what we do!  To us, it is not just a job, it is our passion!  We never tire of helping people rent their STR nor do we ever tire of helping guests find the perfect short-term rental for their trip.  Check out what Wisconsin CoHost can do for your STR.

2. Follow tax and licensing rules.

Understanding the area you live in and what is required is critical.  As a short-term rental, or vacation rental, you may have to register and collect taxes.  In addition, your short-term rental may be required to remit sales and stay taxes.  Every state, or municipality, is going to be different.  To start, make sure your short-term rental is registered with city, county or state agencies, if required.  Depending upon where you live, you may be required to register with one of these agencies or all three. 

 Your guest pay for any taxes that are required for your short-term rental.  Even so, as the short-term rental owner, it is up to you to collect and pay said taxes to the proper agencies.  As laws across the country are ever changing in this area, this is something that needs monitoring to keep up with changes in legislature.  Staying current with legislation and laws governing your short-term rental will keep your rental profitable and open. 

 Hiring a short-term rental management service can help you navigate this area of legislation.  Wisconsin CoHost has experience in this and is excited to help you!

3. Listings

In today’s world, deciding where to stay when you travel can be difficult.  What sets your short-term rental apart from others?  How your listing is written can be a key to keeping your vacancy full light on, and money in your pocket!  Giving details of your rental, with plenty of adjectives and information about how your guests will feel when they stay with you, will help your listing to stand out.  Making your listing stand out is important to being noticed and of course, getting booked!

 Hiring a short-term rental management service can write these detailed, descriptive listings for you.  See how Wisconsin CoHost can help you today!

4. Importance of amenities and furnishings

Any traveler looking for a place to stay has a few basic needs: a comfortable bed and a safe, clean space to stay.  The other furnishings and amenities will be what sets your short-term rental apart from others.  This does not mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars on the most luxurious linens.  Small things can go a long way with guests.

 Make sure your guests know exactly what is included in the amenities and furnishings.  Things guests will want to know about include Smart TV’s, gaming systems, WiFi, coffee selections, laundry facilities, to name a few.  WiFi can be critically important as so many people travel for work and/or need to do work or school work while on the road.  Having a fully stocked kitchen available to your guests, luxury linens, and soft, fluffy towels are things you have every right to boast about!

 As a traveler yourself, what are some of the things you have enjoyed in other short-term rentals you have stayed in? Think about incorporating some of those things.  These do not have to be expensive items.  A short, hand written note welcoming your guest by name can be a small thing to do that leaves a big impact in your guests feelings about your short-term rental.

 Having these amenities is one thing.  Remind your guest about them when they arrive.  Information to your guest when they arrive, such as the distance to the pool, or which restaurants are in walking distance, will help them enjoy their time at your short-term rental.  And why is this important?  We want that good guest review!  (see Tip #8)

 At Wisconsin CoHost we help access the furnishings and amenities you have to offer guests and help enhance and write your listings to help sell those features with your short-term rental!

5. Automate tasks that can be automated

Technology can and should be helping you with your short-term rental.  Your guests will expect a certain amount of technology in the booking of your rental, as well as leaving reviews.  Technology should be helping you with scheduling, contracts, guest communications, housekeeping schedules, temperature controls, payments and more!  Technology should make short-term rentals easier and streamlined.   

 Today’s world of technology is forever changing.  Technology too much to handle?  We love technology!  Contact Wisconsin CoHost today!

6. Location and Concierge Service

One of the most important things for any business is location, location, location, right?   Make sure your guests understand everything they want to know about your location.  That wonderful maple tree in the back yard that gives wonderful shade in warm weather?  Help them picture themselves relaxing under that maple tree with a magazine or good book.

Educating your guests, before they book your short-term rental, about what there is to do in the area is equally important.  The things offered in your town or city may be the difference in the guest clicking the book button on your property or continuing to look.  Is there a good variety of restaurants near you?  Are some within walking distance?  Let your guests know that.  Are there historical areas of town?  Tell your guests about the history of your town.  Having your client feel like they have their own concierge service in you helps them to find the best things in town that fit their interests and hobbies. 

 At Wisconsin CoHost, we can be your concierge!  We can make sure that your listing includes all of the unique things surrounding your location and that your clients know exactly what to do and see when staying at your vacation rental.

7. Photos and videos

If you have ever stayed at a chain hotel, you know what to expect if you stay at one of those hotels in California or New York.  But your short-term rental is unique to you!  Your guests have no idea what to expect, so help them understand how awesome your space really is!  Having accurate, good photographs, or even videos of your location are extremely helpful for renting your vacation rental.  Visuals help rent your short-term rental get booked. 

 At Wisconsin CoHost we can help!  Whether it is photographs or videos of your space, Wisconsin CoHost can help get your listing look magnificent!

8. Guest reviews

Congratulations!  You have started booking guests in your short-term rental! 

Now, the goal is to get more clients to book you, right?  Right!  Well, the first 7 steps in this blog will help, but the other thing that will help tremendously, is good guest reviews.  You want the guests that stayed with you to enjoy their time at your vacation rental, and write you a good review. 

 Why is this step important?  Guests looking to book your short-term rental will look at and read the reviews of other guests.   How did guests find you?  Most likely on-line.  Do you know how easy it is to find reviews on-line?  Very easy.  Good and bad reviews.  You want your prospective and future guests to find the good reviews.  If bad reviews exist, we want our prospective guests to find that we handled those bad reviews professionally and promptly. 

 At Wisconsin CoHost, we can help you achieve those great reviews.  We are here to help you succeed in your short-term rental, together!  Contact us today.


It’s time for Wisconsin CoHost to begin managing your short term rental property