There’s no doubt that getting into the vacation rental business can be a great way to earn some cash. And whether you’ve chosen to make this your side hustle or it’s going to be your main source of income, this market has proven to be a very competitive one. With new rentals popping up daily you’re bound to feel the heat. To make it a successful endeavor follow these three vital steps that will put you on the right path to creating wealth.


#1 Stand out
This is an absolute must! You want to offer your guests as unique of an experience as possible. You might need to dig a little deep to achieve this one. And even deeper (into your pockets), but it will make all the difference in your listing getting booked. You need to figure out what will set you apart from the others and showcase it. Amenities are a good place to start. Big and small, the more amenities your place provides the better. Guests love to have an experience that feels special, something that doesn’t make them feel like its another ordinary day so provide a space for fun and relaxation. Popular amenities range from swimming pools to hot tubs, or cozy outdoor seating areas to indoor game rooms or private home theatres. Whether or not that is attainable or not, be sure you include items you typically wouldn’t find when staying at a hotel. These small, personal touches can seem insignificant now, but all the more pleasant for someone who is traveling.

Another great way to stand out against your competitors is by providing a comfortable atmosphere. Go ahead and splurge a little when it comes to beds and linens. Guests will appreciate having this additional comfort as they lay their heads down for the night.

#2 Marketing
Luckily, you won’t find this step hard to come by. There are many sites out there, such as Airbnb or VRBO, that make this task easier to come by. They’ll walk you through the process of listing your place, offering tons of resources and insights along the way to help in your success.

The #1 thing you can do when promoting your place is to have EXCEPTIONAL PHOTOS. Consider this as a first impression. It’s recommended to hire a professional but if you feel comfortable with your photo taking skills then go for it. Just be sure to use natural lighting and take high resolution-preferably in landscape orientation, whenever possible. People like to see multiple angles of the rooms, inside and out. Be sure to include any special amenities as well. Staging is another important part to consider. Your home should be visually pleasant. So, fluff pillows, add some flowers, make things sparkle and shine. Tap into your hidden OCD side and arrange everything just so, in perfect order.

#3 Great reviews
Airbnb does a great job at pressing this fact. Reviews will play a critical role in your success in this business. Ultimately becoming the final factor when someone is picking between your place and another. Good reviews will send your place to the top of the list when users are searching for homes in your area. Just as bad reviews will do the opposite. To assure you are receiving excellent reviews go beyond the basics. Try leaving a special thank you note for guests when they arrive. Even better, a goodie basket or small welcome gift. It doesn’t have to be over the top or super expensive, just something to show your appreciation and generosity.

Speaking of appreciation and generosity, another way to display these is by being punctual. Address any questions or concerns guests may have as promptly as possible. Fix any issues as quickly as possible. This shows you value them as a person, as well as value their time.


Final thought, try making a connection beyond hosting with your guests. Presenting yourself as warm and friendly goes a long way with others and will help get you those five-star ratings.



Article by
Ava Collins
Content Writer and Researcher

Student award winner Ava Collins