Updated for 2016
The rules that apply to vacation rental selling are almost contrary to the rules we follow when selling our primary homes. The vacation rental market is a completely different animal and must be treated as such. Here are some tips to help you prepare your vacation home for sale and get it sold faster.
1. Know Your Booking Statistics
So many people overlook this factor when selling their vacation home. If you’re property is being used as a short term rental and marketed heavily then those booking statistics are going to help sell your home. Compile a list of your booking statistics (booking records) for the past year or two and create a graph style chart profiling your bookings over the past 365 days. If your home books an average of 35 weeks per year or more, this is a great marketing piece to add in with your home marketing. You can obtain records of all your bookings from your property management company or your Realtor can do this for you. You should also include links to your Facebook, Instagram and other social account you have set up for the home as well as the Homeaway (or other online channel) listing so potential buyers can see this is an established rental with a full marketing package.
2. Online Images That Sell
There is no way around this one. You or your agent simply cannot go to the home with their smart phone and use those photos in the marketing. Just no. You will absolutely have to hire a professional real estate photographer to photograph the home. If you want to really stand out, you can also can drone footage of the entire community and the lot your home sits on. This is something most people aren’t doing and your home listing will definitely stand out in the sea of other vacation rental real estate listings.
3. Showcase That Guestbook!
Hopefully you’ve been using one. . .Go through your vacation home guestbook and pick out three or four of the best reviews you received (or even from your online listing). Use those testimonials when marketing your home online to potential buyers. You could create a nice Jpeg graphic in Canva using a quote box to showcase the reviews. Put those in your online listing. Why wouldn’t you?? Testimonials sell a home more than anything. You could even pick a stellar one and give it to your Realtor to put it the MLS along with your property description. Don’t let that guestbook go to waste, it’s one of your best marketing pieces you have. Also let the buyers know that it comes with the purchase of the home. You are selling an established business with built in credibility.
4. Connect With The Right Buyers
Buyers of Florida vacation rentals don’t just come from within the United States. Florida attracts buyers from all over the world that want to own a piece of the paradise pie. You have to reach these specific buyers the same way you would be reached if you were looking to buy a vacation rental in another country. This could be an entire new post but to give you a tip on this, when creating the property flyer for your listings (or online) make sure you add the price in at least the five most popular currencies from where your buyers are coming from. It’s much easier to see something in your own currency and realize what a great deal it is than to take the time to convert it. Buyers want instant gratification so give it to them. You should also make a note in all of your online booking listings that this beautiful home is for sale. If your guests love it enough, they may just buy it. If you feel that’s too intrusive than you could always leave flyers in the house instead, but often times guests are the #1 buyers of a vacation rental.
These tips probably seem so obvious you’re wondering why everyone isn’t doing it. Most people aren’t implementing these steps because they either aren’t using a Realtor and don’t know this information or their Realtor isn’t experienced in selling vacation rentals. Fortunately for you, our company has a built in marketing team that is always three steps ahead of the trends in the marketing and vacation rental industry.
We hope to earn the opportunity of helping you achieve your investment property goals this year. To set up a free, no obligation investment property consultation with us please use our scheduling tool or contact us directly at 866-422-6191 and if you have enjoyed this article please consider subscribing to our blog and stay updated on future information.