When it comes to vacation rentals these days it isn’t enough to buy a swanky ocean-front condo and expect sun-tanned tourists to book a stay. The truth is the vacation property rental industry has gotten increasingly competitive, and sites like VRBO and Airbnb have taken the industry by storm.
Vacationers now have the option to take their time and be fussy while looking for the perfect property. A chateau in Palm Beach with an Olympic-sized pool? Check. A newly renovated, but wholly rustic cabin in Tahoe with pristine mountain views? Check.
Renters no longer have to compromise on vacation home amenities due to the ease of finding exactly what you’re looking for. So as a vacation property owner, how can you ensure that your property sticks out and brings a sizable return on investment?
Kitchen Renovation Trends
Did you know that a kitchen remodel is one of the top 3 home upgrades with the best ROI? But this doesn’t mean you have to empty your savings account chasing the kitchen of your dreams. In fact, it’s the minor kitchen upgrades that will make the biggest waves for your vacation property in 2016.
One of the hottest trends when it comes to subtle kitchen upgrades is smart home technology. Smart home upgrades have the benefit of being relatively simple to install, while offering a supremely sophisticated experience for potential renters.
Smart vacation home upgrades offer unparalleled control of your living space. What if you told your next guest that they could program the coffee maker from the king-sized bed using only their smartphone? It’s eye-catching, low-cost upgrades like this that will make your guests remember your property fondly and keep them coming back.
It’s not just the smell of fresh coffee that can make your guests giddy, there are also a wealth of smart solutions for the entire kitchen. With so many options, it can be easy to get swept up in the smart home revolution, so it’s important to stay grounded and budget yourself.
Another bright idea is to revamp the lighting in the kitchen of your vacation property. Guests won’t want to shuffle around in the wee hours of the night looking for the light switch, so it’s recommended that you install overhead light sensors. This relatively inexpensive upgrade will enhance both convenience and style.
Revamping the Bathroom
Much like kitchen upgrades, bathroom renovations are a great way to make your home stand out and bring in a sizable return on investment. However, with so many options for giving your bathrooms a makeover in 2016, it can be hard to know where to begin.
“I’ve found when it comes to the bathrooms in my vacation rental properties, guests are looking for an experience that’s a little out of the ordinary,” says experienced vacation rental property owner Bethany Fisher. “Things like a Jacuzzi tub, affordable heated floors and a sleek vessel sink are things that will appeal to renters in 2016.”
While big installations and upgrades may be initially more eye-catching to guests, don’t forget the little details as well: upgrade your faucets, light fixtures, towel racks and shelving/drawers. Even buying matching towels, bath mats and rugs can add personality to your property.
Maintaining Your Porch
It’s not just the inside of your vacation property that guests will care about, they will want to be welcomed by a well-maintained porch/patio. Think about the advertisements and marketing materials you design for your home, odds are that the outside of your home will usually be the first thing people see. For that reason alone, it’s imperative that the front of your home is updated and completely clean.
First off, you should make sure the floor of your porch is nicely refinished and void of excessive wear and tear. Additionally, even if it has been recently refinished, investing in a quality power washer can do wonders. Guests travelling in the warmer months will also want to use the porch/patio area as a place to relax, so simple, comfortable and functional furniture can be an easy fix.
Ditch These Upgrades
Home renovation can take on a mind of its own and quickly lead to exorbitant costs; the constant stream of new products and frequent changing of style preference doesn’t help. However, it’s important to know what parts of your vacation home you should keep simple. Some home upgrades can even decrease the value of your home!
For example, we’ve discussed how an indoor kitchen remodel can offer a sizable return on investment, but outdoor kitchens are a completely different story. Investing in an outdoor kitchen is an expensive endeavour that requires constant upkeep, as well as tapping into a niche audience. This type of upgrade should be avoided at all costs.
Further, you have to really ask yourself whether a pool is a good upgrade for your home. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the location of your vacation home offers the proper climate. Pool maintenance is notoriously costly and may not be worth it if the pool would only be appealing in the summer months. Even still, pools are a big undertaking that can actually lower the value of your home (should you decide to sell).
There are numerous upgrades that you could be making to your vacation rental home in 2017, which means paying attention to current trends and prioritizing your renovations is a must.
What upgrades are you planning for your home (or vacation rental) this year?
Living green by day, upgrading by night. I write about ways to make your life easier, greener and more interesting!