As a systems expert and data analyst for Luxury Simplified Retreats, my day is consumed by monitoring booking data, performance, and pricing strategies to maximize revenue and optimize listings for our portfolio of Charleston vacation rentals. Through our experience, we understand that a home's online performance, measured by rank, is a delicate balance of listing quality, pricing, service delivery, and consistency over time, and each listing platform (i.e. VRBO, Airbnb, HomeAway, etc.) has different parameters that factor into search results. Although ranking in the Top 10 Charleston vacation rentals takes time, these 5 tips can help your home's listing page on VRBO.com perform better overnight.
In Charleston SC, the beginning of a new year means more than just creating new year's resolutions. The start of a new year kicks off a 6-month, jam-packed event season, drawing visitors from around the nation and the world. For vacation rental owners, it's the perfect time to hit the ground running, make any upgrades, changes, or set new goals. Maybe last year didn't go as well as expected, or maybe you're ready to reach that next level for your investment home, either way the new year provides the opportunity for improvement. Plan for the success of your vacation rental in the new year by making these 8 resolutions:
In a booming tourist destination city such as Charleston SC, named No. 1 City In the United States by Travel & Leisure for the 5th consecutive year, a vacation rental home as investment property can be a lucrative source of additional income. With more than 4 million visitors each year, the Holy City is no stranger to tourists - all searching for a charming, authentic place to stay while in town. But before you go running to self-manage your own rental, you will need to understand what exactly goes into purchasing, operating, and maintaining a successful vacation rental home.
Charleston SC continues to top most of the "Best of" lists for travel destinations and lifestyle amenities, including top restaurants and festivals. As the popularity of Charleston has skyrocketed over the past 4 years, so has the number of short-term vacation rentals. Whether you are a visitor coming to explore this quintessential historic city, or an investor tapping into the “hot” Downtown rental market Charleston, and the surrounding barrier islands, are peppered with rentals providing an endless amount of choices to Charleston’s growing number of tourists. However, with the ease of the "browse and click-to-book" online marketplace of booking portals comes the uncertainty of knowing if the property you chose for your Charleston getaway will be just as it's displayed in the photos online.
Adding a pool to any property can be a big expense, but if you're thinking of adding one to your vacation home, it can also be an investment that yields big returns. When deciding to add a pool to your vacation rental property you want to start by crunching some numbers. Determine the total cost (installation, deck surround, patio furniture, maintenance) and the added value (nightly rental rate increase, booking increase, etc). If the value is not greater than the cost the a pool may not be the right feature for your rental.
When it comes to listing your Charleston SC home as a vacation rental, there are many factors that go into attracting guests to book their stay with you. For anyone self-managing their own vacation rental home, you may be forgetting some key factors that truly make a difference for your bottom line. Anyone can tidy up, snap a few photos on their phone, and post it to one of the top booking sites, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a full calendar and growing profits. We’ve picked the brains of our booking and marketing experts for their tips on how to optimize your vacation rental listing and create a positive experience for your guests.
For a town amplified by the tourism economy, Charleston SC often sees a slowdown during the winter months as fewer visitors are flocking to its sandy shores. Many hotels and rental properties resort to deep rate cuts to entice visitors and maintain bookings - a tactic referred to as "dynamic pricing." While dynamic pricing is important in keeping rental income at a steady stream, this off-season period of potentially lesser income is the ideal time to assess the property and make any necessary maintenance updates to ensure it's in tip-top shape for the next peak season. If occupancy was successful during the busy summer months, vacation rental properties see wear and tear which means, whether it's minor adjustments or a large repair, there are always improvements to be made in the slower season.
Owning a short-term rental (STR) property in Charleston SC can be a lucrative investment. The local beaches, history, and charm make the city a vacation destination. For many years the hotel and bed & breakfast industry has cornered the market on overnight accommodations in the city, however, with the rise of the sharing economy and the popularity of services like Airbnb and VRBO property owners are eager to cash in on their income properties. In an attempt to catch up with this trend the City of Charleston and nearby City of Folly Beach are drafting new policies to help regulate this fledgling industry and ensure safety for owners and guests alike.
When you purchase a vacation home as an investment in Charleston SC, there are a number of factors to consider, especially when selecting a vacation rental management company to care for your property. If this is a home you plan to rent out for the majority of the year, you want to make sure your property is in good hands and will maintain its value over time, as well as delivering consistently on cash flow. This is one thing that will set property management companies apart from one other - the level of care provided for your home.
Here in Charleston SC, much like every other place in the world, you can't hide from Mother Nature. Along with our temperate year-round climate and warm, sunny summer, we also have an established hurricane season from July 1 to November 1. Fortunately, our ability to detect storms days in advance has drastically improved (thanks technology!), allowing us to be proactive instead of reactive if a storm is predicted. For a homeowner in the lowcountry, especially one that owns a second home in Charleston, you should seek a property management firm that takes preventative measures pre-storm and necessary actions post-storm to help protect your home.