It's no secret that Americans love camping and spending time outdoors. Whether roughing it in a tent or enjoying a luxury cabin, campers in 2011 spent 534.9 million days camping, an average of 12.6 days per person. And as the primary camping season starts to wind down, those who own and manage vacation rental properties have the ability to revamp their cabins and cottages and reevaluate their marketing strategies. Here are just a few ways to maintain or improve the quality of your vacation rental property during the off-season.
Invest In Landscaping
Curb appeal isn't just for homeowners — when booking a vacation rental, lush landscaping around the property always makes for higher quality photos, which increase interest from potential customers. It also adds a unique wilderness vibe to the property that can set it above the rest and get those few extra bookings. A small fountain, a garden with lights, or even a small flower patch can make a big impact. Keep in mind, part of investing in landscaping is keeping it well-maintained, so if you don't live nearby or can't keep up with the maintenance, it's best to hire a professional groundskeeper.
Double Check Durability
During the offseason, it's always a good idea to have the property inspected for structural damage. The last thing any visitor wants is to be forced to deal with an unexpected problem with the property, such as a leaky roof. It's always best to stay proactive and make sure the infrastructure's in good shape, as are the appliances. If you have any doubts about the structural integrity of any part of the property, make sure to get a repair prior to opening for the season. For example, a metal roof will protect your structure from suffering major damage because it has a 140 mph wind rating, but it can't be easily installed during peak season due to high traffic and the potential for lost income. Make sure to plan ahead and get the big projects out of the way.
Again, if you don't live in close proximity to the property, it's best to hire a professional or work with a trusted friend to maintain the little things as well.
“Even during the offseason, it’s a good idea to have someone local who can go to the house once a month to turn on faucets, flush toilets, and inspect for damage,” explains HouseLogic.
Ultimately, keeping these considerations in mind can help you maintain an even more welcoming and profitable vacation rental property when it comes time to open for the season.