Finding the right home for your Short Term Rental investment
As Property Managers, we are constantly asked by prospective and current clients about what the right home is for a short term rental. It may seem like a basic question at first glance, but there are so many factors to consider when buying a home that you'll use for that specific purpose.
Is it in a desirable area? Is it too big? Too small? Pool? No Pool? Guest House? RV Parking? Fully renovated or as is with nice furnishings?
While many of these answers are subjective based on what you want and are hoping to get out of your home, first and foremost you should only be looking for homes in areas that STR's are LEGAL. Trust me.. the last thing you want is for code enforcement to crack down on you after you've invested time and money and hope into what you think is a long term income stream, only to be penalized and likely fined on a per day basis that you've operated out of compliance.
Now that that's out of the way, back to criteria. People often ask what the desirable areas are . The reality is that everyone travels for different reasons and short of high crime areas that you'll want to avoid, someone has a reason to stay in almost any area. Our rentals are based in Henderson, NV and we get asked who stays at our home all the time as if its unbelievable that its regularly booked. Not everyone comes to Las Vegas to stay 5 min from the Strip.. and by the way most of our rentals are less than 20 min away. We have guests that stay to be close to the lake, hiking, family, tournaments their kids are in etc. Never assume someone doesnt want to stay in a home because its in an area YOU wouldnt come here to stay in.
Size of the home.. prior to last year when AirBnB implemented no party policies everywhere, the philosophy for most was "the bigger the better". Well.. not really. What do you think a house that can accommodate 20+ people is going to be used for? yep.. parties. The odds are not in your favor on giant homes that sleep
endless amounts of guests. We recommend a basic 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home. The majority of travelers do travel in groups and this allows a nice size group of guests to stay together without your home becoming overrun with guests (invited and uninvited).
In our opinion, you should always seek out at least one amenity, whatever that may be. Whether it's a pool, RV parking, a hot tub, or some cool feature like an in home theater or sauna, guests want access and an experience they cant get somewhere else. We've had many clients completely gut and renovate their home to make it the top of the line to attract more guests as well. You should seriously reconsider your imported Italian marble.. odds are you arent going to recoup that in nightly rental costs and someone will chip it LONG before you do. First and foremost, guests want a CLEAN home. One of our rentals had older tile and the old school counter tiles in it for years. Once we got
through the first few years of renting and better understood how gentle (or not) people would treat our home, we invested in quartz counters and new flooring but STILL not the most expensive. Of course you want it to be a comfortable and clean space, but most of the time, a good shampooing and interior paint can do that for you. I say save your reno project for once you get some rental revenue under your belt.
Owning and managing a rental is not an easy task. It requires significant amounts of communication with guests and managing vendors to ensure everything is right every time because bad reviews can tank your rental faster than you can imagine! Is it worth it? Most of our rentals bring in 4-6x traditional rent. And I get to go in my home multiple times a week as opposed to long term tenants who can do significant damage.
SuiteHost is a national home concierge service, providing peace of mind to homeowners and the best service to guests staying in our clients' homes. We do more, we book more, and we oversee more, so you can spend your time doing whatever matters most to you!