Owning a vacation rental in Orlando is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio and increase your monthly cash flow. However, investing in the vacation property sector is not all fun and games. Travelers’ expectations are ever changing -and so is the vacation market.
The competition is now stiff and fierce than ever before. Sites such as VRBO, Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey and other online listing sites have revolutionized the market. They’ve made posting and renting a vacation rental property easy for everybody, thereby raising the bar for Orlando vacation homeowners and vacation rental manager who’d want to increase their bookings and grow their revenue accounts.
Search results on these sites have become a nightmare. They are saturated with an overload of vacation properties to compete with, making it so easy to get lost in all this noise. It’s, therefore, crucial for your Orlando vacation rental property to is presented optimally so that it can stand out and offer more than guests would hope for.
Here are a few must have upgrades to your Orlando vacation home that will boost your bookings, attract higher nightly rates and increase your income:
But first, start with any problem areas.
Is there anything that has frequently been mentioned in your guests’ ratings? Do you have suggestions from your vacation rental manager that needs quick fixing? Whether it’s the carpet, the HVAC system or perhaps the mattress, you should first address these issues before moving on to these other upgrades.
1. Updated Curb Appeal
In a highly competitive vacation market such as Orlando first impressions are everything. You want to strike your guests with awe from the moment they pull into your driveway. Having a lush, green and well-manicured front lawn sends a good first signal to visitors looking to holiday in Orlando.
They may even snap a photo or two and post on Instagram. That right there is free marketing and exposure and a possible rave review!
Also, if you’re posting photos of your vacation home on vacation rental listing sites like Airbnb, FlipKey, VRBO and HomeAway, having beautiful exterior images is key. Beautiful flowers or a bright front door is likely to catch the attention of prospective vacationers who will choose your property over another.
And really, updating your property’s exterior appeal is not that hard. With these quick and easy upgrades you’re good to go:
• Add a fresh coat of bright paint on your front door and windows
• Add cheerful color on your walls,
• Declutter the driveway
• Weed your beds
• Replace dead flowers and hedge plants,
• add some attractive, sturdy furniture at your front porch to make it welcoming
• For a massive backyard upgrade, a pool will work magic on your booking and your overall ROI. But for smaller spaces, upgrades such as fire pits, hammocks, and adirondack chairs on your vacation rental backyard will improve your reviews and increase your (re)bookings.
2. Create the Perfect Kitchen
Any vacation rental manager will tell you that, one of the biggest reasons that travelers choose vacation rental homes over hotels is because they want to have a full and functional kitchen to cook in. Renters want to be able to prepare a meal to enjoy with friends and family.
A functional kitchen will make your vacation rental property feel like a perfect home away from home. Consider upgrading your appliances, silverware, cabinets and table tops. Go for easy to use and modern appliances. Other kitchen upgrades that will lead to rave reviews and more bookings include:
• Reface your kitchen cabinets: A full kitchen overhaul isn’t always the best option as it is expensive and may take longer. Refacing is a more efficient and economical way to update your kitchen. Choose sleek and simple fixtures that will stand the test of time yet creating that chic and warm feel to your vacation property.
• Install new hard-to-wear kitchen countertops. Quartz or granite countertops are a great option. They’re available in different colors and patterns that you can play around with to give your kitchen that perfect new look. They are also easy to clean and maintain and are resistant to burns, scratches, and stains.
• Give your kitchen a new color splash. Painting the kitchen walls regularly is a sure way to facelift your space. Look for a cool and clean or light and bright color scheme that will always wow your guests.
• Good lighting = good looking. Invest in new lights and place them strategically over working spaces and the dining area. You can supplement them with simple and inexpensive LED puck lighting under the cabinets to create the perfect mood and style.
• Finally, consider installing a backsplash on your kitchen walls and upgrade the kitchen floor with matching tiles.
To stand out from competition and increase your bookings be sure to advertise your well-equipped kitchen on your property’s online listing.
3. Upgrade the Bedroom Experience
Ideally, the kitchen will woo guests to book your Orlando home, but it’s the bedrooms that will have the biggest impact on their stay. Which is why sprucing up the bedrooms for the ultimate holiday experience is key to attracting more bookings and better reviews.
Make your vacation rental’s bedroom more comfortable, appealing and quiet by using low-fuss décor and soothing color scheme. But importantly, focus on the bed, floor, and lighting.
• Invest in new fluffy duvets, soft, crisp bedsheets, extra pillows, and comfortable mattresses. You cannot go wrong with a nice memory foam mattress that offers lumbar support. Investing in white sheets will also add sophistication to the bedroom and are easy to bleach and keep clean.
• Lighting: Besides the cool overhead lighting, provide your guests with additional standing lamps on either side of the bed. Most people like to read before bed, and the standing lamps will show how considerate you are to your guests.
• Provide functional shades or blackout curtains in the bedroom windows to block the morning sun. We all love dark, sleepy mornings. Don’t we?
• Adding vibrantly colored rugs on the floor will obviously make the bedroom look more cozy, warm and cheerful.
• Ensure that there are electrical outlets near the bed for charging. Providing an electrical extension where outlets are away from the bed will show mindfulness and attract more rave reviews.
• It’s also important to ensure that your bedroom spaces have enough sleeping spaces. If you’re looking to attract family vacationers, intuitive bedroom solutions such as bunk beds and pull-out couches can transform the sleeping space. And remember, the more spaces you offer, the more nightly charges you can rake from your Orlando vacation home.
4. Spruce Up the Bathroom
A luxurious bathroom may be a major selling point especially when added to your online listing. A would be traveler flipping through your vacation property’s photo may opt to book in your home over another due to the bathroom offers.
Here, you want to please your guests with spa-inspired experience so that they can rebook, send in a referral or leave a stellar review.
What are some of the upgrades to spruce up your bathroom?
• Renovate the weathered bathroom floor with pristine tiles.
• Repair any small chips and cracks in the fixtures.
• Replace standard shower heads with modern, luxurious ones with adjustable pressure.
• Keep the bathroom vanity stocked up with fresh toiletries and buy large, clean absorbent towels.
• Install flattering lighting.
• For that unique top-dollar experience, consider adding some extras like nice smelling soaps, candles, and high-quality bathrobes.
• If the walls are looking drab, freshen up the paint with a soothing palette.
5. Add some tasteful décor
You don’t have to break the bank to decorate your Orlando vacation home. A few tasteful artworks, funky rug, and throw pillows should be enough to impress your guests. Don’t go overboard. Choose a neutral color scheme that is chic, regal and tasteful, and you’re good to go!
6. Make Your Vacation Rental Property A Smart Home
If you ask any vacation rental manager, they’d tell you that vacation homes with tech upgrades are the most sort after in Orlando. You’ll not have to worry about slow months or negative reviews. Here’s how to transform your home:
• Automate your check-in process
Travelling already comes with a few frustrations. The check-in process should be secure, simple and easy peasy to eliminate further irritation. Having an automated check-in, the system will ensure that your rental property manager offers a 24/7 concierge.
Installing smart electronic locks in your vacation rental will also avoid the hassles of keys and key-codes management. Smart locks give host and rental property managers the ability to monitor who accesses the property and allows them to change the access codes on the fly at the tap of a button.
• Automated security system.
This upgrade will not only give your guests the ease of mind knowing that the property is well secured, but also allows you to monitor your investment at any time anywhere from your phone. Such peace of mind cannot be traded off. An automated home security system with an automatic fire alarm hooked together will save you the installation costs and prevent any future tragedy.
• Install motion sensor lights
Motion sensor lights not only save you electricity bills but is also an added security feature for your massive investment. Line every path with automated solar powered lights and install motion activated lights around your vacation home.
• Vacation home Utility Automation
Ask your vacation rental management company to refer you to a good home automation company. Home automation solutions ensure that you don’t have to worry about guests forgetting to switch off the water, thermostat, gas, and lights as they can be automated to switch themselves off after use. This will significantly lower your utility bills by being frugal.
Home automation will even allow you to raise and lower shades and set the time when certain lights will switch on when you vacation home is empty, all at the convenience of your couch.
• Provide Free Wi-Fi
Today, having a strong, secure and reliable wireless internet in your Orlando vacation rental is not an option, it really is a must. Make the password easy to find and to remember; your vacation home guests will thank you. A vacation home without a strong Wi-Fi reception will attract negative reviews that may reduce your bookings.
7. Bonus Upgrades: Creating a Pet-Friendly home
One of the common requirements vacationers now look in a vacation rental property is the ability to accommodate pets. Here are a few upgrades to make your vacation more pet-friendly:
• Smart dog doors
• Pet monitoring cameras
• Motion sensors with alarms to keep dogs form valuable décor and furniture.
• Robotic vacuum cleaners to get rid of piles of fur, cat litter or even food strewn around.
• Automated toilet seats to avoid drowning and pets drinking from the open toilet bowl.
Go Above and Beyond
There you have it!
These upgrades will make your vacation rental property appealing to vacationers and will give your guests a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Having these upgrades will ensure that guests are always clamoring to book your Orlando vacation rental.