A small apartment complex located near a busy tourist hub is one way you can own several vacation rentals in one. Owning and managing a short-term apartment complex comes with a different set of challenges compared to more traditional real estate options, so make sure you understand what you are taking on before you turn the apartments into a vacation destination. This list will provide you with four items you shouldn't overlook.
It goes without saying that holiday seekers aren't going to show up to a two-week rental with a couch and microwave in tow. Even guests that are staying for an entire season will expect a fully furnished apartment. Furnishings and amenities in a vacation rental are much more similar to those one would find in a hotel. Make sure each apartment is fully equipped with not only basic furnishings, but also the accessories for daily life. This includes kitchen equipment, tableware, and linens.
Vacation rentals are usually treated more like actual apartments when it comes to housekeeping – the tenant is responsible for daily upkeep. A security and cleaning deposit is a must on every rental, just as you would charge for a long-term apartment lease. The difference is that it's your job to make upkeep simple for the tenant. Provide a vacuum and basic cleaning supplies for small messes, and equip each unit with washer and dryer, or provide access to an onsite laundry room. You will also need to arrange for a housekeeping service to clean out the apartments between tenants.
#3: Money Matters
Unlike a traditional apartment, a vacation unit will likely have more downtime between tenants. This downtime can range from a week here and there to several months, depending on the demand for short-term rentals in your area. This gives you two options – tap into an off-season rental market, such as renting to students in the winter and tourists in the summer, or price the units accordingly to cover the downtime. You can also consider contacting realtors, like those at Sterling Realty, to help boost your business and find tenants. Keep in mind that you will also need to cover upkeep and wear and tear, which is usually higher on vacation apartments compared to traditional units, and you will also need to cover utilities, since these are usually included in the cost of the unit rental.
Renting to vacationers requires a heightened sense of vigilance to make sure your property is both safe and that the tenants are happy. Unlike traditional renters, whom often feel some responsibility for the property, vacationers may not be as invested in the property so they may not care for it as well. You will also need to be available for key delivery and pick-up and to attend to your tenants needs at the drop of a hat. This can be a nuisance for a single rental property, but it can be nearly impossible for one person to handle if you are renting an entire apartment complex as vacation homes. In this case, consider using a property management company to handle the details. This will increase your overhead and rental cost, but it is worth the peace of mind.