understanding vacation rental inventory and owner sentiment
February 11, 2022

Understanding Your Vacation Rental Inventory—And How to Use it to Your Advantage

The vacation rental industry is facing a conundrum: Demand for vacation rentals is through the roof (great news). However, the real estate to meet that demand is in short supply AND the battle for owner acquisition is on. And if you’re a typical vacation rental property manager, adding to your inventory can feel nearly impossible. Understanding the current inventory under management, and the owner sentiment is an important factor to optimizing your existing portfolio, and growth opportunities.

Whether you have a strategy in place to continue to grow your listings under management through new owner acquisition today or working towards that goal in the future, there are easy ways to optimize your revenue with the portfolio you already have! By understanding your vacation rental inventory inside and out, you can find ways to improve your guests’ experience and optimize your revenue. 

The “Less Than Desirable” Homes

Even the nicest homes sometimes struggle with bookings, and this might be the case with these homes in your portfolio. These properties might be quite charming or even high-end, but attributes like their location or lack of access to key features may make them less desirable, especially if they’re well outside the established market. They may require the most operational attention, whether due to the size of the home or certain features that require a particular kind of maintenance.

Start by making sure these properties are as modern and up-to-date as possible. Put them at the top of your list for minor renovations, whether that’s new appliances, updated flooring, and new furniture. Additionally, these kinds of properties may benefit from a very flexible rates calendar, possibly even lower rates than you would expect in order to tempt guests to book. 

The “Always Booked” Homes

These vacation rentals are your bread and butter homes—they have consistent bookings and always pull their weight. Even if the house itself is basic or in need of updates, guests may find them more accessible for reasons other than aesthetics. Maybe the location of the home is unbeatable—a block or two from the beach, ski-in/out, a breathtaking view. Or maybe it’s pet-friendly, good for large families, or offers more affordable rates than your other listings. 

See if you can use these popular properties to increase your last-minute bookings by strategically lowering the rates as the booking window draws to an end, and lowering any minimum stay requirements in order to capture more spontaneous travelers. While updates may not be as urgent on these kinds of properties, even simple changes like fresh bedding, new cookware, and a few luxury items like a Smart TV or an espresso machine can make a huge difference in the guest experience. 

The “Demanding Owner” Homes

Sometimes the property itself isn’t the challenge at all. It’s the relationship with the homeowner that causes friction. It can be tough when your vacation rental management team and a homeowner don’t see eye to eye, particularly about things like pricing strategies and revenue optimization. 

There are a couple of different ways to speak with vacation rental homeowners about pricing strategy. One way to drive your message home is to come prepared with success stories and relevant data to demonstrate that restrictive practices like fixed rates and aggressive minimum/maximum stay requirements don’t make for a net-positive outcome.  

Rented’s team of revenue management experts can help. They have the industry experience to help guide conversations with your homeowners about what impacts their bottom line and how to use pricing to their advantage to make the most out of their investment. Rented’s Automated Rates Tool, or Art, makes changing rates quick and easy, even in bulk. Reach out to a Rented team member here to see how they can help make the most of your vacation rental inventory.

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