We surveyed the surveys in preparation for our own survey going out soon!
Guess what the number 1 amenity that most guests look for in a vacation rental property?
The answer may surprise you…
Overwhelmingly, much higher than any other amenity category, a well stocked kitchen cooks up passion among vacationers. This indicates vacation rental guests are cooking, a lot. This also is a heartwarming indicator that guests are relaxing into a home like setting. This goes against conventional thinking that while on vacation no one wants to do any work. We think the indicators are strong that an overwhelming appeal of vacation rental properties is the ability to cook meals, or self-cater. This brings down the overall cost of the vacation. Guests routinely rate properties negatively if there is not adequate kitchen equipment that matches the needs of the location. For example, when at the beach in the mid-Atlantic, a stock pot large enough to steam crabs and lobster is a very popular amenity. You will get dinged negatively on your online reviews if you omit an important item such as this.
Would you like to access our annual Vacation Rental Property Guide to Stocking Your Kitchen? We update this guide annually and send it complementary to our property owners. For the first time ever, we’re releasing it to you free. We hit all the basics. This year, written over the Thanksgiving weekend, and, if you act quickly you can take advantage of the great shopping deals we found online while researching the guide. For 2017, we were able to bring in the list of recommended items at around $1600. This sounds like a lot of money. However, it assumes outfitting a kitchen from scratch; includes appliances and dining settings (indoor and outdoor) for 12. You may already have many of these items. You may be able to yard sale and thrift store shop. While we recommend basic whites, greys, and black finishes that suit most decor, you may have your own preference. Always have an overall aesthetic and avoid a general sense of mismatched “It’s good enough for renters” mentality. Spend the money up front to recover it in optimal rates, occupancy, and great reviews. Even a budget property can and does benefit from a well stocked, well-maintained kitchen. This is the business of vacation rentals.
Above all else, the photographs must match the reality of the property on arrival. We recommend a professional staging service and photo shoot that includes a floor plan/property layout so that guests can plan their stay. Multi-general groups, or groups of friends alike need to be able to see bed sizes, bedroom location and layout, the size of a dining table, parking arrangements and so on. Your photographs must balance aesthetics and practicality. The photographs have to function as a booking aide. A short (non wobbly) property video is always helpful.
Beach chairs, umbrellas, portable coolers, and a pull along beach wagon are a must.
Nice to have also are buckets and spades for the little ones. Sun loungers are a nice complement.
Stay on top of maintenance and replace any worn, torn, rusted equipment as necessary.
In my vacation rental properties, I also add 2 to 4 beach cruiser bicycles (include locks and lights) and a corn hole game set for the yard.
However, the following amenities also featured regularly in the surveys and should be considered as strong, ‘also rans’ in the vacation rental property amenity race.
All are very important, and listed in no particular order of prominence:
- Property location.
- Firm beds.
- Clean bedding options such as blankets, pillow covers, mattress covers.
- Air conditioning.
- Ceiling fans.
- Cleanliness of property.
- Clutter free and plenty of storage.
- Competitively priced.
- Abundance of online reviews.
- Communication and availability of host/property manager for routine questions and emergencies.
- Maintenance of property and furnishings. Everything must work.
- Comfortable, high quality furnishings.
- Outdoor shower.
- Adequate parking.
- Private washer/dryer.
- Free WiFi.
- Availability of outdoor living and dining space.
- Adequate lighting indoors and out.
- An outdoor grill.
What amenities are important to you in a vacation rental property?
Do you have any stories that you’d like to share with us? Please use the comments section to post.