Most people complain about their job. There seems to be only a handful of people that are truly happy with having to get up early in the morning and go to work. It seems that around 50% of us are satisfied with our job, and the other 50% are a mix between content with the job they have and those that hate their job, but they need the money. However, you can change this if you are someone that has a property, has capital or access to capital, or online marketing experience.
- Do you own a property?
- Do you have access to capital?
- Do you have digital marketing skills?
One of the latest trends that has seen people literally quit their job and change their lifestyle altogether is the vacation rental industry. If you posses any of the above skills, then you could potentially get involved in a marketplace that means travel, pleasure, and plenty of money!
What Is a Vacation Rental?
There are so many people out there that own a second home, rent property, or want to travel and need an income to support their travel. All of them have one thing in common. They want to rent a property they own or manage someone else’s property on their behalf for the purpose of short-term leases. Those leases are specifically for people going on vacation.
Therefore, if someone wants to stay in somewhere like Florida for a week, if you have an empty property there, then you can rent that property for 1 week to the vacationers. The best part of this business model is that you can charge more money for daily and weekly rental than you would if you were to rent the place out on a yearly contract.
People with properties in areas that have a lot of tourists or business visitors are able to rent their property out for $100 per day rather than $1,500 a month. That’s double the money. In peak season they can often rake in tripe the daily rate.
These prices are often cheaper than staying in a hotel, and this is exactly why the vacation rental business has become a global phenomenon.
How Can a Vacation Rental Change My Work/Life Balance?
There are several ways in which you can get into the vacation rental industry where long working hours and constant pressure is generally eliminated.
- Passive Income
Once the guest is in the property, in general, they will cause you very little work – that is as long as you have put the leg work into making the property suitable for guests. The very definition of a passive income means work that requires very little effort on your part.
Obviously, this can change depending on the guest and issues that occur with your property. Let’s face it, all property can cause headaches. You also have peak season inquiries to deal with as well as guests, check ins, cleaning, and check outs to handle. Many vacation homes or timeshares have been empty for months as a result of the pandemic’s effect on tourism. If you own a timeshare, you’re most likely suffering a loss right now instead of earning profit, which might lead you to cancel your timeshare. A great timeshare cancellation company can help stop your finances from bleeding and get you out of incurring losses.
However, in the grand scheme of things, this requires time and effort for short periods of your year, and the rest of the time things should run like clockwork at which time you will find that you have more time on your hands to the things you want to do while the property earns you an income.
- Digital Marketing
If you are digital marketer and you have been hitting the affiliate space hard or you sell content, websites, Google Ads, SEO, email marketing and so on, then the vacation rental business can change the way you work as an online marketer.
This is an industry full of apps and websites that are there to help make life as a marketer easier. In fact, many of the tools in the vacation rental industry require very little digital marketing knowledge on your behalf.
Look at HomeAway.com for example. This website allows a property owner to list their property for free as available as a short-term vacation accommodation option.
As long as you have nice photos, concise and clear content describing the property, and a reasonable/competitive pricing strategy, then people will inquire about your property, and then book it on the HomeAway website. The money is exchanged here on the website giving you a middleman in the transaction.
Creating good content, photos (graphics), and pricing strategies are no problem for a good digital marketer that understand his/her client’s (the property owner’s) needs. The content will remain the same for much of the time because properties rarely change, which is why we call this evergreen content in this particular case.
Once the content is up on the HomeAway website, the only job left to do is answer inquiries so people book, which is the property owner’s responsibility. Alternatively, you can add answering messages an added service and sub-contract this service to a team to handle all messaging for you. The property owner is earning a passive income and so are you.
In fact, 40% of bookings are done without an inquiry because the content and photos have already done all the marketing for you. You as a digital marketer may need to refresh the content every so often, but essentially once the content and photos are up on the website, you really do not have much to do, and once again you have more time spare.
Adding the Property to Multiple Vacation Rental Websites
Now, let’s add the property to Airbnb, Expedia, Agoda, FlipKey, and the plethora of other vacation rental websites out there. Now you have the property listed on hugely popular websites that already have tens of thousands of visitors per day. You have given the property exposure across multiple websites that function in multiple platforms (mobile/desktop/tablet).
The only issues you have now is to make sure all the calendars in sync. If a booking is made on the HomeAway website, how do the calendars on the Airbnb, Expedia, Agoda, and FlipKey calendars know there is a booking. It is imperative that you do not risk double bookings on 2 different websites for the same dates.
As a digital marketer you can offer a solution for this problem. This is called a channel manager, and it syncs all the calendars using push/pull notifications. It is simple! A booking is made on HomeAway, the calendar then auto syncs with the channel manager, and that booking is then pushed to all the other calendars to block the dates from being booked on another website.
Fortunately, there is a company that creates this technology called Lodgify. You can read about their channel manager software here. This is yet another massive time saving piece of software that means less hours in the office working, more bookings, more money, and excellent results for your client.
As a digital marketer, the way the vacation rental business works means that you could fit in more clients. This is as opposed situations where you would be doing a marketing campaign for a website in another industry where constant marketing tactics are needed to stay ahead of the game, thus taking up more of your time and reducing your capacity for the number of clients you can service.
Equity Gains on Property
When the money starts to roll in, one of the wisest investments to make is to buy more property for a vacation rentals business. Now this is not for the light-hearted because owning more than one property requires a hell of a financial commitment. However, that commitment should always pay off in the long run because property mostly increases in value.
The capital gains a property earns from their property on top of the profits earned from renting the place to people on vacation are well worth the investment. This is yet another passive income added to the business.
Let’s say your property is worth $100,000 and house prices rose by 5% in just a year. That’s $5,000 per year each year the prices increase. There is of course capital gains tax and other costs involved when selling a property so the increase in equity is not always as clean cut as it looks and property is not a fast moving liquidable asset in some areas, but the fact is money is still being made out of nothing if the house prices do increase in the area.
If part of your business plan is to increase the number of properties you have available for vacation rental purposes, then do your research. For instance, if you were to invest in Florida, you would take a look at something like Zillow’s Florida house price index.
What Do You Think?
We have really only briefly touched on the subject of what the vacation rental business is all about. There is so much more to it, but so far you get the general gist of it hopefully. Essentially property owners gain a passive income of sorts, and digital marketers can get better results without all the hassle of having to use traditional digital marketing tools by using the what is essentially as set it up and sit back approach.
Other businesses have also benefited from the massive influx of vacation rentals in their areas. For example, offering linen cleaning services, cleaning companies that specialize in helping people with vacation rentals even down to using the cleaners to check guests into the property.
Property management companies now have a growing market of property owners to target because they can use the same digital marketing tactics mentioned here to help property owners earn money from their vacation home.
It would be great to know what you think. Yes, this business takes capital to get involved in and anyone with money and a good business mind can create a business with a passive income.