1. What are the reviews saying?
It is important to keep an eye on what others are saying about your rental property, even if they note minor inconveniences you feel won’t make or break bookings. It is likely that if a guest mentions something in a review, other guests have taken notice to it as well. By staying in-tune with guest and property management feedback, you will demonstrate that you care about your vacation rental investment and want to optimize your guest’s experience. This allows for a better chance of creating repeat business and helps secure bookings each rental season.
When you begin planning updates, a good rule of thumb is to start by evaluating how to mend areas of concern. If recent reviews have not provided sufficient information for areas of improvement, or you are not sure what steps to take moving forward, contact our Owner Services team. We are more than happy to help. Garden City Realty manages a multitude of rental properties and we understand what updates guests are looking for. We understand each rental is different and our goal is to maximize your rental income.
If you are not local to the area and need assistance coordinating renovations we are happy to help. With Garden City Realty, you have a team of local maintenance technicians to assist in the process. If we are not able to perform the maintenance upgrade in-house, then we will provide information on trusted local vendors to get the job done.
2. Does the interior decor and furniture provide for a clean, cozy environment?
How old are the sofas? Are there stains on the carpet? Is the bedding worn? How long ago were the kitchen and bathrooms updated?
The number one thing a guest pays attention to when they walk into their rental is if it meets their cleaning standards. There are several ways owners must evaluate their rental to ensure it is perceived as clean and cared for that cannot be relied on by our routine housekeeping.
Start by decluttering your rental space. Over time, rental properties become filled with unnecessary items. When you visit the beach, work to eliminate clutter and other items that serve little purpose. Faux flowers or trees and knick-knacks serve little purpose but to collect dust. Most guests will appreciate keeping decorative items to a minimum. However, that does not mean to have a bare condo or home, adding personal touches with unique statement pieces is a good tactic to keep the space open but charming.
Next, evaluate areas around your rental that guests have come to expect to be updated. Here are a few examples of what guests have come to expect:
Fresh Paint – If the rental was painted five or more years ago and there are scuff marks and impurities all over the walls, this can give the guest a negative impression. Take note of any rooms that might see common wear, such as entryways that may be brushed against when the guest carries in their luggage and beach equipment. Additionally, light and bright colors can help the space feel beachy and inviting. Colors such as light blues, soft grays, and beige are calm and serene. Avoid dark or dramatic colors as they can make the space feel dark and small to prospects viewing pictures online.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) or Ceramic Tile Flooring – Everyone knows how difficult it can be to keep carpet clean, especially when renters are in and out. Hard-surface flooring is now the new standard within the vacation rental marketplace.
Updated Bathrooms – Consider updating the tile, toilet, faucets, and shower, and any other additional areas throughout the years.
New Bedding – When was the last time the bedding in your condo was replaced? If you can’t remember, it’s probably been too long. Updating comforters to white or beach themed colors is a great way to make a space feel clean and relaxing.
Call us directly at 843-652-4234 for any questions related to your vacation rental, and we will be happy to coordinate a walk-through and provide recommendations based on your budget.
3. How can I improve the guest’s experience?
Make it Effortless – One thing to keep in mind is that our guests are likely staying in an unfamiliar home or condo and aren’t sure how to work different electronics and amenities around the rental. To make the guest’s experience effortless, provide instructions to use items that may not be clear to new users. Additionally, take the time to label light switches that control multiple lights or utilities to ease any uncertainty. Label items such as “Fan”, “Kitchen Light”, and “Garbage Disposal” around the rental. As tacky as it may seem, this small detail may save guests from feeling clueless as they randomly flip switches to figure out what they control.
Need assistance in creating an informational flyer? Contact our Owner Services Department and we would be happy to design and install flyers within your rental property.
Streaming Devices & Entertainment – Nowadays, families are relying less on cable TV and more on streaming their favorite shows and movies. By upgrading to a Smart TV device, and purchasing High-Speed Internet, guests will be able to log into their favorite streaming platforms to watch shows and movies they have access to at home. Instead of purchasing new TVs, you may opt for add-ons such as Roku or Apple TV to enhance your current TV setup. In addition, providing games and entertainment options within your rental is a bonus guests will appreciate. Consider providing an assortment of board games, beach items, or add in a pool table if you have the extra space.
Well-Stocked Kitchen – It is common to see guests opt to stay in and cook rather than dine out every night. Make sure your kitchen is well-stocked with essential items such as utensils, plates, cups, and cooking equipment. If you are going through your inventory and notice the pots and pans are scratched up or find broken mugs, consider replacing or replenishing inventory that surpasses the needs of the available sleeping occupancy.
Personal Recommendations – As a property owner, you likely visit the Garden City Beach area often and have favorite places to eat, shop, and visit in your free time. Including an information sheet with your favorite restaurants and shops will please visitors unfamiliar with the area. Remember to provide telephone numbers and addresses so guests may easily coordinate plans during their vacation.