How to Make Your First Vacation Rental Property Profitable

Note: This article was written by guest contributor and fellow investor Katie Conroy. She can be reached at

Think about the last time you took a trip. Did you stay in a hotel or rent a vacation home? If you’re like many travelers, you likely opted for the comfort and privacy of a house or apartment. Statistics show that more and more travelers will make the same decision in the coming years as the popularity of vacation rentals continues to rise. That’s good news for first-time real estate investors like yourself who are looking to buy a vacation rental property. In order to profit from that property, however, you need to take some smart investment steps, like the ones below. 

Buy Investment Property in Popular Neighborhood

Honestly, you could buy a second home just about anywhere and rent it out to vacationers. If you’re really serious about making a profit, however, you need to look for investment properties in an area that generates attention and where you can count on repeat bookings. Talk up your location in your rental listing so vacationers know its proximity to activities. Museums, restaurants and historical sites are all worthwhile attractions to mention. 

Maximize Comfort, Convenience, and Charm in Vacation Rentals 

Vacationers love to be mesmerized by their destinations, but it also helps if your vacation home really wows them too. If you’ve never set up a vacation rental before, you should research the top-requested amenities that travelers like to have in a home. Having access to high-speed internet, easy parking, and outdoor space can make your home more attractive to a wider variety of travelers. 

You should also make an effort to outfit each room with basic appliances and features that will make each person’s stay more relaxing. In the kitchen, that means making sure guests have access to a coffee maker, at the very least. Setting up the bedroom for maximum relaxation is important as well, so invest in a quality mattress and be sure to stock up on comfortable budget-friendly bedding. Keeping expenses low with affordable bedding and linens can increase your profits but also keeps your stress levels low if guests do ruin something. Finally, know that house rules are crucial for every vacation rental but try to avoid being too strict

Start with a Single Profitable Property Before Investing in More Homes 

When you invest in your first rental property, take the time to find a home that requires minimal work to get ready for renters, and think about looking at homes with a lower price tag. A single-family home is usually a safe bet for first-time investors, plus those lower initial costs will make it easier to secure financing. Lenders typically require a larger down payment for investment property loans, so looking for smaller, less expensive homes is a smart move when you are looking to maximize your profits. 

Investing in vacation rental properties can certainly be profitable. As long as you know how to market these properties, have the money to invest in the upkeep and understand all that goes into management, it’s actually fairly simple to earn extra income from your investment. Of course, you can mitigate some of that effort by opting for a rental management company with enhanced host services like housekeeping between guests, managed bookings, security features, and 24/7 local support. 

Setting up a vacation rental property in a popular area such as Virginia Beach can be a good choice, especially for new real estate investors. So long as you put effort into that setup, market your home properly, and manage your finances, it’s a fairly low-risk way to give your income a boost and decide whether investing in additional properties makes sense in the future. 

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The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or as any other type of advice.

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