Spruce It Up: How To Maximize Your Cottage's Rental Inquiries
When listing your cottage for rent, you are in competition with thousands of others out there, eagerly trying to attract summer vacationers. Attracting potential renters is as much about how you profile your cottage, as it is about the cottage itself, so make sure you take the time to put your best foot forward and highlight everything your wonderful cottage has to offer. When posting your listing for rent, here are a few tips on how to make sure you are maximizing your cottage's appeal:
Pictures are the single most important aspect of your advertisement, so ensure that your pictures are high quality, depict your property in the best light and include all the important rooms. Ensure that the pictures are taken during the warm months where the waterfront and exterior of your property (including trees, sky and waterfront) look the best. Of course, make sure that the property interior is very tidy (i.e. Beds are made, clutter is removed, patio furniture is clean.) It is also important to ensure furniture is set up in a user friendly way - in other words, make sure the chairs are around the main and outdoor tables, lawn chairs are set up by the water etc. Finally, the rooms you choose to depict are critical too. Potential renters will want to see the main living area, the kitchen, the waterfront, the main bedrooms and bathrooms and the exterior.
Take advantage of the opportunity to add photo captions to your pictures. A nice well worded description will really help the illustration.
This is your chance to sell your property! Make sure to be detailed, and take the time to describe the property with some flare. Make sure to point out all of the best features including the attractions that are nearby.
Get creative with your title, and make it catchy! This really helps potential renters' first impressions of the advertisement. For example "Stunning Waterfront in Parry Sound," " Privacy in Muskoka," or " A Lunenburg Dream." Draw renters in by making your property sound both unique and exciting.
TESTIMONIALS AND REVIEWS
Testimonials and reviews are excellent additions to your listings. They give potential renters some added confidence and information, by learning from other travellers' experiences. Reach out to the people that have stayed at your property and ask them to write a review. They may also give you some tips on how to improve the experience or property for future visitors.
Have a look at other similar properties in similar locations and ensure that your pricing is competitive. Often people will use price as the deciding factor when selecting between different rentals.
Many owners are quick to check off "No Pets Allowed ," when pets are really ok if approved (i.e. a tiny poodle vs. a Great Dane.) If you are not totally opposed to having pets at your property, be a little more open to it on the amenity list as many renters won't even try to contact you if they have a pet and your ad does not allow them.
MINOR UPGRADES = MAJOR RETURNS:
Some small additions to your cottage can make a big difference in both the number of rental inquiries you receive and the amount you can charge. Some minor upgrades that can go a long way include: a microwave, life jackets, a canoe/boat, cable/satellite TV, DVD player, lawn chairs/outdoor furniture, a window air conditioner, linens.
In this day of instant gratification, renters like to know when they are looking at a cottage whether it is available for the time they want to go. Many renters do not want to have to contact a cottage owner, just to find out that the week they want is taken. Or worse, the week that showed as open on the availability calendar is actually booked. When a calendar is not used at all, many renters will assume all weeks are booked and skip to the next cottage. Make sure you take the time to keep your calendar up to date. If you have available weeks, let people know. It will only help you in the end!
A little effort can go a long way towards increasing the number of serious renters that come your way this summer. It's not always easy for a potential renter to see just how great your cottage is - it's up to you to show them. So spruce it up before you post it up - you'll see a world of difference in the quality leads you receive.