If you have a rental in a vacation hot spot, you will probably be faced with a peak rental season and a slow season. Landlords often worry about their rentals sitting vacant during the slow times of the year, fearing a possible painful loss of income. Nobody wants to lose money on a rental investment, and there are several tips that you can take to help extend the rental season and keep your income flowing.
- Tenants – If you want to keep your rental unit rented year round, be extra picky when you choose a tenant. Try to find a tenant that is employed in the area all year long and not just a seasonal visitor looking for a vacation home. A retired person or student might also be ideal because they are often looking for a place to put down roots even during the off season. You can often entice a renter with a lease because it locks in the price of their rent during both the peak and off seasons, and also gives you a steady source of income no matter what time of year it is.
- Weekly or Nightly – In vacation hot spots, you might want to consider renting out your rental by the week or night instead of monthly. During the off-season, offering weekly or nightly rentals may help ensure that you have some money coming in from short-term tenants who are looking for a quick place to stay without the hassle of a long-term, month-to-month commitment.
- Price Reduction – No landlord likes to think about lowering the price of their rental property, but if you want to keep the place rented during the off-season, it's worth considering. A lower rental price might be the trick needed to bring in a long-term tenant or encourage a thrifty vacationer to rent your place over a more costly unit. Many people vacation during the off season in order to save a buck, so a good deal on your rental might just be the ticket to entice them to pick your property.
- Advertise – If the season is slow, you might be tempted to not pay for a lot of advertising, but that could cost you a tenant. During the slow season, you will want to reach as many would-be renters as possible, so the cost of advertising is well worth it. Advertising via the internet, newspapers and other media to reach the locals might be a great way to get someone that lives and works in the region all year to rent your home during the slow season.
- Team Up – Team up with local businesses that are situated close to your rental. Local businesses can also suffer during the slow season, so it's a win-win situation if your rental is rented because they might get the tenant's business. Ask the business owner if he or she wants to throw you any freebies to encourage potential renters of your unit. Restaurant vouchers, store coupons and discount attraction coupons are all enticing to would-be tenants.
- Bring in a Pro – During the peak season, it's usually easy for a landlord to rent a vacation home, but when the slow season hits, it becomes harder. Bringing in a professional property management outfit or real estate office might help you reach more people seeking rentals.
Use it Yourself – During the off-season, why not consider moving into your vacation home yourself? It could save you money by living in it yourself, and you could use the time to make improvements in preparation for the return of peak season.