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To Renovate or Not to Renovate Your Vacation Rental

The Hawai’i Life Vacations property at Pali Ke Kua #237 recently underwent a major renovation. The before and after photos bear out many of the renovation principles discussed below.

To see more photos, check out this listing here!

Vacation Rental Investment

Undoubtedly, your vacation rental home is one of the biggest investments you will make. In some ways, even more so than your primary residence.

This investment will (hopefully) provide a huge boon to your retirement savings, propelling you forward financially as you prepare for that inevitable day.

How to Maximize Revenue

How can you make sure that it consistently brings in maximum revenue? There are several steps you can take to ensure that your home is drawing the volume of bookings you want. First is keeping your home updated and renovated with the latest style trends.

As your home ages, it will inevitably fall out of the most popular home style trends. As of this writing, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and sectional sofas are the rage. A home without these features may be seen as less desirable. Vacationers want the latest and greatest when they’re paying top dollar for a rental.

Unfortunately, with all the inventory available, particularly in markets as perennially popular as Hawaii, these seemingly small missteps will cost you reservations and repeat guests. For many guests, a trip to Hawaii is a once-in-a-lifetime dream come true. This means that whatever emotions they have about their accommodations (and in fact, all their experiences) will be amplified.

Reasons to Renovate & Upgrade

It’s a very difficult decision to make to replace perfectly serviceable furniture and appliances. And the harsh truth is that you may not be able to raise your prices to compensate you for your expense. However, if you do renovate and upgrade, a few things will happen:

Your home will photograph much better. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is definitely true in the world of vacation rentals. A home with updated furniture, appliances and fixtures is always more appealing than one without, as you can see from the example above.

Your guests will feel that they have received a good value for their vacation dollar. Obviously, this will make them happy. Remember, all feelings are amplified and so much of vacation rentals is based on emotion.

They will tell their friends and family about the great experience. They will leave positive reviews. While it won’t happen overnight, consistent positive comments and reviews will net you additional reservations. The public at large puts enormous trust in reviews. A vacation rental property with glowing reviews is exponentially more likely to receive new bookings than one with no reviews and certainly, one with bad reviews.

You should also make sure everything in your home is in good repair. The bare minimum a vacation rental guest expects is that everything in the home looks nice (and preferably like the pictures) and works. If they find their vacation property in good condition, smartly furnished and all systems functional, they will be happily satisfied and likely sing your praises to their friends and family.

Similarly, if the sofa is torn or stained, the appliances dated or rusted or a fuse blows when they turn on a hair dryer, your property will be judged very harshly. Much more so that if they were on just a weekend getaway. With the power of reviews on social media, this is something you simply cannot afford.

Make sure everything in your vacation rental home is up to date and functional, and you will continue to see your investment pay dividends in the years to come.

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