If you’ve been following along with parts one and two of this article series, you should already have a clear understanding of the difference between a buy and rent strategy  and a short term vacation rental “Hospitality Business.”

You should also have a basic understanding of how to use our exclusive Smart Map to target and research specific Phoenix area locations in order to find desirable neighborhoods to invest in.

In this 3rd and final portion of this series, I will be discussing must-have amenities, how I personally manage my VRBO, as well as how I deal with the “turnover tasks” between tenants. Please understand that I am sharing just some of what I’ve learned from my own personal experience and hoping it will help you get past what was a huge learning curve for me.

I want to emphasize, once again, the fact that listing your property on Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway puts you squarely into the “Hospitality Business.” The role you play is more akin to that of a concierge or a tour guide. As such, in addition to providing a completely furnished home, casita, condoor townhouse, you must provide amenities such as Wifi, TV and Cable, plates, dishes and cooking utensils. Not to mention, toilet paper, paper towels, washcloths, bath towels, soap, Kleenex, dish soap and laundry soap. Of course, complimentary bottled water is a must here in Phoenix.

In short, you want to create a home away from home for your guests. They want to wake up in the morning, sip on a cup of coffee or tea and watch the spectacular view of the sun rising above the Superstition Mountains.

I also provide a cute little book for my guests with a map of the community, a list of nearby restaurants, along with brochures of the hiking trails for McDowell Mountain Ranch. You can pick up information guides at nearby attractions for free. A little bit of effort can go a long way.

Basically, you’ll be providing the same type of “nearby attractions” information you’d find next to the phone when you check into a hotel room.

Pools are a huge plus. Obviously,when guests come to vacation from colder climates, they want a pool and a hot tub. I don’t have a private pool. However, I do have 2 community centers, both of which have heated pools and hot tubs my guests are able to use.

In addition, both community centers have a kiddie pool & play area, basketball & tennis courts, BBQs, and each host live music on different nights. Again,it is important to highlight the surrounding area, as well as the specific amenities located on your property. When someone is comparing  places to stay, you want yours to stand out.

Because I live in the area, I choose to manage the property, clean the place, change the linens and keep the consumables such as toilet paper, coffee, tea etc. in stock myself. It saves me money. I do hire cleaners now and again if I will be out of town, or my schedule doesn’t permit me to do it myself.

Fortunately,I have never had a bad experience with a tenant trashing my place or causing any real damage to speak of. I do have a home warranty plan, and I do charge a refundable damage deposit of $500, since that’s what my insurance deductible is should any real damage occur. I also have 2 reliable handymen I can count on just in case any unexpected emergency repairs are necessary.

If managing your hospitality business is not your thing, or you don’t live in the area and it’s simply not an option, the good news is that a simple Internet search will provide you with a slew of companies specializing in end-to-end vacation rental management, cleaning and turnover services.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this article series. If you have any questions, or you need help analyzing a particular property, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can find the complete article, along with my contact information on our website at TheEquityFinders.com.

by Laura Leatherdale