See also: 3 tips for finding the right broker
If you own a property in Costa Rica, there is a good chance that you rent it out as a vacation rental. Everyone wants to maximize rental income, so here are 10 tips to improve rental income.
There are countless websites out there for owners who wish to rent out their property as a Costa Rica vacation rental. Two of the most popular for Costa Rica are vrbo.com and homeaway.com. Typically these sites require some sort of fee to list, but the companies often offer a guarantee that your property will bring in much more income than what they charge. Sometimes they offer free listings and simply charge commission based on bookings.
2. Make Your Own Website
There is really no excuse not to have your own website that advertises your property in Costa Rica. Think of it as a business card or online flier for your property. The website doesn’t have to be fancy or have a lot of SEO tied in. A simple website can be built for less than $200, or in some cases, for free. The site can be used as a terrific tool whenever you want to send someone more information or booking details.
3. Professional Photos
Sounds easy enough, but when it comes to real estate and vacation rentals it is often ignored. Stage your property well, take professional photos, and make sure you have pictures of every room.
4. Monitor Your Rates
Vacation rentals in Costa Rica tend to fluctuate. Flights, economic conditions, hotel promotions, and general competition can impact rates at any time. If rates might be lower than the past, don’t hold out for them to come back. Instead, adapt and make sure you are at an attractive and affordable rate.
5. Consider Long-Term Rentals
Some people dismiss long-term rentals because they don’t command as much as a nightly rate. Such a mindset could mean a missed opportunity. A long-term rental might bring in less per day, but it can be less work, less headache, and is great way to guarantee an occupied property.
6. Use Social Media
Costa Rica is a destination that everyone is always excited to talk about. Using resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and countless others is an easy way to get the word out and promote your Costa Rica vacation rental to friends, family and more.
7. Quality Beds
Make sure you have comfortable beds, pillows and linens in all of your bedrooms. A guest’s sleep experience will make a big difference in whether or not they book your specific property for their next trip.
8. Be Negotiable
Everyone wants a deal. Always be open to negotiating the rate with clients. If you have a property manager working for you, make sure they are doing whatever they have to do to not lose a client who inquires on your property. There are countless companies and clients who refuse to discount their rates, which often leads to missed opportunities.
9. Collect a Database of Clients
One of the most amazing things about Costa Rica is the amount of people who fall in love and repeatedly return. Many guests who have a great experience return to the same place they rented before. It’s important to make a database with all the people who rent from you so you can contact them once or twice a year to see if they’d like to plan another vacation and stay in your place again.
10. Buy Right
If you are working with the right realtor in Costa Rica, he or she should be able to guide you through the process before you purchase, highlighting and helping you understand which properties are best for vacation rentals. Location, view, amenities and management are all key to success with your property in Costa Rica. Many times people think they can make things work on their own, but choosing the right property is critical, and an experienced and sharp realtor will help you more with that process.
David Karr has been living in Costa Rica since 2005. As a top realtor, he handles sales and rentals in the Jacó area on the central Pacific coast. Visit his website here.