When you begin managing your own vacation rental property, one of the first questions youll ask yourself is, What price should I charge?
The best way to set a price on your condo or vacation home is to do your own research and compare what else is available. Search on the web for vacation rentals in the area your property is located, for example, Hawaii Vacation Rentals and find a range of prices for other properties similar to your own. If your condo is part of a larger resort complex, do some research and compare what other condo owners are charging. Take into consideration views, location, even location within the project. What is the general condition of the property? Does your condo have a basic furniture package or has it been substantially upgraded? Does your vacation rental or villa have air-conditioning? Does it have beach access, a swimming pool, etc.? Is it ski-in/ski-out? How about free internet access?
It is also important to realize that when people rent directly from the owner they are expecting to get a better deal than they would get by going to a more traditional rental agency. This is because an established recognizable agency might be more trusted than an individual owner that is unknown to the guest. The guest also often expects that the owner will offer a better deal because the owner won”t have to pay a commission to an agency.
Having a slightly higher price isnt always bad: Although it is usually best to keep your unit priced about where other units are priced if you have a better unit you can often ask more. Imagine for a minute that you want to rent a condo at a specific resort. Lets say that you see two units that look similar but when you look at the price you notice that one is slightly more money. Chances are youll look the page over carefully and try to see why. Maybe the higher priced unit has more amenities or a better view. However if the units are still basically the same, the renter will naturally pick the one for less money.
If your unit is priced substantially less than other units in the project guests often wonder whats wrong with it? Although, some guests dont mind putting up with a few problems if the price is right, if your unit has serious problems, you should fix them.
Once youve come up with a range of rates to consider, I recommend that you start your advertising campaign at the lower range of prices. Its much easier to raise prices later than it is to lower them. If you start off listing your vacation rental too high, you might only get a few requests and youll be wondering whats wrong: It is your pictures? Your ad discription? Your terms? By the time you finally decide its your price may have forgone a lot of bookings. On the other hand, if you start a little low and find yourself turning away reservations, you can start increasing your rates and measuring the affect it has on the demand for your vacation rental.