There are a few things potential guests do when they visit a major rental site to find a vacation home. They might filter by bedrooms, dates, and proximity to activities in their desired location. One of the most important factors when booking a vacation is having the right amenities, and that can be different for each individual.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular amenities according to top rental sites, and explained why they’re so important to guests. If you don’t have that amenity yet, you can find out the cost of adding it to your property here.
Cover the Basics
Some amenities just aren’t optional. Most renters expect the following amenities to be available – so much so that they often don’t check to be sure that the property provides them! To avoid complaints about the amenities that have become so common guests have grown to expect them, make sure you supply these four if at all possible.
You may think this is a “you have it or you don’t” feature, but it’s worth providing a place to cook
even if you don’t have a full kitchen. 64% of travelers say they rent vacation rentals so they can cook their own meals. Address that need, and they’ll be pleased to book your property.
Don’t have a kitchen or the ability to install one? Rentals without a full kitchen can still take advantage of this amenity’s demand by adding a kitchenette that has as many features of a full-fledged kitchen as possible – letting you avoid a total remodel while still supplying guests with that make-or-break amenity.
Initial Cost: Roughly $79-99 per month
For most people, a web-free getaway is a hard sell these days. We’re all accustomed to being able to readily access our email, use video and online chat tools to stay in touch with our loved ones, and update our social media accounts – and not being able to do so can make an otherwise enjoyable vacation stressful.
Unless being “off the grid” is the unique proposition your remote property features, pretty much every guest will want fast – and free – Wifi they can access using their own laptops and devices.
3. Smart TV (in multiple rooms)
People love to unwind in front of the TV, even on vacation. For guests with children, this can be especially helpful. It’s tough to fill every hour of the day with activities, even in the most beautiful spots, so convenient entertainment is an essential feature to many travelers.
While most properties have a TV, but we feel that not every owner has to have cable or satellite to ensure that the guest has access to a variety of entertainment options.
A Smart TV is a great, cost efficient asset. These days, almost everyone has a log in for an App:
Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBO, Disney+, YouTubeTV...the list goes on and on. Providing Wifi and s Smart TV allows guests to log into app with the own login for entertainment. It's a win-win: the guests have their preferred programming and you're saving money by not paying for cable!
Comforts of Home - Basic Essentials
One of the reasons travelers choose vacation rentals over hotels is to enjoy the conveniences they like having available in their everyday lives. You can’t do laundry in a hotel room, but you can in most vacation rentals – and most guests are searching for a property that provides those home comforts.
4. Air Conditioning
Initial Cost: $3,500 – $7,200 | Upkeep: Roughly $70 per month (depending on house size)
Rentals in a consistently mild environment might not see this amenity as especially necessary. However, in locations that veer too far from a mild 75 degrees at any point, guests are going to want assurance that they’ll be kept comfortable.
It’s possible to include window units to meet this need temporarily and for less expense, but most guests prefer central AC and specifically search for that amenity. It’s a costly investment, but getting your property in front of a larger pool of travelers – while enjoying cooler stays in your property when you come to visit – may make it worth considering.
Don't live in town or have a property manager? We suggest purchasing a quarterly maintenance plan from your local HVAC company to ensure the unit is always in it's best condition. The cost of a maintenance plan is much better than a high, unexpected cost due to negligence!
5. Laundry Machines
Initial Cost: $500 -$2,000
For guests staying longer than a few days, and particularly for those traveling with children, a washer and dryer can make their stay far less stressful. Providing laundry facilities can also make your life as an owner easier by providing an on-site location to wash linens after guest stays.
Being able to wash that fancy dress they brought after an unfortunate spill can be the difference between a great vacation and a huge disappointment – and guests know it, which is why this is one of the amenities that can make or break a booking.
6. Pet Friendly
Guests – particularly long-term ones – love having the option to bring along their pet.
Opening your rental to pets greatly increases the number of people who are interested in booking your property, and fortunately there’s little to no cost to you.
Include a pet fee to cover the additional cleaning cost of vacuuming pet hair, and be sure your guests know that owners will be held liable for any damage their pets cause. You’ll get more bookings, and make plenty of well-behaved canine friends.
NOTE: We do not host pets at our locations, but do see how allowing them is beneficial for more bookings.
This convenience can be hard to acquire if your rental doesn’t already include it. If parking is technically available but you haven’t been willing to put in the additional effort to supply it to your guests, however, it may be time to reconsider.
Parking is one of the most searched-for amenities – so it’s well worth supplying it if at all possible. Could you move your storage to an attic or basement so that guests can park in the previously off-limits garage? Pay a $50 monthly fee (and raise your rental rates accordingly) to get a parking space in your complex? Make parking a priority and you’ll soon see an increase in your bookings.
Next Level Amenities
These amenities are highly desirable, but not every owner (or every property) can accommodate them. That said, if you have the space and the budget, these amenities will allow you to raise your rates and enjoy an even more luxurious home-away-from-home yourself when you visit your vacation rental. Some of these amenities are mostly beneficial only in vacation spots like the beach or the mountains.
- Porch or Balcony
- Pool Table
Not every property can provide every desirable amenity, but no matter your property type, Key Source Properties can help ensure you’re getting the best possible rental income every year. Thanks for reading!