It seems like it was not that long ago that our non-recourse loan lenders were talking about prepping your vacation rental property for winter, but here we are, already thinking about summer! They weren’t lying when they said “time flies.”

Summer is a big season for most vacation rental owners. You want to be sure that your rental is fully ready to withstand the heavy traffic of the season. Whether you’ve got a cabin at the edge of Yellowstone National Park in Cody or a beach house in Malibu, now’s the time to get everything ready. Take a look at how you can prepare your vacation rental property for summer, and if you don’t already have a vacation rental property, apply for a non-recourse loan with First Western Federal Savings Bank to begin investing in real estate!

Deep Clean the Property

This should practically go without saying, but when you’re getting your property set up for summer, a thorough cleaning is in order. Sweep away the cobwebs, dust from top to bottom, mop and vacuum (and consider getting carpets steam cleaned). Go through all the spaces and crevices you usually ignore, such as wiping out the cupboards and disinfecting the fridge. And since bathrooms are one of the harshest rooms to be judged, make sure your property’s bathrooms look impeccable (some updated decor never hurts, either).

Work on Property’s Exterior

Your vacation rental’s exterior is the first thing that guests will see upon arriving to your property, which is why you want to make an excellent first impression. But in addition to that, summer means spending lots of time outdoors. At the base level, your property should look great from the outside — swept up porch, tidied and trimmed up yard, and some hanging baskets or planted flowers are also a good call.

If you have a pool or hot tub, this is also the time to make sure everything’s working as it should, chlorine and other chemical levels are at a good place, any missing or broken tile is repaired, etc. Guests should have no problem using these amenities (you should probably update any instructions on using the pool and hot tub as well).

It’s also a good idea to have some fun yard or other outdoor activities available for guests. Frisbees, Nerf footballs, bikes, and even a volleyball net if your property has a big enough yard make for great summer time outside. A firepit is another excellent addition — make sure to equip your guests with logs as needed, benches or chairs for sitting, and pokers for s’mores as well. If you’re near the beach or lake, make some rafts for floating and skimboards for ocean fun available. All of these extras can go a long way in making your guests feel welcomed and excited for their summer trip to your vacation rental property.

Additionally, now is the time to do any last-minute fixes to your property’s exterior. If it’s time for a new roof or a new coat of paint, make sure you take care of these things in spring before potential problems arise in summer.

Take New Pictures

After a whole year has passed, it’s time to update your marketing, Airbnb, or VRBO posting with some new pictures. Oftentimes, a smartphone is not that great for taking high-quality pictures. Our non-recourse loan lenders recommend either investing in a nicer camera (if you’ve got the photography and editing skills to match), or to hire a real estate photographer to take some incredible photos that you can use. People choose your vacation rental property based on whether your property looks attractive and if they can picture themselves there. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, or in this case, perhaps even thousands of dollars.

Remodel as Necessary

If you’ve been looking to refinish the hardwood floor, replace the deck, retile the bathroom floor, or have any other projects in mind that should be completed before the busy season hits, spring is the time to put the ball in motion.

Figure out what projects are top priority, and which ones can wait another year. Set a timeline for when you want to have those future projects completed by, so that you won’t feel the time crunch as summer approaches.

Restock as Necessary

There are a ton of things to restock around your vacation rental property. Bedding, towels, and extra blankets should all be washed, dried, folded, and ready to go. Oftentimes, guests will forget some of their essentials or might experience problems with their luggage. If that’s the case, having some spare toothbrushes and toothpaste on hand can help them feel more at home and have one less thing to worry about.

Guests often rely on you for providing shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. You can either purchase individual samples of all three, or for a more eco-friendly (and budget-friendly) solution, purchase bigger bottles of everything and replace throughout the summer as necessary (or tell guests where they can find more).

Your guests might also love having some board games, playing cards, books, and movies on hand. This is especially handy when it’s a rainy day. If there’s something unique to your region, such as vineyards or orchards, consider welcoming guests with a treat to make them feel even more satisfied with their stay.

Check All Things Electric

No one wants to deal with burned out lightbulbs or malfunctioning ceiling fans when they’re on vacation. They want to not think about any of those responsibilities that they left at home. Do a thorough run-through of your vacation rental property to make sure outlets are working as they should, and all electric appliances are set to run without any hiccups.

Additionally, one of the first things your guests are going to look into when they arrive is your wifi. Make information readily available and easy-to-find, so that you not only can provide guests with internet access, but so you can also avoid having to deal with last-minute phone calls from guests who are trying to connect.

Ask Yourself the Final Question

Would you want to stay in your vacation rental property? Knowing what issues might come up later, will you still feel comfortable in this space? If the answer is yes and you feel completely satisfied with everything, then you should be all set for summer!

Ideally, by the time you get to the busy summer season, your vacation rental property is set up so efficiently that you barely have to make any changes or fixes. Preparing your vacation rental involves a lot of front-end work, but then getting to sit back and enjoy the summer yourself makes this form of passive income all the more worth it.

If you don’t have a vacation rental property or are looking to add another one to your investment portfolio, First Western Federal Savings Bank is your first stop. We are among the leading non-recourse loan lenders, offering you a personalized experience that other banks simply can’t provide. We’re here to help you from start to finish, and with a non-recourse loan, you can be well on your way to building up your finances and meeting your investment goals. Contact us today for home equity loans, IRA loan applications, refinancing options, and so much more.