We’ve all been there. You’ve read the reviews, poured over the pictures, and picked out your perfect Airbnb or VRBO from a long list of potential vacation rentals- only to arrive at your destination and find your short-term-rented slice of paradise or cozy cabin is in need of a little of TLC. The bathroom needs work, the kitchen is straight out of a 1960 Sears-and-Roebuck catalog, and that you’re pretty sure your phone’s flashlight isn’t supposed to serve as the primary source of light. Simply put, the home needs a makeover. Trust us, the owner of the Vacation Rental probably knows this and is cringing. Reviews matter in the Short Term Vacation Rental industry, and the bad ones are piling up. Time to pull the trigger on a renovation.

Return on investment (ROI) is the name of the game when owning and operating a vacation rental business, so you want to put smart money in smart places. That means get rid of VCR integrated box TV’s and shag carpeting, sure, but forward thinking vacation rental hosts are building the value of their rental by putting money into the bones of the home, simultaneously increasing the properties’ value (new renovations can have an 80 percent ROI upon selling) AND pushing the re-set button on your guests experiences and reviews.

Have You Ever Been in a Shabby Hotel? Would You Go Back?

It is important to remember that you are effectively competing with Hilton, Best Western as a host. With this in mind, preventive maintenance is absolutely mandatory. A plumbing service report is a time and money saver. Chances are you don’t really know the condition of your pipes, and your home inspector probably doesn’t either. Book a plumbing inspection with a licensed professional plumber and save yourself the insurance deductible for water damage. Knowing the pipes under and inside your home are in good condition can save you costly cancelled bookings during peak seasons, as well as a major headaches.

This goes for the wiring as well, if your home is an older one- insure you don’t have active knob-and-tube style wiring, or aluminum wiring, as these are a major fire hazard and liability exposure. Have a licensed, professional electrician come to your home and check out panels, outlets and wiring. These inspections are inexpensive and bring to light any lingering issues your home might be suffering from.

Adding Heating/Cooling Adds Value, and Expenses

Upgrading your vacation rentals ’ HVAC and Heating systems has a significant impact on your monthly expenses as guests commonly are not as responsible with the AC and Heat as they are in their own homes. Finally, a roof inspection is a worthwhile investment and can save you serious money by catching any leaks or damaged spots before they turn into major repairs.

Put your renovation budget in the right spots, and make the home safe and not prone to time-sucking, booking-losing repairs. With a focus on the items that make the home livable and secure, you’re keeping guests happy and secure, while maximizing your ROI on your short term vacation rental.