What makes your vacation rental property stand out among the rest? To Travel Channel host and hospitality mogul Anthony Melchiorri, comfort and safety are the name of the game.
You have worked in the hospitality industry for years now. What are some best practices for protecting one’s vacation rental property from liability and risk?
The good thing is that every guest you accept into your rental home needs to use a valid credit card and driver’s license or passport to successfully rent out a vacation property. Therefore, this gives the landlord stability to make sure their guests behave, and if they don’t, they have recourse to put any damage onto guests’ credit.
As a landlord, you also have the responsibility of making sure your guests review the liability and risks on the registration forms and initialing their understanding beforehand. I know vacation rentals hit a spiked interest during spring break season for a lot of college kids, so if you’re located in this environment, a good way to avoid the risk of a rowdy crowd staying at your place is verifying on the listing site a specific age requirement for prospective guests.
How important is it to invest in property insurance when renting your vacation property?
I think it’s critical. It may be more expensive, sure, but why would you put yourself at risk from a liability standpoint? You can go to sleep at night knowing that if, god forbid, a guest starts a fire in your rental, you’re still covered. If you don’t buy insurance for your vacation rental property, then you’re not a businessperson, you’re just playing games. You must have insurance; it’s not even a conversation.
For those people who are new to the vacation rental sphere, what’s one piece of advice you’d give property owners who may be looking to rent out an entire property or even just a spare room?
The first priority for those just entering the vacation rental space is to go online and look up a course on how to become a property manager, as there are many of them out there to educate yourself with. The second priority from a guest standpoint is to treat the person staying at your vacation rental like they’re your grandmother that you haven’t seen in twenty years. If you’re looking at renting out your place as just a simple money grab, you’re not going to be successful long term. If you look at it through the eyes of “my grandma is coming over who I haven’t seen in years,” then you’re going to treat your guests the way you would treat your own family.
Long story short: Go online, learn what becoming a property manager is all about, invest in a partnership with these vacation listing sites so that you can start maximizing your property presence and your profitability, and treat every guest that enters your vacation home like family.
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