14 steps to launch your vacation rental business

To help you get started, we have prepared for you the 14 essential steps to launch your vacation rental business.


Find a market niche for your vacation rental

The first step in launching your vacation rental business is to find a market niche. This means finding a specific niche in the vacation rental market that meets the needs of a specific group of customers.

To find your niche, start by researching vacation rental trends on popular vacation rental platforms. This will give you an idea of the types of properties that are in high demand. You can also identify traveler needs, such as specific amenities and conveniences, that are important to your target market.

Once you've identified your target market, tailor your property to fit it. For example, if you're targeting families with children, make sure your property has kid-friendly amenities, such as a kiddie pool, playground or high chair. If you're targeting business travelers, make sure your property has an office and reliable Wi-Fi.

Finding your niche in the vacation rental market can help you stand out from the competition and attract repeat customers. It's important to do thorough research and understand the needs of your target market to ensure your property meets their expectations.

Choose a strategic location for your vacation rental

Choosing a strategic location is a crucial step to a successful vacation rental business. To choose the right location, it is important to consider several factors, such as local attractions, amenities and utilities.

The first step is to research the popular tourist areas in your region. Places that attract large numbers of tourists are often the best locations for your vacation rental. It is also important to consider the pros and cons of each location. For example, a location near a beach may be in high demand in the summer, but not so much in the winter.

It's also important to choose a location that suits your target market. For example, if you are targeting families with children, you may want to be close to amusement parks or playgrounds. If you are targeting business travelers, you may want to be close to business centers or conference centers.

You must also consider the competition. If your location is already saturated with similar vacation rentals, it may be difficult to succeed. On the other hand, if you find a lesser-used location, it can be an opportunity to stand out from the competition.

Finally, be sure to consider costs. The most popular locations may be more expensive, but may also offer higher revenue potential. Be sure to choose a location that fits your budget and offers viable profit potential for your vacation rental business.

Define your starting budget for your vacation rental

It is essential to have a clear idea of your start-up and recurring costs to avoid financial surprises.

The first step in defining your budget is to calculate the start-up costs. This may include the cost of buying or renting your property, renovations needed to make the property welcoming, and the purchase of furniture and equipment. It is important to be realistic when estimating costs and to plan for unexpected expenses.

Once you have an idea of the start-up costs, you need to develop a monthly budget for recurring costs. This may include utilities, maintenance, marketing and operating costs. Be sure to consider all costs, including those that might be easily overlooked, such as taxes and insurance costs.

It is also important to have sufficient funds to cover expenses until your business becomes profitable. Generally, it takes a few months to reach profitability, but this can vary depending on several factors, such as seasonality and competition.

Finally, make sure your budget is realistic and takes into account the short and long-term costs of your vacation rental business. A well-planned budget can help you avoid financial problems in the future and focus on growing your business.

Obtain the necessary authorizations for your seasonal rental

The rules and regulations for vacation rentals vary depending on your region and country, so it is important to find out what rules apply in your geographic area.

You need to find out about local rules and regulations for vacation rentals. You can check with local authorities or homeowners' associations. Rules may include safety, health or zoning requirements, as well as taxes or permit fees.

Once you understand the applicable rules and regulations, you can begin to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from local authorities. This may include obtaining a rental permit, business license or liability insurance.

It is important to follow all applicable rules and regulations or you may face fines or other penalties. Also, be sure to update all necessary permits and licenses annually, as rules can change over time.

Finally, keep in mind that obtaining the necessary permits can take time and financial resources. Plan ahead to avoid unnecessary delays in launching your vacation rental business.

Create a website for your vacation rental

First, choose a domain name and a web host: it is important to select a domain name that is easily memorable and reflects the identity of your vacation rental business. Next, choose a reliable web host to host your website.

Next, create your website design: develop an attractive, easy-to-navigate design for your website. Use quality images to showcase your properties and include detailed information about the services and amenities you offer.

Also integrate booking features: include an online booking platform on your website to simplify the booking process for your customers.

Also, optimize your website for search engines: use appropriate keywords in your content to help your website appear in search results for keywords related to your vacation rental business.

Finally, promote your website: use social networks, email marketing and other channels to spread the word about your website and attract new customers.

Create a quality ad for your vacation rental

The creation of a quality vacation rental ad is essential to arouse the interest of customers and increase the number of reservations. Here are a few steps to follow to create a good ad:

  • Opt for professional quality photographs: sharp, bright shots of your property will help attract the attention of potential clients and highlight the special features of your rental.
  • Write a detailed and enticing description: A thorough and accurate description of your property will give guests a clear picture of their experience during their stay. Be sure to mention amenities, unique features of your rental, and local attractions.
  • Add location information: It is essential to provide information about the location of your property, especially about local tourist attractions, activities and services available in the area.
  • Use relevant keywords: use appropriate terms in your ad to help customers easily find your property when they search online.
  • Showcase your competitive advantages: highlight the strengths of your property over other similar rentals in the area, such as competitive rates, exclusive amenities, or a prime location.

By creating a quality listing for your vacation rental, you can attract more guests and increase the number of reservations. Don't forget to highlight the special features of your property and provide detailed information to help guests make an informed decision.

Setting the price of your vacation rental

When looking to set the rate for your vacation rental, it's essential to consider several things to determine a fair and competitive price. First, it's important to research the rates of similar properties in your area, using vacation rental platforms to obtain pricing data.

Next, you should consider seasonal factors, as rates may vary depending on the season. For example, during peak periods, rates may be higher, while during off-peak periods they may be lower.

It is also important to take into account all the operating costs of your property, such as maintenance costs, taxes and utilities, to establish a fair and viable price.

Also, to encourage customers to book longer stays, you can offer discounts for multi-night stays.

Finally, it is crucial to adjust rates regularly to remain competitive in the market, based on market trends and demand.

Set up a reservation system for your vacation rental

First, it's crucial to select a reliable online booking platform that is suitable for your vacation rental business. Next, you need to create an availability calendar for your property, which will allow customers to book based on the availability of the property.

It is also important to define rates for different times of the year and for different lengths of stay, as well as to set up payment options to allow customers to pay securely online.

In addition, we recommend that you set up booking notifications to inform you of new bookings and to send automatic booking confirmations to customers. Finally, it is essential to provide quality customer service to answer questions and resolve customer issues during the booking process.

Establish rental rules for your vacation rental

First and foremost, it is important to define the maximum number of guests allowed in your property, in order to avoid any problems of over-occupation. Also, you will need to decide whether or not to allow pets in your property and establish specific rules for their behavior, as well as any additional fees.

In addition, you will need to decide whether your property is a smoking or non-smoking area and establish rules to prevent smoke damage. You will also need to set quiet hours to prevent noise pollution for neighbors and other guests.

Finally, it is recommended that you require a security deposit to cover potential damage to your property and establish rules for cleaning your property before and after each stay.

It is crucial to clearly communicate all of these rental rules to your guests prior to their arrival and ensure that they are in agreement with them. By establishing clear rules and enforcing them, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests staying at your vacation rental.

Set up a cleaning and maintenance system for your vacation rental

Here are some steps to set up an effective cleaning and maintenance system:

  • Establish a cleaning schedule: set up a cleaning schedule for your property to ensure it is always clean and ready for guests.
  • Hire a professional cleaning company: Hire a professional cleaning company to clean your property between guest stays.
  • Set cleaning rules for guests: Set cleaning rules for guests, including the requirement that they leave the property in a clean and orderly condition before they leave.
  • Provide cleaning equipment: Provide cleaning equipment such as vacuum cleaners and cleaning products to guests to facilitate cleaning the property during their stay.
  • Inspect the property regularly: Inspect the property regularly to identify potential problems and repair them quickly before they become more serious.

By implementing an effective cleaning and maintenance system for your vacation rental property, you can ensure guest satisfaction and extend the life of your property. Be sure to set clear cleaning rules for guests, provide adequate cleaning equipment, and regularly inspect the property to identify and quickly resolve potential problems.

Set up a key delivery management system for your vacation rental

The first thing to consider is how keys will be handed out to guests. You'll need to decide whether you'll hand over the keys in person or use a key box or electronic locking app to allow guests to enter the property.

In addition, it is crucial to clearly communicate instructions for picking up the keys. It is important to specify the times of key collection as well as the contact information in case of problems.

It is also recommended that a back-up solution be provided in the event of a problem with the key delivery system. It is important to ensure that guests can access the property even if there is a problem with the key delivery system.

Finally, it is essential to have key security measures in place. Keys should be stored securely to prevent theft and loss.

By implementing an effective key delivery management system, you can ensure the security of your property and facilitate the arrival of guests. Be sure to clearly communicate instructions for key pickup and provide a back-up solution in case of a problem.

Welcome your guests and provide them with the necessary information

Be sure to be on time by being present at the agreed upon time to greet your guests and hand over the keys.

Then provide a tour of the property to show your guests how to use the appliances, heating and cooling system, and house rules.

It is also recommended that you provide information on local attractions, restaurants, stores and services available in the area. This will allow your guests to make the most of their stay.

Provide emergency phone numbers to help clients quickly contact emergency services if needed.

Finally, be available to answer your guests' questions during their stay and provide them with the information they need to fully enjoy their stay.

Get positive feedback from your customers for your vacation rental

First essential: Make sure your customers receive excellent customer service during their stay so that they are satisfied with their experience.

Then, encourage your customers to leave feedback by sending them an email after they leave asking them to leave a review.

It is also recommended that you make the process of writing an assessment easy for your clients by providing direct links to assessment platforms and providing clear instructions for writing an assessment.

Also, respond to customer feedback, both positive and negative, to show that you are attentive to your customers' needs and take their feedback into account.

Finally, use the feedback to identify potential problems and improve your service for future customers.

Promote your vacation rental

Use social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote your property and reach a wider audience.

Also use vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com and HomeAway to reach a wider audience and to make booking easier.

It's also a good idea to create a blog for your vacation rental property to share travel tips, local activity ideas and travel stories that travelers are interested in.

Also use email marketing to send special offers and promotions to your regular customers and to inform potential customers of special offers.

Finally, work with local partners such as restaurants, stores and tourism businesses to promote your property and offer special deals to guests.

By promoting your vacation rental property, you can attract new customers and increase your bookings. Be sure to use social media, vacation rental platforms, your blog, email marketing and work with local partners to promote your property.

Have we piqued your curiosity?

Discover Swikly, the #1 online bonding solution for rental professionals!

Legal information

Editorial references

The swikly.com website is published by SWIKLY, a simplified joint stock company with a capital of 10,000 euros.
SWIKLY is registered in the Lyon Trade and Companies Register under number RCS 819 514 076
The head office is located in Lyon (France), 92 Cours Lafayette 69003 - Telephone: +33 4 20 88 00 48 - email: contact@swikly.com
Director of publication: Mr. Shaun WOURM, President of SWIKLY - shaun.wourm@swikly.com.
The hosting of the Site has been entrusted to Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited (Microsoft AZURE offer), whose registered office is located at DUBLIN 18 99000 BLACKTHORN ROAD, Ireland, registered in the Trade and Companies Register of "Foreign company n/immat.RCS" under the number 419 423 728, reachable by phone at +353 1850 940 940.
SWIKLY - April 2016 - All rights reserved

Personal data

The creation of a personal account and the use of the site imply the collection of personal data and the processing of data.
The purpose of this processing is the management of the Swikly smarphone Application, of the Website Services and the activity of the SWIKLY company. This processing of personal data is the subject of a declaration to the CNIL by the Company under the number 1948037.
The following personal data of the user is accessible to any other registered user:
-first name and first letter of a user's name.
The following personal data of the user is accessible to any user who has accepted a Swik of the said user concerned:
-first name, last name and reputation of the user.
Personal data is transferred by the Company to its service providers and subcontractors, in accordance with the aforementioned declaration made to the CNIL. All access to the user's personal data by these subcontractors and service providers is subject to the use of a login and password, with the data also being transmitted via an encrypted link.
No personal data is collected for purposes other than those mentioned above, nor is it passed on to third parties without your consent or used without your knowledge.
In accordance with the law n°78-17 of January 6, 1978 modified, relating to Data processing, the Files and Freedoms, you have a right of access, of modification and suppression of the personal data concerning you (art.34 of the law).
These rights can be exercised with the Data Controller:
Service CNIL, Société SWIKLY - 12 rue de la Barre 69002 LYON, France - contact@swikly.com.
You will find all the information concerning your rights, duties and the protection of personal data on the website of the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés: http://www.cnil.fr
When you visit the Site, a cookie is placed on your computer. The Company uses cookies to enable and facilitate electronic communication, to provide features tailored to the needs of Users. The cookie is used to identify the user at each of his connections, and thus facilitates his access to the Service. The user can refuse cookies when accessing the smarphone Application or by changing the configuration of his browser. This may however alter the functionality of the smarphone Application, which the User accepts.


To report any errors or anomalies on the site:
Webmaster: contact@swikly.com

Cookie policy

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file and covers all types of tracers "deposited and read, for example, when a website is consulted, when an e-mail is read, or when software or a mobile application is installed or used, regardless of the type of terminal used". 

It may be placed by the server of the site visited or by a third-party server (advertising agency, web analytics service, etc.). Cookies do not compromise site security.

Cookies deposited by Swikly

When you connect to our Site, we may install various cookies on your terminal. The cookies we issue allow us to :

- Maintain the proper functioning of the Site

- Memorize the selected language version of the Site

- To record and adapt the functionalities of the Site according to your browsing preferences (identification, adapting to the types of devices used)

- manage the acceptance and retention period of cookies

In accordance with regulations, cookies have a maximum lifetime of 13 months.

Cookies issued by third parties

- Analytics cookies:

They enable us to track the number of visitors to our site and your browsing habits (Google Analytics cookies), and to generate statistical data on site usage. This enables us to improve the Site's performance.


- Cookies placed by our advertising partners : 

These cookies enable us to identify your centers of interest, and thus offer you relevant advertising content when you browse other sites. 

If you do not authorize these cookies, you will be subject to less targeted advertising.


- Social network cookies :

While browsing our Site, you may click on the "social networks" buttons to view our Facebook and Youtube profiles. These third-party applications may use cookies to offer you targeted advertising. By clicking on the social network icon, the latter may identify you. If you are connected to the social network while browsing our Site, the sharing buttons allow you to link the content you consult to your user account.


We cannot control the process used by social networks to collect information relating to your browsing on our Site. We therefore invite you to consult their personal data protection policies to find out how they are used and what browsing information they may collect.


- Cookies set by Hotjar


We use Hotjar to better understand our users' needs and optimize the www.swikly.com website.. Hotjar is a technological service that helps us to better understand our users' experience (for example, time spent on a page, links clicked, and more generally browsing habits, etc.). This enables us to improve our service. The data collected by Hotjar through cookies relates to the behavior of users and their devices (in particular the device's IP address captured and stored only in anonymous form), device screen size, device type (unique identifiers), browser information, geographical location (country only), preferred language used to display the website). Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymous user profile. Neither Hotjar nor Swikly will ever use this information to identify individual users or associate it with other data. For more details, please consult Hotjar's privacy policy

Cookie management

When you visit our site for the first time, a cookie banner will appear, asking you to consent to or refuse the use of cookies.

Your rights

In accordance with the French Data Protection Act of January 6, 1978, as amended, and the RGPD, you have the right to access, rectify, oppose, delete and limit information from cookies and other tracers. To do so, please contact contact@swikly.com.

Free guide:

The 2023 vacation rental PMS