Raking in bookings is one thing, but your bottom line can quickly get eaten up by too many outgoing expenses. If you’ll forgive me for the cliche, “a penny saved is a penny earned” when it comes to making profit as a vacation rental host.
No more old adages, I promise… Just seven great ways to save money on your vacation rental.
It’s important as a host or owner to get a handle on exactly what you’re spending as well as what you’re earning, so you know what your true net profits are. Itemise your expenses clearly so you can see where your money is going and in turn figure out the best ways to save.
Because your guests won’t have to face the electricity bill at the end of the month, they can blissfully neglect to switch lights off when they’re not being used. Hello, massive energy bill!
Making sure all your bulbs are energy-efficient will result in a great saving. For example, residential LED lights use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. (1)
Save money by buying in bulk at a discount rate. Toilet paper, soap, kitchen supplies, coffee and tea and any other items you regularly have to restock — provided they aren’t perishable — are top contenders. Try searching online (for example, Costco, Amazon, etc.) which also gives you the option of home delivery. Loyalty cards and rewards programs can also be worth using if you regularly buy from the same suppliers.
Another way guests can unintentionally cost you big dollars over time? Cranking up the heating or cooling… and then leaving it running while they’re out of the house. Investing in a programmable thermostat means you can set a comfortable average temperature, and/or manage temperature remotely.
Professional services are an investment, but if you choose the right ones, it’ll be an investment that pays off. Compare quotes and proposals from Airbnb service providers to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Regularly assess the results you’re getting from any service — whether it’s a cleaner or property manager or something else — and give them clear feedback on how they can be serving you better.
Supermarket shopping bags can be reused to line trash cans. Old clothes or linens you’re throwing out? Rags for cleaning. If you’re creative you might think of other things — like using coffee grounds to grow a garden, or jars as storage vessels or impromptu vases. These things can be visually subtle, responsible, and good for the earth as well as for your wallet.
It may seem obvious but it bears repeating: you need to regularly review what’s working and what’s not in your property, as this not only helps with netting those glowing reviews, but also with what you need to add, and what you can take away. If you supply breakfast, for example, but find that particular food items hardly get touched and keep getting thrown out, it’s definitely time to review the menu. Meanwhile these small things that add up to big dollars are worth the investment if they can win you higher rates and better guest satisfaction.