..or, the Best Way to Book your Vacation Rental Property.

Vacation destinations thrive on their yearly visitors and the boost they bring to the local economy. Destin is no different, with an estimated 80% draw of 4.5 million Emerald Coast visitors each year, the white sandy beaches surrounding our beautiful home are truly an attraction to outsiders.

There are literally thousands of options for these visitors to choose from when booking their vacation rental. Dozens of companies, such as Carter Beach Properties, offer a variety of vacation homes for those seeking the ultimate Florida getaway. The question is, what can you do set your rental apart from all the rest and how do you book your vacation rental property?

Below are the top ten reasons vacationers will (or will not) book your rental property. This isn’t make or break, but simply a list of suggestions to ready yourself for future seasons.

10. Take a Swim!
Vacation properties with private pools, or at the very least access to a nice, clean community pool, are some of the top choices for vacationers. Even with close proximity to the beach, vacationers are always seeking this amenity, especially if they have elderly individuals or children traveling with them. Hot tubs are also great, but not necessarily a selling point.

9. Number of Bathrooms
Believe it or not, one of the top questions vacationers ask is the ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms and how close the bedrooms are to the bathrooms. May seem like a mouthful (and a handful),but it’s important, especially for groups that have multiple couples and/or children. The more bathrooms a property has, and the more on-suite bathrooms, the better.

8. Decor
Vacationers are not fans of tacky decor- or lack thereof. Some of the most popular rental homes are tastefully decorated with themes (such as the beach or Mediterranean) and have a ‘personal touch.’ Carter Beach Properties receives feedback on each home, and one of the biggest complaints is if a home has absolutely nothing but simple furniture and white walls. Even if it’s something simple, such as picture frames or a few signature pieces in the kitchen, it could make or break the appeal of your home.

7. Photography
Just like when you’re selling your home, it’s important to have top-notch photography on your rental sites. Whether you have a property manager, such as Carter Beach Properties, or you’re managing your investment yourself through VRBO, a great deal of care needs to be put into how your property is presented. Did you take photos of the interior and exterior? Are the photos current? It’s important to represent yourself in the best light possible.

6. Is There Enough?
Especially when you have a large home, it’s important to make sure that your guests have enough of everything. This is something they remember and the first thing they won’t be happy with. If your home sleeps 21, make sure you have enough bedding, utensils, plates, cups, and seating to accommodate.

5. Internet
With national and international travel as popular and heavy as it is now, having wireless Internet available for guests is crucial. It’s almost expected- even if they have to pay a small fee. Hotels have it- and so should vacation rental homes. Guests will glance over homes without Internet in favor of units that have it readily available.

4. Negative vs. Positive Reviews
This one is pretty common- if a home is receiving a great deal of negative reviews, the chances of that property booking continuously will not be good. However, if most of the reviews are positive, a home is going to get more exposure and thus book more often. The best advice here is to keep guests happy and appease them as best as you can during the rental season.

3. Amenities
What’s that extra ‘something’ that guests look for in your home? Does your property management company offer local discounts and a free round of golf? Do you provide propane refills for guests using your gas grill? Did you give a bottle of wine to the newlyweds checking in for the weekend? Amenities are everything to vacationers- and the more you offer, the more likely you are to attract a larger audience to your home.

2. Pricing
Are you over priced? Under priced? Just right? Check into comparables in your area for the best gauge on how to price your vacation rental- and be sure to change your prices from season to season. People are always looking for the best deal, so it’s important to stay on top of rates and trends in your area.

1. Location, Location, Location!
The most important factor when people choose vacation rentals is based on location. Whether it’s proximity to local attractions, the beach, a ski resort, or other important factor- it’s all about where you live. Here in Destin, the most popular areas are closest to the beach and local shopping. Restaurants also attract a wide variety of vacationers and are always ideal to have close to your home. Research what is heavily rented in your area to find the best ‘bang for your buck.’


Believe it or not, the 2015 rental season is just around the corner- and Carter Beach Properties is already taking rentals for next summer! We’re also bringing more properties into our rental program. If you’re seeking an investment in the Destin area, now is the time!