Beach Vacation Home

How to Transform Your Home
Into a Profitable Vacation Rental

Turning a house into a profitable vacation rental requires more than taking a few photos and creating a listing on VRBO or Airbnb. To run a successful short-term rental, you need to cater to vacationers’ tastes and keep the property clean and tidy between guests. These five steps will help you transform your residence into a thriving vacation rental that travelers love to visit.

1. Declutter and Depersonalize

Travelers want to feel like they’re staying in a suite designed just for them, not crashing in a stranger’s home. Perform a thorough decluttering and remove anything that isn’t useful to guests. This especially applies to personal décor like family photos and items with sentimental value. If you’re not willing to have strangers use it (and potentially break it), take it out. If you need to keep some personal items in the property, install a safe.

2. Simplify Cleaning and Upkeep

Renting a dirty home is the fastest way to garner bad reviews. Once you have bad reviews on your profile, it’s harder to attract guests and demand a profitable rental fee. If you want to protect the reputation of your vacation rental, cleanliness is paramount.


Hiring a cleaning service is one way hosts can guarantee a spotless home for guests, but not everyone wants to spend money on professional cleaning. If doing your own cleaning, keep cleaning products well-stocked so you never have to make a last-minute supply run. You should also invest in a high-quality vacuum cleaner. Check reviews to find the best model for your needs.

3. Create a Low-Maintenance Landscape

You don’t want to spend hours mowing your vacation rental’s lawn every weekend. Install hardscaping, mulch, and decorative pebbles to shrink the size of your lawn and create spaces where guests can socialize without trampling plantings. For color and interest, install shrubs, ornamental grasses, and native plants. has more tips for designing a low-maintenance landscape.


If you don’t know where to start, consult with a landscape designer to plan your rental’s outdoor living space. You’ll recoup what you spend on design and installation by not paying for a lawn service.

4. Install Security Features

Security should be a top priority for any vacation rental host. A secure home ensures guests feel safe and protects the property against break-ins. A smart keypad lock is essential for vacation rentals. Smart keypad locks let you issue access codes to guests, change codes between bookings, and lock the doors if your guests don’t. A monitored security system is another must-have, especially if the property is vacant between guests. If you want security cameras, keep them outdoors to protect guests’ privacy.


Don’t forget insurance! Vacation rental businesses aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance, so you’ll need additional coverage.

5. Stock the Essentials

Travelers expect certain amenities when staying in a vacation rental. Clean towels and sheets are an obvious one, but a lot of hosts forget to stock other basics like toiletries, cleaning supplies, and kitchen essentials. Stocking these items isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s a cheap way to land glowing reviews for your vacation rental property.


The guidebook is another item hosts shouldn’t overlook. Whether it’s a physical book or an app, your guidebook lays out house rules, shares insight into the local area, and provides guests with basic information like the WiFi password.


Don’t let these steps dissuade you from turning your house into a short-term rental. It’s true that it requires investment to get a vacation rental up and running, but after designing a rental property that’s clean and attractive, it won’t take long to turn a profit!