When you’re renting out a vacation property that’s right on the water, you’re well-positioned to offer an unforgettable experience for your guests. Travelers are willing to pay more for properties that are right on the water, so you can expect to charge more and keep your property occupied throughout the year.
To remain competitive, however, you have to offer all of the amenities that your guests will expect from a waterfront vacation rental.
We’re listing the top 5 things that you need to have at your property if you want to charge peak prices and keep your vacation home consistently rented.
1. Outdoor Cooking and Dining Amenities
When your property has a view of the water, your guests are likely to spend as much time outside as possible. They’ll want to cook and eat their meals outside. They’ll want to enjoy a morning cup of coffee while the sun rises and a glass of wine or iced tea in the evening as the sun sets.
Your vacation guests need a grill and they need to be set up for outdoor al fresco dining.
Most vacation homes already have fully equipped kitchens with all the necessary cookware and utensils, but your property will be more competitive and appealing if you have a grill as well.
Grilling is an easy way to prepare delicious meals and it’s an activity that some people especially enjoy when they’re on vacation. You can expect travelers to book a home with a grill over a home that doesn’t have a grill. That’s how important outdoor cooking and dining can be.
Grills are a major amenity because it allows your guests to spend quality time outside without leaving the home they’ve rented. It’s also a great way to save money. Why go to pricey restaurants when steaks and seafood can be grilled at home? This is especially attractive to guests in waterfront vacation homes because they have a view and easy access to the water.
Here’s a tip when you provide a grill – don’t forget to supply the charcoal or gas. You’ll also want to leave instructions for turning the grill on, operating it, and cleaning it.
No one wants to grill the food outdoors and then go inside to eat. Make sure there’s a cozy space for outdoor dining at your vacation property. This could be a large picnic table or a well-designed patio set with plenty of seating. Provide some picnic blankets, too, in case your guests want to make the food and then take it to the water for an easy waterfront meal.
2. Beach Chairs and Equipment
When your vacation home is on the water, you have to expect your guests to get into the water.
They’ll want to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and other water activities. Make sure you’re set up to provide that kind of fun. When your guests don’t have to travel with beach towels and snorkel fins, they can pack a little bit lighter.
Include the beach amenities you’re providing in your listing. This will let potential and confirmed guests know exactly what they can expect to find.
Some of the basics that you’ll want to offer include:
- Beach chairs. Offer a variety of sizes. Some people like to sit in low sand chairs as close to the water as possible. Others prefer a higher camping-style chair. Lounge chairs are also great for guests who want to work on their tans or take a nap with the sound of the water lulling them to sleep.
- Beach umbrellas or canopies. The sun is intense in our part of Florida, so offering your guests a bit of shade while they’re enjoying the water is a huge benefit.
- A cooler. Instead of running back to your house every time a drink needs to be freshened up, let your guests use a cooler to keep everything cold.
- Beach blankets and towels. Provide plenty of linens for your guests to enjoy while they’re on the shore. Stack some fresh beach towels outside, separate from the linens that are used indoors. Pack up some blankets or sheets as well so they’re ready to grab and go.
- Beach toys. If you’re renting out a family-friendly property, there may be children present who will enjoy balls, floats, sand pails, shovels, and other toys. A Frisbee is a great idea as well as badminton sets and other beach-friendly games.
A beach cart or wagon is also an excellent idea, especially if you live close to the water, but not directly on the water. If your property is more than a two or three-minute walk to the water’s edge, you’ll want to make it easy for your guests to drag all of their beach supplies to the spot where they set up.
This can be a simple wagon, and it will make your property much more appealing to guests.
Consider providing sunscreen and bug spray, too. This is something you know that all of your guests will need, and again – it’s one less thing for them to pack. Offer varying SPF levels. Consider leaving a few pairs of flip flops, sunglasses, and hats at the house too, so they can grab whatever might have been forgotten at home.
3. Fire Pit
If you have the space to provide it, a fire pit is a great amenity for waterfront vacation properties.
After a fun day of swimming, boating, and fun, your guests will love the idea of curling up around a fire to roast some marshmallows or make some s’mores. A lot of guests will look for this amenity.
If your home doesn’t have a fire pit and you are able to provide one, it’s a great idea to install one. You can advertise it and easily attract extra guests.
4. Instant Access to Swimming
On a waterfront property, guests want to go swimming. Maybe this is easy enough for you to provide. If you have a vacation home that’s right on the sand, you’re going to have an easy time attracting guests. If they can walk out the door, cross a few feet of beach, and hop in the water, you’re going to earn the highest possible rents and find that great guests are competing for your home.
Maybe your waterfront property is on a canal, or facing water that isn’t exactly right for a quick dip or a full day of swimming. Make sure you provide instructions on how to get to the water that’s right for swimming, wading, and shell gathering. That’s why people come here.
Indicate what kind of swimming access your property provides in the listing. Be clear about what your waterfront property is and is not. If there’s just a view but not a place to swim, let your guests know where the closest beach can be found.
If you have a pool, you’re really increasing your rental value and your ability to attract guests.
Pools are great amenities, especially for waterfront properties in Florida. Be sure you play this up in your listing. Provide photos. Make sure your pool meets all safety requirements, and provide the amenities that people want with pools, such as rafts and tubes as well as comfortable seating.
5. Boating and Watercraft Access
Leaving a boat at your rental property isn’t always a great idea. There’s a lot of liability that can surround allowing your guests to take out a watercraft that belongs to you.
Waterfront rental properties will likely attract people who love to boat, however, so you’ll need to be prepared for their requests. Your travelers are likely planning to spend some days on the water, and if you don’t have a boat available to them, you’ll want to recommend some local boat rental businesses that you trust.
You can also provide an array of different watercraft that are less risky and expensive than a boat. Your waterfront property might want to include:
- Jet skis
Leave some fishing equipment as well.
Mention in your listing how close boat rentals are to your property and whether you have a dock from which to launch or anchor a boat.
As an owner, it’s easy to overlook the basics such as beach towels. But, when you rent out a waterfront property, you have a specific set of experiences that you’re offering your guests. They’re going to expect that your waterfront property will equip them for the water.
We manage a number of vacation homes on the water, and we have seen how even the smallest amenity can make a big difference. Reviews will often mention the things that were provided, such as a grill and outdoor seating. You’ll find your calendar is fully booked with happy guests when you anticipate their needs.
You can’t possibly provide everything that every guest will want. But, you can plan ahead for the type of vacationers you’re receiving, and you can do everything possible to meet and even exceed their expectations.
We can help you create the best possible vacation experience on or off the water. When you’re ready to rent out a vacation home, contact us at Anchor Down Real Estate and Rentals.