What Costs to Avoid as a Vacation Rental Owner

Kristen Martinelli

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There are a variety of areas in your vacation rental business that have potential savings. Before you even buy your property, there are costs to avoid. If you already have a property, there are savings in services and budgets to consider.


If you are looking to buy a property as a vacation rental owner, think about the location. Your property will be occupied how many weeks of the year? Answering this question shows your potential revenue. This amount illustrates your required budget and potential revenue.

Remember, your property’s mortgage requires payment, whether you have guests or not.

If you are looking to buy a property, consider if there is a better location. Would this rental have occupancy all year round? Or is there a specific guest that the area appeals to? Consider how many guests your property will book in the off-season.

Here is an example of how a location’s off-season effects vacation rental owner costs.

Avoid Fees

Now you’ve researched your vacation rental property’s location. See if there are any fees. Some townhouses, condominiums, and individual homes can have Homeowner Association fees (HOA).

Depending on the area, your monthly fees can range from $200-$400+. HOA fees tend to increase each year.

Checking to see if your future property has fees is a way to save money. Especially if you can landscape and maintain your home on your own.

Example of Most Expensive HOA Fees
Source: Trulia

Marketing and Advertising

Social Media Marketing

Vacation rental owners can use social media to build a brand. Sign up for free to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other platforms. Use social media to promote your property to future guests and your network.

You can update your network with tips and personal experiences. Or you can tell guests what you’ve updated with your property. Share images of your property throughout the year as secondary marketing.

Since social media is free, you cut back on your costs to promote your location, brand, and property. The more visibility your property receives, the more bookings.

Build and Maintain a Website

As a vacation rental owner, you need to have a website to showcase your property. Even better, is if you create a personalized website which reflects your brand. This would include a specific domain name and customized design.

If you use a Dashboard like Futurestay, all the features to design and maintain a website are in one place. You will save money when you do not have to pay:

  • Monthly domain fees
  • Hire outside contractors for coding
  • Templates and add-ons
  • Helpdesk services
Example of Website Costs and Maintenance
Source: Website Builder Expert

Vacation Rental Property Expenses


You can avoid major purchases in a vacation rental property by creating a budget. Put away a small amount of money each week or month. By the end of the year, you can buy furnishing and heavily used items. Such items that need replacing include coffee makers, china, and bedding/linens.

To save money on these items, you can also buy name-brand items at stores like Marshalls or Kohls. Or you can wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday for major savings.

For large pieces of furniture, consider buying from estate sales or consignment shops. Even individual sellers can have well-made, unique pieces.


Gardening and Landscaping

A landscaped and maintained yard adds appeal to a vacation rental property. To save money over time, you should plant drought-tolerant plants and perennials. This means that you will spend less money watering your garden and that the plants will come back each year.

Install a sprinkler system with a timer. Though this is an upfront cost, this will help with the efficiency of watering your lawn and gardens. Additionally, if you buy mulch or stone for garden beds, buy in bulk. Depending on the size of your vacation rental property, you can get more product for less money.

If you pay for a landscaping service, have them mow your lawn every other week. That way, your property will be manicured, but you are not charged every week for multiple services.

Do you manage your vacation rental remotely? If not, you can do most of the landscaping yourself. This includes mowing the lawn, fertilizing and seeding, and trimming branches and gardens.

Gathering your family and friends to spend a Saturday afternoon doing yard work. This is a cost-effective way to lower the amount of money you spend on landscaping.

Cleaning Services

If you buy the products for your cleaning services, buy multi-purpose materials in bulk. That way, the same cleaner is used in multiple areas of your home. Buy store-brand cleaning products. They cost 40% less than name-brand products, yet work just as well.

This concept applies to cleaning appliances. If you buy a vacuum with universal parts, they will be easier to exchange and use in the future.

How Do You Save Money As A Vacation Rental Owner?

Each vacation rental property and location is different. You can save from unnecessary costs. This can be as simple as replacing products or making long-term investments.

How have you saved money with your vacation rental? What advice do you have for those new to the industry? Share your thoughts and comments below.


About Futurestay

Futurestay pioneered the first operating system designed to empower rentalpreneurs with the connectivity and automation previously out of reach for everyday people running short-term rentals. Building on its promise to help rentalpreneurs succeed at any stage, Futurestay is so much more than a platform, offering anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a room to rent the chance to learn, earn and grow at every stage of their rentalpreneur journey.

For more information about Futurestay: 

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