Never stop experimenting — that’s the theme of this conversation with the people behind POP Rentals.
Sarah Nie is a professional vacation rental manager and director of guest experiences at POP Rentals, a company she founded in 2011 and will soon be operating with Karen Gleason of POP Realty Group. Their team helps anyone buy, sell, or rent in western North Carolina. With Sarah’s expertise in helping others take full advantage of technology and Karen’s 20+ years of real estate experience, they’ve managed to take their individual strengths and combine them into a business that is greater than the sum of its parts. They both have a few topics they brought to discuss how they’re managing their rental business, and how they continue to experiment with doing things differently to remain competitive and bring in more revenue.
Eliminating refundable damage deposits
Short-term rentals are often directly competing with the hotel industry. They have a lot of different offerings, but they still have to remain competitive. When they realized they weren’t making any money off of their refundable damage deposits, and rarely had to deduct from it. It was a big hassle. Instead, they decided to charge a small nominal fee to generate more revenue that can then be used to replace items when needed. This overall lowered the price tag for guests, gave the owners more cash reserves, and removed a lot of logistical headaches.
Consider merchandise services
This is something that, as an industry, we should be thinking more about. Merchandising services and amenities can be a huge way to increase revenue. If you can make arrangements for outdoor equipment, grocery shopping, itineraries, or providing baby equipment. You will have to experiment with pricing, but these are all services you can consider adding on for some extra cash flow.