Today on My Greenville Home Radio, Dan spoke with Laura Swartwood, short-term rental investor and founder of Vacation Rentals Greenville. Laura shared her approach to property management and provided helpful advice for anyone considering short term rental investments. Download the full episode above and keep reading for a summary.
Laura and her husband Jeff started renting out their own home before ever purchasing a rental property. When they realized how successful a short-term rental business could be in Greenville, SC, they decided to invest in their first rental-specific property and have been doing so since 2017.
Laura started off by sharing the difference between short-term and long-term rentals. Short-term rentals range anywhere from 1 day to 2 month visit durations, and long-term rentals typically exceed that timeframe. There are pros and cons of managing each, but Laura mentioned a few reasons why she prefers short-term. First, she pointed out that with shorter lease times, you as the owner can get in your property more often to assess for damage and make repairs. You are more in tune with what’s going on. Second, while she admitted short-term rentals are typically more time intensive, they make nearly quadruple the income of their long-term counterparts.
Additionally, Laura cleared up the often-confused terminology surrounding short-term rentals. “AirBnb” is actually a short-term rental site similar Vacation Home Rents or VRBO, though many people use the term to refer to all short-term rentals.
Laura stressed the importance of being prepared. Anyone interested in renting property should have a host of people on call, from cleaning services to plumbers to AC repairmen. The better you can establish structure and consistency with your business, the more hands-off it becomes.
In a competitive rental home market, a 5-star review is everything according to Laura. At Vacation Rentals Greenville, Laura says they go above and beyond the “basics” (a clean, modern, decorated house) and seek to provide personal touches such as a stuffed animal for younger guests or a box of local chocolates for vacationing couples.
Laura summarized her company’s philosophy and offered this advice: “Don’t be shortsighted with the customer experience; your guests will remember personal touches over a door that doesn’t lock perfectly. Treat your guests like you’d enjoy being treated.”
Laura together with her husband Jeff own and operate Vacation Rentals Greenville, a short-term rental and management company here in Upstate, SC. Interested in renting from Laura and Jeff? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Dan Hamilton is the founder of Hamilton & Co. and the lead listing agent for the team. He is the only agent in the Upstate endorsed by Shark Tank star and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. Additionally, Dan hosts a weekly radio show on The Answer 94.5 and 106.3 WORD giving tips and advice on real estate and is a frequent contributor for real estate on Your Carolina TV show on WSPA Channel 7.