Checklist for Turning Your Second Home into a Vacation Rental

Now that you own your dream vacation home, you want to start renting it out. After perusing the hundreds of articles on the Owner Community, you might still be a little unsure of where to begin.

Our Checklist for Turning Your Second Home into a Vacation Rental is a comprehensive look at everything you need to take care of before your first renters even set foot in your home.

Payments Prep

□ Determine your vacation rental goals and break-even point.

□ Set your pricing structure (nightly, weekly, monthly) and rates.

□ Devise a method for tracking and recording payments and expenses.

□ Determine your methods for accepting payment – credit card merchant account, PayPal,

checks, etc.

□ Develop a payment schedule.

□ Create a deposit refund letter.

Maintenance Prep

□ Find a reliable housekeeper or cleaning service.

□ Create a cleaning/housekeeping checklist.

□ Review cleaning checklist and process for check-in, checkout and keys with hired


□ Find a reliable handyman or maintenance person.

□ Create a maintenance checklist.

□ Complete maintenance projects and renovations.

Household Prep

□ Furnish your home based on target renters.

□ Create a list of items to purchase.

□ Purchase necessary items and save receipts! Also, try to keep all instruction booklets or

manuals together in a place where renters can easily find them.

□ Create a property inventory list of items in your home.

□ Purchase a physical guestbook.

□ Purchase a local attractions book.

□ Gather coupons, local attraction/activity brochures and menus from local restaurants and put them in a binder to create a local attractions book.

Advertising Prep

□ Review vacation rental listing websites (like and specialty websites to determine options for advertising your  property.

□ Set up accounts with 3 to 5 listing sites.

□ Create a headline, property description and location description.

□ Stage your home for photos.

□ Take multiple pictures with a digital camera at different times of day or hire a  photographer.

□ Create captions for each photo.

□ Set up a calendar.  If you are having trouble connecting your calendar to your listings, contact Customer Support.

□ Research virtual tour and video services.

□ Purchase domain/email address for personal website and professional email correspondence, if you desire.

□ Link to listing site(s) from personal website.

□ Have 3 people proofread your personal site and listings.

□ Send an email to everyone in your address book linking to your personal site and new listing(s).

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