We are building a beach house and from reading posts here, we really needed to have it posted already to start renting for the summer. Problem: construction won’t be done until the first week of May! I know I need to post but what are thoughts on showing pics of the home while it’s under construction? The exterior may look OK but taking shots of the rooms without drywall just won’t be appealing or show how bright and spacious it’s going to be. Suggestions? Wait for drywall or go ahead and list to start getting the bookings while we can? Thanks!!
Wait till it’s finished and all snagging work done. You list now, take bookings and then have an issue post construction a) your rating will be bombed and b) more importantly, you’re likely to seriously inconvenience any guests who have booked by cancelling their accomodation.
If you “really needed” to have it listed for the summer you should have started earlier.
Wait until the house is done and all systems have been checked BY YOU PERSONALLY to make sure that everything works as it should – ovens, stoves, appliances, heaters, AC units, water – everything. Do not advertise what you cannot absolutely provide; that would just set you up for failure.
You are right – if you wanted to list your house for rent this summer you should have had it built last year and ‘broken in’ per se. Then started listing last August for this year. Almost too late now. Most people have already booked that kind of vacation already. Especially house-sized rentals.
Plus you have the problem of finding someone to be your local “agent” and a local cleaner. The person guests can turn to for help and emergencies because you are not within a 10 minute drive of the place, and the person(s) who will clean and re-set the house between guests.
Better to use your beach house yourself this summer; then start listing it for next year.
Excellent point. We have built in an additional 6 week window so we would not rent until mid-June. Just hoping to get a jump on families planning entire week stays.
Thanks for the reply. We plan to move in for the month of May to inspect, furnish and prep for renting. Any reason not to post it at that time and hope for the best for June-August rentals? Like you said, families doing week-long stays will have already booked, but trying to determine if there is any drawback if it is ready/available for the remainder of this summer?
I’ve noticed a trend in the last two years that Airbnb guests (at least in the USA) have been booking closer to the date of arrival. Yes, I still get some planners but lately it’s been 2-3 weeks out.
No real drawback. Just don’t expect the world to beat a path to your door
And don’t forget hurricane season is coming. Semper paratus as the Coast Guard says! Have a plan in place. If we get hurricane notices, Air usually contacts us about re-housing guests and such, if there is time.
Got it, thanks so much, this is very helpful!
Good to know! Our area has a high occupancy rate so I think my best bet is to list once the house is done and post right away. Thanks so much for the info. - very hepful!
Wait until you are done. Done in like completely done, furnished ready to receive guests. Do you know how many times I heard my contrcators say, oh, these repairs/ remodeling/whatever will be done in 3 months.
They start to demolish knock off walls and they discover more stuff, more work etc.
So wait to be completely done, like someone told you above. Until you personally check and approve.
Then take pics, list and wait for guests.
No guest in his own mind would want to see a listing with pics of construction!
Just finished a bathroom, supposed to take 2 weeks, took 4! Had a booking and the 3 guys were very understanding… the contractor could get it through his head that every night it was closed I was losing money!
As others have said, wait until you’re 100% ready. Contractors are notorious for being wrong in their time estimates for one thing and for another, remember that you’ll get the new host boost when you first list and that’s not to be wasted.
Although some hosts find that people don’t book in advance, my own experience is that they book well into the future especially when they’re vacationing and have flights to book too. The variations between hosts and the lead times probably is partially dependent on the location.
I’m in a beach location too and it’s not unusual for guests to book many months ahead. So you might have missed the summer months already.
It always takes twice as long and cost twice as much. Do not list it until you are ready to rock and roll.
I can give you another point of view. I am also near a couple of nice beaches. I am already just about fully booked for the summer. From past experience, if I had a cancellation, chances are good that I could fill those slots up even if the cancellations were close to last minute. You could play with your rates if you were willing. There always seem to be people looking. You may not have missed out at all!
Yes, decided to wait until construction is complete and I very much appreciate the helpful advice here.
So sorry to hear! Yes, the longer it takes the more we are out of pocket!
Thanks for the reply. We have decided to wait until construction is complete. Fortunately, the vast majority of our vacationers are from within the state so they do drive as opposed to fly. We will set our expectations low so will be happy with anything we get! Hoping new construction/newly furnished will be appealing!
Thanks and agree! We are going to wait. Glad I asked this group.
Thanks for the “glass half full” perspective! We do have a high occupancy rate in our area so I think we will do OK. We will list the property after construction is complete and hope for the best! Thank you!
I’m getting a bathroom remodel right now and I am not reopening my listing until it is 100% done because I anticipate delays. My contractor is great and understands each day I’m closed I’m losing money, but we’ve still had a few minor delays in getting materials. I decided to have the work done during my market’s slowest month so I won’t take a huge hit.
Since I already have an established listing, I could have it open for bookings in March, assuming the bathroom will be done by then. But I don’t want to risk having to cancel guests. Since I rent an in-law apartment rather than a beach house, most of my bookings are within 2 weeks of check-in, sometimes 1-2 days before. My contractor was supposed to start the bathroom remodel on February 15, but he told me a few days before he wouldn’t be able to start until Monday. Lucky for me, I was able to open my calendar for President’s Weekend when everything else in town was booked. I got a booking within a few hours at my summer rates.
Even for a beach house, I imagine you can still get bookings 2-4 weeks out. A lot of folks plan last-minute vacations.