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Owning a vacation property or holiday home can be a bit of a juggling act.

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Your natural instinct is to make your vacation property as good as it can be - something to be proud of.

You want your guests to walk in and say 'Wow!' and you know that impressing your guests leads to that all-important repeat business.

You need to strike a balance between pleasing your guests and making a profit and when you spend money on the property you need to see a return either in increased asset value or increased rental rates.

A few years ago I owned a pool home in Orlando - surely one of the most competitive vacation rental property areas. At the time games rooms were all the rage and much as they were expensive to install with all the necessary equipment, those who didn't make the investment soon found themselves struggling for bookings.

Guests are looking for more for their money and in a competitive market, you can't afford to disappoint.

That said, there are many things that you can do to your vacation property to improve your rental prospects without going to a lot of expenseand that is the main focus of my website, Decorating Vacation Property for Profit

Having worked in and around the travel business all my life, I know that one thing renters love is unique d├ęcor. They want a property that isn't run of the mill and more often than not, the choice of where to stay is made with the heart rather than the head. Something that stands out in the crowd always appeals, even if it is only something that to you, seems small.

A stunning piece of modern art on the walls, vibrant bed linen, striking cushions or pillows on an otherwise plain or neutral sofa - any of these might be the very thing that makes the would-be renter stop and look twice at your property when they are scrolling through a list of very similar properties.

Many of the sites where you can advertise your property for rental allow you only a small picture and brief description which will be shown in a large list of other properties of the same size. Look at one of these sites and see which properties make you pause and take a second look.

With Orlando properties, the vast majority show a picture of the pool - often a bad picture taken on a cloudy day and certainly not showing the pool at its best. We always found that showing a picture of anything other than the pool would immediately make our property stand out from the crowd. A picture of the view from the pool, a luxurious master bedroom, the impressive house frontage - anything really that wasn't the pool!

I am going away with my family over Christmas and we are renting a luxury apartment overlooking the sea. We searched extensively on the internet before settling on a particular block of apartments that ticked all the boxes in terms of facilities and location. There were two properties available in the block and we could see from the photos that they were, in respect of the floor plan, identical. The block is newly built and the kitchen, bathrooms etc are all exactly the same - as fitted by the builder.

The apartments are priced differently with one being quite a bit more expensive than the other. To me though it is worth the extra money and it is the one we have chosen - we know that we will enjoy staying there more than had we chosen the cheaper apartment. You can see that someone with a real sense of style was involved in the decoration. The bedrooms have attractive bedding, the kitchen has beautiful co-ordinating accessories, the lounge has lots of extra touches - cushions, ornaments, stunning art. It is quite possible that both apartment owners spent exactly the same amount finishing off their properties but there is no doubt in my mind which owner will be the more successful.

About the Author

Based in the UK, Andrea has worked in the travel industry all her life. Her own experience as a travel agency owner and vacation property owner have resulted in the inspiration for her website Decorating Vacation Property for Profit

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