Are you ready to enter the lucrative world of vacation rentals? According to recent statistics, the global vacation rental market is predicted to grow by double-digits in the coming years. In fact, the industry is estimated to increase from $87.09 billion in 2020 to $113.9 billion by 2025, representing a CAGR of 5.5%. With this kind of growth, it's no surprise that many entrepreneurs are considering starting their own vacation rentals hotel businesses.

However, launching a successful vacation rentals hotel business is not as simple as buying a property and listing it on Airbnb. It requires careful planning and execution, as well as significant investment. But don't let that discourage you - with the right preparation and mindset, you can turn your vacation rentals hotel business into a profitable venture.

In this blog post, we'll walk you through a 10-step checklist to help you start your vacation rentals hotel business. From researching and brainstorming business ideas to marketing and promoting your new business, we've got you covered. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!

Before we dive into the checklist, let's take a closer look at the vacation rental industry. In recent years, the industry has exploded in popularity due to the rise of the sharing economy and the growing preference for unique and personalized travel experiences. Vacation rentals offer travelers the opportunity to stay in a comfortable home-like environment, often with more space and amenities than a traditional hotel room.

As a result, vacation rentals now account for a significant share of the overall lodging market. In the United States, for example, Airbnb alone is expected to generate $8.5 billion in revenue in 2021. And worldwide, the number of vacation rental users is forecast to reach 594.14 million by 2024.

So, what does this mean for you? Simply put, the demand for vacation rentals is there. But in order to succeed in this competitive market, you need to have a solid business plan and be prepared to invest time and resources into your venture. Let's get started!

  • Research & Brainstorm Business Idea
  • Evaluate Business Opportunity
  • Create Detailed Business Plan
  • Assess Funding Needs & Acquire Financing
  • Source & Secure Property Location
  • Build Financial Model & Estimate Operational Costs
  • Obtain Necessary Business Licenses & Permits
  • Develop Comprehensive Risk Management Plan
  • Invest in Necessary Resources & Employees
  • Market & Promote New Business

1. Research & Brainstorm Business Idea

The first step towards opening a vacation rentals hotel business is to carry out research and brainstorm on the business idea. It is crucial to determine if there is a market for your vacation rentals in the chosen location. This can be done by carrying out market research to identify the demand for vacation rentals and the preferences of potential clients in the area. It is also important to brainstorm on the unique selling points and features that will differentiate your vacation rentals from others in the market.

  • Conduct market research to determine the demand for vacation rentals in the chosen location
  • Identify the preferences of potential clients in the area (e.g. luxury, budget-friendly, pet-friendly, family-friendly, etc.)
  • Determine the unique selling points and features that will differentiate your vacation rentals from others in the market

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider offering unique amenities such as a private pool or beach access to differentiate your vacation rentals from competitors.
  • Research your competitors to identify any gaps in the market that your business can fill.
  • Engage with potential clients on social media to get feedback on their vacation rental preferences and needs in the area.

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2. Evaluate Business Opportunity

Before investing time and money into starting a vacation rentals hotel business, it is important to evaluate the business opportunity. Here are the key steps to evaluate the business opportunity:

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research and collect data on the target market, potential competitors, and demand for vacation rentals in the desired location. Use this information to determine the viability of the business opportunity.
  • SWOT Analysis: Conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to identify potential challenges and opportunities for the business.
  • Financial Projections: Create financial projections based on estimated costs, revenue, and profit margins to determine if the business is financially feasible.
  • Industry Regulations: Research and comply with all applicable industry regulations, including zoning laws, building codes, health and safety regulations, and licensing requirements.
  • Customer needs and preferences: Determine the needs and preferences of potential customers and tailor the business offerings to meet those needs.
  • Marketing and advertising: Develop a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy to reach target customers and promote the business.

Implementing these steps will help you fully evaluate the business opportunity and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with starting a vacation rentals hotel business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider testing the market by starting a small vacation rentals business before scaling up to a larger operation.
  • Take advantage of online booking platforms and travel websites to reach a wider audience and increase bookings.
  • Consider partnering with local attractions and businesses to offer packages and promotions for guests.

3. Create Detailed Business Plan

Creating a detailed business plan is crucial to the success of any business, especially when it comes to launching a vacation rentals hotel business. This plan should outline every aspect of the business, including the marketing strategies, operational procedures, and financial projections.

To create a comprehensive business plan, consider breaking it down into the following chapters:

  • Executive Summary: This section should briefly describe the business, its mission, and highlight its unique selling points. It should capture the reader's interest and provide a brief overview of the business plan.
  • Market Analysis: This section should identify the target market, key competitors, and analyze the current market trends and demand for vacation rentals hotels.
  • Marketing Strategies: This section should outline the specific marketing tactics and strategies to attract customers, including online marketing, social media, and advertising. It should also describe how to build strong relationships with customers.
  • Operational Procedures: This section should describe how the hotel operates, including the services offered, pricing, payment methods, and room cleaning procedures. It should also highlight the management structure, staffing plans, and employee training programs.
  • Financial Projections: This section should include sales projections, break-even analysis, cash flow projections, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets. It should demonstrate the financial viability of the business and provide clear financial objectives.

    Tips & Tricks:

  • Research: Gather as much information as possible about the vacation rentals hotel industry and the local market before creating the business plan.
  • Be specific: Include specific details about the target market, competition, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Review: Review the business plan regularly and update it as needed to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.

Overall, creating a detailed business plan is essential to help you launch a successful vacation rentals hotel business. It can help you identify potential challenges, set clear objectives, and provide a roadmap for achieving your goals.

4. Assess Funding Needs & Acquire Financing

As you plan to open a vacation rentals business, it is essential to assess the funding requirements. The amount of funding you need will depend on various factors, including the size of the property, renovation costs, permits, equipment, inventory, staff, marketing, and advertising. To calculate your financial needs, determine your startup costs and ongoing expenses.

Startup Costs include:

  • Property purchase or lease costs
  • Property renovation and decoration costs
  • Furniture, linens, and other supplies
  • Equipment, such as laundry machines, refrigerators, and kitchen appliances
  • Permits and licenses
  • Initial marketing and advertising
  • Legal fee

Ongoing Expenses include:

  • Utilities and other utility bills
  • Staff salaries
  • Property maintenance
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Continuing education and organizational memberships
  • Insurance
  • Taxes and financing costs

Once you have accurately calculated your funding needs, it is time to acquire financing. There are various funding sources, including:

Self-Funding involves putting your savings or assets toward funding the business.

Debt Financing involves getting a loan or line of credit from a lender such as a bank or online lender who specializes in small business loans.

Equity Financing involves bringing on investors who will receive a share of the business in return for their investment.

Crowdfunding involves asking for small investments from a large number of people through online platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Tips & Trics:

  • Do not overestimate your funding needs, but also do not underestimate them either.
  • Be prepared with a detailed business plan, financial projections, and other relevant documentation when presenting your case to lenders or investors.
  • Consider alternative financing options such as grants, small business administration loans, or credit unions if traditional options are unattainable.

Acquiring funding can be a daunting task, but with a solid business plan and projections, along with a thorough understanding of your financial requirements and options, you can secure the necessary funding to successfully launch and grow your vacation rentals hotel business.

5. Source & Secure Property Location

The success of your vacation rental hotel business depends significantly on the location of your property. Therefore, it is essential to source and secure a fitting location before you commence your business. Here are some steps to help you find the perfect location for your vacation rental hotel business.

  • Identify your target market: Start by defining your target market. Are you targeting families, business travelers, or tourists? Different markets will prefer different locations. For example, tourists will prefer locations close to attractions, while business travelers will want hotels near conference centers or airports.
  • Research Locations: Conduct research to identify potential locations for your vacation rental hotel business. Narrow down your search to areas that suit your target market and have high demand for lodging services.
  • Contact Property Owners: Reach out to property owners in your target locations and make inquiries about rental options. You can use various platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO,, and Craigslist to find properties for rent.
  • Visit Potential Locations: Before settling on a location, visit the property with a trusted contractor to evaluate the building's condition, safety, and overall infrastructure. Consider factors such as the proximity to local attractions, accessibility, and security when making your decision.
  • Secure Location: Once you have found the right location, secure it by signing a lease agreement or purchasing the property. Ensure that all legal requirements, such as permits and taxes, are in order before signing the lease agreement.

Tips & Tricks

  • When comparing potential locations, consider factors such as traffic flow, proximity to public transportation, and parking availability.
  • While on location visits, take photographs and notes of the surroundings to help you make informed decisions during the selection process.
  • Research local regulations regarding vacation rental hotels to avoid legal issues in the future.

Sourcing and securing a fitting location is crucial in starting your vacation rental hotel business. Take your time, conduct research, and evaluate all potential locations to ensure that you find the right property that will cater to your target market's needs.

6. Build Financial Model & Estimate Operational Costs

As you move closer towards making your vacation rental hotel business a reality, building a financial model and estimating operational costs will become essential. The financial model will help you understand your projected revenue, expenses, and profitability based on your assumptions, and estimating operational costs means making sure you have an accurate understanding of the funds needed to keep your business running.

Here are the key chapters to consider when building your financial model and estimating operational costs:

    Financial Model

  • Understand Your Revenue Streams: Vacation rental hotel businesses have various revenue streams such as room fees, cleaning fees, maintenance fees, occupancy taxes, etc. Analyze your market and competition to determine the most appropriate pricing for your business.
  • Identify Fixed & Variable Costs: Fixed costs include expenses that remain constant regardless of your business' level of operations. These costs can be property rent, utilities, insurance, etc. Variable costs, on the other hand, are dependent on your business operations, such as cleaning, maintenance, and repair costs.
  • Estimate Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures are typically one-time investments in assets like furniture, linens, kitchen equipment, and renovation costs. These expenses need to be factored in to determine your initial funding requirement.
  • Calculate Profit & Loss Statement: A Profit & Loss statement will help you determine your business's profitability by providing insight into your revenue and expenses over a specific period. From this statement, you can also figure out your break-even point or where your business becomes profitable.
    • Operational Costs

  • Staffing Costs: Ensure to build an efficient staffing plan that covers all your essential requirements to run your hotel business. Staffing requirements may include receptionists, cleaning personnel, maintenance staff, security personnel, etc.
  • Supplies: Supplies such as cleaning products, toiletries, kitchen supplies, laundry supplies, etc., must always be in stock. Determine the inventory levels needed to keep your business running and calculate the cost of replenishing them regularly.
  • Utilities & Maintenance Costs: Your business will need electricity, gas, water, and other essential utilities, which will involve monthly expenses in maintenance fees, repairs, or upgrades. Ensure to determine these costs and include them in your financial plan.
  • Building a reliable financial model while estimating operational costs is critical and can often be time-consuming and complex. Consider hiring a professional consultant if needed, as it might give you valuable insights into planning better.

    7. Obtain Necessary Business Licenses & Permits

    Before starting a vacation rentals hotel business, it is important to obtain the necessary business licenses and permits. This will help you to run your business legally and avoid any potential legal problems in the future. Here are some of the important licenses and permits that you need to obtain before you start your vacation rentals hotel business.

    • Business License: You need to obtain a business license from the local authorities. The requirements for obtaining a business license may vary from location to location. Therefore, you need to check with the local authorities to find out what documents you need to submit and what fees you need to pay.
    • Occupancy Permit: Most cities or counties require an occupancy permit for any business that will have guests stay overnight. You should check with your local zoning and planning department to determine if an occupancy permit is needed.
    • Building Permit: If you plan to build a new vacation rentals hotel property or make any significant structural changes to an existing structure, you will need a building permit. You must submit the building plans to the local building department and pay the required fees.
    • Food Service Permit: If you plan to serve food in your vacation rentals hotel, you need a food service permit. The permit requirements and process vary depending on the location. Typically, you will need to pass a health inspection and submit an application to the local health department.
    • Tax Registration: You will need to register your vacation rentals business with the appropriate tax authority. You may need to obtain a tax ID number, sales tax permit, and other tax-related licenses and permits.

    Tips & Tricks

    • Research and confirm what licenses or permits apply to your specific vacation rental hotel business as this vary depending on the industry and location.
    • Complete all necessary paperwork and fees as soon as possible to avoid any delays in opening your business.
    • Don't hesitate to ask assistance from business experts or lawyers when obtaining licenses or permits as this help you navigate any complex paperwork or procedures with ease.

    In conclusion, obtaining the necessary business licenses and permits is crucial to operate your vacation rentals hotel business legally. Make sure to research about what licenses or permits are needed in your area, to submit all important requirements and fees, and don't hesitate to seek for guidance of professional business consultants, lawyers to make sure you are complying with all necessary or potential compliance issues that might arise in the future.

    8. Develop Comprehensive Risk Management Plan

    A comprehensive risk management plan for a vacation rentals hotel business is an essential component to ensure the success of the venture. It helps in identifying and mitigating potential risks that are associated with the business. Here are the steps to develop a comprehensive risk management plan:

    • Identify potential risks: Before starting the business, it is important to identify all the potential risks that are associated with it. Some of the common risks that may affect the vacation rentals hotel business include property damage, theft, natural disasters, security risks, and legal liabilities.
    • Analyze risks: After identifying the risks, the next step is to analyze them in detail. This will help in understanding the potential impact of each risk on the business. An effective risk analysis will help in prioritizing the risks based on their severity and likelihood of occurrence.
    • Develop risk mitigation strategies: Once the risks have been analyzed, it is important to develop risk mitigation strategies. These strategies should address each potential risk and outline the actions that can be taken to reduce or eliminate its impact on the business.
    • Implement the risk management plan: After the risk management plan has been developed, the next step is to implement it. This involves putting the risk mitigation strategies into action and closely monitoring the progress to ensure their effectiveness.
    • Review and update the plan: A risk management plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains effective. As the business evolves, so do the potential risks associated with it. Therefore, it is important to keep the plan current and modify it accordingly.

    Tips & Tricks:

    • Involve all stakeholders in the risk management plan.
    • Consider seeking professional advice from risk management experts.
    • Regularly evaluate the operational processes and procedures to identify potential risks.

    A comprehensive risk management plan is integral to any vacation rentals hotel business. It ensures that the business is well-prepared to handle potential risks, reduces the financial impact of unexpected events and improves the overall success and sustainability of the business. Follow the above-mentioned steps to develop an effective risk management plan for your vacation rentals hotel business.

    9. Invest In Necessary Resources & Employees

    In order to run a successful vacation rentals hotel, it is crucial to invest in necessary resources and employees. Here are the key areas to focus on:


    You need to make sure that your vacation rentals business has all the necessary resources for operation. Make a list of everything you need and create a budget plan to allocate funds accordingly. Here are some resources to consider:

    • Property: You need to purchase or rent a property for your hotel. Consider key factors such as location, size, and accessibility when choosing a property.
    • Furniture & Decor: Invest in high-quality furniture and decor to create a cozy atmosphere to attract guests.
    • Technology: In today's world, technology is critical to running a successful hotel. Make sure you have efficient and easy-to-use software for booking, payment, and communication with guests.
    • Housekeeping Supplies: Housekeeping supplies such as cleaning products, linens, and toiletries are necessary to ensure your guests have a comfortable stay.


    Your employees are the backbone of your vacation rentals hotel business. Hire experienced staff who are passionate about hospitality and customer service. Here are some key roles to consider:

    • Manager: Your hotel needs a competent manager who can oversee daily operations and manage employees.
    • Housekeeping & Maintenance: Cleanliness and maintenance are crucial factors that determine your vacation rentals hotel's reputation. Hire reliable and experienced housekeeping and maintenance staff to ensure your property is always in top condition.
    • Front Desk Staff: A friendly and knowledgeable front desk staff is vital to ensure smooth communication with guests.
    • Marketing & Sales: A marketing and sales team increase booking and revenue. You can also hire a professional marketer or sales person to help increase bookings and drive more revenue.

    Tips & Tricks

    • Always for references before you hire staff.
    • Offer your staff benefits, bonuses, and opportunities for growth to keep them motivated.
    • Ensure your employees have proper training to provide exceptional customer service.

    10. Market & Promote New Business

    Once you have established your vacation rentals hotel business, the next step is to promote and market your business to attract customers and generate revenue. Here are some important steps to consider:

    • Define Your Target Market: Before promoting your business, it's essential to determine your target audience. Identify the type of travelers you want to attract, such as families, couples, or business travelers.
    • Create a Compelling Website: A well-designed website is essential in today's digital age. Your website should showcase your hotel's amenities, rooms, and features along with attractive images and videos.
    • Employ SEO Techniques: Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive traffic to your site. Tactics such as keyword research, meta tags, and backlinks are all important in SEO.
    • Utilize Social Media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be powerful tools for promoting your hotel business. You can share images, videos, and engaging content to attract followers and generate interest.
    • Offer Incentives and Promotions: Providing discounts, packages, and other incentives can be a great way to attract customers. Consider offering deals for extended stays or special events in your area.
    • Create a Local Listings Profile: Verify the presence of your vacation rentals hotel business on local search engines, industry directories, and online maps. Sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places are all valuable options. This could improve your rankings in search engines, make you easy to locate, and also bring in customers from nearby areas much faster.
    • Partner with Booking Sites: Online booking sites such as Airbnb, or others could be very handy when it comes to marketing your property online

    Tips & Tricks:

    • Tip 1: Leverage email marketing to turn prospects into customers.
    • Tip 2: Participating in industry events, seminars, and webinars can allow you to meet other professionals in your field and gain valuable insights.
    • Tip 3: Create videos to showcase your vacation rental hotel business by providing virtual tours and relaying personalized experiences to your potential customers.

    The key to marketing your vacation rentals hotel business effectively is to be creative and strategic. By utilizing some of the tactics mentioned above, you'll be able to generate more interest, build your brand, and drive revenue.

    Opening a vacation rentals hotel business may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategy and mindset, it can be a lucrative venture. With a growing global market predicted to reach a CAGR of 5.5% and a revenue forecast of $113.9 billion by 2025, now is the time to seize the opportunity.

    Remember that starting a vacation rentals hotel business requires a detailed business plan, sufficient funding, and careful execution. Use our 10-step checklist as your guide to navigate through the process, from researching and brainstorming your business idea to marketing and promoting your new business.

    By staying informed about industry trends and investing in the necessary resources and employees, you can position yourself as a leader in the vacation rental industry and shape the future of the global lodging market.

    • Research & Brainstorm Business Idea
    • Evaluate Business Opportunity
    • Create Detailed Business Plan
    • Assess Funding Needs & Acquire Financing
    • Source & Secure Property Location
    • Build Financial Model & Estimate Operational Costs
    • Obtain Necessary Business Licenses & Permits
    • Develop Comprehensive Risk Management Plan
    • Invest in Necessary Resources & Employees
    • Market & Promote New Business

    Now that you have a better understanding of what it takes to open a vacation rentals hotel business, it's time to take action and make your dream a reality. Good luck!

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