For decades, the vacation cabin industry of the Smoky Mountains has been either one of the most important and lucrative industries all across our respective region, or THE most important and lucrative industry of at least East Tennessee. As such, many continue to be interested in becoming newly invested in the thriving and continually expanding vacation cabin industry, either as individuals or as established companies, and don’t know where to start looking for information and advice on beginning a venture like that.
1. Decide Who Would Manage The Property.
There are many things to consider when managing your vacation rental investment. Reservations, Cleaning, Marketing to name just a few. When you work with a mangement company, they take care of the maintenance of the home, the cleaning, the reservations and the marketing. For this service you will split the profit from the cabin rentals. Most offer a 70/30 split but each will vary. You can manage on your own through services such as Evolve, VRBO, Airbnb and more.
2. Get An Idea What Real Expenses Might Be.
Along with the home expense there are many things to consider when doing vacation rentals as a business. Expenses will be something you want to prepare for ahead of time. The pay off can be excellent when things are well managed. Consider upkeep and replacement costs of furniture, business taxes, marketing costs, landscaping costs, utility fluctuations, security and more. Talk with an expert about how to plan and budget.
3. What To Offer Visitors
If you are able to figure out how to finance and provide management for your vacation property, the next thing to consider is what it needs to provide guests. What part of the Smoky Mountains are you setting up to receive guests? Action-packed Pigeon Forge or delightfully quiet Wears Valley? Are you aiming for guests who came to the Smokies to have fun, guests who come to the Smokies to relax and get a break from “action” or something in-between? Location remains everything in realty-based enterprises and knowing intimately the location of your vacation cabin will be key to how you market it and who you market it to.
Probably the furthest consideration of vacation realty will be abiding by local regulations for conducting vacation rental business. Each city, county and state have varying laws on the subject of vacation housing as a business and varying regulations for doing business yourself, doing business with a third party, or using services like VRBO or Airbnb.com to conduct that business.
Medium.com has an example on Gatlinburg’s Airbnb laws:
“The rules are quite sensible and lenient, but if you want to invest in Airbnb Gatlinburg without any hiccups, make sure to follow them. Here’s what’s required from short-term rental operators:
Obtain a valid business license from the town.
Obtain a tourist residency permit. This is done by filling out a one-page form answering questions regarding the square footage and number of bedrooms in the rental property.
Another relevant example would be here: https://smvla.com/docs/Ordinance1065.pdf.
Read Medium.com‘s full article at – https://medium.com/mashvisor/should-you-invest-in-airbnb-gatlinburg-in-2020-mashvisor-dad1b3cf4cdd.
The vacation cabin industry continues to grow with each passing month, much less year, that the Smokies go through, so clearly it is an industry that isn’t quite as hard to get into as the regulations and realities of owning vacation property for short-term rentals might make it appear. With the proper attitude and the proper guidance, only the sky could be the limit for your enterprise!