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6 Jul 2021
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Certain amenities offer value to the vacation and when guests are searching for a home, they can really set apart your rental from the rest and make all the difference in getting repeat renters. One thing to remember is what a guest wants and what they need are often hard to differentiate. With that in mind, we have compiled the top sought-after amenities to help our home owners maximize the return of their rental home.

Internet Connectivity  

Times are different!  With remote learning and telecommuting a part of the new norm, efficient WiFi is one of the biggest necessities in any vacation rental. It's expected, and not necessarily thought of as an amenity.  You may think that guests are going on vacation to escape it all and getaway, however they still need and crave connectivity. In fact, not having a fast internet connection could result in a bad review, which could deter guests from booking your home. Internet speed of at least 400 Mbps or greater is recommended. Mesh WiFi is also a great option expanding your coverage in the home to those dead areas. 

TVs: Smart or Not?

Cable has become a thing of the past!  Streaming devices and smart tv’s are in! Consider upgrading those box sets to a smart tv such as the Roku TV  that has built in streaming capabilities. This will allow guests to log into their personal accounts for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, You Tube TV, etc. and have a more personalized experience, such as finishing that TV series binge without skipping a beat! If Smart TV’s are not an option, streaming devices, such as Roku (we recommend this one), Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV are great ways to upgrade your current set with the same capabilities. The Roku TV simply offers a more streamlined solution.

Family Friendly Games

For those rainy days, or when it's time to take a break from the outdoor activities, providing options for indoor entertainment is a great touch. From classic board games, like Monopoly (or even better OBX-Opoly which you can find at the Kitty Hawk Walmart), to puzzles, Jenga, and perhaps Twister are always a hit! Keeping the standards like dice, and checkers are a great option as well.  Keep it simple and opt for games that don't come with several pieces that won't withstand wear too quickly, or can be easily misplaced.   

Local Maps, Guide Books and Recommendations

Be sure to leave a good selection of local information for your guests to peruse. Although you may not be present, think of yourself as a tour guide. Provide a list of your favorite restaurants, activities and local attractions. A guestbook is a great opportunity for your guests to communicate with not only you, but future guests as well. For extra flair, offer a welcome basket with a collection of local goodies. It’s a great way to welcome your guests to the area and leave a lasting first impression. This will also establish a relationship with your guests which will encourage better treatment of your property, as well as converting first time renters into repeat renters.  Plus don't forget good guest reviews will help draw new renters to your home.  

Kid Friendly Equipment

Parents traveling with babies or small children will be very grateful if they don’t have to pack every single piece of baby equipment to go on vacation. Provide the essentials, baby gate, high chair and crib or pack-n-play. Your guests will appreciate this touch. 

Pet Friendly Equipment

If your home is pet friendly, you can accommodate your guests by providing them with the necessities for their pet. Their owners will appreciate and remember such an attentive gesture. Perhaps a set of pet bowls for food and water in your kitchen and a dog crate. Additionally, you could keep a few treats in the home as an extra special welcome for your four-legged guests. Be sure to include a list of dog parks in the area and information on when dogs are allowed on the beaches, and when they are not permitted. 

Beach Supplies

Beach supplies are critical! Guest reviews always highlight the convenience and appreciation that these items are provided and the fact that they don't have to pack them, or purchase them while visiting. 

  • Beach Chairs

  • Umbrella (with instructions on how to safely use)

  • Beach Cart

Another great amenity to have on hand is a couple of bicycles for your guests to enjoy the area! Don't forget to include the tire pump! If including bicycles isn't in the budget, you can always recommend bike rental companies too!

Outdoor amenities

  • Nothing can top a pleasant summer evening like barbecuing! Ditch the charcoal and spring for the gas. This amenity is important to guests and will make your home stand out to travelers. In addition to the grill, be sure to supply the necessary tools, grill brush, spatula, etc. 

  • If your home has a pool, think about games that families will enjoy. Maybe a floating volleyball net or pool floats. Again, this is the kind of attentiveness that guests remember and keep them coming back. 

Hot Tub
  • Most of the homes in our rental program have a hot tub.  It's one of the top "must haves" when people are searching for a vacation home.  Including one with your rental will not only increase your bookings, but will allow you the option to extend into the shoulder and off seasons as well.
Outdoor Games
  • Vacation is about spending time with the family. How better to do so than a nice friendly game of . . . cornhole, volleyball, basketball, or horseshoes. 

Outdoor Seating
  • You can’t beat the views of the  beautiful Outer Banks. Give your guests the ability to enjoy their morning coffee on the porch or an evening cocktail under the stars. Provide comfortable seating for enough people in the home and the positive reviews will flow. Make sure your outdoor furniture can stand the test of time in this harsh environment.  Polywood is a great replacement for wood.  Metal can rust quickly in our coastal environment. 

Your guests will definitely appreciate these added amenities and your homes reviews will reflect so.  Make sure that you plan on replacing a majority of these items once per year as necessary.  Even though these items may not be expected prior to guests arrival, they will appreciate them once there.  If items are left unusable it can reflect poorly in their reviews even when it wasn't an expected amenity to begin with.  So make sure you keep inventory of these items and stay on top of them. 

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