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Starting Your Own Vacation Rental Business: A Quick Guide

Updated: Feb 1

vacation rental

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The vacation rental market is booming. It’s expected to reach $107.14 billion in valuation by 2028, with a CAGR of 32.04 percent, up from $76.4 billion in 2021, reports Global Newswire. This spells good news if you’re thinking of starting a vacation rental business – you could make a significant amount of money off of the boom.

EXP Realty offers a handy reference guide on starting your own vacation rental business:

Initial research and setup

The first step should be conceptualizing and fine-tuning your vacation rental idea:

  • Rental idea: What type of vacation rental would you like to own? There are hotels, B&Bs, independent vacation villas, condos, and more.

  • Find a property: Scouting out the perfect property and making it guest-ready can take weeks and months. Pick the right place, in the right location. EXP Realty can help you find solid properties in the perfect places.

  • Your role: Are you planning on managing the rental yourself or hiring someone (like a property manager) to do it for you?

  • Business plan: A business plan is a must-prepare roadmap for your business. It will help you figure out critical details, from market conditions to financial projections.

Starting your business

Getting your business up and running will require you to take care of some legal details and general practicalities:

  • Legalities: You will likely need to acquire permits, licenses, insurance, registration, an EIN, formal approval from the local HOA, and more.

  • Business software: Apps can assist with everything from bookings to customer care. For instance, an invoice maker can assist you in generating templates to get paid on time and also comply with legal requirements.

  • Upkeep and maintenance: Having tie-ups with handymen, roofers, contractors, and similar is necessary for quick fixes and keeping your property in top shape.

Customer care and management

Last, you will have to find customers and cater to their needs to be successful:

  • Advertising: You can advertise your new rental online and offline. Feature your property on listing pages too.

  • Facilities: Furnish the place with essentials and luxuries like furniture, gadgets, TVs, WiFi, and other amenities.

  • Administration: You may need to hire staff for welcoming guests, cleaning, managing bookings, stocking the pantry, troubleshooting problems, and more.


Being successful in the vacation rental industry requires a mix of business and hospitality skills. You can hone both via self-study or by pursuing a formal education. Being committed to the long haul – it takes a while for a business to find its feet – and having a solid team at your back will maximize your chances of success.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about buying a home in NC, our experts at EXP Realty are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a EXP agent about buying homes or land in North Carolina.

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