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  • Writer's pictureStacy Parkelj

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your First Short Term Rental

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Mistakes to Avoid when starting a short term rental

Mistakes to Avoid when Starting Your Short-term Rental

I'm often asked by people starting their first short-term rental about the mistakes I made when I first started in the STR industry. So, in this blog post, I want to talk about 5 of the biggest mistakes to avoid when starting your short-term rental and how you can avoid them for long-term success.


The first mistake is not doing your research. This is especially important if you're new to the short-term rental game. There's a lot to learn and if you don't do your research, you'll likely make some costly mistakes. It can be overwhelming at times but the more you learn and reach out to others for help the more success you will have. Also, take the time to read blogs, books, and forums about short-term rentals. This will help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes.

Realistic Pricing

The second mistake is not setting a realistic price. This is one of the most important aspects of running a successful short-term rental. If you charge too much, you'll likely have difficulty finding guests. But, if you charge too little, you'll end up barely breaking even or worse, losing money. Do your research to find out what similar properties are charging and price your property accordingly. Know what events are happening in your area that could spike an increase for a weekend or certain days. Using a dynamic pricing tool like PriceLabs is also very helpful, but you'll want to monitor that as well.

STR Laws and Regulations

The third mistake is not having a clear understanding of the laws and regulations in your area. Short-term rentals are regulated differently in every city and state. You must understand the laws in your area so that you can operate legally and avoid any potential fines or penalties. You will also want to check any HOA (homeowner association) restrictions if you have one.

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Prepare for Guests

The fourth mistake is not being prepared for guests. This includes having a clean and well-stocked property, being available to answer any questions guests may have and being responsive to any issues that may arise during their stay. If you're not prepared for guests, it will reflect poorly on your business and could lead to negative reviews. You also want to have a house manual/guide completed to send to your future guests, you can read about using Hostfully in this blog post.

Staying Organized

The fifth and final mistake is not staying organized. This is especially important if you're running multiple short-term rentals. You need to have a system in place for tracking bookings, payments, and cleaning schedules. If you don't stay organized, it will be very difficult to keep track of everything and your business will suffer as a result. Take a look at Ownerrez for help with syncing multiple properties.

Avoiding these five mistakes will put you on the path to success with your short-term rental business.

Do you have any tips for running a successful short-term rental? Share them in the comments below! And, if you're looking for more information on short-term rentals, be sure to check out my other blog posts or sign up for my email list. Thanks for reading!

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