Snowy driveways, cozy firelit evenings, frost on the window panes, hot cocoa on the stove.
To your guests, these ingredients make for a charming winter escape. But to unprepared vacation rental owners, they can translate to icy danger, a freezing-cold draft, and a seasonal headache brewing.
Luckily, we’re here to make sure that isn’t you. So even though prepping your vacation rental for winter bookings might feel like a mind-boggling game of Jenga (where the heck do I start?), we tapped Nicole Guidi of Book by Owner to share the inside scoop on how to winterize a home with confidence.
From seasonal cleaning tips to getting your rental’s amenities cold weather-ready, these are the key action items — along with a few bonus tips! — that’ll winterize your vacation home and help lock in those five-star guest experiences.
In an ideal world, your cleaning services are already operating like a well-oiled machine. (If they’re not, check out our comprehensive cleaning checklists for some easy and efficient standardization.)
But what about the fireplace that’s gone unused for most of the year? Or those gutters that are now filled with autumn’s leaves? To winterize your home and prep for cold-weather guests, you’ll want to task your cleaning or maintenance team with the essential to-dos that may have been put on the backburner during warmer months:
Bonus Tip: Carpets should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, so while not required, Guidi recommends using the season change as an opportunity to get it done. “It’s expensive, but it really keeps up your investment,” she says. Think of it this way: your guests will be spending more time cozied up inside your home, so might as well make things pristine!
You remember that nightmare we started laying out? The icy driveway, the piled snow, the it-looks-pretty-but-my-car-is-buried scenario?
Many homeowners have experienced some version of that after forgetting to equip their maintenance teams (and guests!) with winter-specific supplies. So it’s important to take a pre-season inventory of what’s needed to combat the elements, then stockpile. Guidi says it’s common for homeowners to provide the following:
Bonus Tip: To level up your guests’ experience, consider throwing in some cozy robes, hot chocolate supplies, and hand warmers for extra comfort. It’s the little touches that add to your home’s charm and stay top of mind when your guests leave five-star reviews about the experience!
Before the chill sets in, hire certified professionals (or tap your property maintenance team where applicable) to verify proper functioning of important systems, inspect windows, and winterize amenities like above-ground and inground pools, hot tubs, and sprinkler systems. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how you and the pros can winterize your house.
Bonus Tip: Get a priority on-call service partner for the winter. “The toughest thing we run into is that when the heat goes out, it’s hard getting a contractor out in a timely manner to fix the issue,” Guidi says. And it goes beyond heating repairs. Whether it’s a guest check-in issue, snow removal, a drafty bedroom, or a hot tub snafu, it’s a good idea to have vetted service partners available to handle emergencies. (P.S. If you become an Evolve homeowner, we can help you find the perfect fit.)
It may seem like a splurge, but investing in “smart” technology can be really valuable if you’re managing your property remotely. Simplify the winterizing process, save money and energy, and handle issues without deploying your on-site contact with these tech improvements:
Guidi’s biggest rule of thumb for vacation rental homeowners: “If you can’t do it yourself, hire professionals to make sure all of these checks and balances get done.”
Enter Evolve. Our fresh approach to vacation rental management makes year-round success feel like a summer breeze. We give you total marketing, booking, and customer support across popular websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. We also connect you with trusted cleaning and support partners, so you can decide who to work with to create the Home Team of your dreams.
It’s our job to drive more guests to your property for maximum income, so you can focus on providing an incredible guest experience.
See if you qualify or call one of our Vacation Rental Advisors today at 877.881.7584.