Platforms such as HomeAway and Airbnb have turned vacation rental investment into a proposition with severe money-making potential. And it's easy to see why...

After all, this strategy allows you to own a vacation home in a paradisiacal location. With the right approach, it can yield a steady stream of reliable income for years, too. Are you ready to get in on a piece of the action? 

 

Read on to learn more about how to make money on vacation rental property in Myrtle Beach.

America's Favorite Beach Town

When it comes to a sound vacation property investment, it's all about location, location, location.

Yes, you've probably heard this time-worn real estate adage many times before. But it holds particular significance with short-term rentals. 

Fortunately, there's no end of vacation-worthy attractions when it comes to Myrtle Beach, America's favorite beach town. Its 1.2-mile wooden Boardwalk and Promenade has been voted one of the top ten in the U.S. by National Geographic

And with 60 miles of coastline known as the Grand Strand, it's not hard to see why. Myrtle Beach boasts 215 days of sun per year, which is hard to beat when compared to most fog and rain-entrenched coastal locations. 

This South Carolina gem also plays host to 100 golf courses and endless entertainment options. These include the SkyWheel's breathtaking aerial views 200-feet above the beach, Ripley's 5D Moving Theater, Huntington Beach, and more. 

In the Heart of the Action

 

As you start your real estate search, find out how close potential investment properties lie to Myrtle Beach's main attractions. Here are some examples to keep in mind:

  • Beaches (e.g., Huntington Beach State Park)
  • The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade 
  • Sights and landmarks (e.g., Second Avenue Pier, the Apache Pier, and the SkyWheel) 
  • Walking and biking paths (e.g., the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway)
  • Water and amusement parks (e.g., Myrtle Waves Water Park)
  • Theme parks (e.g., Family Kingdom Amusement Park)
  • Museums (e.g., Hollywood Wax Museum, the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium)
  • Nature and parks (e.g., Savannah's Playground and Myrtle Beach State Park)
  • Shopping (e.g., the Market Common and Broadway at the Beach)
  • Historic sites (e.g., Hopsewee Plantation)

If you want to make big bucks by buying a vacation home, then you need to make sure it's in an area where people want to vacation. 

That means finding a property that's close to basic conveniences, too. These include supermarkets, restaurants, theaters, malls, and pharmacies. 

For beachgoers, think ocean front property. For golf enthusiasts, think a golf condo

Experiential Travel 

Experiential travel is a trend that's not going away any time soon.

What does this mean regarding vacation rental by owner? Your guests long to have authentic experiences. They want to know what it feels like to live in Myrtle Beach. 

Provide guests with the inside scoop on the best places to visit near your property. These should include places where Southern hospitality flows freely; the food tastes delectable, the beaches look pristine, and more. 

If a potential investment property doesn't come with this type of "tourist appeal," then keep looking.

But where should you start? Think about your dream vacation spot in Myrtle Beach. Which neighborhoods and sites best exemplify the cultural highlights, fun activities, and local happenings that bring in tourists?

Then, canvas these areas looking for potential investments. 

The more you can plug into your guests' desires and help them experience a place deeply, and the more appealing your location will prove. And the more money you'll make!

For example, some of Myrtle Beach's most popular public access beach areas include the Cabana District, Surfside Beach, and the Golden Mile. Purchasing properties in proximity to these locations will yield lots of visitors. 

Considerations Based on Property Types

Besides finding a location that tourists won't be able to get enough of, you need to consider other crucial factors. First, property type makes all the difference. That said, our advice might appear a little counterintuitive at first. 

When you bought your primary home, you may have been counseled to opt for a house over a condo for a variety of reasons. But when it comes to vacation rentals, condos are, by far, the best way to go.

Why? 

Houses and multi-family units require far more upkeep and maintenance than a condo unit, especially when it comes to building maintenance and landscaping. But condo associations handle this for you. 

Besides fewer maintenance concerns and less overhead, vacation condo properties sit on some of the best real estate in Myrtle Beach. Despite the fantastic locations, you won't pay an arm and a leg like you would for a house.  

Check out some of these great locations in Myrtle Beach

Know What You're in For

You should also steer clear of older properties or fixer-uppers. While the initial price tag might prove tempting, you never know what you're getting into.

That is until you find yourself in the middle of a headache. Pay more upfront to avoid unwarranted risks. 

You also need to commit to one of two paths:

  1. Maximizing cash flow 
  2. Building equity over time

While it'd be great to find a situation where you can kill two birds with one stone, often you get one or the other.

On the one hand, some locations won't see significant property price increases over the long haul. But if they come with excellent cash flow opportunities, it may still prove worth your investment.

On the other hand, some properties may not have the cash flow that you're looking for. But if they sit in a great neighborhood with property prices poised to soar, you may have a significant investment in your hands. 

"Dress" to Impress

So you've done your research and purchased a property with big profit potential. Congrats! Now, it's time to think about high-yield upgrades.

You may cringe at the thought of spending even more money on your new property. But these investments will skyrocket your rental appeal. What's more, some of these upgrades prove surprisingly affordable.

So, how do you "dress" your new home to impress?

When it comes to beach destinations, a hot tub or a pool can do wonders for your property's vacation-worthiness. Yes, these are pricier investments, but they also contribute to some of the highest returns.

Other more affordable upgrades help, too. For example, updating your kitchen will help with attracting guests. Couple this with new appliances such as a Keurig, blender, crock pot, or stand mixer for maximum appeal. 

These upgrades prove small, but they make guests feel welcome. When you make renters feel at home, they'll return again and again. They'll also provide you with free reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.  

Stock the Right Supplies

What else can you do to cozy up your new location? 

If your demographic includes families or young adults, consider creating a dedicated game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, or pool table. And never underestimate the power of incorporating board games or a gaming console.

Because your Myrtle Beach property will attract beach-goers, consider stocking your property with beach accessories such as:

  • Sand toys
  • Lawn chairs
  • Umbrellas
  • Boogie boards
  • Buckets
  • Nets
  • Beach towels  

If you have a BBQ or grill, don't forget to include supplies such as charcoal and lighter fluid. The same goes for laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, etc. If you have a Keurig, make sure you provide a variety of capsules. 

A couple of unexpected beach perks can't hurt either. Consider purchasing paddle boards, surfboards, or beach cruisers that guests can use. 

That way, guests can focus on playing rather than shopping. 

Other Ways to Appeal to Guests 

To maximize profits, decorate and stock your home with guests in mind. Yes, this almost always requires placing your design inclinations on the back burner. But you'll thank yourself each time you cash another short-term rental check. 

You should also purchase furniture which allows you to maximize sleeping arrangements. For example, buy a king-sized bed that can be broken down into two twin-size beds. That way, you can accommodate both couples and families.

Regarding layout and decor, think light and airy. Keep living spaces uncluttered and minimally decorated. And make sure you remove personal photos and embellishments.

Opt for touches of coastal decor. But don't go crazy with kitschy elements. Think "welcoming and open" by using interior design to evoke a tranquil waterfront escape.  

Think Friendliness and Professionalism

Besides upgrades, work to create a balance between friendliness and professionalism. Cultivate open communication with your guests throughout the rental process. 

Reach out to them before arrival with information about the property and how to check in. Include information about what they should remember to bring and what the house is already stocked with. 

Consider leaving a welcoming gift, too. Ideally, the award should tie into Myrtle Beach and include local products and information. But a simple basket with crackers, cookies, and wine works, too. 

After arrival, check in with your guests to make sure everything's going well. This is also a great time to leave them with a loaf of bread or other "housewarming" style gift. Your guests will remember these friendly touches and come back for more. 

So, where do you draw the line between friendliness and professionalism? Call before checking in with your guests and always keep your visit helpful but brief. 

Always have your property professionally cleaned, and communicate this extra sense of cleanliness through every detail. That means well-made beds, crisp white linens, and correctly folded towels that match. 

Promote Your Property

Once you've gone to so much work to make your property appealing, don't forget to promote it. After all, this isn't Field of Dreams. You can't "build" it and then wait for them to come.

Do your research to find national websites where you can list your property such as Airbnb.com or VRBO.com. Or, opt for a listing with a local property manager. 

But don't stop there.

Promote your property with professional-quality photos. Post testimonials as you receive them, and always respond to negative reviews in a helpful manner that seeks to right any perceived wrongs. Think customer-centric. 

Short-Term Leasing and Revenue Management Strategy

Benefits abound when it comes to short-term leasing. Unlike rentals by the month, season, or year, you can take advantage of vacationing at your property between guest stays. 

What's more, as a short-term landlord, you'll enjoy more demand for your property than those involved in long-term rentals. So, you can charge higher nightly rates. 

You can also adjust your price according to seasonal changes and special events. By having a revenue management strategy that's short-term, flexible, and dynamic, you maximize profit generation with less property wear and tear.

Taxes and Licensing

With bookings and happy customers come new responsibilities. Bone up on tax law as it relates to your rental property. Read up on applicable fees and local licensing regulations, too. 

From a legal standpoint, a vacation rental is like an admixture between a mini-hotel and a small business. While codes and regulations continue to catch up with the booming private vacation rental industry, scrutiny has increased. 

Understand how occupancy taxes work. You'll charge guests these taxes as a percentage of the total amount they pay. Occupancy taxes range between 10 and 15 percent and represent a mix of taxes on the civic, county, and state levels.

To operate your vacation rental, you'll need to apply for a rental permit or business license with the appropriate city, county, or state agency.

When it comes to both tax law and license rules, check with your specific local and state governments. If you'd rather avoid dealing with the regulatory side of things, then hire a property management company to handle these critical details. 

 

Your Vacation Rental Investment

There's no better place for a vacation rental investment than Myrtle Beach. It represents more than a purchase. It will impact you and your families life for years (and maybe generations) to come. 

That means it's essential to work with the right resources, and that's where we can help. Let us guide you through the process of finding the perfect vacation real estate investment using our convenient online search tool. 

Are you interested in more information about buying along the South Carolina coast? Check out our free comprehensive guide to get started. Or, dive into our Myrtle Beach blog