How to Write a Vacation Rental Business Plan? Step-by-Step Guide

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Table of Contents

If you’ve never written a vacation rental business plan, you may think it’s difficult and time-consuming. We’ll help you, unlike most entrepreneurs. We can assist with business plan creation.
This article explains why business planning is important. You will then learn how to write a vacation rental business plan to start your plan today.

What exactly is a business plan?

A business plan describes your vacation rental business and its five-year growth plan. It describes your business goals and strategies. Market research supports your plans.

Why do you need a plan for your business?

You need a business plan to start or grow a vacation rental business. To increase your chances of success, a business plan can help you raise funds and plan your vacation rental business’s growth. Your vacation rental business plan should be updated annually as your company evolves.

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How can vacation rental businesses get money?

Personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors fund vacation rental businesses. Banks will review your business plan to ensure you can repay your loan and interest. A professional plan and good financials will give the loan officer confidence. This will convince them you can run a business well. Vacation rental companies typically use personal savings and bank loans.

How to Create a Business Plan for a Vacation Rental Business?

A vacation rental business plan is necessary to start or expand. This guide explains how to write each vacation rental business plan component.

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Executive Summary

Your executive summary introduces your vacation rental property business plan and summarizes each key section.
Executive summaries should hook readers quickly. Explain your vacation rental business and status. Are you a startup, growing a vacation rental business, or running a chain?
Next, summarize each section of your plan.

Give a quick summary of the business of vacation rentals.

Explain your vacation rental business.
List direct competitors. Introduce your target audience.
Showcase your marketing strategy. Find your key players.
Present your financial plan.

Summary of the business

Your company overview will describe your vacation rental business.
You could specialize in a vacation rental business like:
AirBnB rentals: This business advertises and rents vacation homes on AirBnB.
Luxury vacation rentals: This business rents high-end homes, condos, and villas.
Beach house rentals: This business rents beachfront homes or condos to tourists.
Cabin rentals: This business rents cabins to campers, skiers, and others seeking seclusion.
The company overview should describe your vacation rental business and its history.

Answer queries like:
Why and when did you start the business?
What are your accomplishments? Reaching $X in revenue, serving X clients, booking X rentals, etc.
Legal practice Are you S-Corp? An LLC? Sole proprietorship? Legal structure, please.

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Market Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, describe the vacation rental industry.
Though unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, learn about vacation rentals. It clarifies your market.
Second, market research can improve your marketing strategy, especially if it identifies trends.
Third, to show readers your expertise. Research and plan presentation accomplish that.

Industry analysis in your vacation rental business plan should answer these questions:

Dollar-wise, how big is the vacation rental industry?
Market growth or decline?
Market leaders?
Market leaders?
Industry trends?
How will the industry grow in 5–10 years?
Which market size matters? How large is your vacation rental business’s target market? You can extrapolate the figure by calculating and applying the national market size to your local population.

Client Analysis

Your vacation rental business plan’s customer analysis must list your customers.
Customers include schools, families, and corporations.
As you can imagine, your vacation rental business will depend on your target market. Individuals and corporations react differently to marketing promotions.

Try to segment your target customers by demographics and psychographics. Demographics, including age, gender, location, and income of your target customers.

Psychographic profiles describe your customers’ needs. You will attract and retain customers better by identifying and defining these needs.

Competitor Analysis

Focus on direct competitors in your competitive analysis.
Vacation rental companies are rivals.
Customers can also buy from indirect competitors. Hotels, resorts, and RV parks are vacation options. Mention such competition.

Provide a business overview and weaknesses for each competitor. You cannot know everything about your competitors unless you work for them. However, you should be able to learn important details like

Who are their clients?
What’s their vacation rental business?
What’s their price?
Their skills?
Their weaknesses?
Answer the last two questions from the customer’s perspective. Ask customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.

Documenting competitive advantages concludes your competitive analysis. Such as:

Will you simplify rental booking?
Will you offer unique products or services?
Better customer service?
Are you cheaper?
In this section, list ways you will outperform your competitors.

Marketing Plan

Traditional marketing plans include Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Your vacation rental business plan marketing strategy should include the following:

Product: In the product section, repeat your vacation rental company type from the company overview. Specify your products and services. Will your rentals include food, transportation, or housekeeping?

Price: List your prices and compare them to competitors. Your plan’s product and price sections list your products and prices.

Your vacation rental company’s location. Please explain how your company’s location will affect its success. Is your vacation rental business online, in a retail or business district, or in a standalone office? Discuss how your site may be perfect for customers.

Promotions: Your vacation rental marketing plan concludes with how you will attract customers. Promotional methods include:

Advertise in newspapers, radio, and magazines.
Contact websites.
Spread flyers
Email marketing
Social media ads
Improve keyword SEO on your website.

Operations Plan Your operations plan explains how you will achieve your goals. Operation plans should have two sections.

Short-term processes include answering calls, booking rentals, billing clients, and collecting payments.

Long-term goals are milestones. These could include when you expect to book your Xth rental or make $X when you plan to expand your vacation rental business to a new city.

Management Team

Your vacation rental business needs a strong management team to succeed. Emphasize your key players’ skills and experiences that demonstrate their company-building ability.
You and your team should have vacation rental management experience. If so, emphasize this expertise. Highlight any experience that will help your business succeed.
If your team lacks, consider an advisory board. 2–8 business mentors make up an advisory board. They answered questions and advised on strategy. If needed, find advisory board members with vacation rental management experience.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include a 5-year financial statement, first monthly or quarterly and then annually. Financial statements include income, balance, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

P&L statements are more commonly known as income statements. It shows revenue and subtracts costs to determine profit.
Income statements require assumptions. Will you rent 10 vacation homes and charge more during peak seasons? Will sales grow by 2% or 10% annually? As expected, your assumptions will greatly impact your business’s financial forecasts. Try to verify your assumptions with research.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show assets and liabilities. Try to reduce balance sheets to the essentials. For instance, spending $50,000 on vacation rental business expansion won’t yield immediate profits. It’s a long-term investment. You don’t have to repay a $50,000 lender check either. That’s a debt.

Cash Flow

Your cash flow statement will help you find out how much money you need to start or expand your business and ensure you never run out of money. Most entrepreneurs don’t realize you can make money but go bankrupt.
Include several key vacation rental business costs in your Income Statement and Balance Sheets:

Equipment and office supplies cost
Staff salaries
Business Insurance
Legal fees, permits, software, and equipment for new businesses.


In the appendix, include your full financial projections and any supporting documents. You could list your office lease or nearby amenities and attractions.


Vacation rental business plans are worthwhile. You’ll be an expert after following the template above. You’ll understand vacation rentals, your competition, and your customers. Develop a marketing strategy and learn how to start and grow a vacation rental business.

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