This is the second article in a two-part series in which we share details of how to prepare, protect, and promote your home as a vacation rental.

Protect everything

You’ve now prepared your rental, hired your team, determined your pricing, and created your systems and workflows. You also need to protect your renters and your investment.

Protect your guests

Emergency numbers

Be sure to prominently post contact information for your property manager, urgent care centers, hospitals, police, and fire departments, and poison control.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

The NFPA suggests installing at least one fire detector and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, as well as inside every bedroom, and outside of each sleeping area. 

Safety equipment

Your home should have a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit at a minimum. Other items to consider include motion detector lights around the perimeter of the home, a safety ladder for upper floors, and a home safe for guests’ belongings.

Protect your home


Consult with your insurance professional to make sure you have adequate coverage for your property. They may suggest adding a liability policy to protect you in the event that a renter injures themselves in your home or causes damage to a neighbor’s property.  However, your booking platform may already require that renters purchase liability insurance as part of the trip fee.

Owner’s closet

Store your personal items and valuables in a locked owner’s closet.  

Security system

We’ve unfortunately had a number of items taken from our rental homes over the years including dish ware, pillows, placemats, and baskets. Perhaps this would have been prevented if we had home cameras at the time as a deterrent. There are many security system options available including the Ring and Simplisafe as well as monitoring systems like ADT and CPI. It’s also invaluable to have protective neighbors who can contact you if they notice anything out of the ordinary. An important note on privacy: Cameras cannot be installed to observe private spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas. And you must make your guests aware of the presence of all security cameras or other recording devices in or around the property, even if they’re not turned on or hooked up.

Routine inspections

Schedule visits to your property, when you can, to inspect the home’s condition and then schedule maintenance accordingly. Even though we had a top-notch cleaning crew, we noted items in our personal visits that appeared worn and needed repairing or replacing. It was during one of these visits that we noticed the missing items I mentioned earlier. In another visit, we were surprised to see that the backyard was completely flooded because the sump pump was broken. Don’t rely completely on guests and neighbors to alert you when things need fixing.

Promote your vacation rental

You’re ready to rent your home and begin earning income! In this phase of rental ownership, you’ll develop a brand for your home and market it. A strong brand helps you stand out from the competition. Your brand includes everything that a potential guest sees about your home, including its name, the description, your photos, and more. We’ve listed some best practices below to get your home noticed and repeatedly booked.

Property name

Your property’s brand starts with a name. You’ll want to select one that captures the vibe of your home and creates a unique impression in your customer’s mind. Feeling stumped? You might draw your home’s name from its best feature, color scheme, architectural style, decor, or location. Coastal cottage name examples include: “Barnacle”, “Ocean Pearl”, “Driftwood Dreams”, “Surf’s Up”, “Bridge View on Broad”, and “Sea Haven”.


The About section gives you an opportunity to go beyond a description of amenities and paint a picture of a guest’s unforgettable experience during their stay. VRBO suggests a maximum of 1,000 characters.

Consider this example by the Beaufort Penthouse:

Relax, enjoy the incredible view from the living room, the master bedroom, and the rooftop deck exclusive to the residents. Walk to wonderful restaurants and shops from your private Front Street entrance. Stroll down Front Street for three miles along Taylors Creek and watch the boats, yachts, and famous wild ponies of the Rachel Carson Preserve as you go. Take a ferry to Shackleford Banks on the Outer Banks of North Carolina or ferry to the historic Cape Lookout Lighthouse for a climb. Tour the historic homes of Beaufort, showcasing this beautiful, old nautical town. Visit the Maritime Museum and observe the incredible artifacts from Blackbeard and the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Take a ghost walk guided tour or ride the double-decker bus around town. Visit the Beaufort Historical Society grounds and historic buildings preserved for the public. And do all of this and more while never taking your car out of the parking place upon your arrival.

Photos and social media

My top tip in creating a successful property brand is to invest in professional photos– both interior and exterior. In addition to your property photos, it’s also helpful to include photos of nearby attractions for visitors who may be unfamiliar with the area. 

Once you have some high-quality photos, consider starting a social media account (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok) for your home so guests can tag you with photos of their stay and you can keep guests updated about property improvements, local events, and seasonal promotions. Another way to keep your home top of mind with previous guests is a periodic, opt-in email newsletter.


Positive reviews help potential guests trust that your home will deliver on its promises. Think of ways to go above and beyond other rental homes and delight your renters: deliver five-star communication, provide an area guidebook, offer a welcome basket with snacks and drinks, and offer personalized recommendations.

Be sure to thank your guests after each stay and encourage them to leave a review. Then, quickly comment on each review you receive. 

Want some help?

If you’d like to get your home rental-ready quickly, and don’t have the time, we can help. Crew Coastal provides rental home furnishing services, as well as online marketing and promotion consultation.