7 Keys to a Vacation Rental Biz in Ecuador

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy opening up a property I have on the coast of Ecuador as a short-term vacation rental.

playas-ecuador-real-estate

As I write this, my place is rented

Today’s post is about what I’ve learned…

Why would someone choose a vacation rental over a hotel that has more services and security due to the 24 hr reception?

There’s pluses and minuses to staying in both.

Vacation rentals are great for people looking for a bit more privacy, and those looking to have guests sleep over and not have to pay extra for them like you would staying in a hotel.

They’re great for families who pay one price for the whole place and can then pack all the people they want inside. They’re also good for people who like to cook they’re own meals and those looking to get a real feel for what life would be like in Ecuador, not just from a hotel window.

Why rent your place short-term as a vacation rental when you can rent to a long term renter when it’s obviously more hassle?

More money. At least here in Ecuador, the same place you could rent for $250/300 a month you could rent as a short-term rental for $35, $55 even $75 or more a day.

Here are 7 keys I’ve learned to make your vacation rental in Ecuador successful.

7. WIFI. Get WIFI internet installed in your place, it is THE first thing guests ask for. Everything else is just secondary.

6. Know your market. I’ve found the tastes of Ecuadorian and foreign renters very different. Who are you targeting? This will determine how you furnish your house. Ecuadorians who rent on the coast often look for places with TV’s and Cable. They also like AC. Foreigners ask for WIFI first, TV’s and AC aren’t priorities.

5. Password locks. Many renters will not return your keys or simply lose them. To avoid that, you can charge a hefty deposit (which deter renters) or install a password lock you can change via the internet. You can often find them in hardware stores in the US.

4. Know your limits. While not particularly “hands on”, I don’t recommend trying to run a VR business from a distance, especially if you’re out the country. I don’t recommend being too quick to work with most property managers in Ecuador either, the good ones are few and far between.

Most will not manage your property well to say the least. Many good ones will pay you a fixed monthly rent and then sublease. Overall, if you’ll be out of Ecuador, just rent longer-term.

3. Advertise on the net. Most tourists these days plan their trips at least a few weeks in advance researching on the net. HomeAway.com is a great place to begin advertising your property. If they had a Super Bowl commercial with Chevy Chase last year, you know they sell.


2. Get a local on your team.
It will help your business a lot if you can get a trustworthy local to come clean your place and receive the keys from guests. In Ecuador, you can often pay them to clean your whole 2 bedroom house for $10-15. They will also often help keep an eye on your house when you aren’t around. Yes, many Ecuadorians are trustworthy, while some aren’t.


1. Charge a deposit in advance
to hold the reservation. Don’t accept people’s “word” that they are coming. You will lose business this way! Many say they’ll come and never show up while you turn other renters down.

Require they leave the security deposit ahead of time via Bank transfer or even a PayPal payment online (what I use.) Don’t try to charge the security deposit upon arrival either, many will try to weasle their way out saying they’ll pay later or that they simply forgot putting you in a precarious position.

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