5 Ways to Protect Your Hawaii Vacation Rental Investment Property

5 Ways to Protect Your Hawaii Vacation Rental Investment Property

I have been a Real Estate Agent for many years and have run a top performing vacation rental program since 2013. Over the course of my career, I have represented buyers and seller of vacation rental properties in Hawaii. The most common question I get is how likely is it for an owner’s property to be damaged by short-term renters. The surest way of ensuring that your property stays in pristine condition is by not renting it out at all. However, this is not for everyone. This is only for the more well-off owners who don’t require any passive income to offset property expenses. This guide is for owners who want to boost their investment by having it rented out. Below, you’ll find tips on 5 ways to protect your Hawaii Vacation Rental Property. 

If you and your property manager follow the following tips, I’m confident this will greatly enhance your asset preservation. The idea here is to give your guest an excellent experience so that they are encouraged to treat your vacation rental with respect.

  1. Let your guests know that the property is someone’s home away from home

We noticed during the pre-arrival process and the physical greeting for the property that the more guests and the owners are acquainted with one another, the more the guests are likely to treat the property with respect. This is because the guests are instilled with the knowledge that the property is not just one of many properties that a corporation owns. They know that the property is someone’s home and they feel a sense of responsibility for the property. 

The Parkman ‘Ohana are our friends and business partners from San Antonio, Texas. They own a number of high-end vacation rental properties in Kaanapali, Maui. By presenting a photo, a short description and the correct presentation on our home books, guests are acquainted with the Parkman’s and will know that the property is precious to them. The guests are more likely to treat the property as their own and take care of it.

2. Keep the property in pristine condition

Having the property in top-notch condition shows pride of ownership. This lets the guest know that you take care of the property and they, in turn, should do the same. We have strict standards when it comes to cleaning and maintaining our properties. When guests first enter the property and they see it is in excellent condition they will be obliged to keep it that way. During checkouts, we present guests with an detailed  list of items to do prior to check out to help with keeping the property in excellent condition. 

We also encourage owners to make a commitment to keeping their properties functional and in the most appealing condition as can be. This includes updating the furniture and appliances when recommended. Remodeling and adding enhancements are also included. The property above shows what it used to look like. By following a very efficient and targeted budget, we were able to enhance the condition that the property is in. The photo below shows the result.

  1. Keeping a detailed inventory list

It is important to present the vacation rental as a home away from home and not just a hotel. This is why property owners are encouraged to stock the property with essentials and keep a detailed list of them. This also makes it convenient for the guests. If they need a certain item, they can just consult the list and check if the unit is equipped with the items. It also helps during check out since the guests know what to pack in their bags and what to leave. The list also plays an important part during checkout since guests and owners can review it and see what is missing or damaged.

  1. Report damages and missing items accurately immediately after checkout

Immediately after the guests’ checkout, we have our cleaning and operations team assess the property and report to us any missing and damaged items. This helps in minimizing the damages and making sure we are able to remedy and fix the situation.  A good example is finding blood on the sheets. We try our best to clean and remove them. However, if we can’t do so, guests are billed for these. These aren’t just a drop of blood or two, we’re talking about a substantial amount. For small ones, there is always bleach. It is not a good idea to nickel and dime guests. A common occurrence before was getting smears on our white wash clothes from makeups. We have pretty much eliminated it now by using black wash clothes.

While on this topic, we encourage owners to buy white linens and towels so that they can be bleached if there are stains on them. Owners can use colors elsewhere. 

  1. Have the appropriate Refundable Damage Deposits

All of our properties require a $500-$1,000 refundable damage deposit. This is a guarantee that if something gets damaged during it will be fixed. Guests sometimes complain about the amount but we let them know that the properties that they are renting are worth $500k to millions of dollars. We also let them know that this is also necessary to protect the owner’s interest. Most of the guests understand and comply. If they don’t,  we don’t really wanna do business with them.

It is also important to have a credit card on file. The contract also states that if there are damages that exceed the amount of the deposit, we will pursue it on the guest’s credit card.

It is also advised not to go for non-refundable property insurance policies that are offered by third party vendors. These policies encourage the mindset that the guests can do whatever they want to the property and they are covered. Also, collecting these claims can be very tedious.

Work with a Maui Broker and Vacation Rental Specialist

Search for all of Maui Vacation Rental Properties here – use the drop-down menu to select the Short Term Rental tab and you will be good to go.

#1 I have successfully represented many buyers and sellers of Maui vacation rental properties. If you want help purchasing or selling a Maui vacation rental property, I am very experienced in this niche market.

#2 We own a short-term vacation rental investment property on Maui and have gone through the process of purchasing a Maui vacation rental ourselves.

#3 Purchasing a Maui vacation rental property can be a very profitable investment. We run a very successful vacation rental portfolio of properties through Hawaii Life Vacation Rentals.

Related previously published blog topics:

Invest in a Hawaii Vacation Rental Property with as Little as 20% Down

Maui County Publishes Maui County Short-Term Vacation Rental List

Purchasing a Maui Vacation Rental? 3 Reasons to Call Us First!

Maui Realtor Interviewing for your Services Today

Earn a Part Job in Hawaii by Purchasing a Vacation Rental Property

Toolkit For Purchasing a Hawaii Vacation Rental Property

How Technology Facilitates Maui Property Sales Via the Internet

Invest in Maui Property Via an Internet Purchase with Jeremy Stice & Hawaii Life

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I know the Maui market extremely well as well as its delicate intricacies. Maui real estate is in my blood and I am here at your service. Here is a little bit more about me if you are interested in how I can best assist you.


Jeremy Stice  REALTOR (Broker #21286) Maui, Hawaii
Top 100 Realtors in State of Hawaii Recipient  (out of 12,000) in 2014, ’15, ’16
(808) 281.2178 Direct