The Best Time to Begin Your Vacation Rental

A lot goes into your vacation rental’s availability. It takes time to get a home prepared for reservations. If you’re buying a home, the process can be extended as you search the market, work through closing and furnish the home.

However, knowing a good starting date can get you up and running with little to no time between listing and your first reservation.

Before You List

One small aside before we jump into it: My first piece of advice is to get the home completely ready before you list it on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. You never know if someone will make a reservation for that night (I’ve seen it happen), so you don’t want to scramble to finish projects, clean or stage the home before guests arrive. 

Spring is Best

As many of us know from the traffic flow through Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, summer time is peak tourism season in the Pikes Peak region. This is why I suggest new vacation rentals come “on the market” just before summer in February-April. If you’re closing on a home, shoot for this time frame!

You’re likely to get some weekend reservations for February and April, and you may see a little uptick in March for spring break. Spring is also when I see an influx of summer reservations hit our books. Preparations for summer vacations begin in the spring, especially for those traveling to Air Force Academy or college graduations. Your summer calendar will start to fill in, and if you have some reservations (and reviews) from the spring to entice potential bookers, your summer will book up nicely!


Beginning your short term rental during the summer can be effective, but stressful. The demand from travelers may leave you scrambling to get things done before people arrive. Make sure you have a plan for resetting the home after each reservation, or you may find your calendar filling up faster than you can handle. This is where having a manager with a team comes in handy! We have the resources to get your home listed quickly (to take advantage of the remaining summer season), and we can take care of back-to-back or last minute reservations when they start rolling in!

The spring and summer months should help you build lots of good reviews to keep those winter reservations coming in!

Fall and Winter

If you start your short term rental during the fall or winter, you may long for those long lines of summer tourists! As school starts, the demand for vacation rentals goes down. You may find some holiday and weekend reservations, but expect to do a lot of the heavy lifting financially during the fall and winter the first year.

The Benefits of a Vacation Rental Manager

In a world with Airbnb and Vrbo, everyone can rent out their home.

It’s a great way to earn money back on your investment, and one we wholeheartedly support! But not every Vrbo or Airbnb experience is created equal.

Airbnb calls homeowners on their site “hosts,” and so much of what makes a vacation rental great is the host, or in our case, the manager. Many homeowners have full-time jobs and may even live far from from their rental; too far to keep an eye on the property or be helpful to guests. Vacation rental managers can keep your property and your guests happy with each reservation.

Here are the top 5 reasons to use a manager for your rental property!

1. It’s Our Job 

As vacation rental managers, it’s our full-time, 24/7 job to take care of these properties and those in them! We have the time, resources and experience to know what each house needs.

2. Get What You Expect 

This goes for our owners and our guests. Our partnership with our homeowners is straightforward. It’s not our goal to nickel and dime anyone. It is our goal to go above and beyond! We’re here to work with you to make your property an oasis for those in it.

The same goes for our guests. We want their trip to be straightforward and easy. We accomplish that with standards they can count on. They can expect fair pricing, a pristine cleaning, timely responses from us, and for their time in your home to be everything they hoped for–and more!

3. Customer Service 

We’re here for guests. If that means setting up reservations, bringing extra supplies, answering questions around the clock, or providing great recommendations for the area, we’re on it! PS: We’re here for you too. Call anytime; we want to talk about anything on your mind.

4. Maintenance 

We don’t want anything to go wrong during a reservation, and neither do you–or the guests! We do all we can to handle problems ourselves at no cost. If we need to call in reinforcements, we will! We can handle the logistics of maintenance work and the reservation schedule to keep intrusions on guests to a minimum and get issues resolved quickly.

5. Aaron and Lauren

Our greatest resource to you and the guests is us! We’re in your property after each check out. Naturally, we check for things like wear and tear or damages. We also listen to guest feedback and make necessary changes. We check on the cleaning to make sure nothing was overlooked. And finally, we’re there to think ahead. We plan not only for the next reservation, but reservations a year from now. We try to detect things that may become an issue in the future. And we also think of ways to make the house better whether those are changes you can make to the home, or changes we can make in our services.

If you want to learn more about the management services provided by Out West Vacation Rentals, give Lauren a call today at 719.581.7474 or reach out to us online here.