Between books, blogs, podcasts, and TV shows, there are a million and one ways to educate yourself on how to run a vacation rental business. With so much content out there it’s hard to even know where to begin.
Before you get overwhelmed with information, just relax and enjoy these TV show recommendations that are both entertaining and informative about the vacation rental industry. These shows will guide you through some of the common steps of short-term rental property ownership, such as making the initial investment, renovating the space, or using a vacation rental software to market the vacation rental.
Grab a notebook and your TV remote so you can sit back and get inspired. We promise not to give any spoilers!
This show features vacation homes ready to make a drastic change to their short-term rental business. Whether that’s an interior design transformation or website overhaul, these vacation rentals completely turn it around with world-famous interior designer Genevieve Gorder and Los Angeles real estate guru Peter Lorimer as hosts.
The best part? Lodgify made a celebrity debut by teaching these property owners how to market their space, create a captivating website, and activate their channel manager connections: all guaranteed ways to turn a vacation rental into a wild success.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: Some of the mistakes you see these vacation owners make are age-old issues; such as poorly designed spaces, not marketing amenities, or not treating their rental property as a proper business. The owners are new to the business, so this show really helps to illustrate how to successfully launch a vacation rental business from the beginner’s perspective.
Through each of these episodes, you’ll learn how to turn your second residence into a profitable side business. Each episode will leave you amazed with all the vacation rental possibilities.
Where to watch: Netflix
2. Amazing Interiors
Amazing Interiors is a reality program that showcases some interesting designs hidden from the outside. The homes featured in this show are seemingly ordinary from the exterior, but, as the title suggests, are more than amazing on the inside.
With interesting twists, such as a backyard roller coaster and a part-time museum, you’ll see some homes that you never could have imagined.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: The vacation rental industry is a competitive one and the demand is forcing owners to market some kind of uniqueness for their properties. This program will give you ideas on how to make your vacation rental stand out and provide a one-of-a-kind experience, may it be a backyard roller coaster or some other rare highlight mentioned on the show.
Where to watch: Netflix
3. Instant Hotel
This Australian competitive vacation rental TV show takes all the fun of hospitality and turns it into a lively rivalry. Each player is a homeowner who has turned their space into a makeshift hotel. There are 5 groups of couples who compete for a cash prize . Each group has to win over their guests/competitors based on four categories: the house, the location, how well they slept and the value for their money.
What makes this show especially unique is that they rank the guest experienceand the host experience. Hosts in the show get to grade the guests based on their cleanliness, lateness for check-in and check-out, and respect of house rules.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: This show proves that running a short-term rental property business isn’t as easy as it looks. It illustrates both the host and guests perspective, which you can take into consideration for your own property.
Not only that, the four categories used for ranking guest experience are useful for ensuring the same quality of service for your own guests. You can also learn from the mistakes of hosting unwanted guests through the show rather than having to experience it for yourself.
Where to watch: Netflix
4. Matt Landau’s, The Vacation Rental Show
Vacation rental guru, Matt Landau, paints the picture of vacation rentals through storytelling in this inspiring web series. Landau travels around the world to understand the new style of travel that longs for bespoke experiences. He meets with hosts and guests to understand short term rentals through the lens of authenticity.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: Vacation rental owners are always searching for ways to add to guest experiences. Increased bookings often goes beyond the property itself and into the guests’ journey. You can see firsthand how people are traveling and what kind of stay they’re looking for by watching this vacation rental show.
Host Holly Baker hunts for vacation rentals with potential homeowners. She helps to understand the overall investment by assessing price, location, and design. She then shows the new vacation rental property owners how to optimize their “rental potential” on sites like Vrbo or Airbnb.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: This is a literal step by step guide on how to invest in a vacation rental! You’ll get an overall understanding of what makes a vacation rental worth the investment and then you’ll get to learn about all the insiders’ tips and tricks on how to market your vacation rental on platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo. This is a great show for vacation rental owners who are just starting out or even those who are just in the home buying phase.
Where to watch: A&E Network
6. Scott’s Vacation House Rules
In this show, they take “problem properties” that aren’t turning a profit into money-making, dreamy escapes. Host Scott McGillivray is a vacation rental home expert and educates all the show’s guests on how to successfully renovate their short term rentals in order to increase the overall traveler experience and consequently get more bookings.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: Some vacation rental owners are facing much of the same problems as the members of the show: an outdated space, no marketing plan, or a troubling combination of the two. By watching, you can make the comparison of your own home, dissect the problem, and ask yourself, “What would Scott McGillivray do?” If your property isn’t reaching the desired bookings you can consider some of the solutions offered in the show and figure out why your vacation rental isn’t getting reservations.
Where to watch: HGTV Network and Amazon Prime
7. Income Property
Much like the last one mentioned, Income Property is all about increasing the value of a rental. Scott McGillivray makes his debut again, but this time from the very beginning of the rental property investment. The guests on Income Property have freshly purchased a rental home and are in need of DIY help. Each home featured gets a full renovation, amplifying the property value tenfold.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: This show is more focused on long-term rental properties, but there’s still a lot of useful material for vacation rental owners. Jot down ideas about curb appeal, open concepts, and other great inspiration that the show reveals to make the most of your short term rental.
Where to watch: HGTV Network, DIY Network and Amazon Prime
8. Getting Away Together
Getting Away Together is a travel series that documents the growing trend of people sharing vacations in groups. Follow girlfriend getaways, extended family weekends, and boys’ trips as they visit vacation destinations across the U.S.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: Get the travelers’ perspective on what it’s like to stay in a vacation rental. This is especially useful if your short term rental property targets a particular audience, for example if you advertise for glamping, you can watch an episode about the outdoor adventure groups and see what your property might be missing.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
9. Property Brothers
Twins Jonathan and Drew Scott are real estate experts who visit homeowners in need of some help. This show follows different families that are looking to sell their old home and buy a new one, all while making a profit. The twins transform dated properties into marketable homes.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: The point of owning a vacation home is to earn some kind of income. Here, you can get tips on how to increase the value of your vacation rental and attract guests. This show is especially beneficial because they break down the costs of renovation in comparison to what the added value would be. If you’re looking to renovate your vacation rental this show will be great to gather ideas and discover the true cost of home renovation.
Where to watch: HGTV, Hulu, and Amazon Prime
10. Selling Sunset
Selling Sunset is the sultry home show of the year. Although the focus is a reality style take on the real estate industry, there’s still a lot of content for vacation rental owners. This show offers an insider’s look at some of LA’s hottest homes on the market. Drama aside, the cast of Selling Sunset show what it’s like to be in the home business with some gorgeous properties as a backdrop.
Why it’s useful for vacation rental owners: If you’re in the business of luxury, this is the TV show for you. Selling Sunset flaunts the best of Beverly Hills and provides inspiration to vacation rental owners everywhere. Take notes and add some of the amenities featured on the show, like spas or wine cellars, to increase bookings and add value to your short term vacation rental.
Where to watch: Netflix
At the end of the day, your vacation rental is a business, so you should act accordingly, but why not have a little fun in the process? Vacation rental TV shows are a great excuse to sit down with some popcorn while getting inspiration for your short term rental. Learn how to make your vacation home just as binge-worthy as some of our recs!
Once you’ve applied your new entertainment-inspired tips, you’ll be ready to take your vacation rental to the next level. A glamorous rental property is nothing without an equally awe-inspiring website. Learn more about our vacation rental software and turn your side income into a money making machine!
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