When you’re trying to rent your vacation property, your first priority is to attract interested renters — and to do that, you need features that will catch people’s attention when they’re searching online.

Some of the most important are outdoor amenities: the right kind can grab the eye when someone is browsing hundreds of online listings, and can help someone choose your rental over the competition.

A place to sit and relax

People go on vacation to relax, so show that your property gives them a place to do this.

Put plenty of outdoor seating on your property:

  • A hammock between two trees in the backyard might be a good fit.
  • An outdoor table and chairs encourage relaxation and conversation.
  • Add an umbrella to provide shade while your renters sit outside.

Your outdoor space can be as simple or as complex as your budget allows. If you have a porch or patio, you don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy seating. Just make sure you have something there — something that will handle the weather well — and your potential renters will notice.

Don’t forget about lighting so people can still use the space after the sun sets!

A place to cook out

If the weather in your area is conducive to outdoor cookouts or marshmallow roasts, consider adding an attractive grill or fire pit area.

People enjoy the relaxation that comes from gathering around a fire with hot dogs or marshmallows in hand, swapping stories with friends or family while they enjoy the cool evening air.

Be sure to check with your insurance or the homeowner’s association in the community to ensure that a fire pit is allowed.

A place to play

Does your rental appeal to people with kids? A small swing set, if it’s not too much of an insurance liability, can be a major draw.

Many parents will opt to rent a property that gives their children a place to play — they’ll have more opportunities to relax if their kids aren’t constantly saying, “I’m bored!”

What can you do if a playground is not allowed or practical? Consider some outdoor games to give the kids something to play with.

Anything that provides some distraction and entertainment will be valued by your guests.

A place to swim

If you have the budget for installation and upkeep, consider investing in a pool or a sauna.

Giving your guests a place to swim can make your property feel more like a resort or hotel. Yes, it can add significant upkeep costs, but the benefit can be more renters who are thrilled to have an on-site pool available. You can also raise your rates because of the extra feature.

A place to enjoy beauty

Don’t forget about the landscaping and garden when you’re improving the outdoor space around your rental property.

Your landscaping doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to look nice. This is what will make people stop and take a closer look. Add a few low-maintenance perennial plants to keep the yard looking fresh, clean and beautiful, and enjoy the benefit of more interest in your rental property.

Don’t forget to add rocks or mulch to keep the weeds at bay.

A place for pets

Does your rental property allow pets? If so, consider adding a dog run so animals have a place to enjoy the outdoors off-leash. For vacationers who travel with their pets, this small addition can show that you’re truly a pet-friendly property.

There’s a benefit for you, too: because pet owners are likely to put their pets in the designated area if it is available, it can help protect your lawn and landscaping.

To make your rental property a success, you have to think like a potential renter — which means thinking about what renters look for in a property before they decide to book. Invest in the outdoor amenities and you will get it back through more inquiries and happy guests.

Jeff Caldwell is Brand Manager of Superior Shade (srpshade.com) in Carrollton, GA. Superior Shade provides protection from the elements with products like column umbrellas, custom shades, and shade hips, that provide protection from the sun and harmful UV rays. They provide custom shade structures to fit your business needs.