Leeward Mark

Case Study: Increasing Revenue Through Strategic Renovations

Over the last few years Oak Island has undergone a building boom. New homes with all the bells and whistles are entering the vacation rental market, making for a much more competitive environment. Property owners who fail to take a hard look at the realities of an aging property will often be left behind, seeing fewer and fewer rentals and no repeat guests in the prime season.

Michael Tove, the current owner of Leeward Mark, was not going to be one of those owners. Leeward Mark has been a part of OIA’s vacation rental offerings since the late 1990’s and, even with its oceanfront location, reservations dwindled. Tove reached out to Property Manager Destiny Baker in January 2017 and together they came up with a two-year renovation plan to right the property’s rental course.

The property was blocked from January to mid May during which time luxury vinyl flooring was installed in the living room, the wooden paneling in the living room and hallway were painted a coastal blue, a new ceiling fan was installed, and the furniture in the living room and dining area was replaced.

Though the living area underwent the most dramatic change, Tove chose to also replace two double mattresses along with their bedding, install 32-inch smart TV’s in all the bedrooms and add a Blu-ray player in the kid’s room. Lastly, Tove made the choice to become a dog-friendly property.

The results were dramatic. Booked nights at Leeward Mark increased from 92 in 2016 to 170 in 2017. The property saw a 65% increase in net rent, even with approximately 4 months blocked for the renovations. “We have not been able to use the property because it’s rented continuously,” says Tove. Tove recommends that any owners who finds themselves in a similar situation reach out to an OIA property manager. “Listen to those recommendations and take very seriously what those recommendations are,” he says. It could be the difference between a stellar season or a continued decline in guest interest.