Earlier this year I discussed a few things to consider before purchasing an investment cabin in the Smokies and followed it up with ways to maximize bookings for your rental cabin. In this article we are going to discuss the type of cabins that had the best performance for 2012. This is especially important when you are thinking about purchasing a log cabin in the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge area as an investment.

Are You Thinking Like A Buyer Or An Investor?

There are many instances when clients of mine are looking to purchase a log cabin but sometimes lose track of what the main objective is. If this is an investment, then we need to focus on what will provide you with the best ROI (Return On Investment). If you are purchasing this unit based on what will accommodate your family for the 2-3 visits you make a year then you may be losing out on some great rental income. If your primary focus is to have lodging for your family when you are visiting the area and will use the rental program to offset some of the cost then it isn't as important. What IS important is to make that determination before finalizing the purchase.

What 2012 Has Told Us About Lodging

Lodging in Sevier County continues to grow at a steady pace. For instance, Pigeon Forge posted an increase of 11% in 2012 from 2011 in lodging revenue and expects it to increase at the same rate or better for 2013 & 2014. So what cabins performed the best? Well, it continues to be the 1 and 2 bedrooms units. And it is not just any 1 or 2 bedroom cabins, there is a certain trend developing that show the best numbers.


The units that have the highest occupancy are the ones that are offering a more modern look and feel. 1 and 2 bedroom cabins that are up to date with appliances, flooring, technology (TVs, WiFi, SAT, etc.), and furniture are performing very well. Conversely, the 1 and 2 bedroom units that are out dated in their furnishings and features are doing poorly by comparison. The days of buying an older 1 or 2 bedroom unit and throwing in a few flat screen TVs to make everything OK are over. Renters are wanting more. And they are willing to pay for it. Renters are wanting units that will still provide entertainment and "something to do" on a rainy or lazy day. After speaking with 3 different contacts of mine at some of the large cabin rental companies, this is what I have found. One and Two bedroom cabins with up to date furnishings and features that also have a theater room and games like foosball and/or a pool table have the best rental history for 2012. Hands down. The other very obvious fact is that these style units are also the ones that have to be the most competitive with their nightly rates. This makes it very important to enlist the services of a log cabin specialist like myself to assist you with finding the best deal. A deal that allows for you to not only be competitive in your rates but one that also MAKES YOU MONEY.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the large (7+ bedrooms) cabins are in high demand. More and more large groups, families, Corporations, etc., are traveling to the area and show great interest in staying in one large rental cabin as opposed to hotels/motels. This of course is a much larger investment but if handled correctly can yield great returns.

If you are interested in jumping into the log cabin investment market, or maybe you want to add to your existing real estate portfolio, I can help. You can contact me or call me direct at 865-719-4930 to begin your search. Let me help you own a little piece of the Smokies.