Many homeowners begin offering their homes as rentals during the holidays and festivals, but soon find that is a pleasant way to add to their bottom line that they are encouraged to continue. In fact, regularly renting your home on a short term basis can yield some very hefty financial rewards.
Here are several tips for successfully turning your home into a holiday rental.
Make sure you aren’t breaking any rules
Short term rentals can be fun, but you do want to check the rules in your area to ensure there are no restrictions preventing you from renting your home short term.
Once you are confident that there won’t be any issues with councils or homeowners associations, you will need to come up with a rental rate. Check the hotels and any other short term rentals in the area to come up with an average rate. Then decide if your property should come in above or below the average.
Price it competitively
If you have a particularly lovely home with lots of amenities (perhaps a hot tub or swimming pool) you may be able to command a higher price. And if you plan to rent your home during a festival or another busy season, keep in mind that hotels will often raise their rates during these times. You might consider raising your rate, as well.
Consider offering a package rate for renting out multiple nights. For example, if you normally charge a set price for one night, consider charging a little less if they stay three or more nights.
Keep it clean
Unless you are incredibly clean or you don’t mind doing the work yourself, you will want to hire a cleaning service to give your home a thorough clean before you begin renting it out. If you decide to rent your home regularly, you may want to make arrangements with a service to have them come in each time after your guests leave.
Take plenty of photos
Great photographs will make the job of renting your home for a good price that much easier. Make sure you capture your home at its best. Try photographing it at different times of the day to catch the best light. De-clutter if necessary before you snap any photos.
Check references and get a deposit
If you are screening people on your own, be sure to get references. Look the prospective renters up on social media, as well. Don’t be afraid to refuse to rent to anyone who sets off your alarm bells. There will be other renters. If you ask for a deposit, it’s not unusual to get 35-50% of a night’s rental. You will need to work out in writing how you plan to return the renters deposit to them after they have left, though.
Lock away your valuables
If you have anything of value in your home that would upset you if it were accidentally (or intentionally) damaged or stolen, put it away under lock and key. Most people are not going to steal from someone they just gave their credit card to, but there are exceptions. Be safe not sorry.
Put out a welcome kit
It’s a nice touch to let your renters know how appreciated they are. It ensures they’ll rent from you again if they ever return. At the very least, they will be more inclined to give you a positive review.
You can make a simple basket of nice coffees, teas, cookies, etc. Also put in a little note thanking them for staying with you and giving them a number to call in case there are any troubles. If your home has quirks, it might be nice to leave a little brochure telling them how to deal with them.