The sudden rise in popularity of short term rental websites like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, 9Flats etc. have shaken the traditional hospitality industry. And now, everybody who has a spare room or a spare apartment or house can rent it out. It provides a win-win situation for both the homeowner who can make some use of the spare property and make some extra money and at the same time, provides a new kind of experience for the guests. This kind of system has had its share of controversy over the years, but it looks like it has been resolved, and this kind of hospitality system is here to stay.
If you have a spare property and are thinking of putting it up for rental, it goes without saying that you need to prepare it. This preparation can be as easy as cleaning and putting amenities for your guest, or you might need to renovate or redecorate altogether. Here is some helpful advice that might be of use in preparing your space for success.
Clean Your Rental Space and Fix Any Safety Hazards
Making sure that your home is clean and tidy is the most obvious and easiest thing that you can do to ensure that the guests will have a comfortable stay. Make sure that everything is spic and span especially the bathroom and the kitchen. The beds should be made well and fitted with clean and comfortable linens.
Some people choose to hire professional cleaning services to give their house a good refresh. You can also choose to do it yourself to save money, as well as have more control over the level of clean that you want your house to have.
While we are on the subject of cleaning, make sure that all potential hazards like exposed wires or nails jutting out are taken care of. The last thing that you want to do is deal with an accident because your guest sustained an injury because of these.
Think About Insurance
Most of the home rentals are uneventful – the owner rents it out, the guests pay, stay and leave without a problem. But every now and then, disaster can happen. There are cases where people’s rental houses were completely trashed or there was this tragic case in Texas where a renter died when the tree holding up the hammock gave way and fell on his head. And while these events might never happen to you, it helps to have insurance coverage, just in case.
When you put up your house up for short term rental, check if the platform that you choose to offer some sort of liability coverage. To date, two services – Airbnb and Homeaway offer up to 1Million in primary liability insurance. Their insurance covers things like property damage or guest in injuries.
In addition to these, you might want to think about taking insurance for your rental houses for coverage that goes beyond what these platforms offer. Again, it might never happen to you, but it’s good to have it when it does.
Renovate if Needed
Unless your property has a historical value where holes and chipped paint add to the ambiance of the property, you want to make sure that your rental property is spic and span. And in some cases, for this to happen, you have to renovate.
The kitchen is the first area that you should look at it if needs renovating because people naturally tend to use the kitchen even if they rent the place only for a few days. And, a respectable kitchen equipped with the right amenities can go a long way to ensure that your guests have a comfortable stay.
The bathroom is the next area that you need to check if it needs a good spruce up because it is one of the most used areas in your rental home. The key to remodeling the bathroom if you are not sure how to go about it is to ask yourself how would you like a vacation bathroom to look like, and you can start from there.
After you’ve taken into consideration the bathroom and the kitchen, walk around and do a once over in your property to check if you need to do any additional repairs like filling in holes and cracks or repainting chipped paint. Remember that people love places that look clean and polished.
Decorate by Picking Out a Theme
Decorating your property is one of the fun things that you can do. And there are literally a thousand options on how to beautify your property. With all these choices available, it’s easy to get confused or maybe over decorate.
To prevent this, the first thing that you should do is to think of a theme where you can build the design from and go from there. You can find inspiration online, or from magazines or maybe ask for some advice from friends who are in the interior decorating field. Again, there are a lot of themes to choose from – shabby chic, retro, industrial, nautical. Choose one that best suits your personality, and decorate from there.
Make Sure That There is Ample Storage Space
Storage is important for any rental home. So while it may not be as exciting as picking a theme for your house, make sure that your rental house has enough space for your guests to fully unpack and store their suitcases. This goes a long way in making sure that your guests feel at home especially if they are staying for more than a few days.
Level Up Advise
When you have properly prepared your house, the next thing to do is to get it on the website so that you can get it noticed and start people renting. But the reality is, just putting up your property on the website is not a guarantee that renters will be swarming to rent it out. Remember that there are literally hundreds of people who have the same property as you have, and you have to compete with them for the attention of potential renters.
One of the things that you can do to up your chances of getting your property rented is to understand your target market from the very start. Take some time to think about who are the people that you want to rent the property to Couples? Family? Millennials? Once you’ve done this, you can start to piece together the best strategy to attract these people which includes how you design the place, the price etc.
Another thing to remember is that people love luxury particularly when they are on holiday. This concept holds true whether you are renting your place for $50 or $500 a night. Guests who are looking at properties that are on the same price range will naturally gravitate to the one that looks luxurious.
There are many ways to provide a luxurious feel without spending a small fortune. You can start by doing light interior decoration where you don’t need to put inexpensive finishes. Another thing that you can do to keep your cost down is to get your materials from second-hand shops or estate sales. Remember you are aiming for affordable luxury- affordable for you, luxurious for your guests.
The last thing that you should remember is that when you rent out your house, you automatically become part of the hospitality industry. And above everything else, you want to provide a memorable guest experience so that they come back, and recommend you to all their friends and acquaintances. The key thing to remember is that people leave reviews about your properties and your potential clients usually read thru the reviews when they are looking for vacation rental just like people who are looking to buy the best project management construction software read the online reviews before they decide to purchase.
There are several ways that you can by being available anytime they want to ask questions or recommendations, being polite and being generous with your time to name a few ways. Your property and location might be the first things that get guests to rent your property, but its hospitality and good service that will keep them coming back.
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