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Preparing a Vacation Rental

Preparing a Vacation Rental

How to take a place from a home to an income generator

 

Digital platforms have made it easier than ever to make some extra cash off of the things you own. These days, you can rent a strangers car, home, or camping gear affordably through digital apps and websites. It’s the sharing economy personified. People helping people meet their needs without the pricey middleman.

But that doesn’t mean you can just snap a few shots of your home, open up an AirBnB profile, and start raking in the dough.

Preparing a property to become a vacation rental is not challenging, but it does take some work, strategy, and foresight. Here, we have compiled a six step plan to prepare any home or apartment to become a short term rental unit. Done effectively, it can generate extra income or even become a full time job. Done incorrectly, you can waste time and money on a property no one is renting.

 

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Do The Math

Before you make any other moves, do the math on what you will need to make off of the unit in order to make this worth your while. Everyone is different. Some people are buying a property solely to generate income. Others are looking to make money on an extra space in their home. You need to assess the costs related to maintaining the property for years to come. Then, take a look at the market in your area. Are you in a vacation destination or a typical suburban city? You cannot count on a steady turnover of renters in a more rural area unless there are folks coming through your town.

 

Empty It

If it pencils, then it’s time to move on to creating the ideal vacation or rental experience. That means it is time to empty the place of anything you want to keep, or anything of value to you. You do not want your autographed posters hanging on the walls of the rental, unless you are OK with them getting damaged or worn. And no one wants to rest on your dirty old mattress or frumpy couch. Use Go Trashy, the junk removal app, to haul away anything you no longer want, on-demand and affordably.

 

Thoughtfully Furnish

It is a competitive marketplace out there. You need to offer comfy beds, clean kitchen appliances, and spotless bathrooms. But you also do not need to overspend on furniture or fixtures. No one will rent your place because you opted for the pricy light fixtures. That said, you might entice renters if you offer high end amenities that are in demand. If you spend extra on it, whether it’s a TV or plush mattresses, you should market those furnishings to potential renters. After all, if that big screen helps you attract renters year-round, it is worth the extra cash.

 

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Pay a Photographer

No matter what platform you use or who your target audience is, you are selling this place solely on the way it appears. Do not put in all this work and time and then pull out your iPhone to snap photos. No one will see the beauty of the place if it’s not properly lighted, laid out, and photographed. In your budget, you need to set aside a few hundred dollars to have the property photographed by a professional. They will see and fix all the little things that you might not catch with your naked eye, like wrinkled bedspreads and dusty floors.

 

Use Multiple Channels

Rental platforms are like social media channels. There is no reason not to double the reach and the number of potential renters by making your property available through multiple outlets. You might offer the best price and amenities in town, but if everyone is using HomeAway and you are only on AirBnB, you are not going to maximize your income potential.

 

Stay Vigilant

Homes age. Apartments quickly build up dust. But each new renter who walks through the door is experiencing your place for the first and potentially only time. They will then review and comment so that all your other future renters can make an informed decision. That is why you need to treat each renter as though they were the first to visit your new property. You might not have the time or budget to offer free coffee and local pastries to each and every renter. You do, however, have the time to keep the place immaculately clean. And you should stay on top of trends and offerings. You want to provide the most entertainment offerings (Netflix, Prime) and the fastest WiFi possible. Renters will notice and comment when they find these amenities.

 

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