Renting out your house as a vacation property isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re not comfortable with the idea of turning your home over to people who’ll use it as a convenience while they’re having a good time on vacation. To be sure, it can take a little getting used to, but if you live near an area that has a lot to offer people looking for a fun get-away, you can generate a healthy secondary income without a lot of hard work. However, be aware that you’ll be competing with area hotels and B&Bs when it comes to comfort. Here are a few essential points to consider if you’re serious about prepping your home as a vacation rental.
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Starting Your Rental Business
Your first rental property is a business – and you’ve got to treat it that way. First, you need to create a legal business entity such as an LLC that will “own” your asset (the rental property). With your business entity established, you can officially apply for your business bank account. This account will help you – and your accountant – separate your business and personal finances. Lastly, you’ll need some investment funding in that business account for purchasing your first property! Your dream is closer than you might think.
A Deep Cleaning
If you intend to compete with full-time hospitality businesses, you’ll have to maintain a high level of cleanliness and convenience. Some renters hire professional cleaning services while others prefer to handle it themselves — though it’s important to make room in your budget for this. Whichever you choose, make sure the job is done as thoroughly as possible because discriminating guests who are spending their hard-earned money on you will certainly notice if any corners have been cut. Be vigilant: As the owner, it can be easy to overlook little details that a guest would not miss. All carpeting should be shampooed and free of stains and stale odors. Make sure there’s no grime or mold showing in the bathroom, and take the time and effort to clean under appliances in the kitchen. The fridge should also be well-scrubbed with no lingering smells.
Of course, keeping your vacation rental properly maintained might prove troublesome if you live a good distance away from it. If taking care of the property between guests is simply too much of a logistical hassle, or you simply want to hire someone to take care of this process for you, look into working closely with a vacation rental company. Bringing in a rental company can take the stress out of maintaining your home, as the company will make sure the home is ready for each guest before arrival. Some rental companies will even equip the property with digital locks and use fraud-prevention strategies during the booking process, so you can rest assured that your home is well taken care of.
You’ll want your vacation rental to be in an appealing location, but there’s more to attracting visitors than being in a desirable locale. The house itself should also appeal to guests, which means you may need to make some upgrades. Gas fireplaces are popular features for guests who enjoy relaxing in comfort, as are jet tubs, which can be added easily and inexpensively by upgrading an existing standard bathtub. Hiring Patrick’s Painting to add a fresh coat of paint on your home’s interior or exterior can also add to its appeal. You should also consider leaving a few good books and board games in the home for guests to enjoy.
Your guests should always expect to feel safe and secure. A rental home with plenty of security features will help put them at ease, so include motion-activated security cameras that can be accessed by smartphone, a valuable feature if you need to keep an eye on things from a distant location. A video doorbell not only lets you monitor comings and goings but gives you the opportunity to communicate with would-be intruders and keeps your investment secure. A home security system with external monitoring is regarded as the best means for ensuring protection.
Depending on the number of guests you’re expecting, it may be necessary to move pieces of furniture and other items out of the way. If you lack on-site storage, consider using an affordable rental space temporarily. Remember, you’re trying to give each guest a memorable experience that leaves them considering you for a return trip. That means making them feel at home and well provided for so they don’t waste time running around picking up necessary items.
Your rental home should have a fully equipped first aid kit with numbers for nearby physicians and hospitals clearly posted. Safety should always be your primary concern, so be sure you’ve provided a functional fire extinguisher, fire detectors (with fresh batteries), and potholders in the kitchen. You never know what your guests’ staple beverages might be, so keep a coffee maker and teapot on hand so they can brew whatever they please.
Provide To-Do List Recommendations
You know your area well; your guests can use that knowledge to make the most of their time. Brainstorm a list of top attractions, activities, and restaurants that are a bit different and offer a diverse range of ideas. One guest may plan on spending plenty of time enjoying the sun and surf, so provide a list of the best beaches. Another guest might like to do lots of shopping while on vacation, so make sure they know where the best shopping can be found.
Maximizing your vacation rental home’s marketability depends on paying close attention to details. Your guests should feel cozy and safe staying in a house that offers aesthetic appeal as well as simple conveniences. It should be the kind of place you would want to vacation in.