Have you thought about renting out your home to make a little extra cash? You’re not alone! Short-term home renting has become more and more popular over the last decade, with companies like Airbnb pulling in almost $3 billion since setting up shop in 2008.
Becoming a part-time landlord can earn you some serious semi-passive income, but not without hard work.
Renting can be trickier than it used to be with more options on the market and increasing guest expectations. At the same time, potential landlords shouldn’t get discouraged or completely count out this opportunity.
To get ahead of the game, check out some of our top tips on how to get your home ready for weekend renters.
Tip #1: Make Your Home More Family-Neutral
While sentimental and personal objects are usually what make a home so welcoming to its inhabitants, you actually want to depersonalize it when preparing your home for renters, especially if they will be short-term or vacation renters. While this may seem odd, hear us out: Pictures of your own family, personalized dishware and other objects such as this could prevent potential renters from feeling completely welcome in your home.
Instead, put those personal objects away for now and replace them with more neutral decorations. While the décor will be more universal, that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish or beautiful. You can still preserve your style and homey feeling, while using the neutral decorations to allow your renters to fully immerse themselves in your home and make it feel like their own.
Tip #2: Get Rid of Anything too Expensive or Valuable
While you absolutely do not want your home to look or feel cheap, you also need to keep in mind that accidents happen, especially if your renters are booking your home for a special event, like a weekend away or a bachelorette party. You should always convey your expectations to your renters that your home should be treated with caution and respect at all times, but it is also important to be realistic and acknowledge that mishaps may occur anyway.
In order to prepare for the worst-case scenario, make informed decisions about the furniture and decorations that fill your space. For example, while that really expensive table may look super chic and stylish, how would you feel if one of your guests accidentally broke it, leading you to have to replace it? Instead, search for another stylish option but at a more reasonable price so that in the event that something happens to your furniture, you won’t be regretting spending the extra money on it.
Another great example is the window fixtures that you choose to put up in your home. While long, flowing and expensive curtains may seem like a great idea, these types of window fixtures can often get trampled on or even pulled down by children or pets. Instead, opt for cost-effective blinds that are still homey-feeling, but are much safer and less likely to be involved in a mishap. Cordless blinds will help reduce your liability, as they can prevent children or pets from accidents involving the cords.
If you’re still looking to add some style without the hassle and potential danger of long, flowing curtains or corded blinds, consider adding floral-printed shades to a neutrally-painted room. This will add a unique pop of color and style while also being affordable and functional.
Tip #3: Stock Your Home with Plenty of Entertainment Options
The little details and special amenities that a rental home may offer will help keep guests coming back again and again. A great way to add to this for your renters is to stock the home with all types of entertainment options.
Your renters would be delighted to find a variety of board and card games in the hall closet for nights-in or rainy days and will leave feeling like every second of their stay was fun, relaxing and exciting.
If your home is located near a beach or pool, don’t discount storing a few swimming and beach accessories for your renters. A small beach umbrella, a few low-sitting beach chairs and even some water guns for kids (or adults!) to play with will always go over well with your renters.
Lastly, don’t forget about other entertainment options, too, from movies to books. Stock the living room bookshelf with classic DVDs for movie nights and books for those renters who might want some quiet alone time. Not looking to spend a lot of money? Try stocking the bookshelf with some of your own books that you’ve already read. They’ll still be there for you to grab at any time, but now your renters can enjoy them, too.
Tip #4: Decorate with Location-Specific Pieces
If you are renting out your home as a vacation home, be sure to add location-specific decorations. While these may seem cheesy to someone who lives there all year round, location-specific decorations will get short-term guests even more excited about their stay and provide them with a local flair.
Not sure what to add? Try a vintage map of your town or city or even some local postcards framed on the wall. If you find one, you can also add a photo book of local photos as a coffee table book for guests to peruse through when they first arrive. Adding little touches like these will make your guests feel instantly immersed in their new home and town.
Tip #5: Add Some Guidelines and Instructions for Your Renters
There are some things you may take for granted knowing about your own home, but don’t assume your renters will know these things. For example, all the great dining and shopping options (and which ones to avoid) in your area may not be apparent to renters who are new to your town. Throw together a quick list of your top five dining and shopping options nearby so that your renters won’t have to spend time researching when they’re hungry or itching to shop.
Similarly, creating a small list of important things to know is also a good idea. This list should definitely include the Wi-Fi name and password if your home offers Wi-Fi and can also include things like how to work the thermostat and where additional towels and linens are located. By including these simple resources, your renters will have a stress-free stay.
Vacation Rentals Are Worth the Work
Overall, renting isn’t always easy, but it is well worth the work–especially when you know you will be opening your home to other people. Plus, the extra cash that will come with your renters is never a bad thing. Before you know it, you will be one of the top-rated Airbnb hosts in your area, complete with regular renters who book your home for all their special trips.
About the Author:
Kenneth Gordon serves as the Assistant VP of Factory Direct Blinds. Kenneth is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of all Factory Direct Blinds marketing and advertising initiatives. Before joining Factory Direct Blinds, Kenneth served 6 years in the United States Air Force as a Military Police Officer. Kenneth enjoys spending time with his two sons and beautiful wife Brittany when he’s not working or writing.