Do you have an amazing beachfront property in Florida, romantic cabin in the woods in Oregon, or a quaint house in the burbs of Texas, but don’t want to stay all year round? Instead of moving out or continuing to pay top dollar for a home you barely use, why not turn your humble abode into an awesome vacation rental and make some serious money? But it’s not all fun and games. Turning your home into a successful vacation rental takes a lot of work and effort on your part. Get started by checking out these seven tips for turning your home into a vacation rental below:
- Make it uniquely special: When people go on vacation, they want a place that’s cozy and warm, but not just like home. They want different amenities they can’t get at home like a pool, hot tub, and amazing views of the beach, mountains, golf course, etc. Before you put your home on the vacation rental market, you’ll want to make sure your home is uniquely special or offers something you can’t get just anywhere. Be sure to accentuate these special features and promote them proudly in your description.
- Get a good house cleaning service: If you’re going to turn your home into a vacation rental, you’d better be prepared to deal with trash and messes or hire someone who is. Even if your guests clean up afterwards and take out the trash, you, or someone else, will still need to wash the linens, put away the dishes, clean the floors, sanitize the bathroom, and much more. Your property should always be spick-and-span before each guest arrives.
- Give a detailed description: If you want your vacation rental to be a big success, you should give a detailed description of your home, amenities, and local attractions. Just as a hotel would describe their accommodations, you should also inform potential guests about the property’s furnishings, appliances, linens, towels, pool, gym, etc. The more specific, the better.
- Decide who will manage the property: Before you start renting your home out to vacationers, you need to decide who will manage the property. If you live in the area or will be a short drive away, you may find it easier to manage the property yourself, or have a family member or close friend do the work. Whoever manages the property will need to oversee all repairs, maintenance, landscaping, mortgages, and paperwork.
- Set up ground rules: If you’re going to rent out your home for vacationers, you need to set up ground rules to make sure your place and all of your belongings are taken care of. Think about these ground rules carefully and make sure you are very clear about pets, smoking, cleaning policies, maximum occupancy, and other important issues. It may take a few trials to see what works and what doesn’t work.
- Draft a detailed contract: Drafting a detailed contract is one of the trickiest and most necessary parts of turning your home into a vacation rental. Contracts lay out all the rules and regulations of renting your property. It is the binding agreement between you and your guests, in which you’ll both sign and date. You can make your contract as short or long as you see fit, but you might want to include details on minimum and maximum stay, maximum occupancy, rental rules, access, rental rates and fees, insurance, cancellation policy, and so on.
- Take quality pictures of your property: In addition to a very thorough description of the home and accommodations, you’ll also want to take good quality photos of your property. Be sure to take photos of the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and especially the exterior. You want to capture the essence of your home and make it look as inviting and homey as possible.