Renting

How to Turn Your House or Apartment into a Vacation Rental

Story Highlights

  • 1 - Clean house
  • 2 - Hazards begone
  • 3 - Lock your valuables up
  • 4 - Leave a note
  • 5 - Don’t forget insurance
  • 6 - Equip it well
  • 7 - Connect to the web

Turning your home into a vacation rental can be a very profitable endeavour.

You can earn a lot of money in a short amount of time, if you happen to time the hosting right with a certain event or season that is popular with tourists. If you have a spare place to rent out, you’re probably already seeing che-ching signs everywhere you turn.

However, you need to keep in mind that it’s not as simple as giving someone the keys to your place and then washing your hands of the ordeal.

You actually have to actively prepare and put in some work into the apartment before you can actually rent it out. Go figure!

Here are some crucial first steps to take:

1 – Clean house

What’s the first thing you notice when you set foot in someone’s home?

Sure, it might be the colour pattern, it might be the décor, or it could even be the type of lights that they use. At least, that’s what you might think you notice first. The actual first thing you assess is how clean the place is.

Did you know that cleanliness is the number one priority of the guests that you’re hosting?

They want to know that you put in enough effort so that they don’t have to deal with dirt and stains in another person’s home. It’s bad enough when you have a cluttered and dirty home, but it’s a lot worse when you’re seeing it in an unfamiliar space. Because of this, it might be high time to do a thorough clean of the house in preparation for potential guests.

The bathroom and the kitchen have to get the most attention. Those are spaces that are most prone to dirt build-up and guests will pay particular attention to anything that’s wrong with them.

Stoves are always under bombardment from various oils and bits of food that fall out while you’re cooking. Making food is equal parts passion, skill, and art, which means things can get a bit messy every once in a while. Cleaning the stovetop is crucial if you want guests to feel comfortable enough to passionately cook in their own right. Apply this same line of thinking to the oven and try your best to de-grease it.

The bathroom needs to be spic and span before another soul steps foot inside. Mop the floors and make sure everything smells as fresh as a summer’s breeze on a field of flowers.

The corners of the bathtub are especially prone to dirt buildup. It’s a surefire sign that a host isn’t paying any attention to things under the surface.

Get your cleaning supplies and make sure it turns out pearly white.

2 – Hazards begone

The safety of your guests is another thing you can’t take for granted.

Obviously, the home you live in is probably free of any hazards that might bring you harm, but there’s always a little bit of leeway when you’ve spent some time there.

Perhaps there are a few tiny issues that you’re used to that might not pose a danger to yourself, as long as you know how to deal with them when they present themselves.

It’s easy to deal with an improperly mounted wall TV if you know never to rock it too hard. Paintings that are on wobbly nails on the walls won’t fall and break if you know to avoid them. However, your guests aren’t familiar with the place and you can’t expect them to be extra careful with anything.

Start by dealing with known issues that are obvious hazards to guests. Any loose step on stairs or flooring has to be taken care of. Slipping is a real danger that can lead to serious injury or even death if someone happens to take an unlucky step. Exposed electrical wiring is another deathtrap waiting to happen. Cover it with electrical tape or disable the flow of electricity to it before letting anyone inside. 

You have to keep in mind that there are a lot of liability issues when renting any kind of space to strangers. If they get injured because of your negligence, you might be liable for a lawsuit.

3 – Lock your valuables up

If you’re renting a place that you generally occupy, you probably have a lot of items that are valuable inside. Whether their value is measured in a monetary or sentimental way doesn’t matter, you have to protect your valuables from potential thievery.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t necessarily trust your guests. It’s natural that you want to keep valuables under lock and key, simply because you can’t possibly know if someone might take advantage of something that is readily available and unprotected. 

To best keep your most valued possessions protected, you might want to consider buying a strong lock for the cabinets that keep them. It should be enough to deter any inquisitive guests that might otherwise stumble upon them. If you have one too many items that can’t just be kept in a drawer or closet, consider sectioning off an entire room and locking it well before you invite your guests.

This way you don’t have to worry about anyone snooping around in your things.

4 – Leave a note

You probably want to make sure that your guests have a very good time while they’re staying at your place, right?

The travellers might not be familiar with the city they’re visiting, so it would be helpful for a local such as yourself to guide them through it briefly, at least through writing. 

A couple of tips here and there would be greatly appreciated. You know the ins and outs of the city, which means that details such as which bus you shouldn’t take and what lesser-known sights are worth seeing are familiar to you, but they are pretty much clueless. Yes, a simple page of information could make their trip a lot easier.

The rules of the house might have already been explained with the description on the website you used, but they’re probably worth mentioning again.

If smoking is allowed, make sure you have at least one ashtray available. If you’re ok with parties, point out what time the loud music needs to stop. Different cities have different rules and you don’t want the police to be called at a bad moment. 

5 – Don’t forget insurance

You never know what could happen to your home while guests are there. Even when you spend time there on your own, accidents can happen.

The risks are only further increased when you introduce strangers that aren’t very familiar with the environment. Because of this, it’s important that you get the right insurance to cover the costs of a potential disaster. 

Websites that let you host your property such as HomeAway and Airbnb have their own type of insurance that covers quite a bit. Certain incidents aren’t covered by this, such as personal injury or even terrorism, but you can count on them being relatively unlikely scenarios.

Despite this, remember to talk to your insurance company before you actually put your property out for rental. They will have numbers ready and waiting for you so that you can feel safe when you are away from your home, at least when it comes to unexpected complications. 

6 – Equip it well

Convenience is something that you should always strive for within your home. Whether it’s dedicated to your guests or to your own life in the home, it’s still a good idea to make everyday life easier. Keep your home well-equipped with the latest appliances and gadgets that are considered necessities in today’s busy lifestyle. 

A good idea would be to start with the kitchen. People aren’t always enthusiastic about cooking on vacation. After all, it’s a time to rest, not a time to spend hours slaving away at breakfast or dinner. A microwave would make cooking most meals a lot easier. For people that like to eat healthier, a mixer or blender might also be necessary. Making fruity smoothies mixed with nuts is a growing trend among health enthusiasts. 

What’s a kitchen without the essential pick-me-up that is coffee? Instead of letting your guests deal with the hassle of making their own coffee while they might still be groggy from a night out, consider looking at some affordable quality coffee machines. You can be sure that guests will appreciate the gesture once they are greeted with a quick cup of good coffee in the morning. 

Moving on to the closet, you’ll need an iron and an ironing board to help people get their things in order. They might not be spending a lot of time at your place, but you can be sure that they will want to look nice when they go outside. Ironing is especially important when you consider the fact that most clothes will be packed in tight within their luggage. This is a recipe for wrinkles on most clothing items. 

7 – Connect to the web

At this point, the internet is basically considered a human right. People can’t imagine spending a day without an internet connection, and there are countless reasons why this is perfectly reasonable. A lot of people work remotely through their computers, phones, and laptops, which means that a WI-FI connection is integral for their projects.

On the other hand, people also like contacting their friends, especially when they’re on vacation. Those pictures aren’t going to send themselves!

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time at the rental place, you should keep the internet available as much as possible, for the sake of your guests. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you will not have a lot of offers if you don’t have an internet connection

Conclusion

Keeping your apartment equipped and ready for guests is a lot of work.

You have to think about all the different things that they might need while also looking out for their safety. However, it’s not as much of a hassle when you consider how much money you’re going to make out of the investment.

With every good tip, you take to heart from this list, you can be sure that your guests will love you more for it. 

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