You’ve got big plans for the summer, which means you’ll be able to rent out your property. Should you do it? If you want to make some extra cash, we say yes! This is especially true if it’s your second home, as the maintenance, condo fees, and real estate taxes can add up quickly, so renting out it can be a great way to recoup this money. Of course, you always want to weigh the risks vs. the rewards. Opening up your home to strangers opens you up to some inherent risk, so you need to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Of course, the safest place to start would be with your friends and family members, so make sure they know your place is up for rent. Need some other tips for making money off your summer rental? Read on!
Make Sure You’re Charging the Right Rate
This is probably the most crucial component of making money off a summer rental, as you need to make sure it’s priced fairly enough to attract attention. But you don’t want to underprice it either, so make sure you do your research legwork. This is particularly true because you can likely charge more during the summer as it’s consider “in season” so it’s crucial to get this right! Don’t fall into the rental pricing pitfalls, like charging the same rate all year round.
Promote Your Property Well
Whether you choose VRBO or another similar company to go through for renting it out, you want to make sure you’re taking the time to market it well. This means capturing great photos of each room when they’re free of clutter and looking their best. In fact, this is such an important component that you might consider hiring a professional photographer. We all know the difference between iPhone photos and a photographer’s take when someone is her home, so make the same investment in your rental property. He or she might even help you rearrange furniture to help everything look ideal, and this person will also know what time of day to take the photos to make it look amazing.
Make Check-in and Check-Out As Seamless as Possible
People don’t want a hassle upon arrival or departure on a trip, so make this as relaxing as possible. Hire a cleaning service if your place was just rented, and consider having multiple linens so this can take place quickly … especially if your place is rented out a lot. As Eric Horndahl of FlipKey notes via USA Today, you might also consider installing a keyless entry system such as Lockitron to make your guests’ arrival hassle-free.
Make Sure You Screen Your Renters Well
You can’t make money if your renters don’t pay! Because you’re likely renting it out for short periods of time, you might be tempted to skip an intensive screening process, but we highly recommend against that. Check eviction history, check references, and get a security deposit. They might seem lovely on paper but the truth is you just never know, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Encourage Repeat Renters By Keeping Your Place in Tip-Top Shape
If you’re using an online service to rent out your property, you’re likely open to online reviews. Make sure these are positive by providing basic amenities like kitchen items, paper products, Wi-Fi, cable, and anything else you think might make their stay as enjoyable as possible. Don’t forget the outdoors! Make sure your outdoor living space is kept pristine, as summer renters will likely want to spend plenty of hours soaking up the sun in the backyard. If you don’t live near your rental property, assign someone who does to make periodic checks on it to make sure everything is in working order, as you’re sure to get a negative review if something your renter needs to use is broken. You should have a professional performing a rental property inspection each year to ensure your investment stays in mint condition.
Always send a follow-up email asking for their feedback, too, even if you think they’re going to have complaints. You could head off a negative review by being proactive. And if you do get a negative review online, make sure to contact that person and ask how you can rectify the situation. Chances are you can turn a negative review into a positive one by confronting the situation head-on and in a nice and professional manner.
Don’t let your summer rental sit empty! Use these practical tips and everything should go off without a hitch.