In the iconic Christmas film “The Holiday,” two women with guy problems exchange homes in each other’s countries. In the end, they both find love. Pro.com can’t promise you romance, but we do have some suggestions on how to make your home the best for renting as a vacation rental through Airbnb.
Hosts rent out their homes or individual rooms to guests, usually at a lower fee than a moderately-priced or luxury hotel, on the Airbnb site. You, too, can get on the bandwagon and make a little extra cash by letting travelers stay in your home. Just follow these ten easy steps.
1. Make Your Home Sparkle
Nobody wants to stay in dirty lodging, and you need to go the extra mile to make a good impression on your guests. They might find dirt where you don’t. Hire a cleaning service to do a good, deep cleaning or don some gloves, get on your hands and knees and scrub away. Put clean linens on the bed(s) and fluffy towels in the bathroom.
2. Deal With Potential Hazards
Take care of any dangers that pose a risk to your renters including repairing loose steps, putting poisons away so children can’t get to them, covering exposed wiring, replacing non-working smoke alarms, installing CO detectors if you don’t already have them, cleaning your chimney, etc.
3. Secure Your Valuables
Humans are naturally inquisitive, plus you don’t know these people personally who’ll be staying in your home. Put away whatever you don’t want available to your guests, whether it’s photos, artwork, firearms (should always be secured in a locked safe), passports or jewelry. You should also always check the references and profiles of your renters.
4. Gather Supplies for Guests
Here’s a short list of what to keep on hand to make a traveler’s stay more comfortable:
- Extra blankets
- Ironing board and iron
- Toilet paper
- New toothbrushes
- Paper towels
- First-aid kit
- Working remotes for TV and video player
- Selection of DVDs
- Extra light bulbs
5. Explain and Write Out House Rules
Do you allow smoking? If so, designate where and supply ash trays. Do you allow pets? If so, list the rules and inform them about dog-friendly parks and other places nearby Fido might enjoy. Provide local emergency phone numbers and list your contact information in case of an emergency.
6. Leave Instructions
Your guests will want to know how to use the TV, electronics and how to access Wi-Fi. If they’ll be washing dishes or clothes, they’ll need instructions for the dishwasher, washer and dryer. Explain your security system and the code for the house key if it’s in a special kind in a lockbox.
7. Have a Disaster Plan
Let guests know what to do in case of fire, severe storm, earthquake, flood or tornado. Tell them where to go to be safe and have a kit prepared for them to take along with essentials like food, water, flashlights and a whistle.
8. Spruce Up Your Yard
Your landscaping is the gateway to your lodging and you want it to look welcoming and well-maintained. This means you should mow the lawn, water plants and flowers and put out lawn furniture if appropriate. You might want to add lawn games like croquet, cornhole or pickle ball, too.
9. Leave a Gift
A bottle of wine, a fruit basket, bread, cheese or even fresh flowers make a welcoming sight for your new tenants. Leave a signed greeting card with the gift letting them know you appreciate them choosing your Airbnb.
10. Don’t Forget Insurance
Let your insurance company know you plan to rent out your home. If anything happens, you’ll want to have the right coverage. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover you when you conduct business on the property, and renting out a room or an entire house constitutes a business activity.
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