Steps to Take to Turn Your Home Into a Vacation Rental
Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular with the rise in usage of rental sites like Airbnb or VRBO. It is a great way for individuals who own a second property to earn money when their vacation home is not in use.
In order to turn your home into a vacation rental, you must ensure that the property is well kept and the home is both fully functioning and clean in order to yield the highest return on investment with guests.
Here are Aborn Powers’ steps to take to turn your home into a vacation rental:
Step 1: Walk Through of the Home
You should start by scanning the home for any issues or upgrades that need to be made before listing the home as a rental. Consider what is high priority and low priority, so you know how to manage your time. High priority should be considered cleaning and repairs that need to be completed before listing. Low priority would be items that are not of great importance, but may positively affect the vacation home when renting it out, such as: replacing the carpet, updating paint, installing fans or upgrading appliances. If you plan on hiring a property manager and/ or cleaning company, they should also do this walk through as well.
Step 2: Clean and Prepare Each Room
Each room needs to be thoroughly deep cleaned in order for it to be sanitary and presentable to the renters. This would include dusting, stocking up on linens, professionally cleaning the carpet and floor, re-sealing the kitchen and bathroom tile, and so on.
In the bedrooms, mattresses should be replaced and covered with a protector, pillows should be replaced and extra sets of bed linens should be purchased.
For bathrooms specifically, there should be 2 sets of towels available per guest and everything should be de-sanitized and cleaned. Any leaky faucets, slow drains, or other small plumbing issues should be fixed promptly as well.
In the kitchen, the most important step is having working appliances and items for guests to use to make themselves comfortable. Having a toaster, coffee maker, utensils, plates, glasses (including wine glasses), pots and pans as well as anything extra you see fit will be beneficial when the home is rented out.
The idea is to make guests feel like they’ve stepped into a home-away-from-home, so provide all of the creature comforts you’d love to see and use at home.
Step 3: Inspect HVAC Units
It is extremely important to inspect and service the HVAC units in your rental for efficiency and top performance. If your unit has an AC, check before summer to ensure it is functional so the renter is comfortable throughout their stay. Heating units should be checked monthly and supported with annual maintenance from a professional.
Step 4: Replace Air Filters
This is something that any homeowner should do regularly in order to keep up on the home’s maintenance and to protect against problems later on.
Step 5: Verify the Home’s Safety Equipment
You are responsible for the safety of your guests and ensuring that the home is up to standards. All smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be working and batteries replaced regularly. Multiple fire extinguishers should be placed around the house, especially in the kitchen area. A first aid kit should be purchased and placed in either the bathroom or kitchen in case a guest is injured. Additionally, if you wish to have a security system or alarm, this would be the time to have one installed or make sure the current one is functioning.
Step 6: Landscape the Property
To turn your home into a vacation rental guests will love returning to, have your property beautifully landscaped. Trim the bushes and trees, replant if necessary and clean up leaves or weeds in the yard. An extra touch would be to plant flowers around the property, so it looks aesthetically pleasing like a five-star hotel.
Step 7: Wi-Fi
In this day and age, guests expect the home they are staying in to have Wi-Fi. You need to make sure the connection is strong, which may require adding an extender and/ or an additional router to the home. Include the Wi-Fi password with check-in materials or greeting documents to ensure they can log on easily.
Step 8: Check On the Rules and Regulations
Because you are turning your home into a vacation rental, this is can be construed as a business. You may need to apply for a business license with your county. Additionally, check on zoning laws, your community’s HOA laws, safety and health code regulations, or any rules and regulations applicable to your home, the neighborhood, or federal/ state laws.
Step 9: Keep Records and Stock Up
In order to manage your finances and time, keep written record of items that were replaced, items that were purchased and what changes to the vacation home were made. Vacation rentals need to be consistently cleaned and maintained, more often than a personal home, due to the volume of tenants. It is also a good idea to stock up on household goods and supplies, such as light bulbs, hardware, filters, paper towels and toilet paper. You can never be too prepared!
Step 10: Hire a Property Manager and Cleaning Company
Everyone is busy, and maintaining a vacation rental full time can be a huge job! If you’re looking to reduce the stresses of taking care of your vacation rental, consider hiring a property manager. A responsible property manager will take over tasks such as preparing the home for listing, scheduling the rental calendar, greeting guests upon arrival, arranging the cleaning required between each tenant, maintaining the home and making sure the business is always running smoothly.
Aborn Powers has over 20 years of experience in caring for investments. Please contact us today if you have any questions at all, or would like to enlist our help turning your home into a vacation rental.
July 19, 2017