Renting out your room or apartment can be a great way to earn a little (or a lot) extra. But before you jump in, make sure you know what you’re getting into
Everything you need to consider before listing your property on a holiday rental site
- The ever growing popularity of short-term holiday rental sites such as Airbnb prove that most travellers are now after more than just a bed or basic hotel room.
- From inner-city mini breaks to rural escapes, renting out an entire apartment or private room has become the preferred choice for those after the complete “live like a local” experience.
- So, before signing up to any of these sites, take note with these simple tips to ensure your space is rental ready.
Clear all clutter
- This is about more than ensuring your home is completely spic and span.
- People renting through sites such as Airbnb want to unpack their bags as soon as they arrive and really feel at home.
- You’ll need to provide your guests with plenty of cupboard and drawer space, and make sure your own clothes and personal items are neatly stored away.
- This doesn’t mean you have to hide everything, guests will expect to be able to enjoy your home accessories (everything from coffee pods to washing machines).
Your privacy and the privacy of your guests
- Be warned, renting your property means opening up all aspects of your home to strangers. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of people using your belongings, this probably isn’t for you.
- If you are renting out a private room in a house that you currently live in, be prepared to have to engage with and entertain your guests at some level.
- This doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole time showing them around your city, but sharing a meal with them during their stay is always appreciated.
- Communicating regularly with guests before and during their stay is the best way to ensure there are no unwelcome surprises and to make sure everybody is on the same page. For example if you have a no party policy, make this clear from the get-go.
- Read the guest reviews carefully; if you’re unsure about something, feel free to call your guests before confirming the booking.
- If you don’t live in the apartment, it’s worth meeting your guests on arrival and letting them know that you will be nearby and available to help with any issues that should arise during their stay.
Location, location, location
- Is your property well located for guests to be able to easily explore their surroundings?
- If people are renting a short-term stay, chances are they will be hoping to experience as much of the area as possible.
- If your home is hard to reach via public transport, be very clear about this on your listing. Providing spare transport cards is a great place to start; simply ask that they be topped up at the end of their stay.
Keep on top of any safety issues
- The last thing you want is for a guest to harm themselves while staying at your place. Check for any safety hazards have them fixed before you list your home online.
- Triple check things like smoke alarms, locks and security features to ensure they’re working correctly.
Add a personal touch
- While your apartment should be neat and clean, it should still feel like a well lived in space.
- Make sure your guests feel welcome by providing them with a welcome pack. Write up a guide to your home and area. Include directions to your favourite bars and cafes, breakfast spots and attractions.
- While there are no set rules as to what you must provide for your guests, fresh towels, linen and toiletries are a given.
- Leaving a bottle of wine or box of chocolates is always appreciated. Simple things like this can help with good reviews of your property online.
Words by: Elisa Parry. Photography by: Angela Keoghan.