With 2016’s airline travel reaching an all-time high of 823 million passengers, it is expected that once 2017’s stats roll in, a new record will be set.
And, chances are good that 2018 will follow suit.
Along with the continued growth in popularity of travel comes the options of places to rest your head while on vacay.
While hotels are never-endingly impressive with their features and amenities, there are other competitors in the game.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Airbnb, VRBO, Vacasa, or another vacation home rental service. In fact, in 2016, Airbnb stole the spotlight for the most visited accommodation website.
Vacation rental websites such as Airbnb aren’t only great for travelers, they are also great for people looking to earn some extra cash, or to create a full business out of vacation rentals.
If you’re looking to stuff your pockets with some more cash, and you’ve got a house, condo, or apartment available to rent to travelers, then read on to find out how you can turn your home into a vacation rental.
Turning your home into a vacation rental
While it may seem as simple as putting away your valuables, and writing some house rules, converting your home into a vacation rental for strangers takes a bit more than that.
There are a number of steps involved in the process.
1. Create a home bio
In order to keep guests from swiping left on your home, the first step in turning your house into a coveted vacation rental is to create the “about me” for your home.
“Most people get wrapped around the axle about ‘will my house work,’ and in reality what matters more is focusing on the experience you can deliver at your home and not the home itself,” says Airbnb expert J. Massey of Cash Flow Diary.
Rather than spend the majority of your time boasting square footage, the size and shape of the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., quickly touch on those things, then move on to more important things such as walk score.
“A location’s walk score is way more important to most travelers (regardless of the reason they are traveling) because it is an indication of how close things like a grocery store or gas station actually are to a particular location,” Massey says.
2. Practice minimalism
“While some homes may be charming with a sense of uniqueness . . . most people want cleanliness and a sense of peace,” advises Life Stylist Marjorie Hope.
Sometimes a freshly-made bed and a couple of candles are all you need to feel that peace travelers are after.
Cleaning expert at Fantastic Services, Lily Cameron, suggests removing “everything without a practical purpose, or items which don’t contribute to the overall look of the place.”
Just a couple quick additions and you will be faking organization in your home. “Add some handy organizers in the right spots and your house will definitely look more spacious and organized,” Cameron says.
She also advises that you “Take care of everything sentimental, as you don’t want your guests to feel like [they’re] in somebody else’s property.”
In other words, put away the family photos that are rendering that perfectly mid-century modern credenza entirely unusable, and allow your guests to feel at home.
3. Ask for help
Post-Operation Home De-Clutter, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of things that don’t need to be on display, but that you don’t want to get rid of.Knowing what to do with these items can leave you feeling a bit lost.
A. Throw them in the closet
B. Pile them into a corner in the garage
C. Take them over to a friend’s house
D. Ask Closetbox for help
The answer is D. With one quick phone call or website visit to Closetbox, your precious belongings will be transported to your own private vault in a climate-controlled, highly-secure warehouse.
Under watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your keepsakes will be safe and sound, and waiting for you whenever you’re ready to have them back.
Closetbox creates an inventory system of all your belongings upon pick-up so when you’re ready to bring that personal life back into your home, Closetbox will deliver right to your front door.
Easy enough, right?
4. Value your valuables
Because the people renting your vacation home are likely to be strangers, it’s always better to err on the safe side and lock away your valuables.
“You’ll want to remember to add locks to bedroom doors, invest in a safe, and if you happen to have a direct interior access garage, you’ll want to make sure to add an extra lock to that door as well,” advises Massey.
He also suggests taking a look at Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)’s best practices. “The more you create an environment that removes the potential of opportunistic theft, the more at ease the homeowner can be and the more enjoyable the experience,” Massey says.
“I’m not saying don’t trust people, you should trust, but at least don’t make it easy for them to walk away with your TV.”
5. It’s all in the details
Sometimes it’s the little details that count. Note next time you travel and stay in an Airbnb, VRBO, Vacasa, or hotel the things that make you feel more at home.
“For example in the bathroom, have the towels rolled and place the soap in an artful way. In fact, have a basket of toiletries, fresh-wrapped soaps, everything new, never used and make it special,” notes Hope.
She also adds: “Treat the guests like you would like to be treated . . . make them feel like they are the most special guests ever. Wouldn’t you like to feel special?”