Have You Listed Your Property on Expedia Yet?
So you’ve got a great property that you’d like to rent out in the short-term. Congrats! There is no shortage of demand for short-term rentals. Even sites like Expedia (example: http://coupongo.org/expedia-promo-code) have started listing short term rentals, in addition to your usual hotels.
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The phenomenal success of Airbnb and other sites that allow property owners to lease accommodation to short-term tenants such as holiday-makers and business travellers have given many people pause for thought, wondering if they are not losing out on making some extra income. The plethora of new websites listing vacation rentals has probably caused sites like Coupon Code Hoster to run out of coupon codes!
But before you jump in and join the “sharing economy“, here are a few issues that you should consider.
. Check whether your municipality or local government allows private short-term leasing. Many city councils have put in place measures to curb this type of leasing, because of concerns regarding safety regulations, possible disturbance of the peace by rowdy holiday-makers, and generally changing the character of residential neighbourhoods. For example, in an attempt to prevent entrepreneurs in effect running “illegal hotels”, in New York City it’s no longer legal to rent out your accommodation unless you are also there. In order to preserve the general residential character of a neighbourhood, in London the city council has stipulated that a residence may only be rented out on a short-term basis for 90 days a year; in Amsterdam it is 60 days a year.
It may be disappointing to find out that your Airbnb dream has gone up in smoke, but it is better to know that it is not allowed before you invest in renovations to accommodate paying guests, buy expensive furnishings, etc.
. You should realise that there is a minimum inventory that you will need to supply in order to accommodate paying guests. Here are some of the basic items that you will need to have
. If your property is governed by a body corporate, check whether there are regulations prohibiting short-term leasing. It is strongly advised not to host guests behind your body corporate’s back. For one thing, it will only be a matter of time before your neighbours realise what is going on. Again, it is better to know this before you possibly invest in a short-term lease venture, only to find that it is not allowed.
For the bedrooms you will need the following: If space permits, two single beds per room (this is better than a double bed, because single beds can be pushed together or apart); bed linen, including mattress protectors; blankets; at least one cupboard per room, supplied with coat hangers; a hair dryer; a full-length mirror; if you do not have air conditioning, a heater and a freestanding fan; and bedside tables with reading lights.
For the kitchen the following is required: a fridge with freezer compartment or separate freezer; an oven and microwave; a washing machine; a dishwasher; a kettle; a toaster; a chopping board and sharp knife set; a variety of pots and frying pans; a pot stand; a breadbin and breadboard; a tray; salad bowls; salt and pepper pots; oil and vinegar containers; dinner plates, sides plates and breakfast/dessert bowls; a tea pot and tea cups; a coffee pot/plunger and coffee mugs; wine glasses; tumbler glasses; cooking and serving utensils; a full cutlery set; a cork screw; an ice tray; scissors; a can opener; a vegetable peeler; tea towels; a draining tray; scrubbing brushes and scouring pads; a bin; a mop and bucket; a dustpan and brush; a broom; a vacuum cleaner; an iron and ironing board; and a basic toolkit.
For the bathroom you should provide the following: Towels (one bath towel and one hand towel per guest); towel hooks; a bathmat; and a toilet brush.
. Hosting guests involves a lot of work. You will have to check guests in and out, have the accommodation cleaned, have bed linen and towels laundered, replace consumables (such as soap, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, kitchen roll, bin liners and light bulbs), and respond to guests’ queries and emergencies. Decide whether you want to do this yourself or involve a management agency to do this for you. Expect that a third-party service provider will take around 20% to manage your short-term accommodation.
. Invest from the start in great photos, because this is the single most important element that will attract clients. Consider hiring a professional stylist and photographer who will produce a professional-looking portfolio of photos to market your accommodation – spending this extra money at the start will really pay off in the long run.
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