The growth of AirBNB, VRBO, and other home and apartment rentals has led many home owners to turn their properties into sources of income. Unfortunate, it isn’t as easy as posting a listing. There are factors that are key to making your rental successful without putting yourself at risk. Here is what you need to know to keep your investment in a rental propertysafe and profitable.
Do Your Research
It isn’t enough to have a property can you can make rentable, make sure you understand how the rental process works and your target market. Even the best property may not rent if the pricing is off or if there is no real demand for your type of property in that location. Who will want to stay in your property? Couples on a weekend getaway, business travellers, backpackers on holiday, and families all have different needs in terms of furnishings, amenities, and location. If you already have a rent-ready property, it may cost you very little to try renting it. Pay particular attention to the market if you’ll need to make renovations or purchase furnishings for your property before renting.
Picture Your Property Rented
It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of good property pictures and yet this is one of the areas most often overlooked. Within your geographic region and accommodation type, the two big factors that will determine if site visitors view and book your property are price and your photographs. Even the best property will have difficulty earning income if the photos are dark or out of focus.
Renters are looking for clean properties. Often people equate clean with bright. Gloomy pictures may leave the impression that the property is ill-kept or dingy. People also tend to feel safer in well-illuminated areas. Presenting pictures of dark rooms or the exterior of your building is likely to send renters searching elsewhere.
- Tailor Your Listing to Your Target Market
It is best to assume your potential renters are unfamiliar with your location. Providing as much information as possible about your amenities and nearby attractions is a sure-fire way to improve your rentals. Is your building remote where visitors will need a car? In that case expect to provide parking and emphasize if parking is safe, secure, and/or off street.
Properties in urban centres should include information on the proximity to public transportation, restaurants, museums, theatres, and other local attractions. Families could be reassured to know if it is a family-friendly neighbourhood and if the rental is appropriate for children. Access to beaches, parks, playgrounds, and public pools should be highlighted, if applicable.
It seems obvious to make sure to keep important valuables away from those renting your property. Damages charges won’t cover the loss of the quilt handmade by your favourite grandmother. Be sure to keep personal valuables secured.
Conversely, there is a problem with rentals going too far in the other direction. Rather than equipping the rental unit with valuables, they use cheap furniture and old kitchen items. This is also a mistake. Typically, inexpensive items won’t hold up well to use by renters and poor quality furnishings will reflect negatively on your property. This will, in turn, result in lower reviews of your property which will reduce your rentals. It is better to invest in mid-range items that will stand the test of time. Even decent quality thrift store purchases are often a better option that purchasing cheap items. Obviously, if you are targeting higher end rentals, you will need to invest in furniture and décor that reflects that aesthetic.
In addition to looking after your belongings, it is important to protect the valuables of your guests. Make sure your rental unit has secure, well-functioning locks and good security lighting at night. Stairs and any other trip hazards should be illuminated and marked as needed to reduce the odds of accidents. Further reduce your liability by purchasing a hotel-style safe for your renters to use. These small hotel safes are surprisingly affordable and can be a good selling point for your property, particularly for travellers carrying cash, passports, and other valuables. Providing them can reduce your potential liability for visitors who might otherwise claim that items had been stolen. Your insurance company might even provide a discount for having a valuables safe available for your renters.