Over the last few years, holiday home sites and rental websites have been booming. It’s hard to find someone these days who hasn’t booked a trip via like Airbnb, and now that COVID-19 has struck, staycations and UK rentals are becoming ever bigger business.
Rivalling traditional hotel chains, the options for UK lodgings has boomed since rentals started taking over. It might be that you have a section of your home you feel would work brilliantly as an Airbnb space, or perhaps the whole house lends itself perfectly. You may also be thinking about renting your home out so that people can stay in it for as long as they wish, and become a landlord instead of just a holiday home owner.
Whichever way you want to go, the idea you have is bound to have legs. So if you’re serious, here is everything you need to know about earning additional income from renting your home (or rooms) …
Know Your Numbers
There are a lot of factors to consider before investing in a property, and it’s best to have a realistic idea of the money you need to spend beforehand and during which will come into play. First of all, can you afford a down payment? Do you have enough saved to cover any unexpected costs?
The first money focus is to look at start up costs. Everybody has these whether you’re renting out a furnished room in your home or a brand new property you bought specifically to offer as a holiday rental. Start up costs span from furniture, appliances, bills and amenities, not forgetting things like setting up the internet provider and TV packages.
Then you have recurring costs, which if you take out a mortgage, this will obviously be the main one. However there are others, like utility bills and internet expenses. Also, if you’re opting to list your property on Airbnb, you are expected to supply towels, linen and shampoo’s, and the replacement of amenities like tea, coffee, cleaning products etc.
Stick with a timeless decor
Of course, you’ll want your property to reflect your styles and interior loves, but remember that you are not marketing your house for you to stay in. It needs to appeal to the masses if you wish to be successful, which usually means working on a decor and interior layout that is clean, minimalistic and gives that warm homely feel.
Bathrooms should ideally be sleek and modern, with white, greys and blues giving that holiday feel. You can even get creative and feature cotton rope in the bathroom to give that seaside effect, or if your home is indeed in a seaside village, thicker cotton rope doubles up great as a creative handrail for the stairs!
The bedrooms ideally shouldn’t be too heavily themed, as you could be getting an array of people staying. Families with small children, an elderly couple, a group of friends and so forth. You want the place to lend itself to as many different groups as possible.
Know your location and market
There’s a lot to be said for the area of your rental property, and no two cities are the same. Your price should be competitive to those around you, and not in comparison to a similar looking cottage 70 miles north. How you should price your property for rental depends on the location, attractions nearby, parking, garden space, and of course, the house itself, so do ensure you carry out your research fully.
Spend time on advertising
Sites like Airbnb do a lot of the marketing for you, but there are many things you can actively be doing which will make your rental interest soar. One of them is to take great photos, include videos, detailed descriptions, and to have an active social media presence. A beautiful Instagram page sharing inspirational shots of the local area, detailed close ups in the garden, cosy snaps of the home and it’s features all add up to create interest.
Do try and invest a bit of time and effort with the photography, and if you can, put away your iPhone and see if you can borrow a friend’s DSLR camera. You need the best lighting and crystal clear clarity on all photos that you choose to use.
The best way to get potential holiday makers or tenants trusting you and your property is to list everything they could possibly think of. Think of your detailed description as a holiday brochure, offering up the answers to their FAQ’s and beyond.
It’s worth using adjectives where you can and to word your copy like you are simply selling the place to potential interest. Answer all questions people may have in mind, cover off the local area and things to see/do, and even include a synopsis about yourself as the owner.
Go the extra mile
First impressions count, and whether your tenants are going to be staying for one weekend or for six months, that warm welcome will stick in their mind. It doesn’t even have to anything grand. Biscuits with some tea bags, a handful of takeaway menus, a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine and chocolates chilling in the fridge can make all the difference. Even a personalised handwritten note can really touch the hearts of those staying in the property.
Hopefully, the above has been enough to make you realise that investing in a property which can act as a rental – either via sites like Airbnb or privately – is extremely worth it in the long run. And more so now during these COVID times…