How to Turn Your Home into a Vacation Rental

Vacation Home

Your home or condo can be an additional source of income, especially if you live in a town that tourists flock to, like Bayfield, Wisconsin. Following the rise of vacation rental websites, such as Airbnb, more and more homeowners are renting out their homes and turning it into a lucrative short-term business. If you’re interested in joining the trend, know that there are plenty of considerations and preparations to make before you start sending out flyers or listing your property online.

Find out how you can turn your home into a vacation rental before Spring swings by.

Timing and Location

Before initiating this venture, conduct a thorough research of tourist activities and trends in your locale. Check your town’s official website or visit the tourism office to find out which dates, events, or locations attract the most visitors.

Renting out your home on strategic dates will increase your chances of getting more bookings. Also, visitors will likely turn to you for advice on local attractions and seasonal highlights, so it’s wise to have a list ready before your listings go live.

Setting Up Your House for Rental

  1. Insurance requirements – it is a critical step to call your insurance carrier and check if your policy covers short-term rentals. Find out if you’re obliged to notify them beforehand or if you need to amend your coverage.
  2. State guidelines – to ensure the safety of the community, local code compliance offices would require you to obtain a license or some form of registration before you can participate in this venture.
  3. Taxes – occasional rentals are subject to IRS rules in terms of what you can deduct. When a rental agreement extends beyond a certain period, you may owe state, local, or transient occupancy tax, so consult with your local accountant first.
  4. Clean up – a tidy space matters when you’re renting out your home. Call in professional cleaners before and after your guests’ stay. Don’t forget to secure your valuables in the basement or attic, or move them to a self-storage unit.
  5. Amenities – make sure that your home has all the essential features that will give your guests a comfortable and convenient stay. People will be renting your home with the mindset that everything is working in order.

Marketing Your Rental Online

  1. Taking photos – make a great impression by uploading high quality photos of the best features of your property. Online seekers will judge a property by the photos they find, and listings with better pictures tend to get more bookings.
  2. Listing your property – the Internet is a hotbed for vacation rental listings. Platforms, like vrbo.com, Airbnb, Craigslist.com, VacationRentals.com, and HomeAway.com, list your home, provide an accurate estimate, and feature a reliable booking system.
  3. Brush up on your organizational skills – record all your listings and online advertisements, and monitor them daily. Make sure to provide all your contact details, so that potential guests can still reach out to you when you’re not online.

Your house doesn’t need to be grand to rent out, even if it’s just a small condo space. Travelers abstain from spending too much on hotels, so they can splurge on other activities. While you’re out on a holiday yourself, make extra money by renting out your home. If you need more information, get in touch with us today.