The short term rental industry is booming. Thanks to platforms like Airbnb and home exchange services like HomeAway, homeowners are choosing to generate extra income by leveraging their biggest asset: their homes. According to one study conducted by the Smart Hosts Vacation Rental Forum, the vacation industry was valued at $100 billion in 2016. By 2019, that number is expected to balloon to $170 billion.
There are many reasons why you would consider listing your home for short term rental. For instance, it’s a great way to bring in some revenue if your family is going away on vacation. Or, if you’re short on cash, you can stay with relatives for a short period of time to create a new revenue stream and get back on track.
However, when you put your home on rental market, there’s plenty you should be aware of. Here are some mistakes you should avoid if you want to be successful in the short term rental industry:
Setting Your Price the Same Year-Round
If you want to remain competitive, pay attention to your pricing strategy year-round. For instance, you might want to price higher during holidays and long weekends. You should also pay attention to peak season in your local area. While winter might be a low season in a place like a place like Virginia Beach, it can be high season in winter destination like Aspen, Colorado. On the same token, you should lower your prices during off season in your area.
Not Getting Rent-Ready
Simply cleaning your house doesn’t make it rent-ready (although you should definitely hire a professional cleaning service). The most successful hosts have a slew of strategies to help create a great guest experience. First and foremost, you should have someone check the maintenance in your home before you rent to others. The last thing you want is for an unexpected emergency to occur while you’re away, simply because you were negligent in getting the property ready for new arrivals.
According to Fix It Right Plumbing, “One of the most important areas you should get inspected is your plumbing. A plumbing disaster can ruin an experience, result in further damages and additional costs, and generate negative reviews that make it difficult to rent in the future.” You can find more information about the importance of plumbing here: https://www.fixitrightplumbing.com.au/plumber-croydon/.
Furthermore, refrain from doing the bare minimum. If you really want to increase the chances of getting a five-star review, be prepared to wow your guests by going above standard expectations. For example, instead of providing the basic amenities, invest in quality products, like plush bathrobes and slippers, stock your fridge with useful basics, and create a welcome basket or gift.
Pricing Your Property Wrong
If you price your home wrong, chances are you’ll lose out on plenty of cash opportunities. An accurate pricing strategy can mean the difference between a booking and a loss. One of the easiest and most accurate way to determine whether you’ve chosen a good price is to check out your competition. Look for homes in your area that are comparable, and pay attention to those prices. You also want to pay attention to the price suggestions offered by Airbnb, which makes predictions on which prices are likely to attract attention based on its own set of data.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to price too high and price too low. Great homes with prices that are too long can create a “too good to be true” mentality, and of courses prices too high can scare away potential renters. Furthermore, as you evaluate the market on your own, pay attention to properties that have at least ten reviews. This is because newer properties tend to price lower than market norms to get initial bookings.
Using Your Own Photos
No matter how great your smartphone camera is, it doesn’t equate to professional photography, which can make or break a listing. The difference between amaeatur and professional photography is stark. Airbnb will send over a free professional photographer depending on your location, which you should certainly take advantage of.
If you aren’t eligible for free photography, considering hiring an independent photographer. Not only do they bring strong equipment to the table, but they understand how to shoot and edit your home in the best light possible. While you’ll be paying out of pocket, you’re likely to recoup those costs early on thanks to quality of the images.