If you plan to leave behind your home and get away for the holidays, why not make some extra cash while you’re at it? Renting out your home during the last few months of the year is an excellent way to keep your space in use, make money, and help others enjoy a holiday vacation!
But it’s more than just posting your home on a rental website. Continue reading to discover how to rent your home for the holiday season and the best ways to offer an unforgettable experience for guests while protecting your space.
How to Get Started with Renting Out Your Home
If you’ve never done this before, you’ll need to know where to start. Use the following six steps to rent out your home successfully and safely.
1 | How Much Will You Charge?
First, you must decide how much you will charge for a short-term rental. Before you come up with a number from the top of your head, I recommend you research the rental properties in your area. Look at homes nearby that are also for rent with similar qualities.
After calculating an average, consider the area's events during the holidays. Are there festivals or special guests? These perks are an excellent reason to bump up the rental price. Then, use online pricing tools and your collected information to lock down a final rental value.
2 | Take Quality Photos
The next step is to take professional-quality photographs of your space for potential renters. Remember to capture the fun and unique areas of the house, like cozy reading nooks, spacious family rooms, or a backyard pool.
3 | Getting the Word Out
It’s time to make it official! The easiest way to let people know you are renting out your home for the season is to choose one or more rental websites to post your property on. A simple Google search will lead you to the top sites for holiday rentals.
Make an account, add your photos and important information, and wait for the applications, inquiries, and replies to come in! It also helps to share the post through social media, like your personal account or group pages, like Facebook rental groups based on your local area.
4 | Create a Set of Rules and Policies
One of the most important steps for renting out your home is to create a thorough and specific set of rules and policies. This helps you best communicate your expectations of the guest and gives the renter all the information they need to ensure they respect your space.
5 | Respond Quickly and Kindly
The last thing you want to do is post your rental and miss replies from interested people. Remember to frequently check the post and your email inbox, keeping your phone nearby to be ready to answer any questions from those looking at your rental property.
Chances are, if they are checking out your home to rent, they are looking at many others, too. Reply promptly so you don’t miss your chance!
6 | Prepare Your Home
As you wait for the right tenant to come along, prepare your home! Besides general cleaning and organizing, ensure you do the following:
Tips for Renting Out Your Home During the Holiday Season
Now you know how to get the ball rolling, learn more about protecting your home while offering a one-of-a-kind experience for your holiday guests!
Tip 1: Be A Little Picky
While you can’t be too selective about the people you trust to rent your home, you should be a little picky. You want a good tenant that you can trust to keep your precious home safe and respect your property through the holidays.
The best way to determine whether your prospective renters will treat your home well and meet payment deadlines is to require an application or information form. In this form, you can ask for their credit score, rental history, employment details, and even run a background check.
Look for the following qualities when sifting through your potential tenants:
Tip 2: Invest in Property Insurance
Even with the most trusted tenets, accidents happen, and things can go wrong. To protect your home and your finances, consider getting rental home insurance. This should cover fire, water damage, theft, and other catastrophes.
Tip 3: Make it Festive!
Now for the fun part! Don’t forget to decorate a little. After all, it is the holidays. Decorate the common areas with Christmas lights or even a small tree. Keep in mind a real Christmas tree may not be the best option. You can’t rely on tenants to keep up with the Christmas tree care, like adding water or cleaning up the fallen needles. Instead, opt for a fake tree that will always look picture-perfect.
The holidays are also a perfect time to make the home feel extra cozy. It doesn’t hurt to add a few more pillows and soft blankets or set up a hot chocolate-making station on the kitchen countertop.
Furthermore, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to make your rental home look good for the holiday season. Places like online retailers, dollar stores, and second-hand stores have budget-friendly Christmas gear!
Tip 4: Check In
Unless planned in advance, I wouldn’t show up to your rental property to physically check in with the tenants. Instead, send a kindly-worded email or text, or give them a quick phone call. The best tiling for this is the day your guests arrive, mid-way through their stay, and the day before they are scheduled to leave.
Checking in when renting out your home will give you peace of mind and ensure any issues are taken care of in a timely manner. Plus, your guests will feel well taken care of, making it more likely that they’ll leave a glowing review, helping you rent your home faster or for a higher price next holiday season!
Tip 5: Should You Hire a Cleaning Service?
Unless you have the time and skill set to deep clean your rental home, it’s wise to hire an affordable professional team. A clean and tidy space is vital to your guest's experience. Extra dust on the ceiling fans or a disorganized closet can be the difference between a positive and negative review.
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