There are several things to consider when planning the next chapter of your life. The giant anchor that drags down most peoples escape sailboat is their current highly mortgaged shelter. A home is a wonderful investment and can be less of a burden than you may imagine.
Think how nice it would be to have an income source that continually gains value every month. Setting up your home as a vacation rental is easier than it has ever been thanks to Airbnb.
Is your home vacation material?
There are several questions to ask yourself before jumping into the rental business. Firstly, do people actually want to visit there? Check out their calculator for income potential.
How much money should I plan for furnishing my rental?
Since we were moving the majority of our existing furniture, we allocated $5k to refurnish our home and prepare it for guests. We had a lot of fun budget decorating our home, and enjoy staying there on empty weekends from time to time. VR Frontdesk has a great post on what to include in your rental. Some of the things are simple, others are easy to forget like dishwasher soap:
- chopsticks, wine glasses, can / bottle opener, corkscrew
- Iron and small ironing board
- Alarm clock
- Blow dryer
- Hangers in closets
- A suitcase rack like in the hotels
- Paper towels
- Dish soap and sponge
- Dishwasher soap if you have a dishwasher
- Laundry detergent and dryer sheets
- broom, dustpan, some windex, etc under the sink
- Basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo, body wash
- Coffee and Tea on hand along with kettle and coffee maker
- Small kitchen appliance such as Blender and a Rice Cooker
- Outdoor Equipment (check Craigslist for old bikes)
- Creative welcome gift (local item maybe?)
How much money will I make?First, try to get an idea of how much money you could earn by using their calculator. Now subtract your mortgage, your cleaning fees, landscaping fees, recurring supplies (TIP: Use Amazon Pantry to have supplies delivered to your cleaning company), and utilities.
What is the time requirement?
As with any business, different people feel different amounts of obligation to their clients. My wife and I worked to automate the process as much as possible, but my wife spends at least 30min a day in communication with interested travelers or current guests.
Here are some tips from Airbnb on how to be a good host:
- Create a detailed, accurate listing page.
- Set a competitive price to attract guests and reach your earnings goals.
- Set guidelines for who can book your place.
- Once you’re ready to hear from guests, make sure your listing is public.
- Keep your communication with guests on Airbnb to protect your privacy.
- Respond to guests quickly.
- Use your dashboard to keep track of reservations at your listing.
- Choose a payout method so you can get paid!
- Keep your commitments to your guests and avoid canceling.
- Send or request additional payments in our simple Resolution Center.