If you’re a property owner that frequently travels, or has a second home that isn’t used often, it might be time to consider another use for your space while you’re away. Instead of letting it sit empty, capitalize on your own excursion by converting your home into a vacation rental property. At the very least you could cover the costs of your own vacation or mortgage if a second home and at little expense to yourself. Here are some steps to take to make your house the perfect vacation destination.

Keeping it Legal

Before you fluff a single pillow or set out a welcome basket, you must ascertain whether you’re legally able to rent out your property. In order to avoid hefty fines, find out if local regulations and codes allow for rentals and what regulations or limitations might be in place. Additionally, mortgage and rental agreements many times have stipulations on renting or subletting your home. And even if your city allows for rentals, and your mortgage has no restrictions, you still might be violating terms set out by your homeowners’ association and risking fines.

Is it Worth the Investment?   

While it can be profitable, renting out your home can just as easily cost you more in time and resources than any revenue generated. Check the local market for other similar properties that rent out roughly the same time of the year you’re looking to rent out your own home. Look through managed listings on Airbnb and other vacation property management sites to see other homes and what amenities they offer. How much are you going to have to invest to bring your property up to par and will you make it back in rental fees over time?

Permits and Protections

Now that you’ve established legality and profitability of renting your home out as a vacation property, there are a few administrative requirements before we get to the house itself. While performing your legal due diligence, you should have discovered your localities steps for applying for a rental permit. Give yourself the time and funding to schedule the appropriate inspections and acquire the proper permissions. With permit in hand, you must also make adjustments to your insurance to include landlord-specific additions or changes to your policy.

Functional and Inviting

Having jumped through all of the hoops, you can now get to fluffing pillows and putting out welcome baskets…and a few other crucial tasks to making your home a beacon of hospitality and for vacationers.

Appliance Check, Safety Check

Check your safety equipment – smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and have them serviced as need. Make sure all of the kitchen appliances are in working order and clean.

Secure Your Property

Remove any valuables, personal effects, and anything you don’t want strangers to be able to access from your property and store it safely off site. Acquire a combination key box or some other form of managing keyless entry so the hand off process can go smoothly without requiring you onsite.

Set the Stage

Your home is going to be someone else’s home for a significant period of time, so they should feel at home and have access to basics like clean linen, toiletries, kitchen utensils and a welcome basket to handle any immediate needs such as coffee, tea, games for the kids or a bottle of wine for the grownups. Include a welcome book that overviews specifics about the property and includes details about the community that might come in handy like dining and local attractions. Make them feel welcome.

Tidy Inside and Out

Make sure you hire a cleaning crew and landscaping crew to keep the place clean and well kept before and after the rental period.

The Most Important Step is to Outsource it All

Let’s face it, there’s a lot to unpack here, and we haven’t even talked about marketing and managing your property listing with sites like Airbnb and handling contractual agreements with renters. We have a solution for that. At Venture Yours, we offer full-service vacation rental property management. We’ll handle pre- and post-rental arrangements with clients, manage the vendors that service your property, and handle all of the marketing that goes into renting out your property, including online listings. Someone else’s vacation shouldn’t be your headache, so go ahead and take your time away, we’ll handle everything for you and see you when you get home.