The idea of renting out your home when you are not there has grown in popularity for the past five years. With the advent of sites like Airbnb, Vacasa, and Flipkey, as well as Try It Tiny, the ability to rent out your home or apartment of tiny house to short-term guests is more feasible than ever before! When you rent out your home or apartment to short-term guests though, you can’t simply hand your guests the keys or deadbolt code and expect everything to take care of itself. There are steps you need to take to carefully prepare your home in advance for guests. They’ll be expecting cleanliness, organization, and comfort on par with hotels in the area. The better you do at preparing your home, the easier your guests’ stay will be as well as your overall experience as a host!
DON’T TIDY UP
That’s right. Don’t tidy up. CLEAN! You don’t have to put a sanitary band on the toilet lid but your home should be clean and orderly when your guests arrive. Take special care in the bathrooms and kitchen where bacteria can manifest and where germs like to hide. Beds should have clean linens and be made up with care. Rule of Thumb: If you think the bed has enough pillows, add two more. It may serve you best to hire a housecleaning service to do a thorough cleaning before each guest. If that is out of budget though, you can do it yourself. If you do, you may want to Google a vacation rental cleaning checklist to assist you. There are a number of them online.
REPAIR AND SHARE
When a guest walks in they shouldn’t hit the light switch and see a spark. Likewise, they shouldn’t need to hold on to stability bars when using the commode. Fix anything that may cause injury (no matter how minor!) to a guest. It’s better to just call your insurance agent and ask about your policy than to have a guest actually stress test it for you.
LOCK UP THE VALUABLES
Granted you may not have the Oppenheimer Blue or even a rare Picasso sketch in your home. There is still ample reason to lock up your valuable if you are renting out your primary residence. Items like jewelry, family photograph albums, fine china and silver, artwork, firearms, clothing, financial papers, and personal documents such as passports and birth certificates, are all things that should be locked away. Of course, this goes hand and hand with screening your guests. Don’t be afraid to look them up on social media or even on the rental platform. See if they have been reviewed or left reviews. Granted discrimination is never the right policy. Safeguarding however is often necessary.
PREPARE, FOR THEM
Everyone has left home and forgotten their toothbrush. Easy enough fix. However, few pack extra lightbulbs, fresh linens, spare towels, and the like, when vacationing. Prepare for your guests. Make available things like:
- First aid kit
- Spare light bulbs
- Extra blankets
- An iron and ironing board
- A smoke detector
- Trash can liners
- A microwave
- Tea bags, coffee, and condiments
If you want extra points (and a better review) consider a welcome basket for each guest that contains local menus, a bottle of wine, a few sweets, and other assorted items.
LEAVE A WELCOME NOTE AND INSTRUCTIONS
It is always nice to go into a rental home and find a warm note from the owner welcoming you to their home. It adds a certain class to the whole affair. It is also nice to find some instructions for things like the Roku box on the television or the code to the back door deadbolt. If you offer Wifi be sure to leave the password available as well so guests can access it.
The whole point is, treat others as you would want them to treat you. If you were to step foot into someone’s home for a short-term stay, what would you find comforting, welcoming, and convenient? See? Easy right? Let us know in the comments below what could also make a stay better for both parties?