Do you live in your property all year round? Would you like to earn extra money? Consider renting your home as a weekend rental property.
If you have two homes, rent one for the weekend while you live in the other. Or, rent your home when you travel. This is a way to make money while taking a break from your full-time property.
What Types of Events Can You Rent Your Home For?
Think about the size of your property and what it offers. Are there many bedrooms? Do you have a large property? Or a cozy apartment? If you own an apartment near Times Square, image if you rented it out for the Thanksgiving Day Parade or New Year’s Eve.
Consider how your property is a local experience for travelers going to concerts or events. Your property size also influences the type of renters you book. Large properties can appeal to wedding parties and groups after prom/graduation.
Marketing your weekend rental aligns with nearby events that will create demand for places to stay. Knowing the events in your area, and your property’s features, allows you to gain bookings as a weekend accommodation.
How Much Do You Price Your Weekend Rental For?
One of the motivations for renting your home for the weekend is the added income. Weekend rentals flourish because of popular or local events. Event popularity influences accommodations’ rates.
When it comes to pricing, renters expect that they may pay higher prices. This is called dynamic pricing. You choose your pricing based on demand. Research nearby rentals and hotels, and determine your property’s worth. Then calculate your rate.
For example, does a nearby hotel charge $350 for a night during a popular festival? You could raise your rates from $200/night to $250 or $275. You would still offer better rates than your competition, and make extra income.
If you provide a successful weekend rental experience, you may receive repeat bookings. An added benefit is positive reviews. Such positive interactions establish your brand and expand your opportunities for future renters.
How Do You Protect Your Home From Damage?
Changing your personal home into a rental for the weekend can be intimidating. One of the main questions is: What if there is property damage? Here are some preparations to enact when renting your property for the weekend.
- Security deposit – Expecting renters to pay a security deposit is a way to guarantee that you will have money to cover the cost of property damages. If there are damages, you can use the security deposit to replace and repair the damage.
- Contract – Develop a contract between both parties about your expectations.
- What do you have to provide as the homeowner? Are there any extra fees or regulations for your rental property? For instance, sound ordinances or number of people allowed on location?
- What can the renters bring with them? Are pets allowed? Is there private parking? Specifying this information before confirming a booking, prevents any surprises.
- Security – For events like prom, you may hire a security company to stay in the house and watch the students over the course of the weekend. Include this added supervision in the price that you charge for the rental. This allows all parties to be responsible and safe.
- Insurance – You should have commercial liability insurance coverage for your businesses. Since there is a monetary exchange for your weekend rental, you are now a business. This means you should switch from a personal liability coverage to commercial. This protects you from any known/unknown risks or damages, such as lawsuits or investigations. *Also refer to any town rules and regulations regarding short-term rentals.
How Do You Prepare Your Home for a Weekend Rental?
Secure Your Valuables
Now that you’ve organized the details for hosting travelers, what about the personal items in your home? Maintain the personal charm of your property, but remove any basic valuables. Lock or secure any irreplaceable items in your home.
Unlike long-term rental properties, you do not have to pack away all of your personal items. Your personal designs add to your property’s charm.
With any rental, you should pack away your basic valuables such as jewelry, personal paperwork, etc. Lock or secure any irreplaceable items in your home. You can designate offices or other locations as off-limit areas. This allows you to rent your property for the weekend, without packing away your home.
Do You Have Pets?
If you are a pet-owner who rents their property for the weekend, take your companion with you. You can book pet-friendly accommodations if you do not own a second home, or board your pets at a spa. Unless you own a farm or market your property with the inclusion of pets, renters may not expect to spend a weekend living with them.
Provide the Necessities
Booking travelers at your location require you to have high-quality necessities. Such items include:
- Fresh towels, clean bathroom
- Extra bedding: pillows, blankets, sheets, etc.
- Ample kitchenware for large parties
- Living room seating
Consider adding extra amenities like gaming systems and outdoor entertainment. If you offer your yard/property for renters, make sure that everything is manicured and maintained. Potential renters will look at this space as an added feature for their event/vacation.
As for yourself, some renter’s choose to stay on the property to assist with supervising parties. Other owners leave for their own vacation or stay in a nearby hotel. That way, if anything goes wrong, they are accessible. Yet, this is your personal preference. You want your guests to have privacy, but also be available if there are any questions.
Are You Ready to List Your Home?
Turning your home into a weekend rental is a valuable experience. It allows you to meet new people while establishing and income and brand. Use flexible pricing and rental features to attract renters. Draft a contract, buy insurance, and require a security deposit to protect your property.
How did you transition into vacation rentals? What advice do you have for fellow owners? Share your experiences and comments below.