Technology develops ways for people to make an additional income. Community accommodation apps similar to Homestay, Airbnb, and Couchsurfing mushroom and encourage people to enlist their property for short-term let. If you’re an empty nester, a frequent traveler, or an owner of another home, you can easily set-up an account on these platforms and earn extra cash by offering your place to tourists.
Now if you want to get more online bookings, you have to establish your property as a person’s home away from home. There are numerous things to do and prepare before you’re ready to welcome guests in. The biggest burden would be transforming your private living area into a guest-friendly unit.
Here is a step by step guide on how to open your property or home to travelers who booked it online:
1. Write about your place
To persuade people to book your home, you have to explain to them why it’s the best place to stay. It should be informative and descriptive, but be honest with all your description. You don’t want your guests to expect so much and get disappointed once they get there.
In addition, throw a little information on the nearby landmarks such as hospitals, malls, supermarkets, parks, museums, and police stations. Do this and your area will appear accessible to everything they’ll need during vacation. They’ll instantly feel familiar to your place.
Finally, do not be hesitate to inform the traveler about your house rules. Whether it’s about bringing pets or simply bringing your shoes in the house, you can write them in the guidelines so your potential guests will know.
2. Be ready to give a hotel-like experience
More than the interior design is the treatment that you give to your guests. Make an effort to provide comfort in the house or room that you’re putting up for rent. Other than a working internet connection, here is a list of the things that your guest could find handy in your place:
✔️️ Extra blankets
✔️️ Extra pillows
✔️️ Baby crib (optional)
✔️️ Extra air mattress
✔️️ Alarm clock
✔️️ Paper towels
✔️️ Toilet paper
✔️️ Liquid soap and shampoo
✔️️ Bathroom hooks for hanging clothes and towels
✔️️ Hair dryer
Note: Be ready with extra towels and bedding materials, just in case you have multiple guests.
✔️️ Toaster/toaster oven
✔️️ Cooking oil
✔️️ A high-quality knife and cutting board
✔️️ Two pans and two pots
✔️️ At least four sets of basic utensils
✔️️ Cleaning supplies (i.e broom, rug, all-surface spray cleaner)
✔️️ Odor neutralizing spray (i.e. Febreze)
3. Redecorate, if necessary
In platforms like Airbnb, Homestay, and Couchsurfing, you have to flaunt the beauty of your home. Architects I know have encountered people who did a little home renovation before signing up on accommodation apps. Most of the renovations took place in the bedroom and the bathroom. They made the bedroom cozier—daub on a fresh coat of paint, change all the flickering light bulbs, add new comfy cushions, and declutter. In the bathroom, they scrubbed the floors, sink, and the shower to eliminate molds and mildew. You may also pick air fresheners and humidifiers from the local stores. Avoid scents that are overpowering for it may cause irritation.
4. Upload the best photos in your account
You don’t need to hire a professional photographer for this job. You can snap a photo of your home interiors using your phone’s camera. The photos should be able to sell the experience of staying in your home. Make the kitchen, dining area, bedroom, or the garden the subject of your photos. You may also feature the different views which can be seen in your home.
5. Keep it clean
The cleanliness of your place is the key. It is a great welcome gift to your guests.
If you live in the same property that’s for rent, you may do the cleaning yourself to save you dollars. But if you’re away, I suggest that you hire a reliable cleaner who will keep everything tidy before and after your guests have arrived. A trusted and friendly in-house housemaid can talk and entertain your guests on your behalf. If you can’t afford one, there are cleaning agencies who’d be happy to provide for you.
Making a fortune from opening your property to short-term rents is almost similar to having your own business. You have to properly manage your listings and invest in items that make your home cozier. Like in selling your goods, you have to make sure that the price of an overnight stay in your property is competitive to those around and near you. It doesn’t have to be the cheapest—you only need to show that you’re providing services that are worth their money. When you’re getting a lot of reviews and bookings, that’s the time when you can increase your fees.
Are you a part of the growing home accommodation community? How did you prepare your home? Tell us in the comments below!