There are countless home rental sites available for tourists. Even though most of the United States is still practicing shelter in place orders, there will come a time when travel is available once more. If you’re planning to rent a room of your home to a traveler through Airbnb, VRBO, or one of the other sites available, now is the perfect time to make some modifications to your humble abode.
After all, your home’s rental success depends on more than just its location. Tourists also want to stay in an attractive, comfortable, and safe property when they leave their hometown. Airbnb hosts have already started offering snacks, guides, and more to help their home stand out from the rest of the competition. However, this might not be enough if your home needs a little work.
People make their first judgments on a home from the first time they see a picture. If you haven’t invested in new siding for a few years, this outdated facade will make your home seem less appealing to a would-be renter.
It’s similar to how you would rent a home out to a tenant for longer periods of time. But with short-stay residents, a few simple fixes and additions could boost your rental’s popularity — and its price tag.
A used RV is a great way to travel the United States, but nothing beats the comfort of an actual bed offered by an accommodating host. Here are some of the best ways to improve your situation when you want to list your home on Airbnb or VRBO.
Update the exterior
When you list your home on Airbnb, you might think that it’s just important to work on your home’s interior. Your online listing will show both the inside and the outside of your home. As such, it’s important to make sure that both look good.
Because the roof makes up such a large portion of your home, it’s essential that you make the necessary updates. Roofs in the north and east are prone to mold growth and staining from water while southern homes can quickly become washed out from the sun. You should invest in a new roof every 20 years or so anyway! Even though some terracotta roofs can last a lifetime, most asphalt roofs with simple shingles need to be updated more frequently. When you start to notice shingle pieces in your drain, this is a good reminder to make roofing updates.
Since no one is looking at your home listing on Airbnb right now, it’s the perfect time to perform necessary construction efforts. While you’re at it, you should also paint your siding and repair any other issues with your home’s facade. It’s easy for paint to wear down on a much-beloved porch. Slap a fresh coat of paint on your home to make it look fresh for new Airbnb photos.
While you’re making these necessary updates, you should also consider your lawn. Your tourists won’t spend every day outside of your home; it’s important to make sure the outside of the property can accommodate light levels of activity. This could be as simple as mowing the lawn and putting up some comfortable chairs or investing in a complete hardscaping design for hours spent outdoors. Once summer comes, your patio will be ready for s’mores, snacks, and games amidst your beautiful yard.
Keep in mind that the lawn is important too. Just like the roof takes up a large portion of your home visually, so does your lawn. Invest in natural lawn care for a green, inviting lawn. Natural options avoid harsh pesticides, guaranteeing your guests’ comfort. For an added bonus, planting some pretty flowers with lots of different colors around your home’s exterior can make your place stand out when you list your home on Airbnb or VRBO. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, hiring a lawn care company a few times a year can help keep your lawn and garden in great condition with little maintenance on your end. It’s a cheap investment that can give back in a big way once you start bringing in more business through tourism.
When you choose to list your home on Airbnb or another room rental site, it’s important to showcase your home in a positive light. After all, a picture says a thousand words: make sure your home exterior only says good things about your rental.
Highlight the amenities
Once your guest likes the look of your home, they will want to dive into the amenities you offer. As mentioned earlier, many Airbnb and VRBO hosts try to out-do each other with complimentary snacks, free Wi-Fi, and coupons to local restaurants. But these aren’t the only amenities that you should consider.
Homes with pools and hot tubs tend to be huge draws for people going on vacation. After all, who wants to share a public pool with strangers? Knowing that they get unlimited access to a clean hot tub and pool can turn a boring evening into an indulgent affair. Just the mere presence of a beautiful hot tub can allow you to list your home on Airbnb for more money.
But it isn’t just big purchases that can make a huge difference. Noting smaller amenities in your home might just be the way to get a guest to choose your listing. Small amenities like access to local transit options, the presence of comfortable, hypoallergenic sheets in the bedroom, and even access to Netflix or other streaming services can be the cherry on top of your perfect rental. You never know when someone with sensitive skin just wants to curl up in hypoallergenic sheets and watch movies all day. This is also a great feature if your home has pets.
Your amenities are one of the most important parts of your listing. Don’t skimp on important information that might shoot your listing to the top of someone’s must-have list. When you’re ready to list your home on Airbnb, don’t forget the amenities.
Note security features
One of the top concerns among tourists is their own security. While you can’t control the actions of your neighbors, you can certainly ensure your home is a sanctuary for weary travelers. Vacationers want to know that their belongings will be safe when they leave your home and that no one will interrupt their trip during their stay. On top of that, they want to make sure their rental is situated in a safe area. Tourists are already a huge target for muggers and pocket thieves. As such, listing the important security efforts in your rental profile is key.
There are many different ways that you can boost your home security with temporary guests in mind. Installing video cameras on the outside of your home is just one way that you can deter criminals from the start. Letting your guests know that they have their own key is another great way to give them a sense of security. List how you plan to interact with your guests as well: some tourists prefer to chat with their hosts while others want a hands-off approach. If you come onto your tourists too strongly, they might not feel safe in your home. Remember that security looks different for everyone so it’s important to list all the information you can when you list your home on Airbnb.
If you’re renting your home through a third-party site like Airbnb or VRBO, you’re also supposed to operate in line with their security policies. Read your company’s fine print to ensure you don’t get into trouble with the law.
Additionally, it’s important to note any electronic security efforts that you have made. Most guests prefer to invest in temporary rentals with free Wi-Fi. It can be comforting to guests when you change passwords often and note that you’re relying on personal Wi-Fi, not a public option. This can help your guests rest easy if they’re worried about transferring funds or making big purchases online while they’re sightseeing.
It can also be helpful to provide a list of local doctors and urgent care clinics should an accident occur. Since your guests are not acquainted with your town, a phone number for your family doctor can go a long way. Provide a list of helpful resources along with those food coupons to make your guests feel even safer when they walk through your doors.
Here’s a bonus tip: many travelers are worried about the presence of bed bugs, termites, or other vacation-ruining pests. Investing in pest control testing options on a regular basis can help prove to your guests that you care about the quality of their stay. If you’re not checking for bed bugs regularly, odds are that you already have them. Rely on an exterminator for regular check-ups a few times each year and give them a call at the first sign of trouble. Now that spring is here, many bugs are coming out of their hidey holes: don’t let them get a jump on your property.
Every traveler wants to feel safe and secure when they’re far away from home. Ensure you’re giving them a comforting experience by noting the safety features present in your home. When you list your home on Airbnb and note these features, you’ll be sure to make more connections.
How to list your home on Airbnb and more
The way that we travel is changing. Now that regular citizens are opening their doors to strangers, it’s important to note the safety features you have before you begin. Once that is squared away, noting important amenities and updated features are key for setting your listing apart from the rest.
Tourism might be on pause for now, but it certainly won’t stay that way forever. After all, people will be itching to travel again once the weather gets warmer and America’s favorite cities open back up. Many travelers are raring to go after their previous vacations were put on the backburner.
It’s not easy to live during this country-wide pause, but it’s important to work on projects that keep you busy. When you want to improve your home’s listing on a third-party rental site, rely on these tips to gain more business.