If you’re somebody who likes to travel, especially during peak travel seasons, I strongly recommend you Airbnb your home while you’re away on vacation. Of course, renting your home may seem daunting or even dangerous, depending on your risk tolerance. However, with no risk, there’s no reward. And to me, having my vacation expenses paid is a huge reward.
Some people may be concerned about renting their home to strangers for the following reasons:
- “I don’t want renters to steal my personal belongings”
- “I don’t want people throwing parties in my house or damaging my belongings”
- “If there are multiple people renting my home while I’m out of town, I won’t be there to clean and prepare my home in between bookings”
These are valid concerns, but they don’t have to make or break you renting out your home. Here are some tips to make this possible so you can pay your vacation expenses or even make money while you’re on vacation!
Vacation rental security
- Dedicate a specific room, or closet, to securing your most valuable possessions. For example, any family heirlooms, expensive technology, or something of that nature. Get a deadbolt, and secure these items safely locked in a room where no one can access them.
- Be selective about the guests that you accept.
- Don’t feel comfortable hosting guests who are under 21 years of age? Luckily, you can set restrictions on your account.
- Only accept guests who have verified their identity via submitting identification to Airbnb. This adds a layer of security and is highly recommended.
- Set a minimum stay for your guests. Most partiers only want to stay for a weekend. Set a minimum stay of 4 days to a week, depending on your preferences.
Set up your staff to automate things while you’re gone
Get a smart lock
Save the hassle of having to hire someone to meet the guests and do a key exchange. Buy a smart lock or a keypad lock system. This way, you can just give your guests and clear the code to the lock so that they can let themselves in.
Secure a cleaner
First things first, you’ll need to hire a cleaner. Find someone you trust who is reliable and responsive. If you don’t know anyone, it’s always helpful to join a Facebook group for short-term rental hosts to find recommendations.
Meet your cleaner before you embark on a vacation, and do a trial run. Make sure that it’s a good fit, and that the cleaner is familiar with the process so you can leave and know that the cleaner is taking care of business.
Utilize the automated messaging system
Since Airbnb is a technology company, they have really smart systems in place. Take advantage of the automated messaging system to coordinate messages to guests. For example, send check-in instructions 48 hours before the scheduled arrival. Set an automated trash-day message. Send check-out instructions. All of this can be done automatically. And your guests will appreciate the communication. This may even help you become a superhost on Airbnb.
Coordinate your travel with popular tourism times
You’ll want to toy around with your calendar to see when you get the most inquiry for prospective guests who want to rent your home. For example, if you live in a place that has a surge in tourism in the fall, then plan your vacation around the same time. It’s best to have your vacation overlap with the time that guests want to book your home. That being said, rejecting a bunch of booking requests on Airbnb can be detrimental to your ranking on search. So only keep your calendar open on dates when you actually want to go out of town.
As you see, it’s really not so daunting to rent out your home while you travel on vacation. These simple steps can help you set up a well-oiled machine so that you can actually make a profit while you take time off to travel and have a luxurious vacation. If you’re still on the fence about it, then it may be worth doing a trial run before your big vacation. Do just a weekend rental or shorter to secure your process and make sure everything works right.