Looking to make some extra cash with the idle room in your apartment during the holidays? You might want to look into the peer-to-peer house sharing site – Airbnb. Renting out that extra space is a great way to make money. Research shows that the average New Yorker who has listed their fully furnished short term rentals on Airbnb makes about $21000 a year. This is a mouthwatering amount whatever way you look at it. But how exactly do you go about it? Below are some tips to protect your property and maximize profits.
- What the Law Says
Before you rent out your home, you need to find out what the law in your state says about it. You could run afoul of your local zoning laws if you’re not careful. Charging money for your short term rental could turn your property into an illegal hotel. Also, make sure to find out what taxes you should be paying.
You also risk getting into trouble with your landlord since the guests aren’t vetted and they’ll also put pressure on the properties’ amenities. Expenses for water, sewerage and trash removal will go up. You may just get evicted if this goes against the terms of your lease.
- Screen Your Guests
You need to take time to screen your guests. Check out their profile on Airbnb. If they have taken time to complete it, then they tend to take process more seriously than someone who hasn’t. Use the information provided to find out more about them. An incomplete profile with very little personal information is a red flag. You shouldn’t stop there. Find out if they have been verified by Airbnb and whether they have linked up their Facebook or other social network accounts. Use this information to assess the suitability of your guests.
- Set the Rules
It is your house and you get to make the rules. Whether you will be sharing the house or renting it out remotely, make sure you’re clear about the rules. You should set your expectations on your listing to prevent misunderstandings. For example, if you do not want guests smoking on the property, then make it clear before renting it out. You might also want to be clear about check-in and checkout times.
- Set the Right Price
You have to determine how much you will charge for your apartment. There’s no one size fits all rule for pricing, but you need to do your homework to get it right. Overpricing will push away potential clients and under-pricing will raise suspicions about the quality of your property. Check out what other people in the area are charging to get an idea of the going rate. Don’t forget to factor in your expenses and the properties amenities. Seasons will also affect price so check the trends and make changes when necessary.
- Promote the Property
Work on your Airbnb profile and make t stand out. Take clear photos and provide as much information as possible. Hire a professional photographer if you have to. Using grainy photos makes you look unprofessional and devalues your offering. Make a habit of responding to queries by potential guests and be polite.