Before you rent:
Figure out if the math works
Before you move too far ahead in the planning stages, make sure renting your ski property makes sense for you. Start by analyzing what it will cost you to rent the home versus the income you can expect to generate. Include expenses such as maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, repairs, and amenities.
Decide if you are going to be the one managing the rental or if you’ll be hiring a company.
While managing the rental property will result in more of a financial return for you, it does mean more work for you as well. Investigate other options, such as online booking systems like Airbnb or HomeAway, or a property management company.
Your insurance needs will likely depend on how frequently you’re renting out your home.
If you decide to rent out your house to your friend or co-worker for a week during the ski season, you likely don’t need special insurance.
If you rent it out for a few weeks ever winter to several parties, you’ll want to explore the options available to you to cover your increased exposure to risk.
Many of the online vacation rental websites now offer insurance to those who rent their homes but their coverage varies and some policies are more comprehensive than others. The only way to know you have the right amount of coverage is to get in touch with your insurance agent before you rent.
So, you’ve decided to list as a vacation rental. Now what?
Check local regulations
If you have a condo or home in a strata/co-op, make sure your short-term rental doesn’t violate any of the HOA by-laws.
Minimize your liability
Hire professional snow removal service to help you maintain your property during the winter. This service should include removal of ice and snow from walkways and driveways, clear pathways for oil or propane delivery, and remove ice and snow from any vents and meters.
It can be an odd experience allowing strangers to stay in your home. Create a tenant screening process that the number of guests staying, their ages, and the purpose of their stay, then collect their full names, addresses, and contact information when they’re booking their stay. You can get a lot of information and a feel for people by just talking to them.
Most management companies and online portals have agreements that you can modify, or with a simple online search, you can find example agreements. Be clear to outline how many people you’re comfortable with staying if you’ll allow pets, parties, smoking, etc.
Get professional-quality photos and description
Because most of the people that will be renting your property will be from out of town, they’re going to be making their decision based on the listing’s photos and description. Make sure the photos capture every area of the house, as well as the exterior, and your description is thorough by listing every amenity and detail.
Furnish, Decorate, and Equip your home
A fast Wi-Fi connection, expansive cable connection, and other entertainment options will go a long way in attracting renters. Having toiletries, paper products, and basic cleaning products available is a necessity and will go noticed if not provided. While you’re adding amenities to make your guests comfortable and set yourself apart from the competition, be sure to remove any personal items such as family photos and clothes.
You’ll need to set up the infrastructure of your rental. Many decide to opt for a keyless entry system or a hidden key. You’ll also need to decide on a payment system, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that most guests will expect to pay with a credit card.
Respond quickly to requests
Most people looking for accommodations are looking at multiple options at one time and will often make their decision based on the first suitable home to respond. Commit to responding quickly to the rental requests that come through, otherwise, you’ll risk losing business.
A personal touch will go along way
Having positive reviews from your guests can make a positive impact, whether they become frequent guests, recommend your property to their network, or writing online testimonials. Differentiate yourself by offering customized welcome baskets that include Wi-Fi password, entertainment services, appliance operation instructions, community amenities information, coffee, tea, beverages, snacks, etc. This is an opportunity for you to make a personal connection that will set you apart from the competition.
Thinking about renting your Park City, UT home or condo or looking to invest in a vacation property? Contact Osiris Cabral to learn more!